MT. HOOD — Excavation work began Monday on a new in-ground halfpipe at Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort.
The resort requested permission to build the pipe earlier this year, and the U.S. Forest Service approved it last week.
The halfpipe will let resort slope grooming crews provide snowboarders and skiers a competition-quality pipe experience earlier in the season, even with less snow coverage.
Previously, the resort has had to wait until it had sufficient snowfall to sculpt a halfpipe rising from the slope terrain. By constructing the new pipe in-ground, it will require less snow to open.
“We know how much our snowboarders love the chance to learn and practice aerial moves on the halfpipe,” said Dave Riley, vice president and general manager of Mt. Hood Meadows. “This pipe follows specifications equal to those used for an Olympic halfpipe.”
Sited on the Wallflower Run beneath the Easy Rider chairlift, the pipe is about 450 feet long, 15 feet deep and 65 feet wide when covered with snow, said Doug Jones, recreation permits administrator for the Hood River Ranger District.
“We expect it will take about a month to complete,” Jones said. “It should be usable by Christmas
Crestline Construction Co. of The Dalles is building the pipe, using erosion control plans developed by Seaborn Engineering of Hood River. Jones said that plan makes extensive provision for soil stabilization and revegetation.
After the pipe is finished and the slope is recontoured, a mulch containing native plant seeds will be hydroseeded over the ground. A biodegradable mesh fabric will be placed over that, to disperse early-season rainwater and slow runoff and prevent erosion.
Rock drains have been designed to capture and disperse runoff settling into the low point of the pipe.
Jones said native grasses and wildflowers will germinate in the spring of 2004 and 2005, permanently stabilizing the slope.
In the meantime, vegetation on surrounding ski slopes will help filter silt from any runoff.
For more information on the new halfpipe at Meadows, visit: