Doh!.....dude I really wish I would have checked this board before I left Saturday morning! I pretty much just woke up, got dressed and was there at 8:30AM, wanting to try and get there early to catch some left over stashes. Would have loved to had the guided tour from you as I was looking at the trail map all morning long
Meadows is pretty big and fairly spread out IMO. I saw a group of riders when I was buying my ticket and asked them the best way to Cascade Xpress and they pointed me to the quad. Luckily the group I was paired up with on Cascade were really nice and a girl/boy couple who were riding let me tag along and took me over to upper Heather canyon via the traverse there at the top of the lift. The first ride down was the best of the day and I understand all the hype about Heather Canyon now
I then came back up via the little chair out of the canyon and made my way to the Shooting Star and saw some guys who had unstrapped and were booting it up to the middle Heather "drop in". I say "drop in" b/c on the side of the Canyon that is pretty much what you do, it just dropped away! So after two runs through the canyon I wanted to see a little more of the mountain before my legs gave way. (I should point out that I only rode about 4 hrs b/c I had been standing on my feet the last three days working a conference in Portland and my legs were seriously fatigued)
By the time I got back over to the Cascade Xpress again I went skiers right but the bowl there was pretty much tracked out, as the rest of the mountain was getting to that point as well. Made a couple more laps from the lodge to the top of Cascade and called it a day around 1PM. Drove to Full Sail and had lunch then back to Portland and watched my WVU BB team with a buddy of mine I went to WVU with who now lives in Tigard.
I had a great time and the mountain was a lot of fun. It was the first time riding in the PAC NW and there were a few places where I came to understand the term "Cascade concrete" but as typical with most of my trips this year I miss epic conditions by days. You guys are going to have an awesome week up there from the looks of it. I was driving to the airport yesterday morning at 6AM in an absolute downpour and could only think how much it must be dumping up on "The Hood"!
Oh, that place was like a carnival on Saturday too. Band playing at the base, people tailgating in the parking lot, really good atmosphere!
Next time I'm out Snowolf I'll be sure to try and look you up again as it would have been really cool to meet and make a few turns with ya!