Portland, Oregon skiers and snowboarders looking to cut their use of fossil fuels in getting to the slopes can hop a shuttle. The Sea To Summit Ski and Mountain Shuttle chomps through nasty roads in all conditions to get to the three Mt. Hood ski areas: Mt. Hood Meadows, Mt. Hood Ski Bowl, and Timberline Lodge.
Joshua Blaize, owner of the company that started 10 year ago, likes to ensure getting to the slopes even in the worst of snowstorms and icy roads. "We haven't failed to reach the resorts yet," he told OnTheSnow. "When the road to Timberline closes, we can still go up." He converted his vans to four-wheel drive and outfitted them with studded snow tires to handle the Cascade ice. Two of his rigs run on a biodiesel mixture. Gear gets stored inside roof compartments to prevent marring by road grit.
Rates run $40-140, depending on the type of package. Packages can include rentals and discounted lift tickets, but a shuttle-only rate is available for those with passes and gear. Beginners can get a special package that includes a lesson. Prices midweek run less than weekends and holidays.
The shuttle, which can run daily, departs from Pioneer Square downtown at 7:30 a.m. for the 90-minute drive to the slopes. Pick-ups are also available at downtown hotels. The shuttle pulls into VIP parking by the time the lifts open. "That alone can save up to 45 minutes at Mt. Hood Meadows, for instance, when you may have to park in a distant lot and hop a bus to the base.," said Blaize. The shuttles return to Portland by 5 p.m.
Reservations, which are required, can be made by phone. At least four people are required for the shuttle to run. "We've already got bookings for the Christmas holidays," said Blaize.
Blaize also runs overnight trips from Portland to Crystal Mountain Resort, Wash. for groups of six to 35. Discounts are available on lodging for those riding the shuttle. Lodging packages include breakfast and dinner.
More information. Or call 503-286-9333.