Tom, Dick, and Harry Mountain
Tom Dick and Harry mountain (TDH) is technically the closest backcountry ski area to Portland listed in this guide. It offers terrain that is generally smaller but more varied than other popular options like Pea Gravel Ridge. It’s low altitude means that in low years it may not ever come into condition, or it may be raining here while it’s snowing at Timberline.
Still, TDH is a fun area and one well worth exploring for the frequent Mt Hood skier. Familiarity with the area, which can be gained only by personal exploration, increases your chances of having a good ski run here. Because runs can be short, linking multiple pitches makes for more satisfying turns. Some popular runs are marked on the map, but many permutations exist.
Because the approach to TDH involves climbing the Mirror Lake trail, we recommend that you park at the Skibowl West parking lot and ski along the road to the trailhead so as to permit descending through the ski area at the end of the day rather than descending the summer trail, which would be a fairly poor experience in all but perfect conditions.
Be advised that after recent changes to the traffic pattern at Mirror Lake Trailhead, it is only possible to park there when traveling towards Government Camp (East) on HW-26. If approaching from Government Camp, then park at Skibowl (see below), or drive down to Kiwanis Camp Rd and turn around, returning to the Mirror Lake TH.
From the Skibowl West parking lot, skin West along the shoulder of highway 26 towards the Mirror Lake trailhead (0.85 mi, slightly downhill). If it’s snowing, beware of snow plows in the oncoming lane.
At the trailhead, turn left (S) across a wooden bridge spanning Camp Creek. Follow the summer trail as it makes several long and gradual switchbacks up to Mirror Lake. At Mirror Lake, travel counter-clockwise around the lake, initially following the summer trail (#664) towards Tom Dick and Harry mountain.
Not long after the trail leaves the lakeside (0.1-0.2 mi) diverge from the summer trail by turning to your left and travel up the shoulder of the mountain above. A switchbacking track joining groups of small trees quickly climbs to the ridgeline of TDH.
The climbing track again joins the summer trail at the West end of the TDH ridgeline , where a the trees thin and the full width of the cirque becomes visible. Begin your descent here or continue to traverse the ridgeline in the counterclockwise direction until reaching your line of choice or until you reach the Skibowl boundary.
There are essentially four main rains within the TDH cirque
TDH West: Before the climbing track reaches it’s apex atop the cirque, several smaller glades can be accessed by dropping off the climber’s left side of the skintrack. These short runs are less exposed than the cirque above, but are shorter by half.
TDH Center: From the West end of the cirque where the climbing track rejoins the summer trail, two main entrances on either side of a small rise offer the most frequently used entrance to the TDH cirque. For both, an upper pitch leads to a treed bench. Ski to either side of the bench, or in high-snow years, go straight over for a a direct second pitch down to tree line.
TDH South: Multiple lower-angle ski runs can be made from the Southerly ridge that links the central cliffs of the TDH cirque and the prominent rock cliff of Tom Dick Peak.
Tom Dick Peak itself offers some short and spicy ski options that are less-likely to be found in good condition due to their exposure to prevailing winds. The West face of Tom Dick peak offers a ~40-degree descent through small trees ending in a cliff of variable size and lower angle turns to tree line. Multiple “couloirs” at the north end of this face are sometimes skied, but the rocky choke at the bottom requires either a Large mandatory air or a rappel.
Either descend the route of ascent using the summer trail from Mirror Lake (not recommended), or traverse East along the ridgetop to Tom Dick peak. From here, downhill travel will funnel you into the Skibowl ski area and to your car.