Timberline Lodge ski area

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Timberline Lodge
Timberline snowgoose.png
Timberline Lodge Ski Area, showing the Magic Mile and Palmer chairlifts with Silcox Hut at right center
Timberline Lodge Ski Area, showing the Magic Mile and Palmer chairlifts with Silcox Hut at right center
Location Mount Hood, Clackamas County, Oregon, US
Nearest city Government Camp 5 miles (8 km) south, Portland 60 miles (100 km) west
Coordinates 45°20′N 121°43′W / 45.33°N 121.71°W / 45.33; -121.71Coordinates: 45°20′N 121°43′W / 45.33°N 121.71°W / 45.33; -121.71
Vertical 3,620 ft (1,103 m)
Top elevation 8,540 ft (2,603 m)
Base elevation 4,850 ft (1,478 m)
Skiable area 1,430 acres (579 ha)
Runs 35
Longest run 3.12 mi (5 km)
Lift system 7 chairlifts, 1 rope tow, 1 magic carpet
Lift capacity 8,100 skiers/h
Terrain parks Yes
Snowfall yearly snowfall: 45 ft (14 m)
average pack: 15 ft (4.6 m)[1]
Night skiing Yes, 3 chairlifts
Web site Timberline Lodge

Timberline Lodge ski area is the ski and snowboarding area of Timberline Lodge, a National Historic Landmark in the U.S state of Oregon. It is one of a few ski areas in the United States with most of the skiable terrain below the main lodge. It is located on the south face of Mount Hood, about 60 miles (95 km) east of Portland, accessible via the Mount Hood Scenic Byway.

History[edit]

The lodge was constructed between 1936 and 1938 as a Works Progress Administration project during the Great Depression. That year, Timberline opened as Oregon's first destination ski resort with a portable rope tow. The next year, the Magic Mile chairlift opened, as well as Silcox Hut, which sits about one thousand vertical feet (300 m) and a mile (1.6 km) above the main lodge, and was the original unloading and warming hut.

Summer skiing and summer race camps began at Timberline in 1956.[2] Before the Palmer chairlift was constructed in 1983 (which provides access above the 7,000-foot (2,100 m) level), the conditions at Timberline allowed skiing from the Mile November through July or August. With the Palmer, a skiable surface is available year round. Timberline is the only ski area in the states with lift accessed skiing and snowboarding all twelve months of the year. Ski and snowboard camps draw thousands of people to the slopes during the months of June, July and August.

Early history[edit]

Main article: Magic Mile

The Magic Mile chairlift was the longest chairlift in the world, and the second chairlift, of those built to be a chairlift when it opened in 1939. Financial troubles operating the Lodge and World War II closed it for several years during the 1940s and 1950s. The ski area has successfully operated since 1956.

Palmer chairlift[edit]

The original Palmer chairlift opened for 1978 summer ski season.[3] It was a fixed double chair in basically the same location as the present chair, with the base station near Silcox Hut.

The current Palmer chairlift was completed in 1996, and is built to withstand wind gusts of over 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) and 200 inches (510 cm) of snow. Its construction time was less than six months due to a limited building season imposed by the local weather conditions.[4]

Recent history[edit]

The Jeff Flood Express detachable high speed quad chair opened for the 2007-2008 ski season. With the new lift, Timberline added the Still Creek Basin to skiable terrain on the lower mountain which almost doubles the area below the timberline, which provides much needed capacity on days with wind or limited visibility when the Magic Mile and Palmer are unable to open. Jeff Flood also improves connectivity to Stormin' Normin and Magic Mile lifts from the lower mountain.

Thanks to the added terrain accessible from Jeff Flood, if the Palmer lift is open, it is possible to ski a non-stop run over 3.5 miles (5.6 km) in length with elevation change of about 4,000 feet (1,200 m).

The Palmer chairlift below the summit of Mount Hood
The upper terminal of the Palmer chairlift buried in snow

Statistics[edit]

Vertical[edit]

  • 3,620' Winter
  • 2,500' early Summer (April - July)
  • 1,530' late Summer (July - October)

Terrain[edit]

Timberline categorizes the terrain as beginner 20%, intermediate 50%, advanced 30%. However, the Forest Service published an environmental impact statement containing more detailed information:

Terrain categorization by area and comfortable guest usage
based on industry standard terrain density
  Full ski area (Winter) Upper mountain closed
(40% of Winter days)
Terrain type Terrain definition
slope gradient
Acres Rider
capacity †
Capacity
distribution
Acres Rider
capacity †
Capacity
distribution
Beginner 8% to 12% 1.4 acres (5,700 m2) 42.6 1% 1.4 acres (5,700 m2) 42.6 3%
Novice to 25% (30% short pitches) 37.6 677.2 14% 37.6 677.2 48%
Low Intermediate to 30% (35% short pitches) 136.8 1,914.8 40% 23.6 329.8 23%
Intermediate to 40% (45% short pitches) 55.5 555.3 12% 19.0 189.7 13%
Advanced Intermediate to 50% (55% short pitches) 223.5 1,564.4 33% 24.1 168.6 12%
Expert over 50% 1.3 3.9 0% 1.3 3.9 0%
Total   456.1 4,758.2 100% 106.9 1,411.8 100%
[5]

Rider capacity is the number of snowboarders and skiers the terrain area comfortably handles, and is not a measure of lift capacity. Page 7 of the reference details the industry standard, which ranges from 2-5 expert skiers per acre up to 25-35 beginners per acre.

