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More lifts and terrain openings possible with more snow

Categories: Guest Connection Media Center Transportation Weather Blog

It’s been a snowy week at Meadows - with a storm that dropped 19 inches since Tuesday evening, including nearly a foot in the last 24 hours. Our natural snow base area depth is 32 inches (5,366 foot level), with 40 inches at mid-mountain (6,250 foot level).With a forecast for continued snow flurries and a few more inches of accumulation, we are evaluating terrain and making preparations for additional lifts to operate. Some areas may need more snow beyond our considerable snow harvesting efforts. We will provide updates on potential openings once we get into those areas and evaluate.

We’ve been offering terrain serviced by Mt. Hood Express and Shooting Star, as well as the Daisy complex and our Easy Rider and Buttercup beginner terrain. Stadium has also been used to access the Shooting Star terrain. The early part of the storm came in waves, switching between wet snow and rain, which was ideal for base building. So it has fortified the areas we have been operating.

Hood River Express

Our teams are working on loading and unloading ramps for this lift. We may use it for uplifting over the weekend in which case the Hood River Meadows Skier Services Center will be open for ticket sales, lockers, restrooms and dining at the Renaissance Cafe. The terrain on the lower mountain usually needs more snow so we don’t know whether we will be able to offer any ski down access to the lot, meaning those parking at HRM may need to shuttle back at the end of the day.

The top towers of the Vista Express at Mt. Hood Meadows from the Toyota Mountain Cam on Friday, December 13, 2019Vista and Cascade

With the storm still in progress, there is a lot of work to do on these upper lifts to prep them for their first turns of the season. We’re evaluating the snow coverage - keep in mind that the Thanksgiving week storm didn’t build much snow depth on the upper mountain - it was very light and powdery driven by a scouring east wind. That left many spots bare so we’re evaluating overall conditions.
Then there is the massive storm recovery and deicing efforts on these lifts which have several inches of ice built up on the towers and haul line. Our team will get after it as the storm allows (the video below details those efforts).

Night Operations

In all likelihood, we will begin night operations next week. Our initial time frame was to start nights on Saturday, December 21, but we’ll evaluate and see if it’s possible to start nights earlier.

Park and Ride from Portland

Our popular Park and Ride program from Portland kicks off Saturday, offering weekend and holiday shuttling from three stops in Portland. The round-trip ride on a luxury motor coach (with individual seats and a rest room) is $29.

Park and Ride Schedule