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.
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.
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