How to Score Fresh Tracks on Mount Hood: Wednesdays at Ski Bowl

19 04 2010

Mount Hood is a mere 60 miles east of Portland, Oregon. It’s literally in the city’s backyard. It receives hundreds of inches of snowfall in the winter, and has several ski areas. Portland is populated with a lot of powder hounds willing to brave wind, ice and state police to get a chance at enjoying fresh snow. On Mount Hood, where it can be wet snow, the days of sweet dry fluff are in extremely high demand.

At Mount Hood Meadows, the largest ski resort, crowds gather before the lifts open anxiously awaiting. Heather Canyon doesn’t open until 9:30 and similarly there will be dozens standing at the gates waiting for the ski patrol to let them in. The upshot is that around here, the exhilaration of floating in fresh powder doesn’t last long. And you have to get up real early to get it.

Mount Hood viewed from the top of Ski Bowl

But there are some who know they can sleep in. Or work a half day – and still get fresh tracks. Because they know there is a little secret on the other side of the Mountain. The true diehards get fresh tracks at Meadows, then pack up and then do it all over again at this secret spot. When low snow levels bestow powder on Mount Hood Ski Bowl on a Tuesday night/Wednesday, these people head to Mount Hood Ski Bowl to catch the 1:00 Wednesday opening. It’s guaranteed you can get run after run of trackless on these days.

1:00 time for freshies!

I was around for one such day late in winter 2009-2010 and it was super sweet, I took in one trackless run after another!

So if you just happen to notice the right conditions and have some time on a Wednesday, now you know you don’t have to set the alarm for 5:00 a.m. and rush out the door.



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