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Riding through the Storm

Categories: Guest Connection Weather Blog

Storm riding at Mt. Hood MeadowsSince January 1, we’ve seen our base area snow depth increase from 33 inches to 53 inches. Well, we haven’t actually seen the snow stake - since most of that time it’s been snowing and blowing. With an emphasis on blowing! Mt. Hood Express ran at half-speed today, with sustained winds at 50 gusting to 70 mph. The WSW wind direction was just perfect to run the lift at the slow speed.

Grip deicing ongong at Shooting Star January 9, 2020 at Mt. Hood MeadowsGrip deicing is tedious but necessary work. An early start on Shooting Star.
Shooting Star opened at 10:30 AM Thursday morning. Thanks to our lift maintenance team!

Shooting Star - not so lucky. Morning tower deicing was halted by the high winds when one of our lift maintenance crew saw Dorothy and her little dog Toto fly by. It was windy! They got back after it in the afternoon and have pretty much deiced towers and the line. However, each chair grip is going to have to be individually deiced so there may be a delay getting Star going Thursday.

Vista is an unlikely long shot - definitely requiring a lot of work on the lift and grooming following this storm - but we’re not giving up on it. Cascade however, that’s going to be a while as Thursday’s forecast is unfavorable along with all the restoration work that we’ll be getting after.

Vista and Cascade lifts iced up 010920 at Mt. Hood MeadowsVista and Cascade mountain cams reveal there's a whole lot of work to do restore access to these lifts - January 9, 2020

Thursday is somewhat of a reprieve, if you can call a breezy forecast of 3 - 7 inches of new snow a reprieve. 

A week of wild weather for Mt. Hood MeadowsLooking towards the weekend - we could pick up another one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half feet of snow beginning Friday. It is definitely a wintery weather pattern that extends into next week!

With all this snow in the forecast, everyone should refresh themselves with how to avoid tree wells and snow immersion suffocation. We’ll be in a deep powder pattern so if you’re venturing off the groom you’ll want to ride or ski with a partner and keep them in sight at all times. That’s just the start of what you need to know.

Deep Snow Safety

Finally - let’s talk about ropes and gates. First season freshies are alluring - but we need everyone to respect the boundaries. Our snow safety teams will be working hard to open gated access terrain. But every time someone ducks a rope or violates a boundary line, that critical work comes to a halt while the perpetrator is accounted for. It’s reckless, selfish and dangerous and it only delays getting this terrain open.

Respecting Boundaries

We appreciate your patience and abiding by the boundaries. It’s a great storm cycle - and we’re looking forward to having more terrain to offer as soon as we can make it happen!

Now make sure you go through your checklist for preparing for the powder with proper clothing, staying hydrated and making sure your vehicle is outfitted with chains, shovel and wiper fluid. Have you put together your winter emergency car travel kit yet?

Winter car emergency kit when traveling to Mt. Hood Meadows