Shred Season is Back


By Madeline Sweet, Reporter

Due to fluctuations in temperature between ocean and atmosphere caused by La Niña, a season full of fresh powder on Mount Hood started in late October, and Cleveland students are ready to shred.

La Niña is cold oceanic water that is pushed towards North America by strong trade winds. The cold water redirects the jet stream northward, causing drought in the southern United States; in the Pacific Northwest it can result in cooler temperatures, heavy rains and flooding.

Sophomore skier Noah Clark went up to Mount Hood on Oct. 13 and Nov. 5. “Both days the snow was on point. On Oct. 13 there was a little bit of a better base…When I went up this weekend [Nov. 5.] it was basically 18 inches of powder on dirt, but it wasn’t that bad,” said Clark.

At the time only the Pucci ski lift, at Timberline, was running. When Mount Hood Meadows has enough snow, Clark plans on taking a ski bus and going up as much as possible. “I am pumped to get in some sweet face shots with my buddies and huck some gnarly cliffs,” said Clark.  

Astri Lommen, sophomore, is on the Cleveland snowboard team and made it to state last season. She explained that being on a team is big commitment, quite expensive, and she cuts back on the time she has with her friends. But, to her, it is worth it because she can learn more and also compete against others.

Last year’s team, although small, brought several of its athletes to state. This season, the team grew, but there is still an expectation to see success. There are no tryouts for snowboard team, so anyone of any skill level can join. Practice is every Wednesday, and competitions take place on weekends.

Senior on the ski team, Jacquelyn Johnson, expects that the Cleveland ski team will have success this season. Due to an early snow, the team will get more training in. Also, the team put on a ski swap. With the profit from that, the team will be able to ski other mountains, like Mount Bachelor.

Last year the team went to state and placed in the bottom half. However, this isn’t a bad outcome, according to Johnson, because the teams they competed against trained year round and Cleveland’s ski team only has practice for one season.

Cleveland individuals like Jake Johnson (sophomore), Ben Harding (junior), Jenna Mitchem and Jacquelyn Johnson placed anywhere from 30th to 20th out of 150 people for their competition.

Cleveland’s club ski team and snowboard team both guarantee a ride to the mountain. For freeskiers and snowboarders who can’t drive, it isn’t always simple to get to the mountain. However, there are some strategies to get up to the slopes. First, call up friends to see if anyone has room in their car. If that doesn’t work take the Park and Ride bus which costs $25, picks up at Pioneer Square at 7:30 a.m., drops off at Meadows, and starts its way back to Portland around 4 p.m., offering a full day on the mountain. For Timberline, there is the Mt. Hood Express bus that costs $2, picks up as close as Sandy and makes several trips throughout the day. For more information, check out the Mount Hood Meadows and TImberline websites. Plan in advance and sign up for ski bus through Cleveland. It is a little spendy but worth the ride up with friends and a full day of skiing or snowboarding.

As far as pricing, Meadows’ lift passes and season passes are more expensive. The day pass is $82 for ages 15-64, and a season pass costs $550 for ages 15-24 (before Nov. 5, the pass cost $399). The lifts at Meadows grant access to the diverse and large terrain the resort has to offer. Due to these benefits, there are always crowds and lines at the lifts. Timberline is smaller than Meadows; however, it is higher up so the snow is sometimes better, there are less lines, the lodge is nicer and passes are generally less expensive. A day pass costs $63 for ages 15-17, and season pass costs $499 for ages 15-24 (before Nov. 5, the pass cost $379).

One way to earn money to pay for an expensive pass is to work through the winter for one of the resorts. As long as you have a pair of wheels to get there, both Timberline and Meadows hire year round, have good benefits and give workers a free season pass. Work part time and spend half the day teaching kids how to ski or work in the kitchen, and spend the rest of the day shredding with friends.

The best runs on the mountain range from resort and difficulty. For example, favorites from Timberline, according to Cleveland students, are runs like Kruser, Molly and other runs off the lift Magic Mile. Students like Magic Mile because it is long, open and fun for all skill levels. At Meadows, runs off the Vista chair, Mount Hood Express and places in Private Reserve are popular. Vista’s runs are popular because of the impeccable view, openness and excitement for all skill levels. Private Reserve provides access to double blacks and has less people.

Clark said, “When the snow is good [in Private Reserve] you can just rip through those trees with your friends and not worry about anything else in the world except that moment right then and there.”

Whether you’re a skier or a snowboarder, at a low skill level or high, on a team, or free skiing or snowboarding, the 2017-18 season has a lot to offer.