Meadows Blog

Making Use of Lots of Snow

Meadows has received a foot of snow since Friday afternoon - with a forecast indicating it could continue into Sunday. While this isn’t enough for us to open (yet) - we do see good things in the forecast. So much so that we are harvesting the snow from the parking lot to put to use on the slopes.

Meadows rents a Marooka snow cat snow dump truck to transport parking lot snow to the base area

For this purpose, Meadows rented a high capacity snow hauler - a snowcat with a dump truck box bed. We rented it last season as well to load snow from the parking lot. The snow is transported to base area lifts to build the load ramps. It is especially important at the Mt. Hood Express to build out the load area to accommodate our RFID gate mazes. We also use the snow to build features in Shipyard so we can get a Freestyle park open early in the season. 

We have a very creative and industrious grooming and vehicle maintenance crew, which teamed up to build a trailer version of the snow hauler The trailer is retrofitted from an old snow cat. The box bed is built on the chassis and the cat tracks provide the over the snow ability to transport the snow. While it takes more expertise to haul the trailer, it carries more snow per load.

Our crews are working hard to make the most of this snowfall, in anticipation of an opening soon, hopefully by Thanksgiving. Mother Nature needs to cooperate, but we’re doing everything we can to make the most of what she gives us.

Two new Piston Bully Snowcats arrive at Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort 

We also received two new Piston Bully 400 snow cats. We’ll use these for general slope grooming, replacing older models as part of our plan to keep our grooming fleet state-of-the-art, and one of the most advanced in the Northwest.

Photos by Steve Warila


  1. Arkafan

    November 16, 2013

    Awesome! I'm watching the webcams and satellites, and prepping my gear for the Meadows Film Festival. This is going to be an amazing season!

    Meadows: We agree and can't wait to get it started!

  2. wyatt

    November 17, 2013

    If Meadows opens before December 7, will you have any buses coming up to the mountain from Portland? Specifically the park and ride?
    I love all of this snow coming down, It's shaping up to be a great season.

    Meadows: Park & Ride is scheduled to start on December 7, so if we're open it should be running!

  3. Steep & Deep

    November 17, 2013

    Thanks to all of your hard work to try and get the ski season started up at Meadows! I know we all want to get up there as soon as possible; come on Mother Nature.

    Once again, Thank you all!!!

    Meadows: You are welcome!

  4. kab221

    November 17, 2013

    Can wait for the upcoming season! I love how creative you guys get in order to help us get on the slopes. Just another reason why I love meadows, keep up the great work guys can't wait to see you soon!

    Meadows: We really need to credit our grooming and vehicle maintenance teams for their ingenuity and initiative to build this trailer. The trail maintenance we did this past summer also helps prepare us for opening. No we just need some more snow and we can get this season going!

  5. Matt

    November 17, 2013

    It's always so serene to see fresh snow. Love it!

    I was curious though, what conditions permit opening? Is it based on mid snow level, eyeballing the runs, a little of both or something entirely different? Maybe it's just my idealistic southern CA influence, but those runs look good to me. :)

    p.s. Thanks for all the hard work! I know everyone is just as anxious as I am.

    Meadows: Thanks Matt! Our opening assessment is based on many variables - snow depth, water content of the snow, general coverage, what the weather was that brought the snow (windy, calm) and even future forecasts. We like to connect a good opening with a great season - so when we feel we can offer a quality experience that we can sustain - we'll open!

  6. SNBDavid

    November 19, 2013

    Just can't wait for the season to start!!! the runs look good enough for me to ride in.
    Just being curious how many more inches are needed for opening?

    thanks for all the hard work!! for making meadow the best ski resort!!!

    Meadows: Thanks for your kind words! We're offering a Preview Weekend Saturday and Sunday, making the most of our 19" base with two lifts (Easy Rider and Buttercup) scheduled from 9 to 4 each day!

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