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| | |-+  Mar 10, 2009 - Pea Gravel Ridge at Hood
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Author Topic: Mar 10, 2009 - Pea Gravel Ridge at Hood  (Read 1443 times)
johnspeth
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Mar 10, 2009 - Pea Gravel Ridge at Hood
« on: 03/11/09, 12:30 PM »

The tree skiing off lower Pea Gravel Ridge can be phenomenal on deep powder days.  A huge early week dump left at least 18 inches of new snow on Tuesday morning.  I was there.

I was on the Heather trail by 6:30 am fully expecting the Meadows Nazis to converge on me to control my every move but I was mysteriously alone.  Wouldn't you know it but by 7am I was pursued by a snow cat whose driver cordially told me to get off the trail because the Howitzer was about to be fired.  No problem because it was a good place to pick up the ridge anyway.

Hiking in the knee deep Cascade powder was tough work but it was a labor of love.  Just before the tree line the tree runs looked great left AND right although a little short.  I teamed up with an appreciative following hiker to take the trees down to Newton Creek.  Not a disappointment but just a little wind packed.  Made a quick return to the ridge to get the trees to the left.  Just as good as the first run.  I made it a short day and headed home.  It appears avy risk was a strong consideration on exposed slopes.

On my way out, I was thoroughly pissing myself reading the sign that said "Heather Canyon Closed" with another saying uphill travellers will be arrested for trespassing.  All while ticketed skiers skied past.  It's clearly a violation of Meadow's permit which states "The ski area shall remain open to the public for all lawful purposes".  Last I heard, climbing Mt Hood was still lawful.

We can change Meadow's policy.  Take a look at:

http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=11517.msg49522#msg49522

to find out how to help.  It's punitive and unfair.
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skierguitarist
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Posts: 292


Re: Mar 10, 2009 - Pea Gravel Ridge at Hood
« Reply #1 on: 03/11/09, 05:20 PM »

Yes I believe it is still okay to climb mt. hood...but somebody should take that damn gun away from meadows.  That place has always been a piece of s__t .  Have not skied there since '71...and it sounds like it has only gotten worse.  Can't believe the f.s allowed that rediculous gun.  Learn to do your job, then go do it with out a gun.   They are going to kill somebody at some point.  Meadows does not need a gun to do their job--if they can't figure it out, then they should get some folks out there that can (with out that damn gun......)

Sounds like you got some gun freshies in.  Good one (inspite of the management......).  BTW, I hope they don't shoot me when I'm skiing w'east or cooper spur... maybe they are trying to shut down the whole of Mt. Hood eventually, I would not put in past them...........
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k2trcs
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Posts: 22


Re: Mar 10, 2009 - Pea Gravel Ridge at Hood
« Reply #2 on: 03/11/09, 07:07 PM »

I am surprised that you were surprised to find yourself pursued by a snow cat on a trail groomed by such machines almost 2 hours before the resort opened.  I, too, often climb the first section of the Heather Canyon Runout to gain access to the pea gravel for access to Newton.  When I smell the diesel from the cats or pass the thoroughly bad-mouthed baggy pants types I hike a little faster to get out of the resort as soon as possible.  To each there own, though. 

There was lots of good skiing to be had in the lower trees of Hood, away from the resort.  Glad you had fun in Jill's yesterday.  At ~4-5k elevations on treed south/SE slopes yesterday I found 12-15" of v. light unconsoldated snow that had another 12" of 4f below that reaching down to a more sold base.  Steeper breakovers with less anchors had slid natrually overnight Monday night (maybe with the wind), 4-6" crowns from what was likely very loose soft slabs as the partially covered debris was good skiing too.  These were isolated pockets as there was no cohesion in these tree-sheltered slopes. 
Yesterday on open slopes, I'm told that that the MHM big gun resulted in up to 3' wind slabs in the basalt cliffs on those large slopes above the heavily-skied heather canyon.  Today I heard, though did not experience first hand, that the sunny side of pea gravel was the best skiing at the resort. 

I am mostly a lurker here, being too tired after skiing to write much here, and have always enjoyed the positivity and maturity of this online community.  I'm sorry your backcountry skiing experienced was marred by your path through a  ski resort.  Signs and large stinky machines do come with the territory. The vast majority of beautiful Mt. Hood has neither.

Hoping to put an informational and positive spin back into these shared bc experiences, since that is what I think most of us are all about.  And we can improve the MHM-BCskier relationship but it will take reasonable heads on both sides. 
Enjoy a pow-ful spring,

John

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joeldiesel
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Posts: 6


Re: Mar 10, 2009 - Pea Gravel Ridge at Hood
« Reply #3 on: 03/13/09, 12:43 PM »

The crew at Ski Bowl is MUCH more accommodating to touring folks, and just way more mellow in general than at Meadows.  They will shake you down but almost always let you go if you show some level of experience/intelligence.  The Meadows guys will pretty much tackle you and drag you outta there.  Ski Bowl blows Meadows off the map when they have some snow.
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skierguitarist
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Posts: 292


Re: Mar 10, 2009 - Pea Gravel Ridge at Hood
« Reply #4 on: 03/13/09, 03:39 PM »

The crew at Ski Bowl is MUCH more accommodating to touring folks, and just way more mellow in general than at Meadows.  They will shake you down but almost always let you go if you show some level of experience/intelligence.  The Meadows guys will pretty much tackle you and drag you outta there.  Ski Bowl blows Meadows off the map when they have some snow.

Terrain-wise I agree.  Good to hear the management has some heart there!!!
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