Skiers and snowboarders who were hoping to kick off the season over Thanksgiving weekend won’t end up having to wait much longer. Mt. Hood Meadows announced it has enough accumulation to open on Tuesday, Nov. 29.
Over the past 24 hours, the resort has been walloped by a storm that dumped nearly a foot and a half of snow.
Meadows had a 16-inch snow depth in the base area and 24 inches at midmountain in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. While not sufficient to switch on the chair lifts over the long weekend, workers began preparations for the season opener anyway since the forecast was lining up to be both frigid and wet.
Meadows says Tuesday is considered a soft opening, with the Daisy, Buttercup and Easy Rider lifts and Ballroom Carpet enclosed conveyor all providing access to groomed beginner and intermediate terrain.
Storms remain in the forecast for the rest of the week, with another 2 feet of snow expected to fall through Thursday. Meadows expects to open more lifts and ski and snowboard areas by the weekend, including the Mt. Hood Express and possibly the Shooting Star Express.
Ticket prices start at $59 and are available for advance purchase through the resort website, along with lessons for both kids and adults and equipment rentals. Keep in mind, though, that those rates are subject to change based on increased demand and available terrain.
Lift hours will be from 9 am to 4 pm, and the Sahale Grill, Bull Wheel Bar and Higher Grounds coffee shop are all scheduled to open for service. You may also notice a preview park with rails and jumps is under construction in Shipyard near the Buttercup lift. More parks will be built as the snow accumulates.
Other ski areas opening this week include Timberline, which began running the Bruno and Pucci lifts on Monday, Nov. 28, and Mount Bachelor in Central Oregon, whose opening is slated for Wednesday, Nov. 30.
All recreationalists are asked to remember that early season conditions exist, which means active machinery and unmarked hazards could be around. Obey all trail closures, stay on groomed runs, and watch for obstacles.