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Mt. Hood Meadows bags it...

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Continuing the Pacific NW Pity Party and how it sucks to be us...Mt. Hood Meadows called it quits on Sunday 3/13. Although they said they'd open if they get more snow...seasoned locals know what it means. So few people are heading up to Mt. Hood and MHM knows cannot turn a profit even with $12 nachos. And that's with cheese sauce/cheese whiz...not even real cheese!!

It'll be interesting to see if they offer season passholders some kind of accomodation for next year. I only got up 5x on a $400 pass. This is the worst ski season I can remember in 25 years.

There are however two good things to come out of this: 1) Ski equipment deals like you've never seen before (my girlfriend bought brand new Atomic Metron M:EX's WITH bindings for $450 a few weeks ago), and 2) next year, the ocean temp/El Nino pendulum will swing back past where it should be and dump more snow on the Cascades than we've seen in years.

And I am rarely wrong about these things.
post #2 of 20
P51Express, our family stopped skiing MHM along time ago. We now ski mostly at Bachelor but also at Mt Hood Ski Bowl when they have snow. The attitude and crowds over at MHM made it at best a disapointing experience. Bachelor still has plenty of snow and the skiing is good. Go have some fun down in Central Oregon.

post #3 of 20
I agree with Maddog... Meadows management is some of the worst in the nation. And I've skied all over the place.

Yes, Heather and Clark have great terrain. But between the crowds, rude teenager snowboarders, and awful management I now ski at bachelor, ski bowl, timberline, and crystal.

Way better skiing experiences.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Nose, Maddog...you are so correct. I have worked at MHM for the last 19 years. Finally bailed out after yet another slap in the face from management.
The weekend crowds can be a pain...but working there was fun, AND you get to know your way around in ways the crowd doesn't always find. Kids are many times rude...skiers and boarders...and that's a reflection of lack of parental guidance...sorry to say. You just do your best to steer clear.

Additionally, a couple of my MHM days this year were mid-week...and that was really sweet. Kids in school, boarders at a minimum, everyone having a good time, snow wasn't torn up too much. Mid week is surely the way to go.

And I do agree with you about Bachelor. MHM couldn't even carry Bachelor's jockstrap. The personnel, the crowds, the incredible terrain, everyone seems a lot friendlier...and the prices for food and beverages are much more reasonable. I knew MHM was busy constructing the Death Star when management explained to employees one year that their outrageous prices were merely reflective of "whatever the market will bear."
post #5 of 20
p51, I agree, you can find great terrain off piste and throughout middle heather and clark that people don't know about. I've had plenty of untracked, even on the weekend at mhm. But it's heartening to note that even from the inside mhm management needs an overhaul. It's too bad. Such a great hill with such bad management.

Letting the market determine the price. That sucks. The quality of the ski experience should determine the price. I'd rather pay 65 bucks to ski at a resort with less crowds and better terrain, deer valley, aspen-snowmass, alta-bird, snowbasin, or 40 bucks at crystal than pay the 44 to ski all day at meadows.
post #6 of 20
I'm in Vanouver, Wa., which is just north of Portland, Or., so I'm familiar with Mt. Hood Meadows, too.

My typical experience at Meadows can be summed up as follows:
- ski some boring, flat terrain
- ski down a decent steep hill that doesn't last very long
- ski more flat terrain until you arrive at the chairlift
- wait a long time in the lift line
- repeat


I prefer to head out of the Portland area on Friday night, stay Friday & Saturday night in either Enumclaw or Buckley, which is just east of Tacoma, Wa., and ski Crystal Mt. on Saturday & Sunday.

Even with the long drive, I get a much more satisfying ski experience at Crystal Mt than I could ever hope for at Meadows.
post #7 of 20
Agreed. Crystal is a true alpine experience.

Even Flatchelor has more varied terrain. Just in the way the mountain is laid out is a benefit.

I have to admit though. A good uncrowded day when you can ski from the top of cascade to the bottom of hermie is a good day. So many ways to the bottom of hermie nowadays.


My beef ain't so much with the terrain as it is with the management. They are more concerned with the bottom line. Gotta build more ski areas, need capital to build it.


