Mt. Hood Meadows opened Heather Canyon today, one of the earliest openings ever for the resort’s franchise expert terrain. The lowest gates serving Jack’s Woods and Absolute Magnitude were opened Saturday, and with a considerable amount of human effort the rest of Heather Canyon from A-Zone on down was opened today.
Heather signals to skiers and snowboarders across the country that Mt. Hood Meadows is OPEN – meaning snow coverage is deep and 100% of the mountain is rideable. Meadows has one of the largest snow depths in the country – more than 100 inches at mid-mountain and six feet in the base area. Heather is a magnet attracting expert skiers and snowboarders looking for pure steep with room to carve as they like. Part of the appeal of Heather is its sheer size, it’s almost like an entire ski area by itself.
Efforts to open the Canyon were hampered by reckless riders ducking ropes endangering their safety as well as those of Meadows patrol. Several search efforts were required and control work halted while boundary violators were located. The ski area pulled dozens of season passes and banned the offenders for sixty days.
Heather Canyon is open on a day to day basis, depending on snow conditions and weather. Another major storm expected to arrive Monday morning bringing heavy wet snow will most likely affect Heather Canyon operations. Guests are expected to heed the access control gates, and stay out of the Canyon when the gates are closed, consistent with rule number 6 of the responsibility code.