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Powerful Storm forecast to bring Big Time Powder - What You Need To Know

Categories: Media Center Weather Blog Guest Connection Inside Meadows

A snowboard shreds new powder while his buddy watches at Mt. Hood MeadowsThe brunt of this winter storm will hit over the next 48 hours. We expect at least a foot of snow overnight by our scheduled Monday morning lift openings, with another two or more feet by Tuesday morning. All this snow is being delivered by an active storm with very strong winds. So while we are all looking to dive into this fresh powder, we do need to set some expectations.

Upper Mountain - With high winds and a very active storm driving heavy snow, it is highly unlikely that our upper lifts - Vista and Cascade - will be operating during the storm cycle. As the storm arrived Sunday, even Mt. Hood Express and Shooting Star were affected by high winds. So know that this storm has the potential to limit lift operations even beyond our upper lifts. 

The Big Dig Out - We have a call out for extra shovelers the next few days, to assist with the digging out of our lifts (and anything else that gets buried or wind-drifted over.) We’ll start early, but know that it takes time which could lead to delayed openings. We will do everything possible to get those lifts open as scheduled, but if conditions delay it, we appreciate your patience.

Saturday's fine powder was deep and plentiful as you can see from this video. It should be deeper Monday and Tuesday!

On-hill grooming - Don’t expect any corduroy, for a couple of reasons. First, our grooming machines will be assisting with the big dig out, which could even include assisting with parking lot snow removal, and certainly digging out all the lifts and creating lift maze pads. First things first, you have to be able to park and you have to be able to get on the lift. But even if we are able to complete all our trail grooming, any corduroy will be covered with new or drifted snow almost immediately. And our grooming equipment comes off the hill before we open any lifts. So be prepared for powder all day, even on our “groomed” runs. 

Bring a shovel - Our parking lots get plowed by ODOT starting usually around 3 AM. But we could receive another half a foot of snow by the time you arrive. And since we can’t plow lots once vehicles start parking, you’re going to have to get your vehicle out of what could be a substantial pile of snow at the end of the day. Bringing a shovel is a great idea - particularly when traveling on snowy roads in blizzard-like conditions to and from the ski area. 

Stay in bounds - Fresh powder is tempting, but if you cross a boundary our snow safety efforts in those areas have to stop until we can account for those tracks that entered an area that we are actively stabilizing. Those efforts include artillery, hand delivered explosives and intentionally triggering snow slides to release their potential. All that stops because one inconsiderate jerk just had to cross the rope line. Please - DO NOT CROSS A BOUNDARY LINE! Anyone who ducks a rope will lose their pass for the rest of the season.

Gated Access - The upper canyon (particularly with Cascade Express unlikely) will most likely not be open. Our snow safety teams will be running missions into Heather Canyon with the goal of opening up at least a portion of our Gated Access terrain. That could be Private Reserve or possibly more. But as we stated above, only access terrain through an open control gate. And if you head into these areas, enter only with a buddy, beacon, shovel and probe. 

Avoid tree wells - Skiing the trees is fun, but keep your distance from them. Tree wells can become death traps, as well-described and detailed on the website. If you’re heading off of our normal trails, make sure you have a buddy and that you keep each other in sight. 

We are going to face challenges with the heavy snowfall forecast tonight through Tuesday (and beyond).  While it will be tough to keep up with, we appreciate your patience and cooperation. Know that we will do everything possible to run our lifts as scheduled and open up this terrific terrain that you desire! 

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