Here comes another big weekend for Oregon winter recreationalists. This isn't just the skiers and snowboarders, it's snow shoers, cross country skiers, family sledders, tubers and those just wanting to see the beauty of the snow. It's a huge attraction and part of the beauty and appeal of the Northwest. Now - the challenge - getting everyone to the mountain, parked efficiently and back home again swiftly and safely.
Here are 8 things you can do, or you should know, which will help make your weekend recreating on the mountain more enjoyable.
1. TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION - the best way to avoid having car problems is not to bring it in the first place! In addition to the programs buses Meadows runs, there are several other shuttle services, including:
- Park & Ride - With three pickup locations in Tualatin, Beaverton and Gateway, there's a convenient pick up location from Portland. Try to make your reservation by 2 PM to assure you get a seat.
- Sea to Summit - Picking up at the Portland REI (check their schedule) or you can book them to take you direct to the mountain.
- Aspen Limo Tours - Book them to pick up from your home.
2. CAR POOL - Hook up with others and fill all the seats in your vehicle. You'll reduce your fuel cost, create some social opportunity and reduce the number of vehicles needing a place to park. You can register at DriveLessConnect to find others to car pool with to the mountain AND have a chance to win prizes this weekend by taking the Drive Less Connect Challenge!
3. If you're driving - MAKE SURE YOUR VEHICLE IS PREPARED FOR WINTER DRIVING! This is actually the biggest issue we have on the mountain when there are winter conditions. It only takes one vehicle to spin out on the highway or the access road to clog the road for everyone. DON'T BE "THAT GUY."
- Carry chains or adequate snow tires - and put those chains on before you need them. Not familiar with when to put those chains on? Then it's probably already too late. Here's a link to the TripCheck chaining requirements. And you need only look for the highway signs to know when you need to pull over to put the chains on.
- Use the TripCheck highway cameras so you can see who is already on the road, what the road and weather conditions are.
ODOT has a Winter Driving Tips page that addresses this topic more thoroughly. Give it a read and share it with others.
The importance of chaining up when Traction Tires are required. This is a great report News Channel 8 KGW aired last season:
4. GET HERE EARLY! On these busy days the main lot can fill before 9 AM - with the Sunrise lot filling within an hour. HRM can fill by 11 AM. So if you're leaving Portland at 9 AM - you're probably not going to find a space in these lots.
5. TAKE THE HOOD RIVER ROUTE - While it's further in distance, the "end around" is often the fastest way to Meadows. Highway 26 from Portland has all the traffic for the other winter recreation areas including the ski areas on Mt. Hood. While those others are stuck in a line of traffic the Highway 35 traffic from Hood River is usually flowing much smoother. If there's going to be a traffic issue it will most likely happen at White River. So while you're backed up behind "That Guy" who spun out because he didn't have chains, our parking lots are being filled by those who came through Hood River.
6. REMOTE PARK YOUR VEHICLE - On anticipated peak days Meadows offers remote parking in Welches and in Parkdale (see locations in this Blog post) and offers free shuttling. When you see our signs indicating our lots are full - USE THE REMOTE LOTS.
7. PLAN TO ARRIVE LATE - Everybody heads to the mountain between 7 and 10 AM. So why not leave a little later and stay a little longer? Spaces begin to open up in our lots around noon leaving space for your late arrival. Your shift pass is valid until 6 PM so there's not rush to get down the hill. Stick around, let the others get caught up in the congestion. Then leave later after the traffic is flowing smoothly again.
8. STAY CONNECTED - We mentioned TripCheck for road conditions, cameras and incidents. Our conditions page also has parking lot status and road condition information. You can also stay connected through our MHMLifts Twitter updates.
Feel free to add to the list - your comments below will educate and help us all get to the mountain as planned.
See you on the mountain!
Hello winter! The storm lived up to it's promise of dropping 4 - 8" Wednesday into Thursday (much more higher up on the mountain). And that's all it took to revive the mountain and get everyone stoked for some awesome riding today. We'll admit - it was a much needed snow, AND it was just what we needed to make for some really fun skiing.
Even with the less than average snowfall this refresher put a spring back into our snow. Meadows terrain is like a backyard trampoline - you just love to bounce all around on it. The new snow put the bounce back in as well as the cushion for some pillowy soft landings. After storm recovery, Vista was opened for the afternoon - surrendering first tracks to late arriving guests, and those who got here early and were thursting for more.
