Spring didn’t last long. When we arrived at Mt Hood Meadows on Saturday morning, it was frigidly cold, windy, and alternating at an amazing rate between sunshine and outright blizzards. Wild weather indeed for late April. And with at least 6 inches of new, light fluffy snow on the ground at the base of the Hood River Express, winter was definitely back in all respects.
Finding the best snow took a little poking around the hill. The wind had created highly variable condition, leaving some places scoured with exposed icebergs, others with a thick wind crust, and many more with deep windblown powder. Run of the day was Gold Bowl in Heather Canyon. Virtually untracked, the long 40+ degrees pitch was boot deep freshies. With the wind swirling up the slope, a face shot was guaranteed on every turn.
Close behind was God’s Wall in the Private Reserve zone (pics here). This steep, treed untouched slope was perfect as last run at 4pm. We also had great snow in Elk, Yoda and Picnic Rock – all these were new runs to me, and they’re certainly fine, challenging terrain.
Sunday wasn’t quite as wintry as Saturday. A couple of inches of new overnight kept conditions soft. Pluto in Heather Canyon was a pleasure, as were the big old trees near the Hood River chair. A 200 inch base sure covers all obstacles, and it was a sheer delight carving, without a care in the world, through the enormous, mossy, straggly old growth forest.
If this endless winter continues, another day or two at Meadows in mid-May might well be a possibility. Their excellent Spring Pass deal seems to generate decent interest, so I suspect there’s a good chance the mountain will be open for a while yet. There’s certainly enough snow!!
Saturday – 7,900m: Sunday – 7,600m
Season totals: 55 days, 30 powder days, 436,000m vertical