Meadows Blog

April Delivers 4 Feet of Snow

April has roared in like a lion – a powerful storm has delivered four feet of new snow to Mt. Hood Meadows this week. The resort has received three feet in the past three days, increasing the snowpack to a season high 152 inches.
Blue Sky after storm at Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort
Some of the 3 feet in 3 days received at Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort

The April storm has been delivering “awesome” powder conditions – especially the last three days of the storm. Skiers and snowboarders have been riding “bottomless” powder in wind favored areas, and the upper mountain terrain serviced by the resort’s Vista and Cascade lifts remains untouched as of this morning. Lift and snowcat crews are working hard to open the upper lifts. Vista looks good for Thursday morning with a slight chance of Cascade opening later Thursday, but more likely Friday.

Cats digging out Cascade Express
Patroller at Cascade Express

Meadows other high speed quads – Mt. Hood Express, Shooting Star Express and Hood River Express – are all scheduled to operate.

It's more than just powder - the groom is pretty sweet as well!
Perfect groom at Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort


Meadows is operating daily from 9 AM – 4 PM. The resort is scheduled to operate until May 1, and will most likely extend the season on weekends in May, as it has the past several seasons, depending on conditions, weather and turn out.

10 Comments

  1. Steep & Deep

    April 8, 2011

    I certainly can understand the dangers still present for opening Heather Canyon back up but must ask since this is the only real steep and deep area at Meadows; is there a chance to open HC up this weekend? If not, how about giving us a little JW to satisfy a little of the cravings. Yes, I see the huge crack looming above the canyon and just wondered if I should shut down any expectations for steep terrain for the rest of this year.

    Thanks,

    Meadows: Thanks Steep & Deep. We continue to monitor and evaluate daily. Since the access to the Heather Lift can be affected (as demonstrated by the last avalanche) opening Jacks Woods alone isn't a possibility. When the avalanche hazard in (and above) the Canyon moderates, then we'll be able to open Heather.

  2. Steep & Deep

    April 9, 2011

    Now I am reading at 9:45 a.m. that there is maintenance being done on the Heather Chair??? Is this meaning a chance for it to open tomorrow? Because if it opens today I will be the most blown away individual owning a seasons pass at that mountain; another way to say this isn't as nice (pissed off!). I would've been all over that mountain today if I felt there was even a chance that Heather could open today but the report all morning has been closed today due to avalanche danger, not under evaluation with a possibility of opening. I also loved your response to my first message that it isn't possible to just open JW even though a couple of weeks ago you did just that on a dam Thursday but then didn't open it again when a working person can get to the mountain on the weekend. I certainly know the avalanche dangers that are out there right now but the day JW gets hit by the Avy I will stop driving to the mountain and start using my wings to fly there. Okay I am getting back off my soap box now and going to just watch and see what kind of response I can get.

    Meadows: Thanks Steep & Deep. We were keeping up on deicing and ramp work in order to keep the lift in working order. We put on the website "Closed due to avalanche hazard. Maintenance on lift in progress." The website never stated "under evaluation," because there was never, ever a chance it was going to open. We didn't want our guests to see the lift running and think we were going to open it. We also posted staff at the Heather gates explaining what was going on (and also so people wouldn't duck ropes).
    Steep - are you really complaining because we opened the canyon when our evaluation indicated we should do so, and it happened to be on a Thursday? Please talk to the midweekers who accuse us of saving it for the weekend. It was opened that day because the conditions allowed us to. It wasn't opened on the weekend because the conditions didn't allow us to. That's all.

  3. Billygoat

    April 10, 2011

    Steep and Deep,
    I find you very uneducated about the risks associated. As well as your obvious complete lack of knowledge about good terrain within Meadow's permit area. If you paid attention you would see that PR has been open, as well as S&R cliff's.
    If you really want to get "Steep and Deep" then take it. It's there and open. Unless you would rather pose in Heather.
    Also before you complain, take the time to click on the link for NWAC so you can be informed about the avy dangers, and forecasts.

    BTW I guess you didn't notice the picture's of the slide runout just feet from the HC chair.

    Meadow's I applaud you for looking out for the safety of your guests. Even when they have no regard for their own.

    Meadows: After the March 10 avalanche, Heather was open for 2 hours Saturday, March 12 when the weather closed in again. We were able to open it again Thursday, March 24th 10-330 ½ Moon down, but then we received more stormy weather and it has remained closed including during the March 30 avalanche which this commenter refers to.

