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Cascade Express Deja Vu

Categories: Guest Connection Media Center Weather Blog Inside Meadows

Cascade Express between deicing operations just before weather moved in at Mt. Hood MeadowsIt’s kind of like the movie Groundhog Day - Storm hits, team deices and recovers, then another storm or icing incident and we wake up, deice and recover all over again. We’ve experienced some fairly extreme weather this January - even compared to our normal upper mountain standards. The early January storm also caused some electrical connection issues that we continue to work on between storms. It’s a tedious and time consuming job that requires a fair weather window to complete.

So after almost a week of deicing, recovery and repair and more storms coming, Cascade is pretty much in the same situation as a week ago. Most of the line was deiced Saturday, but then it iced up again Sunday. Our team worked on it Monday morning before the storm moved in (pictured above), but now we have a forecast for variable freezing levels, which usually means more icing. So we are prepared to deice, recover and repair when the next weather window allows.

But that’s what it takes when you’re committed to running high elevation lifts above tree line in our maritime climate in the winter. We will get Cascade open as soon as the weather allows.

While this weather has been tricky - flirting with freezing levels on our other lifts - we are running lifts through the night to prevent them from icing up. Lift Maintenance ran lifts through the night multiple times in the last week or so.  It looks like this weather pattern will continue and we have plans to run through the night this week.  Huge thank you to:  Marshall Woods, Dylan Carlson, Chuck Rogers, Richard Dalrymple, Tim Hoffman, Luke Lozowski, Micah McNulty, Nathan Zaremskiy, Derrick Streufert, Cody Howe, Graham Place, Rob Baumgarten and Marshal Ellison for staying super late, coming up in the middle of the night and/or stepping up to do so this week.

You may have noticed that there is a new section on the conditions page. We’re trying to provide more information on gated access terrain and upper mountain lifts.  The information is updated by 3 PM for the next day, in the morning and as things change throughout the day.

And following some storms with hefty snow loading, Heather and PR were opened Monday and again today following avalanche reduction operations and evaluation. But a heavy snowpack brought on by forecast showers are expected to close access gates Wednesday. We will update those statuses on the conditons page. And tomorrow we will get up and do it all over again!