Early snow and a lot of it. That's a great winter forecast. Former State Climatologist and President of Applied Climate Services addressed the Oregon AMS chapter Wednesday evening. He shared his winter forecast which he says should be a good one for Mt. Hood Meadows.
Taylor found five "analog" years - past years that are tracking similarly to this year leading up to winter. Four of those five years saw snowfall totals substantially above average - 50% or more! The measurements are made at the Government Camp weather station at the 4,000 foot level. Snowfall totals are amplified at Meadows higher elevation (between 4500 - 7300 feet).
Taylor also notes those seasons started early, with openings by or before Thanksgiving. So this is great news for winter enthusiasts.
Taylor won't be presenting at the AMS "What will winter bring" meeting October 26 at OMSI. But several other noted climatologists will make their presentations with the benefit of one more month's worth of weather data. That's an event we are definitely looking forward to!
Mt. Hood Meadows summer improvements included allocating more terrain for lower level learning, stepped up trail maintenance on the lower mountain, an ice melt project on the Sun Deck and connecting the resort to the world through fiber optics. Here's what these improvements will mean for our guests!
Reallocated Terrain for Training
Meadows is allocating more terrain to training, particularly for those beginners transitioning into intermediate level. Meadows has repurposed 4 acres of terrain formerly used by terrain parks. The terrain, serviced by the resort's "Easy Rider" lift will be used in learning classes to accelerate the natural progression. The area will also be family friendly for parents to take young children to advance their skill levels.
Stepped Up / Stumped Out Trail Maintenance
Meadows summer trail maintenance focused on the lower mountain, cutting brush on more than 20 acres on the Hood River Meadows runs. This terrain includes Meadows' two most popular terrain parks Forest Park and Park Place. The brush removal should allow for earlier opening and more consistent grooming throughout the season. A special emphasis on stump removal on six kilometers of Nordic trails should allow the Nordic Center to require less snowpack to open, assuring early season and lead season operations.
This photo was taken on Lower Tamarack. Brush this tall or taller is prevalent throughout the very bottom of the HRM ski runs. Snow pressure and our groomers have traditionally bent over the brush, so it wouldn't take 10 feet of snow to cover it. But this brush cutting should allow us to open the mountain earlier with good coverage. The runs we worked on that had this type of growth were Willow, HRM Face, the edge of Ski Way and Lower Tamarack.
Sun Deck Ice Melt Project
The Paradise Sun Deck got a face lift – that is, 3000 square feet (about a quarter of the decks cement surface) was removed, to install ice melt. The Sun Deck is a very popular spring attraction, but heavy snows in the heart of winter have limited usage, even on sunny days. The ice melt will allow the Alpenstube Restaurant to extend sit down service outdoors whenever the weather allows. Guests will enjoy the sunshine outdoors December – February, just like March and April thanks to the ice melt project.
Fiber Connected for Social Networking
The bandwidth to Meadows will be increased by nearly 20 times with a new fiber optic line connecting the resort to the rest of the world. This will allow resort guests to stay connected for business and socially, with increased band width and wifi hot spots throughout the resort.
Meadows offers the ultimate in alpine play, and this season you'll be able replay and share your visits with the AlpineReplay App. AlpineReplay will tell you which lifts and trails you’ve ridden, along with your speed, vertical, calories, distance, airtime, tricks and more. Medals are offered for achieving different levels, you can challenge friends and it can all be shared with your friends and replayed later for your enjoyment.
Meadows has joined Claim My Run so guests can post videos of their runs. Contests will be held throughout the season to determine the most popular posts and the site will provide a great visual guide for guests to virtually visit the resort.
Three New Grooming Machines
Meadows will maintain it's reputation for superior grooming with the acquisition of three new snow cats, including one specifically designed for terrain park sculpting and maintenance. Adding to our already state-of-the-art fleet will be a Prinoth BR-350, a PistenBully 400 and a PistenBully 400 Park Pro Series.
A Bright Idea - For Energy Reduction
LED Night Light Trial – a totally illuminating experiment! The resort will add two high output LED fixtures to an existing pole. LED lights require 75% less energy, and can be more dependable in extreme weather situations than the more volatile high wattage high intensity discharge lamps currently being used. The test will determine whether LED lights provide improved reliability, brightness and illumination over the standard fixtures, and if so will lead to huge energy savings. Another advantage to the LEDs are immediate energizing following power flickers, instead of the longer warm up time required by high intensity lamps.
Pricing Rollbacks to 2011/12 Season – no more Peak Day Pricing
Meadows has reduced season pass and day pass pricing, and eliminated the "Peak Pricing" model introduced last season. The resort has also introduced a "Family Day Pass" - allowing an adult to purchase up to two junior (age 7 – 14) passes for just $19 each with the purchase of an adult day pass ($74).
- 100 Best Green Companies to work for in Oregon – Oregon Business Magazine
- NSAA Safety Award for the Lift Star safety Program
- Best Ski Resort – Gresham Outlook, Sandy Post, Estacade News
- PDX Approved – Portland Mercury Reader's Choice Guide to Everything Awesome Near Portland
- Best of the Gorge – Gorge Magazine
Mt. Hood Meadows will operate in May - at least the first weekend anyway - thanks to Wells Fargo. Meadows is scheduled to operate daily through April 27, and now, thanks to Wells Fargo we'll operate May 3rd and 4th. That means pass holders will be able to continue their season thanks to Wells Fargo's generosity. Unlimited passes and any days remaining on 10 Time Passes will be honored, and Midweek+ and Meadows Club Card holders will receive direct to lift discounts.
Meadows expects to expand on-snow activities and events in May, and we're seeking additional sponsors to add more weekends in May.
Mt. Hood Meadows pass holders will be able to treat friends to discount day lift passes this season. The resort is adding five discount "Buddy Passes" to it's long list of benefits for pass holders. The Buddy Pass allows the pass holder to bring a friend (or friends) for just $59 each (limit five for the season). The 6 and under season pass is not included, but all other loyalty passes (passes with a picture on it) qualify. That includes Unlimited Passes, Midweek+ passes, Night Passes, 10 Time Passes and the Meadows Club Card.
Resort Executive Director of Communications Dave Tragethon says the resort is addressing the two major concerns expressed by pass holders last season. "First, we've rolled back season pass pricing to the 2011/12 season, making the pass a tremendous value. Now we've added a way for pass holders to treat their friends with the Buddy Pass at a significantly reduced price - just $59."
The resort has done away with Peak Day pricing introduced last season, which increased the price of the lift pass to $89 on peak weekends and holidays. This season - no more Peak pricing - so a lift pass will be $74, valid 9 AM - 4 PM Mondays and Tuesdays; or 9 AM - 6 PM Wednesdays through Sundays when the resort offers night skiing. A day pass can be extended to 9 PM those nights for an additional five dollars.
"This makes Meadows season passes, and the $59 Buddy day passes real bargains, since they are not restricted. The Buddy pass can be purchased by the pass holder any day," states Tragethon.
Meadows season passes are on sale now at early season discounts through November 3. Click to see all the pass holder benefits.
Why purchase a Meadows Pass? Click here to find out!