I've had season passes to all three for pretty much every year along with a few other friendsHowdy all,
The snow has started falling up on Hood this week. And that made me think... Where should I get my pass at this year??
Meadows or Timberline/Ski Bowl?
I have had the Fusion Pass at Timberline/Ski Bowl the last two seasons and generally enjoy it. I only went to Ski Bowl a couple of times when I didn't feel like going all the up to TLine. Or when the parking was full and had to park down the hill to catch a shuttle. So I don't see a huge value in having the Ski Bowl addition. I like that Timberline's season goes until Memorial Day and has some great Spring riding. My partner and I also go to Timberline and stay the weekend in the lodge once a year as a little getaway. But, some of TLine's downfalls, to me, is that it's a relatively small area on most days. There are only 6 lifts, unless you count the bunny lift so 7, and for most of the season only 4 of those are open. With a good chance that only 3 will be turning on any given day, unless the conditions are absolutely perfect. Lines never seem to be miserably long. Don't get me wrong there are some days that are super long but we seem to get through the lines fast enough and I'm a pretty patient person so I never really get bothered by queuing. So with the small amount of available lifts that means that there is not a whole lot of area to go exploring in.
The other established area to ride in is Mt. Hood Meadows. I've only been there a couple of times and I took beginner lessons there so never made it off the Ballroom Carpet. Overall I feel like it has more options especially as I'm getting more comfortable riding switch, taking jumps, and general riding. The downside is that it's further away. On a day with no traffic the time difference is negligible, about 10 minutes, but Timberline gets you out to the main road a lot faster and the the travel time to Tline is basically the same as home from TLine. Meadows can add up to an hour commute to get home, maybe even longer. So 1.5 hr can easily turn into 2.5+ hours for the commute home only. I wish that I would've gotten up to Meadows last season to try it out so I know for sure which of the two areas I prefer.
Everyone I know in Portland says that Timberline is great for the first couple of seasons until you feel comfortable and then go to Meadows because there is just...more. That includes more lines, more waiting, more people, more terrain, more lifts, etc.
Has anyone ridden both on this forum and can vouch for one or the other? I have friends that go to both places so I'll have a crew either way. Also my GF is going to try skiing, I know I know, this year. Snowboarding did not stick and after she landed on her tailbone she is hesitant to get back on a snowboard but wants participate in snow sports with me. I know Timberline better so I would feel better taking her around that area but also she's going to take a couple of lessons at the beginning of the season so I'll have time to explore Meadows a little bit before we are out venturing together.
Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk :wink:
Never riding Ski Bowl is your biggest mistake. You buy a Fusion pass you're buying Ski Bowl terrain with Timberline as a safety net to ride on days Ski Bowl isn't worth riding/isn't open. Why were you not riding Ski Bowl because that will explain a lot of why you should or should not switch to Meadows.
Meadows is bigger than either of the fusion pass resorts on their own true. And as a result its crowds make Timberline look empty even when timberline is packed. Lots are almost always closed by 8:45 before lifts are even open on weekends. Lots closed at Timberline, fine you just pull over and ride Ski Bowl without missing a step or take a short shuttle. Lots closed at Meadows, well it's not nearly that easy.
Meadows doesn't have better terrain than Ski Bowl, just bigger and colder. Keep in mind Meadows has the same upper lift problems as Timberline too. Cloudy, stormy, not perfect weather, Cascade will be closed and maybe Vista as well.
I ride Meadows and Ski Bowl almost exclusively but that's because there's nothing on Timberline outside of park that provides even a tiny challenge for me. If you're not at that level take that in to account. Meadows is for the die hard rider. It has the worst base lodges of all of them. It has the worst crowds, it's prime for the be at the mountain an hour before lifts start, ride for the first 3 hours until the resort gets tracked out then head home. Hence why it draws all the Hood River community.