What’s New At Oregon’s Ski Resorts This Season?
Oregon’s ’07-08 ski season is here, and our mountain resorts are anticipating another epic year. Beyond incredible conditions, skiers and boarders have many reasons to be excited, including new snowcats, a new lift and so much more…
Facility Improvements at Mt. Hood Meadows Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort has had a very busy summer of capital improvement projects. Projects ranging from a new ski patrol headquarters building to remodeled rest room facilities will improve the overall guest and employee experience at the resort.
New Patrol Headquarters Building
Located near the upper terminal of the Blue Chair at the top of South Canyon, this two-story, 1,240 square foot structure will house the new Mount Hood Meadows (MHM) Patrol Headquarters. Patrol dispatch and a larger professional patrol staff will call this attractive and functional new facility home. This will be MHM’s first LEED’s (“Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” green building rating system) certified building and will be a real milestone in our continuing environmental sustainability efforts.
Remodel North Lodge First Floor Bathrooms
Updated fixtures, finishes and new lighting and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning) will create more attractive and welcoming ladies and mens rest room facilities on the first level of the North Lodge. This will definitely provide a more pleasant multi-sensory experience!
Stadium (formerly known as Yellow) Chair Renovation
One of their two original Chairlifts gets new chairs, a variable speed motor as well as a new name. The “Stadium Chair” will honor all of the race and special events presented on the Stadium run. New “bail style” chairs (no center pole and galvanized – no longer yellow) will replace the single center pole chairs making Stadium more comfortable to ride and easier to load/unload. Safety restraint bars are also included. The new variable speed drive will also improve loading and unloading while reducing stoppages.
Three Prinoth 350 snow cats have been purchased, all with terrain master tillers and blades to replace older cats. Meadows continues to differentiate itself from other ski resorts with one of largest and current snow cat fleets, and highly skilled team of professional groomers.
A variety of projects in the Patrol, Lift Maintenance, Lift Operations, Race, Food Services, Security, and Retail departments will help our staff provide better guest experiences at Mt. Hood Meadows this upcoming season and beyond.
Mt. Hood Meadows Upgrades Original Chair Lift – Yellow Now Called Stadium
It was one of the two original lifts when Mt. Hood Meadows opened in January, 1968. At that time it was referred to simply as “The North Lift”, rising 548 vertical feet from the base area and accessing terrain in the northern portion of the ski areas permit area. The lift was later changed to “the Yellow lift” thanks to the painting of the chairs to Yellow. With a new drive which controls how the lift performs and operates, and new chairs, Yellow will be Yellow no longer.
The resort held a contest to rename the lift and “Stadium”, which was suggested by many. The first to submit the name in the contest was Violet Anderson, who won a 10 Time Pass in the contest. The “Stadium” lift services the Stadium run, which hosts many ski racing events each season. The new name pays tribute to all the athletes and recreational skiers and snowboarders who have run gates or participated in events in the past, and will provide uplift for those competing in the future.
The upgrade will be obvious. First, the chairs will be a galvanized metal, which will provide greater weather durability and blend into the environment much more naturally than the current yellow chairs. The new chairs are “bail” style, with poles on the outside of chairs instead of one in the middle separating the seat. This will make it easier for beginners and snowboarders to ride the lift. The seats will also feature restraint bars.
The replacement of the drive along with rebuilding the gear reducer will noticeably improve the experience for guests and make it easier to operate. The improvements will create a smoother ride, make it easier to load and unload, reduce stops and downtime due to mechanical problems.
The speed will be more flexible and adjustable than the old drive, however it will operate at the same speed as before taking about four-and-a-half minutes to travel the 2,200 feet. The uphill capacity remains the same with 90 chairs attached to the lift.
Timberline adds New Lift – Still Creek Basin
It has been many years in the works, and now with the kick-off of the 2007/08 winter ski and snowboard season, Timberline invites you to explore the new Still Creek Basin! They are opening the lower portion of our permitted ski area that lies between the Pucci chairlift and the Stormin’ Norman chairlift. This new network of ski trails is the largest and most exciting development of new Timberline terrain since the 1970′s. There is something new for skiers and riders of every ability level, and lots of new areas to explore! Still Creek Basin contains 8 new alpine trails that will provide connectivity to existing terrain, making their trail system on the lower mountain longer, more fun, and more sheltered from the weather. The cumulative linear feet of new trails equals 5.8 miles, and the new Kruser trail is now their longest trail at roughly 1.5 miles. Other new trails include Mustang Sally, JoJaMi, Brother Beau, Waterline, Buzz Cut, and Uncle Jon’s Band. This area also offers new opportunities to explore natural terrain features. Chutes, glades, and tree skiing areas abound in the Still Creek Basin!
Still Creek Basin also brings a new opportunity at Timberline for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. The Snowshoe Trail, a brand new trail from Timberline Lodge, through the woods, to the bottom of the new chairlift, provides a new Nordic experience and gives users the option of continuing downhill to the town of Government Camp via a connection with the West Leg Road, or an uphill return to the Lodge on the new Jeff Flood Express. Single ride lift tickets, sold for just $12, are now offered to cross country skiers and snowshoers. Bring your own equipment, or rent from Timberline in the Wy’East Day Lodge.
Timberline just got a whole lot bigger. Opening the Still Creek Basin terrain adds roughly 220 acres of terrain to their lower mountain. That’s 58% more lower mountain terrain than they had before! This provides you with lots of freedom to move about the ski area, and with the new Jeff Flood Express chairlift, capacity and ample uphill transportation are not a problem at Timberline. In fact, it is a luxury. A new chairlift, new trails and wide open spaces, means and a lot less crowding on the slopes, and more time skiing and riding. Timberline is your alternative to crowded slopes!
The new Jeff Flood Express chairlift is named for a special, longtime Timberline employee. As Timberline’s head snow groomer for many years, “Floodo” took great pride in laying down the corduroy and making sure the slopes were in top form every day. He also was known as a pioneer of shaping freestyle terrain. His innovation and hard work went on to be appreciated by the growing snowboard industry as well as some of the world’s top athletes, when Jeff was asked to be on the slope grooming team for both the Winter Olympics and the Winter X Games. At 6,270 feet long (roughly 1.2 miles) the new Doppelmayr quad chairlift named in his honor is now the longest chairlift on Mt. Hood, and yet, this state-of-the-art high speed lift will whisk you from bottom to top in just a little over 6 minutes!
A Wind Powered Chairlift: Maybe Bob Dylan was right. Maybe the answer is indeed “blowing in the wind!” Environmental protection and stewardship of the environment is one of Timberline’s core values. They also think energy conservation is patriotic. Demonstrating their concern for global warming and for America’s independence from foreign oil, they have partnered with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation to purchase enough renewable energy credits for power from renewable sources (mostly wind) to power the new Jeff Flood Express.
The installation of this lift gives Timberline the most vertical feet of skiing in the U.S. Pacific Northwest: That’s right..second only to Canada’s Whistler Ski Area, Timberline features some serious vertical feet of skiing. From the top of Palmer to the bottom of the new Jeff Flood Express is an amazing 3620 vertical feet of pure fun!
Grand Opening: While the new Still Creek Basin and Jeff Flood Express will open just as soon as there is enough snow, Timberline is inviting everyone to celebrate its Grand Opening Weekend on December 8th and 9th. Music, festivities, commemorative giveaways, and a ceremonial ribbon cutting will mark the occasion. Come join in the fun!