Sunday, January 16, 2011

Powder Day

This ski season started out with some nice sunny bluebird days.  These days are nice for views and photo-taking.  But my favorite days to ski are powder days.  Powder days are usually stormy with low visibility.  But there is nothing better than shushing through fresh snow that is falling so fast it fills in the trail behind you.  First tracks every time!

New snow!  Happy, happy, happy!

Last Sunday, Kim and I arrived at Meadows to find it snowing and blowing.  There was already a foot of snow on the ground.  It was gonna be a good day!

Beautiful snowfall

Kim spent the morning with her daughter, so I headed for the bowls off of Mt. Hood Express.  The snow was knee-deep powder in some places.  I had the most excellent runs. 

The snow was really comin' down

It snowed heavily all morning, and the wind was blowing strong.  I went over to ride the Vista lift, and saw there wasn't a line.  After riding to the top, I found out why.  It was really, really windy and cold.  I headed back to MHX and the bowls.

Afternoon clearing at the Shooting Star lift

Kim put her daughter in an afternoon lesson, so she was free to ski with me.  We headed over to Shooting Star to check out their runs.  About this time, the snow let up and we even got a little bit of clearing.  Although it was nice to have the visibility, I would have loved to see more snow falling.

Kim tryin' the powder on Columbia

The snow was pretty tracked out by afternoon.  But we found little areas that still had powder pillows.  We skied down Apollo (and there were no snow snakes!) and then I got Kim to ski down Columbia.  The snow was good, although the lift ride up was a wee bit nippy.

Bottom of Heather Canyon

Heather Canyon was looking good.  I asked a couple guys on the lift what Heather was like and they said it was great.  I skied over to the edge of Twilight bowl and looked down.  The snow was cut up and a little bit bumpy, but it looked soft and totally skiable.  Kim was a little skeptical, but in the end, she decided to follow me into Heather.

The snow was great!  We had a good run down to the bottom of Moon Bowl.  Then we hit the runout to the lift.  It was a bunch of icy moguls.  Ugh! 

Kim trudging up the hill to the Heather lift

At the bottom of Heather, there is a long, flat runout and a small hill you need to climb in order to get to the lift.  To get up this hill, you have to tuck it before the bottom of the canyon, and scream across the runout as fast as you can.  I forgot that this was only the second time Kim had ever been into Heather Canyon and neglected to remind Kim about this.  So she ran out of momentum halfway up, and had to shuffle and pole the rest of  the way.  Ooops, sorry Kim!  Luckily she's still my friend.

It was a great day.  I skied lots of pow, and enjoyed every minute of it.  Good thing I got my powder fix, because the next weekend the weather did a total 180.  It was super warm and rainy for the entire weekend.  Ugh!  No skiing for me.  Guess I'm stuck looking at these photos and dreaming of another powder day. 


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