Lifts[edit]

  • 7 chairlifts, including 5 high speed detachable quads, one triple and one bunny slope double
  • 1 magic carpet for ski school use
Chairlift detail
Lift Name Type Top
elevation
(ft)
Bottom
elevation
Vertical
rise
Length
(ft)
Slope
(%)
Capacity
(rides/hr)
Speed
(ft/min)
Lift
Manufacturer
Year
installed
Bruno fixed double 5,885 5,840 45 368 12% 630 300 Poma 1987
Molly's Express detach quad 5,835 4,990 845 5,244 16% 1200 1000 Doppelmayr 2000
Pucci fixed triple 5,920 5,350 570 3,398 17% 1,330 450 Poma 1987
Stormin' Norman detach quad 6,245 5,460 785 4,396 18% 1500 1000 Doppelmayr 2000
Magic Mile Express detach quad 6,990 5,915 1,075 5,359 20% 1600 950 Poma 1992
Palmer Express detach quad 8,470 6,940 1,530 5,468 29% 1800 1000 Doppelmayr 1996
Jeff Flood Express (Still Creek Basin) detach quad 6,020 4,850 1,170 6,506 18% 1800 1000 Doppelmayr 2007
[5]

Summer skiing[edit]

Late summer in the lower ski area brings wildflowers. The upper lifts still have skiable snow.

Timberline is the only ski area in North America to offer year round skiing. It is scheduled for two weeks closure each September for maintenance.[6] Skiers, snowboarders, and sightseers ride up the Magic Mile chairlift to the Palmer Glacier and its lift, where most of the summer skiing takes place, particularly later in the season. In contrast to winter operations, the lifts are the busiest during the summer ski season Monday through Friday, mostly due to ski and snowboard camps. Besides organized clinics and camps, any intermediate or more advanced member of the public is welcome to ski or snowboard.

Summer ski hours are 7 am to 1:30 pm. During summer ski season, there is no novice or beginner terrain; low-intermediate terrain is available along the Mile. After approximately mid-June, it is necessary to walk at least part of the way to reload the Magic Mile, and feasible to ski to within a few hundred feet of the parking lot until mid-August. On warm days, most skiers leave by late morning due to soft and wet snow conditions. Public skiing is available, but rental gear may be limited. The Palmer lift is limited to skiers and snowboarders only (no foot passengers), with intermediate or greater skills.[citation needed]

Summer camps[edit]

Timberline hosts dozens of summer camps enrolling thousands of athletes throughout the summer: a busy mid-week, mid-season day has as many as 1,500 riders.[7] Virtually every snow sport is offered in camps. Ski racing is the most popular, but snowboard and freeski camps like High Cascade (HCSC) and Windell's Camp are very popular. Mount Hood Summer Ski Camps have been a mainstay in the summer, hosting campers since the 1970s.

The summer camps are mostly organized as week long sessions, with on-snow activities in the morning and a variety of other activities in the afternoon, such as river rafting, mountain biking, hiking, trampoline, wind surfing, etc.[8]

Events[edit]

Photo gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rates and Info". Timberline Lodge Ski Area. Archived from the original on 2006-08-20. Retrieved 2006-09-15. 
  2. ^ Arthur, Jean. Timberline and a Century of Skiing on Mount Hood. ISBN 0-9645477-0-8. 
  3. ^ "Mount Hood Summer Ski Camps Newsletter". Mount Hood Summer Ski Camps. May 2008. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  4. ^ "Palmer Chair Lift at Timberline". P&C construction. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  5. ^ a b "Appendix G: Mountain Specifications Summary, Draft Environmental Impact Statement for The Timberline Express Proposal" (pdf). USDA, U.S. Forest Service, Mount Hood National Forest. March 2005. Archived from the original on 2009-03-25. Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  6. ^ "Frequently asked questions". Timberline Lodge ski area. Archived from the original on 2007-01-04. Retrieved 2007-01-15. 
  7. ^ "Beat the Heat: Summer Skiing on Oregon's Mount Hood". FastTracks Online Ski Magazine. July 17, 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-15. 
  8. ^ "Summer snow". Timberline Lodge ski area. Archived from the original on 2006-11-13. Retrieved 2006-12-15. 
  9. ^ a b "Golden Rose Ski Classic". Northwest skiers. Retrieved 2007-01-15. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Events Calendar". Timberline Lodge ski area. Retrieved 2007-01-15. 
  11. ^ "Hjalmar Hvam". Cascade Ski Club. Retrieved 2007-01-15. [dead link]
  12. ^ The year of 1952 is cited by the main reference, but 1954 is given by Bridget Lynch (December 2005). "Stay & Play in Oregon—Don't leave now, the winter fun is just beginning!". Brainstorm NW. Retrieved 2007-01-15. 

External links[edit]