Our first trip to Hood Meadows in mid-April was a little later than anticipated. It’s usually a pre-Xmas banker location for us because of plentiful early snow and ease of access. But this year a huge rainstorm washed out the access road in November, and by the time they opened in December, we’d made other plans. Still – we made it eventually!
I didn’t get back from Dallas on a work trip until late Friday due to dodging tornadoes on a plane. So early Saturday we picked up Kathy and were at the hill by 10am at the Hood River base. On the mountain we met John, his work colleague Lance and telechick Jami. It was sunny, warm and slushy, with the best conditions were in Heather Canyon and up high on the Cascade chair.
It was cold Saturday night and snowed an inch or two. This improved conditions considerably, and the highlight of the weekend was an afternoon lapping Heather Canyon. The conditions on the sunny side were quite superb, with creamy soft, untracked snow to be found everywhere. On the second and third runs we followed some locals through a gate in to Sunrise Bowl, where there were numerous steep lines offering perfect spring conditions.
Heather Canyon has some of the best terrain around. It’s huge, open, and there’s usually excellent conditions to be found. There’s so many steep lines to explore and some tight tree lines lower down – its truly an advanced skiers paradise.
Another delightful part of a Meadows trip is staying in Hood River, which is a great little town. Due to a 5.30am start and a long day, we didn’t exactly hit the town too hard. But dinner at Brian’s Pour House, an old favorite, certainly didn’t disappoint. Their calamari is excellent, and Jan’s steak and the salmon I ordered were skillfully cooked to order. Fine food, a good small wine list and a vibrant, slightly chaotic atmosphere make this a place to keep visiting.
Weekend stats: Saturday 7300m, Sunday 8200m
Season totals: 54 days, 22 powder days, 436,600 verts