When its crowded on the mhexpress chair, run the darned blue too. Buy another couple more grooming machines with the money you over charged everyone so's that you can groom more than little two cat wide paths on most trails or you can't even open up the upper mountain till 10:30 because of a lack of groomer cats. Let a couple of the good fall lines bump up. don't groom em. even in a good year.

Put ski/snowboard etiquette signs on the lift towers. Educate those varmints or they'll never get a clue and someone will end up straightlining someone sitting just below a lip.

Anyways, my rant is over. Next year, Ullr willin', they'll be lots of snow and a low snow level here in the pnw and I won't have to travel any further than ski bowl, flatchelor, or crystal for untracked all day long.

post #8 of 20

pray to the snow gods for next year...

thanks, p51, for the insider's view on what many of us know well: the management at MHM is arrogant, unprofessional, and subpar. The staff, amazingly, continues to be pretty great. The grooming crew did an amazing job this year manicuring the mtn. and moving/making snow under dire conditions.

I understand the critiques from many, but have had very satisfying midweek skiing at Meadows for years-- every Tuesday. No lines, no brats, few dangerous newbies reeling outa control--

This season we had astonishingly good snow quality + sun on most Tuesdays, cool temps, nice snow texture/corn snow. The terrain opened up by the new Vista Ridge express has some sweet possibilities.

that said, I sure didn't get my dollar value on the 4x4 season pass [tho' I did pick up a pair of Volkl 724 Pro's from the demo shop just b/f they closed down the lifts!]
post #9 of 20

Bachelor: got a pass get a discount

post #10 of 20
So I take it from these posts that no one is purchasing the 4x4 pass this year? I agree it sucked last season but I did get my $ out of my pass. Am pretty certain I will buy one again this year if I can get a couple more people together. Had 2 bail out this year. I haven't dealt with the management. Last season was my first real season(go figure)in many many years. But I did find the staff to be pretty great concidering the hell season they had. Must have heard many many complaints. I have never skiied Bachelor or really any other place than Mt. Hood. Used to ski Timberline as a kid. I will have to check out the other resorts mentioned here and see if I can plan to travel a little bit farther this season. And afford the spendy sport of skiing..........!!
post #11 of 20
JONG!! oops, my bad, wrong forum. Welcome to Epic ski karrieann! I have a friend who just moved out to Portland who would likely be interested in going in on the 4x4 pass. I'll see what he has in store this year.
post #12 of 20
Hi Vaski! Thanks for the welcome. I joined the forum last season but this has been my first post.
If you talk to your friend, let me know. He might not want to with all these not so nice comments about Meadows. Last year was so bad for all the resorts on Hood. Poor Ski Bowl. I don't think they were open more than two weeks. Timberline is lucky because they are so high up that they offer skiing year round.

My experiences at Meadows have been positive. But I also did all my skiing during the week. Not interested in the weekend crowds... :

see ya round the boards!
post #13 of 20
Karrrieann - Instead of Meadows, consider Ski Bowl: their off peak passes (basically anytime but Saturday's & Christmas through New Years) is $199. No need to be part of any kind of a group to get one.


post #14 of 20
Wow Dave, that is an awesome price!! And I won't be doing any Saturday skiing.

I have only skiied there one time as a kid. Do you ski there? Do you like it? I know they have a lot of black diamond runs. Too scary for me still. I tried one I think at Meadows and it must have been quite a humorous site from the chairlift...

I'll do a little searching here and see what people are saying about Ski Bowl
post #15 of 20
Karrieanne -

Regarding Ski Bowl - Yes, I like Ski Bowl as I do a lot of night skiing there since it's closer to Portland and the evening lift lines aren't as bad as Meadows'. A quick summary of Meadow's versus Ski Bowl...

Meadows has 5 high speed detachable quads to go along with a few fixed grip chairs, where as Ski Bowl is entirely fixed grip chairs. So Meadows definitely has the better lift equipment.

Meadows has a very nice selection of intermediate terrain. If you enjoy cruising around on groomed green and blue runs, then Meadows has a much better selection of it than Ski Bowl. Lift lines at Meadows on week days isn't bad at all; lift lines on the weekends are way too long to be tolerated. There are virtually no lift lines in the evenings at Ski Bowl (can't remember about the weekends).

