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Timberline in the Summer

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I've always wanted to ski the glacier on Mt Hood in the summer. All the references I see concern the summer camps. Is it possible to free ski for the day without being formally involved in a camp?
post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcmaxwell
I've always wanted to ski the glacier on Mt Hood in the summer. All the references I see concern the summer camps. Is it possible to free ski for the day without being formally involved in a camp?
Yep, just go buy a ticket. The slope is a bit of a plank and gets boring without some gates to run. For exciting skiing, climb above the lift, all the way to the top if you know something about glacier travel and self arrest.
post #3 of 8
yep. you can ski it without being in a camp; i did last august mid-month.

my recommendation would be to go up before august or mid-july as it turns into a snow patch shaped like a large football field in late summer and once there are so many people on there; its more like being in beginner ski school and following the instructor down the trail than skiing.

that stated, i'd still go anytime as the views are great, the restaurant is great, the drive up from porland is nothing and the temps are refreshing even though is may look like a big dirt mountain with a patch of white.
post #4 of 8
If you stick to the public lanes, you will get bored pretty quick. But if you traverse to the skiers right, thru the lanes and out below Illumination rock. There are some great lines. With this years snowpack, if you go before the end of July, you should be able to ski all the way back to the lodge.
post #5 of 8
Yeah, the folks above have it pretty well covered. I skied up there last June, as well as a few times in my highschool days. Last year's ticket was $41. Be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen because the combination of summer sun and white snow will roast you severely. By 11 on a sunny day, the snow really starts to break down inspite of the fact that they salt it so it freezes overnight, get there early for the firm snow. The pitch is fairly steep, but it lacks any variety, and due to the lack of reference points, you can get going very fast without noticing it. There is a terrain park on the skiers right side of the lift line.

Aside from all that the downside is vying with hordes of unscrupulous racer kids for your rightful turn in line.

I would add that the Palmer snow field is not technically a glacier.

All in all, it was worth going up there for a day, but a second day wasn't very attractive to me. It will surely be much better this summer due to a vastly greater amount of snow.
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict
Aside from all that the downside is vying with hordes of unscrupulous racer kids for your rightful turn in line.
Agree. The racer/boarding kids are a bit annoying. They make Euro liftlines civilized.

Skiing
Unfortunately, Mt Hood/Timberline is one of the easiest mountains and the runs are often over-rated.

Magic Mile Lift. The first lift is basically advanced beginner/low intermediate skiing. Stuff you do not even need to make a turn on to slow yourself combined with a slushy surface.

Palmer Lift. The has some pitch, especially above the mid station. The racing camps take over the groomed side (skier's left) except for a small lane for free skiers. The skier's right is an ungroomed adventure that you can hopefully time right for good corn snow.

When to ski
Usually, you just want to ski mornings. However, the racers leave before the lifts close and allows access to the entire snowfield. This additional terrain is the best available and is worth waiting around for...
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisc
When to ski
Usually, you just want to ski mornings. However, the racers leave before the lifts close and allows access to the entire snowfield. This additional terrain is the best available and is worth waiting around for...
It may have been due to the low snow conditions last year, but the lifts closed at 1:30 pm, so morning is indeed the time to ski, I think the lifts opened at 7:30 am, and that's when the snow was the best.
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict
It may have been due to the low snow conditions last year, but the lifts closed at 1:30 pm, so morning is indeed the time to ski, I think the lifts opened at 7:30 am, and that's when the snow was the best.
Yes, Timberline moves up the hours for optimizing the best snow experience.

I said you usually just want to ski mornings...obviously you do want to miss the softening point.

However, if only ONE lane is open from 730-noon...it gets boring after about an hour or two. At around noon, the racers go due other training and allow 'public' skiers to access the entire snowfield. I think they salt the runs too. Therefore, the surface is not bad at noon.

My rec - to explicitly state it - is to ski early and late. Better surface early...and more terrain available late. I think the terrain is too boring to ski for 5 hours. Take an early lunch and ski at both ends of the day.
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