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Mt Hood week of June 18th

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Mt Hood Week of June 18th

I hit Mt Hood for a few days this week. Weather was great. Snow conditions up on Palmer were very good and down on Magic Mile good.

Day 1: Temps in the 50s but there was a constant wind of 30 mph or so which made is surprisingly chilly. Wishing I had my fleece this day but left it behind because I couldn't imagine needing it in 50 degree temps - WRONG!. Snow was ok, but alot of breakaway as it didn't set up nicely the night before. Grooming of the public lanes was just satisfactory. Cloud cover so views were impaired.

Day 2: Temp in the 60s. Light breeze. Just a beautiful day to ski. Snow was great, nice setup the night before. Grooming a bit better then day before. Unbelievable views. Could see all the way to Broken Top.

Day 3: Temps in the high 60. Hot! Snow was good in the morning but getting sticky on the lower section by 11:30 or so. Grooming was pretty good. Once again, wonderful views.

To give you an idea of how I dress for these temps:

1) Hot Chilly's base layer (I like the Micro-Elite Chamois - 8 rating - for warm days).

2) Wicking turtleneck (nice for early morning hours when its still chilly, easy to stick in the backpack when it heats up)

3) DNA Shell pants (with vents)

4) Arcteryx Shell Jacket (with pit vents)

5) Spring gloves

6) Helmet with lots of vents and googles with lens for lots of sun and another pair of goggles for no sun (you just never know up there).

7) Rain gear

Bring a backpack with water, sunscreen, a snack, fleece, rain gear, etc... You will see hundreds of backpacks at the top of both lifts. I just find a spot to leave it and then try to remember where the heck I put it. Make sure you have it zipped up tight. There are birds up there that know food is in the packs and they will find their way into any opening!

Getting to the lift: You'll likely park in the lower parking lot as the upper lot is reserved for guests of the Timberline lodge. My drill is to park in the lower lodge, hoof my gear into the Wy'East Day Lodge, make my way through the masses of race kids, and find a spot to put on my boots. Its then a 100 yards (give or take, I'm not good with distances) to the lift across pavement so I use cat tracks to protect my boots. The ticket window is right at the lift. Its easy to find, just follow the line of skiers.

During the summer there are only two lifts running. The Magic Mile (lower lift) and the Palmer (upper lift). Currently hours are 7am to 1:30pm. Best skiing is 7am until about 10am depending on temps. Good skiing can be had until 1:30pm up on Palmer, especially the top half.

The Magic Mile lift line is usually fairly short. The Palmer line can be quite a bit longer (see pic below) especially around 10:30am when all the boarders hit the slopes. The Palmer lift line is really 2x longer than it looks because every other chair goes up empty so skiers waiting at the halfway point can board.

The facilities: If you need to hit the restroom there are a few porta potties slightly below the bottom of the Palmer lift.

The terrain: The runs are split into lanes, the majority of which are dedicated to racers but there are a couple of public lanes. Everything is salted so it stays surprisingly firm. This is basically groomed runned skiing with a few rollers thrown in (if you can find them). There is a comp bump run up on Palmer, but most of the time the teams seem to be using it. For those of you are are park riders the superpipe looked to be in nice shape. Some nice jumps as well.

Day 1: Up in the clouds

Day 2: Clear skies, note the lift line (remember really 2x longer than it looks)

Skiing down from the Magic Mile:


Watch out for those rocks

Found some rollers

Sarah Schleper (in the red) after she ran some gates (she is fun to watch)

And a couple of more to show the conditions.

post #2 of 4
Thanks Max!

Those pictures bring back some memories...

I skied up there in the early days of the Palmer lift. The first year was in late May or early June. It must've been pretty late because Bachelor was already closed. There was only a very small area of private lanes, and most of it was open to the public. I was on a trip with a couple of race buddies from Tahoe, & the club teams were happy to let us run their courses. We had climbed & skied Mt. Shasta the day before & then made the drive up to Timberline. We stayed in a dorm room at the lodge. I remember the conditions as being very firm, but smooth most of the day. Good skiing all the way down Magic Mile. The operating hours where about the same 7-1:30.
The next year was in the Fall, just after a weeks closure for lift maintenance. This time I don't think the Magic mile was open, but some of the U.S. Ski Team was up there training. I remember being in awe of a young 13 yr. old girl running GS. Turned out to be Tamara McKinney!

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post
I remember the conditions as being very firm, but smooth most of the day.
Earlier this week conditions were firm in the morning and then turned to a very nice spring corn around 10am (plus or minus depending on the temps). Up top it stayed nice and fast the whole time. Down lower it got a bit sticky.
post #4 of 4
Sounds like you'll keep your ski legs all summer Max. Keep watching the kids & the Schlepper types. There is nothing like seeing them up close & personel!
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