Ok. No surprises here. Meadows has received six feet of snow this week - and it’s been mighty fine. Some of the best powder we’ve had in years. And there’s more forecast overnight Friday into Saturday so conditions will be awesome. Thanks to Zeb Yaklich for this Friday photo showing how awesome the conditions are.
The good news is it’s a holiday weekend - so more people will be available to enjoy these conditions. The GREAT news is the conditions should be equally awesome all three days - so that will help spread the crowds out.
What lifts will run?
We expect all of our lower mountain lifts to be operating - with Hood River Express offering early loads at 8:30 AM each day. Vista is running today thanks to an extraordinary effort by our lift maintenance team after two days of deicing. That’s a huge step to it being able to operate. If any further icing can be avoided (thanks to low temperatures) it’s a matter of digging out after tonight’s storm. Then it’s up to weather - wind and visibility - about running Saturday. There are at least two days of constant deicing work ahead for Cascade, so Saturday is highly unlikely and we’ll see about having it sometime over the holiday weekend.
How do I get to the mountain?
We expect our lots will be reaching capacity on Saturday and Sunday, and perhaps Monday as well. So squeezing as many people in to each vehicle will go a long way in getting more people on the mountain. You should carpool - make some calls the night before of others you think are heading up. Average ridership at Meadows is about 2.5 people per vehicle. If we could increase that number to four per vehicle, we could take 1200 vehicles off the road on a busy day. Think about it!
Just make sure you are prepared for winter driving - chains or traction devices will be required, probably all three days. Chains should be put on at the designated chain stations, not half way up the hill after you spin out. Consider traveling through Hood River on Highway 35 and early parking in the HRM lot if you have your equipment. Quicker in, quicker out. Highway 35 through Hood River is also the preferred route on an extremely busy day, rather than going through Government Camp. Check TripCheck.com for traffic updates and highway cams.
Shuttling is another great option
Park and Ride from Portland runs all three days ($29 round trip), and Sea to Summit and the Green Dream shuttles offer service from Portland. The FREE Hood River Shuttle will run on its holiday schedule with extra shuttles.
First of all - thanks! You got the best possible price and we know you’re coming! Now it is really important that you start your day early. The upper lots usually fill by 8:30 AM, and we’ll be shuttling from Sunrise, HRM and Twilight to get you to the main lodge. But the later you arrive the later it will be before we can deliver you to ski school or rentals. We’ll do our best to line you (and your children) up with their lessons, but again ARRIVING EARLY is better. Also, advance purchased tickets and passes do not guarantee parking.
If you have RFID media from a previous visit, you should reload it rather than purchase a new ticket. You’ll save $2 and you’ll be able to go direct to lift and avoid the ticket line.
Arrive way early, or arrive later
Even though we added 250 overflow parking spaces for this season, on these busy holidays we expect we will reach capacity. This could happen as early as 10 AM (or earlier), and spots will most likely be filled until 1 PM or later. So if you’re not out early, you should leave later and plan to arrive after 1 PM. That’s when parking spaces open up from the early crowd leaving. Our night ticket is just $39 from 3 to 9 PM - even better, Monday evening is the Rotary Night Fundraiser and you can purchase tickets for $20 online in advance (or $25 day of). We offer apres ski specials in our Vertical Tapas and Grill from 3 - 6 PM. That’s the time frame that traffic backs up towards Government Camp - so rather than fighting traffic and wasting fuel idling, cap off a great day with a nice meal and celebratory libation! Then head down after the traffic jams have released.
Cooper Spur opened for the season today and lifts will operate from 9 AM - 5 PM Saturday, Sunday and Monday. This is a great place for families and kids, and the ten runs of offer a variety of terrain from easy to upper intermediate. There's also a tube hill for sliding fun. Cooper Spur has Mt. Hood's most affordable lift ticket at just $37. Come on up and give it a try.