Mt. Hood Meadows opened a portion of lower Heather Canyon today to expert skiers and snowboarders. The "Moon Bowl" Gate was open for an hour at the end of the day - and limited gated access into Heather is expected again tomorrow. Heather Canyon is a controlled access area, meaning access is available only through gates. Patrol determines which gates to open based on conditions. The boundary is controlled by rope line, and entrance must only be through open gates. It is recommended that those skiing gated access terrain always ride with a buddy, and equip themselves with rescue gear - beacon, probe and shovel.
The resort cautions that the Heather chair is not yet operational, as more snow is needed to access the bottom ramp. This will require those entering Heather to ski out all the way through, exiting at the Hood River Meadows parking lot, where they can ride back up on the Hood River Express quad chairlift. The runout is narrow, especially at the creek crossings, so those entering must use extreme caution. The runout is also flat, so poling and skating is needed. Snowboarders will need to release a binding to push, or walk in some areas.
The leading edge of a major winter storm has just arrived at Meadows, and is expected to change conditions significantly. With several feet in the forecast over the next few days, the resort expects enough snow to build up the bridges and push snow to the bottom terminal, allowing the Heather chairlift to operate.
At this time, lower Heather Canyon is the only gated access terrain that has been opened. Upper Heather and Private Reserve have not yet opened for access. We appreciate everyone respecting rope lines and accessing these double-black expert terrain areas only through opened gates.
For updates and more information, visit the safety section of our website.
Gated Access Safety Information
As more snow accumulates, skiers and snowboarders must be aware of deep snow immersion and tree well safety throughout the resort when leaving groomed runs. Always ride with a buddy, keep them in sight, and avoid tree wells.
Deep Snow Safety