Every snowboarder loves the local mountain. It’s a place that’s hopefully not too far away where you can easily go to forget your troubles and escape for a day. Somewhere comfortable and familiar – somewhere that feels like home. For anyone that lives in Portland, Oregon, Mt. Hood Meadows is that kind of mountain.
A short, 60-mile drive from Portland on Highway 26, Mt. Hood Meadows has been satisfying the city’s powder jones for over 40 years. Their history in snowboarding goes way back, and along with nearby Timberline, they created some of the first and best terrain parks in the Northwest during the 1990s. Of course, the natural terrain is what Meadows is really all about, and riders like Peter Line, Gabe Lynn and Matt Donahue utilized the mountain’s steeps, gullies and drops to help propel freestyle snowboarding into the modern age.
Fast-forward to today and Meadows is still the best spot for local shredders to get some. I may throw this term around a lot, but the entire mountain really is like one big skate park, with so many canyons coming off Mt. Hood’s 11,250-foot summit. Big ones, little ones, in the woods and out in the open – these natural halfpipes form countless windlips, kickers and snake runs to slash, Ollie and rally down full speed. Throw in some tree runs through massive old growth forests, and you have enough options at Meadows to keep you coming back again and again. Of course, they still build a quality park and pipe as well, but with the amount of snow Mt. Hood gets on a regular basis, chances are you’ll have more fun finding freshies than hitting the man made stuff.
Meadows has lots of events going on throughout the season, including concerts, a film festival, and the final installment of the After Dark Rail Jam Series on Saturday, March 9th. Go skihood.com for more information, and check out more shots from last week's visit with Portland's Darrell Mathes, Ahmon Stamps, Dakine's Scotty Conerly and Jackson Hole’s Willie McMillon on the tumblr blog.