The storm continued to drop snow Thursday evening, and the forecast says an another 4 - 8" could be deposited through Friday morning. Enjoy the Pierce Hodges video - get stoked. Then get some for yourself! We'll see you on the mountain!
My family has really enjoyed MHM this season - even though the snow hasn't been what we all hoped it would be. But the slopes have been great.
What really stands out in my mind this year is the amazing attitude of the people; from the lobby greeter by the concierge to the lift operators! Friendly, engaging, concerned and entirely focused on the great quality of my experience. It's that sort of thing that makes me love MHM and spread that message to friends and family all over the country.
Get ready for an awesome weekend of carving the groom under bluebird skies at Mt. Hood Meadows! If you haven't been up yet, you only have yourself to blame as our grooming team has been laying down some incredible groom for your enjoyment. The video, and comments from our guests, show how much fun carving at Meadows is!
Video by Pierce Hodges.
Comments from our pass holders:
"Groomers have done an amazing job in December/January with so little snow."
"The parks are awesome."
"You guys have done a great job considering the snow isn't that great."
"Although it has been a sad snow year I think the groomers have done a great job of making the mountain fun anyway. I have had a great time every time I've been up there!"
We'll see you on the mountain - this weekend!
If you're up Saturday check out the Safety Fair! This event encourages skiers and riders of all abilities to share the trails, stay in control and be educated about mountain safety. The Safety Village will be set up in the base area, with prizes, giveaways, music, booths from Wentworth Subaru, Costco, and Clif Bar, and Mighty Meadows making a guest appearance for the kids! There will also be hot cocoa in the Patrol Hut, so you can stop by, see the inside of the hut, and get some questions answered by our ski patrollers. Our avalanche dogs will also be making appearances through-out the day in the Safety Village, so bring your camera and plan to get a picture and a few wet kisses from the pups!
Took a masters clinic from Gordo and can't say enough good stuff about him! Learned more from him in this one day than we have in any other "lesson" - he really knows his stuff. Great guy!!
It's amazing what last week's storm did to provide coverage on our slopes. We received four feet of snow in the base area where our settled base is 51" and more mid mountain where we have 78". The storm allowed us to open Hood River Meadows so we now have bottom to top high speed quad service. All six of our express lifts are scheduled to operate this MLK weekend.
Most amazingly is the quality of the surface conditions. A beautiful groom and packed powder. The warm sunny days are not affecting the snow pack the way it does in the spring - that's because the sun is much lower and not beating down directly on the snow. It really is great skiing and snowboarding. The video was shot Thursday, January 16 by Pierce Hodges. Enjoy - and we'll see you on the mountain soon!
That's the picture our lift maintenance crew rolled up on this morning. That's Cascade - all frozen up from the storm that brought us four feet of snow this past few days, but also saw the freezing levels yoyo up and down creating our infamous Mt. Hood rime ice.
And this is after several hours of deicing the Vista lift which was opened to public at 10:16 AM, following storm recovery, dig out and chair launch. That deicing actually started yesterday as the storm was pushing out. Take a look at this tower and imagine trying to climb it!
No sweat. Well, actually - a lot of sweat. Eight climbers, hammering ice off the tower ladders, then perching atop each lift using brass hammers to free the haul cable of the caked ice over a foot in diameter. Hard work - but something our crews are very good at.
And the results of their hard efforts is your reward. Cascade opened to public at 12:45 today. And that means with the high pressure and sunshine we're seeing this week, we expect the lift to be operating daily. Here are some photos taken by Brian Robb and our own Jay Chrisman.
So now we have high speed access from the bottom of HRM to the top of Cascade - 2,777 vertical feet. That's one of the best vertical drops with good coverage found any where in the country. And it's yours - here at Meadows! See you on the mountain!
You know the scenario – fresh snow, bluebird day – lining up with a weekend or holiday and bam! Everyone wants to head to the mountain. In the past three seasons we’ve had a total of only twelve days that our three parking lots reached capacity. Not bad considering that’s around 500 days of operation. But if it happens on the one day that you’re coming up, being turned away at the lot is a bummer.
