From Portland to the summit of Mt. Hood and back, by bike (and boot and ski)

JT Lehman in good spirits en route to Timberline Lodge.
(Photos: Andy Edick)

Have you ever been on a bike ride in Portland on a clear day, then looked east to see the magnificent snowy peak of Mt. Hood? Now imagine riding to the mountain, hiking to the summit, skiing back down, then riding home — all under 24 hours.

That was the audacious plan hatched by friends Andy Edick and JT Lehman on a spring day in May of last year. Now in their 30s, the pair ran cross-country together at University of Portland and they’re no strangers to cycling, skiing and mountaineering. Those skills would all come in handy on their 24-hour Mt. Hood-by-bike-and-ski adventure.

“We’d always kind of joked about doing it,” Edick shared on the phone with me this morning. “And when the window opened up, we finally decided if we’re ever going to do it, this is it.”

The “it” is a biking, hiking, and skiing adventure that would take them from the Willamette River to the summit of Mt. Hood — and back — before the earth made one rotation.

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Staff changes at Mount Hood Meadows highlight resort’s shift toward bike recreation

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Images from a Timberline Mountain Bike Park
brochure. A lawsuit has stalled that
plan, but Mount Hood Meadows says
biking is on the upswing regardless.

Fun in the snow remains huge on Mount Hood. But there’s growing consensus that the mountain’s future is likely to be elsewhere.

With average snowpack levels ebbing and mountain biking booming in popularity, Mount Hood Meadows is reorganizing its team to emphasize this new market, among others.

The company recently dropped “ski resort” from its official logo. On Monday, it followed that up with an announcement of that three new company vice presidents have been tasked with focusing on new facilities, programs and staff for year-round — that is, non-snow — recreation.

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Mount Hood leaders map their course to become a bike-recreation Mecca

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Sandy Ridge loop-6

The Sandy Ridge MTB Trail System is one of the Mount Hood area’s many bright spots.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

WELCHES – The slopes south and west of Mount Hood could become Oregon’s next great bike tourism destination, Clackamas County leaders said Saturday at a half-day conference here in the old volcano’s foothills.

“We are tourism-driven,” said George Wilson, a director of the Villages at Mount Hood and the organizer of the event. “It’s our only industry.”

It’s also an industry that currently booms each summer and winter and slackens during the “shoulder seasons,” as fall and spring are sometimes called in the Mount Hood area.

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Stars aligning for a bike tourism boom in the Mt. Hood area

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Sandy Ridge loop-5

Riders scope out routes at Sandy Ridge, a popular trail-riding
destination built specifically for mountain biking.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Nobody in Oregon gets more of its tourist dollar from bikes than the Mount Hood region, and people in eastern Multnomah and Clackamas counties are taking notice.

Whatever happens in the controversy about a planned mountain bike park near Timberline Lodge, the area seems to be thinking more and more about biking. Consider a few elements:

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