Ski Bowl has three lifts servicing some decent groomed green & blue trails, just not nearly as much of it as Meadows.

If you're looking at doing a lot of skiing on week days and on green & blue runs, then you will be happier at Meadows. If you want to learn how to ski steep slopes, you can definitely do that at Meadows. However, if you're only going to ski a few times this year and don't mind riding slower lift equipment, then you can save a few bucks and get the Ski Bowl pass.

For myself, I like the Ski Bowl pass. I usually ski Mt Hood only in the evenings, and I like Ski Bowl's terrain for night skiing. I'm planning on going to a 32 hour work week next year, so I can use the Ski Bowl pass on Friday's. I prefer to ski away from Mt Hood on the weekends.

post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Karrieanne...I mostly agree with Dave86...but it all depends on one BIG thing: the weather. If you have a freezing level of say 3500 feet or above...you'll be skiing in the rain at Ski Bowl...and everyone knows how much fun that is. When I started this post, I mused whether MHM would offer some type of accomodation for passholders who got screwed by the extraordinarily sparse winter we had last year. For those of you who don't know...they have.

They jacked up the price of the 4x4 from $400 to $425...EXCEPT last year's passholders may purchase it for last year's price of $400. In other words, NO accomodation for last year's passholders. You pay your money...you take your chances. I'm bailing out of the 4x4 and going to the 10 tripper for $279...that's $27.90 per day and for MHM...that's pretty damn good. But I'll still get in some great days at Bachelor and you should too. You'll be astounded at the difference between the two resorts...right dave?
post #17 of 20
Originally Posted by P51Express
But I'll still get in some great days at Bachelor and you should too. You'll be astounded at the difference between the two resorts...right dave?
Definitely plan on a weekend trip to Bachelor once a year. Lot's of nice cruising runs (greens & blues) serviced by as good of a lift system you'll find anywhere (all detachable high speed quads). Bachelor generally has better (dryer) snow then you'll find on Mt Hood. Also be sure to check out Toomie's Thai Cuisine one evening while you're staying in Bend (expect to wait for a table).

Downside to Bachelor: lack of steep terrain. I'm told the "Summit Express" lift services steep terrain (what little of it I've skied wasn't very steep), but otherwise the terrain on the lower lifts isn't steep at all. The "Northwest Express" services some excellent tree skiing, however it also isn't very steep.
post #18 of 20
meadows management sucks. That's my story and I am stickin' to it. I refuse to battle the gaper crowds on the weekends.

Bachelor's management sucks too. But its a much better run mountain all the way around. And if you know where to look, there's great lines all over the place. But I'm not tellin'

I'll see you in the mt. hood backcountry. I'll be in heather before they open it, earning my turns.
post #19 of 20
thanks for all the info guys. I think I'm gonna take my chances on Meadows again this year. Like I said I don't do weekends so I won't have to battle those crowds.
I am definately going to go to Bachelor and check it out. Also hear great things about Whistler. That sounds great!!! ...sigh...

So Popsicle, I'm curious, what's up with the management issues? Like I said, I never dealt with them that I am aware of. You sound like a hardcore skier of you are hikin' it up the backcountry! Enjoy!!
post #20 of 20
Hey P51, I found this on Meadows website. I know it isn't much but $40 is $40...

2004/2005 Season Pass Holder Incentive
Receive the applicable 2004/2005 season pass price. For example, the 4x4 season pass this year is $425, but your price is $400 (same as last season) - if you purchase as part of a 4x4 group. If you purchase an age-based discounted pass which has increased in price, you will be able to purchase it at the applicable 2004/2005 season pass price.

You will also receive a Mt. Hood Meadows credit worth 10% of the value of the pass you purchase, free of charge. This credit may not be applied to the purchase of the 2005/2006 pass - it is part of your season pass. The credit will be valid for the 2005/2006 season at any of our restaurants, retail shops, rentals, demos, or snow sports learning center once we open.

You must purchase your pass by November 6, 2005 to receive these incentives.
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