This season, Meadows has taken measures to prevent turn aways by securing remote parking on the west side at Welches Elementary School (at mile marker 42 off of highway 25) and the north side at Mt. Hood Country Store (right on highway 35). If our lots fill we can shuttle guests from those locations. Our goal is to not have to turn away any guest wanting to come to recreate at Meadows, even on our most popular days. Scroll down for more specifics on these remote parking shuttle lots.
There’s a lot we can do together to make the drive to the mountain smooth and to maximize your parking experience at Meadows, including:
- Take a bus – Meadows Park & Ride runs from Portland weekends and holidays. You can reserve a seat and be dropped off right at our lodge – so you have a guaranteed parking spot! There are other bus and shuttle options listed on Mt. Hood Meadows shuttle page.
- Ride share – Do your best to fill all the seats in your vehicle. Drive Less Connect matches people going to the same places.
- Keep traffic moving – Make sure your vehicle is well prepared for mountain weather. Carry traction devices and know how to use them. Use the designated areas to put on chains BEFORE you need them.
- Be aware of traffic patterns – arrive before 8:30 AM, or plan to arrive later – around noon – when spaces open up from departing morning skiers. Check the highway cams on TripCheck.com – and go through Hood River (I-84 to Highway 35) to avoid highway 26 traffic.
- Check the road conditions before you leave. For current road condition information in Oregon, call 511 or (800) 977-ODOT (6368). Reports are available 24 hours/day. Visit www.TripCheck.com for information on road and weather conditions, incidents and traffic delays.
- Stay connected – sign up for parking lot updates at twitter.com/mhmlifts – we update parking lot status on our conditions page and send out tweets.
- Follow the signs – Our parking trucks have variable messaging to provide you the current status. We also use signs along the roadway to direct you to the next available lot. We appreciate you following the signs and the guidance of our flaggers – they are there to assist you.
We’re confident that following this advice will make for the best commute to and from the mountain even on the busiest days.
As our lots reach capacity it is essential that you look for our remote parking signage in Welches and in Parkdale. Meadows has secured parking space at these two locations:
Welches Elementary School
Located just east of the stop light in Welches, before you reach the Subway restaurant (near mile marker 42.0). As you're heading to Meadows after you pass through the stop light in Welches:
- Turn right at Woodsy Way (the next main intersection)
- Immediately take a left which will bring you through the Hoodland County Park
- You'll see our greeters - there is ample parking spots available
Mt. Hood Country Store
The store is prominently located on Highway 35 and the parking is very convenient along the North and East sides of the store. Just look for the signs and you'll be guided to your parking spot.
We will run shuttles from the lots and from these remote lots during the time our main lots are at capacity. Our plan is to provide transportation from the remote lots as long as people are actively parking and until we reopen our parking lots. We will begin shuttling people back to their cars beginning at 4:30 PM and the shuttles will depart from Meadows every 30 minutes until 6 PM. This will prevent you from being turned away at the resort. The parking and the shuttle are free (and there are rest rooms available at each remote parking location).
As we reach capacity in our lots, we will:
- Place signage along highway 26 and highway 35 updating parking lot status and directing you to these remote shuttle lot locations
- Update our conditions page and tweet to MHMLifts on twitter, alerting you when our lots have reached capacity and the remote lots are open.
The remote lot locations will be especially desirable for guests who are concerned about driving their own vehicle in winter conditions, as they should be below the snow line on most days.
So bring on the powder and the bluebird weekends. We’ll see you on the mountain!
Just wanted to give a shout out for Peter C. and Colby and also the guy greeting people outside of the concierge on December 29th. We had a large group - 10 or so getting some buddy passes - the experience was easy and awesome. In fact, our group of 13 skiers loved Meadows and in particular the staff - we thought our So. Cal family would only ski a day or two and we got 4 days with them - yes, one ended up going down in a basket and spending time in the Medical Center - but parents were super impressed with the entire experience. Please let Peter C. know that I sent this - he has been helpful several times this year. Thank you!!!
Hello old friend. It's been a while. How you doing? Are you still as much fun as you used to be? Let's dance. Let's tango. Let's slam! Powder made it's triumphant return to Mt. Hood Meadows - and YOU got to play in it. More snow fell on this mountain in the past 24 hours than anywhere in the country. And while this storm may just get silly (with yoyo freezing levels and some winds) it should also provide for another dazzling powder day before it blows through after the weekend. So come on up. Let's dance!
