Mount Hood’s ever-watchful form looms over Portland with special grandeur in the winter months. If you have been watching the snow slowly accumulate on Hood’s peaks and ridges from afar, you may be wondering what it’s like to get up close and personal and ski those picturesque slopes. I sat down with Mille Minerath ’24 to get the lowdown on tackling skiing or snowboarding on Mount Hood.
Mount Hood’s proximity to Portland makes it an accessible destination for a day or weekend of skiing and the perfect experience for beginners—and, if you catch the skiing bug, returning to the slopes is easily within your reach.
Mount Hood boasts two lodges: Timberline and Mount Hood Meadows. Both sites offer day tickets, season-long passes and a range of lessons. Timberline is home to a terrain park and freestyle training center. Both lodges feature snowshoe and sledding areas for non-ski adventures. Once two feet of snow have accumulated, the lifts start running and the slopes begin calling. What do you need to know to get started? Let us help you out.
Don’t have a car? Don’t worry!
“Don’t be afraid to carpool,” Minerath said. “The ski community is so willing to help everyone get to the mountain. I guarantee if you walked into Next Adventure, you would find a carpooling list.”
Next Adventure is an outdoor gear store, located on SE Grand Avenue, that offers discounted gear and rental opportunities. They are also dedicated to informing and connecting the outdoor community, making them a great first stop for anyone interested in exploring new outdoor activities.
Skiers on campus also often form carpool groups, so befriending a couple Lewis & Clark skiers is a sure fire way to get to the slopes.
If the car you are taking doesn’t have four-wheel drive, fear not.
“There’s a bus from Hood River and from Government Camp. You can park your car there and take the bus up the snowy roads,” Minerath said.
Short on snow gear? Suit up for cheap.
“College Outdoors will let you rent gear during the week,” Minerath said. “Next Adventure also has a rental program and sometimes they offer student discounts.”
Better yet, find a skier friend with gear and borrow for free.
Wondering what to pack? Start
with basic gear and warm layers.
After your downhill essentials—skis or a snowboard, boots, helmet, goggles and poles—you will need a warm baselayer. Minerath recommends a wool base layer for extra water resistance and coziness.
“Don’t layer your pants,” she said. “You just want nice, insulated snow pants. Bibs, I would say, are better than pants because snow doesn’t get in your butt. And some of them have spots to put hand warmers.”
Don’t forget other snow must-haves—a hat, gloves or mittens and a cozy gater to keep your neck warm.
Want to look like a pro? Follow these insider tips.
“Cool skiers wear mittens,” Minerath said. “They just look better.”
Another tip is to size up on your water-resistant jacket.
“You get really sweaty and hot and you don’t want to feel constrained—you need to be able to move around,” Minerath said.
Now that you are itching to hit the slopes, visit Timberline Lodge and Mount Hood Meadow’s websites for up-to-date snow conditions reports, pass information, detailed pricing and operations schedules. For skiers over the age of 18, a day of skiing at Timberline Lodge starts at $114. You can ski there for the afternoon, 12 p.m. to close, for $88. Young adults, aged 18-24, receive discounted prices at Mount Hood Meadows. A day of skiing there begins at $12, but prices and availability vary based on day and time so be sure to check their calendar in advance.
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