Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the western US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.
Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:40 am
The last new ski area for me was Mt Ashland, OR on 2/29/16 so it's fitting that I got to another new-to-me OR ski area on the last day of Feb 2017. But I will have to go back some day as they only ran 3 high-speed quads plus two slow lifts with 15-20" new.
I turned off onto OR-35 a little after 9 about 2 hours after leaving Bend. The last 6 miles to MHM turnoff was slow and after getting lift ticket and returning to car to put on probably unnecessary $5 OR Snow Park pass, it was about 10 before I got on slow lift close to my car. The main lift out of base, Mt Hood Express had big line due to opening late and no other way to get out of main base. I rode slow Buttercup and Easyrider, then skied to Mt Hood Express where I avoided most of unorgnized line. I took a lap into 1Bowl where new snow was deep, but mostly tracked. Sun did not show like this most of day. Next time at top, I moved to Shooting Star Express which tops out below 6,600', the highest lift MHM ran all day. I took it about 8 times, even though it was running slow due to wind. I met up with guy who moved to OR from SF Bay Area and showed me some good lines. When he and friends went in at noon, I did one more lap, then looked for warming hut near top of Mt Hood Express to eat my lunch before realizing one was ski patrol and other was a restaurant so I went to bar at base where I had a Widmer Porter and some snacks out of my pocket.
After picking up a map after break, I found the 3rd open chair, Hood River Express, and skied to its 4500' base. At top of lift, I saw gate to Private Reserve was open (I heard at 11) so I skied some untracked trees at top, then caught up with and passed group of snowboarders being led by a skier who had been into area before. He told me to go left as straight led to cliffs and we both skied some deep tracked snow on left side of Elk Bowl. The runout, I timed next lap, was close to 15 minutes and included a long herringbone past lower parking, then a little downhill followed by a couple of hundred foot skis off uphill hike. I repeated Private Reserve pushing further left into untracked trees and steeps where I set off some sluffs before finding Forrest Entry sign which looked very sketchy. I stayed right and skied steep drop before finding and following a single track that eventually led to exit that took me15 minutes to get back to chair.
I finished my day with three more laps in wind-sifted powder on Shooting Star, which was windy enough all day that they discouraged singles and may gusted to 50 mph in late PM, then I did two more laps into 1Bowl. On my last lap I got to top at 4:04 and skied close to my car about 4:15 with almost 24K. I drove to Hood River where I was disappointed that Full Sail brewpub was closed for re-model so I went to Double Mountain where they had 6 IPAs, 4 other ales plus two stouts and some other beers made in-house
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:28 pm