Pierce Hodges Video
Winter kicks into full speed at Mt. Hood Meadows in January. The events schedule is jam packed, with the Burton Mountain Festival
returning over MLK Weekend, January bus programs
for kids on weekends and adults midweek rolling, adult clinics on the weekends and a special midweek deal to motivate couples to enjoy a day on the mountain. It’s also Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month
- Meadows has it all in January!
Let’s face it - skiing and snowboarding is more fun with a friend! Meadows is offering two lift passes and a $25 dining certificate for just $99. This is an online special only, it has to be purchased in advance (before the day of use) and it must be used on a midweek day (Monday - Friday) by January 17. But it’s a $169 value for just $99!
Other Ski Area Pass Holder Discounts
It’s been a rough winter in the northwest - most ski areas haven’t been able to open. We’re offering discount lift passes to those less fortunate pass holders - $59 for an open to close lift pass or $20 for a night (3 - 9 PM) pass.
Meadows offers daily KidSki and KidsRide sessions for ages 4 to 12. Purchase a three time half day package online and save 20% off the regular KidSki or KidsRide prices. Each day includes a two hour lesson, lift pass and equipment rentals.
Consecutive week programs get underway this week. Midweek adult buses run Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - and our popular weekend programs (Sno-Blasters, Trailblazers and High School) kick off Saturday (January 11) and Sunday (January 12). These programs are supported by neighborhood buses - some still have room! To find a bus near you check our bus finder.
Jan 18 - 20: Burton Mountain Festival
Three day event featuring the Burton demo experience (free - credit card and I.D. required), Riglet Park, contests and an apres ski party (Saturday night).
Jan 18: ReRack Rail Jam Series
The series continues with a creative course set up in the Shipyard rail park. All freestylers welcome - no charge to compete (lift pass or season pass required). Awesome prizes - sponsored by ReRack, Blackstrap, Windell's, USASA, Monster, Yakima, Outer Limits Sports and the High Performance Center.
Jan 20: Rotary Club Fundraiser
The Rotary Club of Hood River presents the annual Rotary Night at Mt. Hood Meadows to generate funds for the scholarship program. A special $20 lift pass is available for 2 - 9 PM that evening at the ski area or purchase in advance online for $15. The special Rotary pass is required to ride lifts after 4 PM, as this is a special fundraiser beyond Meadows normal lift operating schedule.
Jan 25: Safety Fair
Riding responsibly is fun - find out all about it at the Meadows Safety Fair. Activities in past Safety Fairs include Know the Code Games and raffle, beginner chair demonstration, LIFTSTARS education, avy dog meet and greet, damaged helmet education and recycling, avalanche rescue training and awareness, Recco demonstration, and music and prizes. Come join the fun!
Meadows ski and snowboard school is all about having fun on the snow! Our certified pros present a variety of clinics throughout the month focused on the different conditions and terrain we offer.
Jan 11: Steeps Clinic
Jan 12: Freestyle Clinic
Jan 15: Grand Masters Midweek Clinic
Jan 16: Women’s Midweek Clinic
Jan 17: Steeps Midweek Clinic
Jan 21: Women’s Midweek Clinic
Jan 22: Steeps Midweek Clinic
Jan 23: Grand Masters Midweek Clinic
Jan 25: Women’s Clinic
Jan 26: Steeps Clinic
Grand Masters MW Clinic
Jan 30: Steeps Midweek Clinic
Jan 31: Women’s Midweek Clinic
Apres Ski Entertainment 3 - 6 PM Saturdays in the Vertical Restaurant
Jan 11: Terry Robb
- Acoustic blues with a Contemporary edge.
Jan 18: Jack Straw
- American roots music - bluegrass with a NW edge.
Jan 25: Twisted Whistle
- Portland folk, bluegrass, American Band.
It's amazing what just a little snow will do for you - but then it's been that kind of season. Meadows received 2" of new overnight - with blue skies Friday morning. Mid mountain received 3" - and our stellar grooming crew made the most of it! So did our guests who chased powder lines all day, hitting some spots with 8 - 12" of wind loaded powder beneath the ridges.
While we have a most promising forecast this week for a good dose of winter weather - it's still fun to hit up some freshies in the sunshine, as this video from Pierce Hodges shows.