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High winds suspend lift operations Saturday but lifts are scheduled Sunday

Categories: Guest Connection Weather Blog Media Center

Snowstorm on an empty Buttercup lift at Mt. Hood MeadowsWe’ve suspended operations for the rest of the day here at Meadows, due to high winds. A storm big enough to drop fifteen inches of powder the last 24 hours has to have some energy, and we experienced it today. Sustained winds at the top of Mt. Hood Express steadily increased through the morning, as the winds got stronger the more exposed lifts were closed. Eventually there was just one lift operating with a long line of skiers willing to brave the fierce wind for the powder the storm was providing.

Powder lineup the Blue lift at Mt. Hood Meadows when winds shut down all the other liftsA gust of 84 mph recorded at the top of Mt. Hood Express led to the suspension of all lifts for the rest of the day, even good old reliable Blue.

V.P. of Mountain Operations Mel Toney credited her team with making the right call, saying, “Getting our scheduled lifts open on time this morning in the face of this powerful storm was a great accomplishment. Lifts ran at reduced speed because of the high winds with constant monitoring. But I am most proud of the decision to suspend operations based on the ferocity of the storm and the sustained winds forecast for the rest of the day. We made the right decision.”

Telemetry shows the winds at Mt. Hood Meadows

The team now turns its focus on Sunday’s operations, with Hood River Express scheduled to launch at 8:30 and the main base area lifts starting at 9 AM.
Multi-week programs - SnoBlasters, Trailblazers and High School programs - have been postponed Sunday, and the Park & Ride bus from Portland has also been cancelled.

There were several traffic tie ups due to winter conditions today. ODOT has put out a warning for traveling over Mt. Hood, but we suspect they want all this powder for themselves. Seriously, if you’re coming up for the deep, be prepared for winter driving and most of all BE PATIENT!

We’ll provide updates early Sunday about our conditions and how the weather may affect operations.