  4. Chance

    April 11, 2011

    Billygoat,
    Wouldn't you rather have Steep & Deep home writing about what he would have done. Love the response Just keep them thinking Heather is the only place to be to access steep terrain.

  5. Steep & Deep

    April 11, 2011

    Rebuttal......

    I certainly realize the risks involved in opening HC back up this year and was just asking the question whether it would be possible this past weekend to get a little powder out there. I have always respected the tough job ski patrol have in making the decision to open that terrain due to it's very high Avy danger ALWAYS.

    I also know there are other good areas to ski at Meadows or I wouldn't buy a season pass there; I just like more terrain options.

    Last, but certainly not least, I hope you all have a great end to your ski season and may next year bring even more powder skiing our way. Over and out................

  6. Conundrum

    April 11, 2011

    I have a mixed feeling about this. I can totally see where SD is coming from, but on the other hand I see why Meadows managements are so afraid to take chances, especially this year. Although there has to be a balance there somewhere ...I mean we take risk in anything that we do. As for me, I will continue to travel little further up north to Crystal when I get the powder itch that needs scratching …although Crystal is also having some minor difficulties opening up their terrains.

    Let’s face it, Meadows has variety of terrains for everyone but their steep (expert?) terrains are just too small littered with flats in between and most of their runs end quickly. Unless you enjoy long run outs after couple of decent turns, I’m guessing the PR really does not entice lazy-downhillers like me. Heather canyon is the only run that gives me a feeling that I actually skied, although it takes three lifts to make one decent run from the top. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad to be skiing Meadows and it is nearby.

    If manpower/money was not an issue, I tend to believe Jacks wood can be open whenever PR is open. I don’t think I will get into the details of how. No matter what, I will be keep on skiing at Meadows whenever I can : )

  7. Vlad

    April 12, 2011

    Did you guys see this?

    http://www.skiinfo.com/News/MtHoodMeadows-EUSMTHOODM-104-en.jhtml?a=168073

    Apparently Apr 1-7th contest is your (and ours as well)

    Meadows: Cool! And the winter keeps on giving!

  8. Larry

    April 12, 2011

    Why was Vista & Cascade listed as Storm Recovery this morning (4/12/2011) and now it is shown as open? (Not complaining probably too tired to make it up today anyway , just trying to figure out your posting).

    I am curious about Heather, is it the higher terrain above the permit area that is holding things up, or is that clear now that this last avalanche has let loose?

    I am not sure I am good enough for some of those other areas, In heather I can always traverse a bit if I have to, I had allot fun in there last year, even went over to the far side of Clark Canyon with a friend.

    Meadows: Good questions. We received about a foot of snow with wind on the upper mountain Monday into early Tuesday. At 5:00 AM when we first update the report the status was storm recovery, as our crews were called out early to prep and dig out lifts. We don't know how long this process may take as the conditions can vary greatly. Fortunately Tuesday we were able to perform the required storm recovery and launch the lifts as scheduled.
    Regarding Heather, the conditions in and above the canyon are all considered when determining the avalanche hazard conditions in the canyon.

  9. Daniel

    April 14, 2011

    To Steep and Deep, I work a full-time job and have done all but two of my fourteen days on the weekdays, don't stereotype. Also, there is plenty of decent terrain on the mountain. Last Wednesday was amazing, and 1-4 bowls were great. You can play around in the trees to finish out the runs so they aren't so short. You just need to be creative and know the mountain. I'm very appreciative for the ski patrol and the fact that safety is such a big concern! Upper heather was open earlier in the year and was pretty great. The reality is that HC isn't going to open again until a major slide happens above the permit zone, probably not this ski year.

    Meadows: We haven't given up on Heather. But conditions in and above the canyon need to moderate before we can open. Hopefully the weather pattern will allow that to happen.

  10. Nof

    April 15, 2011

    I love the ground level groom view! Question..Does the weather station at the top of the Cascade lift have a temp probe? If so why is it not displayed on the weather report? You should consider one at the bottom of HRM as well to show a complete temp profile on the hill.

    Meadows: We collect the weather data from the NWAC telemetry stations which are located near the bottom and top of the Mt. Hood Express. We prefer this as they are independent and verifiable. We'll investigate whether we can connect any internal weather devices to our web site.

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