The weather this past month has been most frustrating for us skiers. Mt. Hood hasn't had any new snow since the first weekend of January. The daytime temps have been above freezing every day since then. We've been having spring weather in January. Or, as I've been calling it, Juneuary.
|I begin my quest for good snow|
Last weekend was no exception. My friend Dean invited me up to Meadows to check out the "spring" corn snow. Dean is one of my favorite persons to ski with. He loves skiing the steeps. We both share the same enthusiasm and obsession for skiing. And we love to ski the bowls at Meadows (Four Bowl is our favorite!)
|Dean is just happy to be skiing|
It looked to be another warm springlike day, as we arrived at the slopes. Dean and I were hoping that the snow would hold off turning into mush until at least afternoon. We figured we'd start with the lower slopes, and then keep moving higher up as the snow began to soften.
|Cool cloud layers in the valley|
|Dean gets caught in my camera lens|
The other good thing about the cloud cover - it kept the snow from getting too soft and sticky. We had a good morning, traveling around Meadows in search of snow that was soft (but not too soft) and trying to avoid the icy places.
|Dean in his happy place|
After a leisurely lunch break, it was hard to get up the ambition to go back out on the slopes. The morning had been OK, but not outstanding. But we decided to give it another go, and rallied.
|Ready to shred more corn!|
Boy were Dean and I glad we decided to go back out. As we were riding MH Express back up, we looked over at Two Bowl. No one was skiing it. Dean said "Do you think we ought to give it a try?" I said "Sure, why not?"
We made a trip down Two Bowl, and the snow was wonderful! It had softened to a nice, spring cornlike texture - perfect for hero turns. Dean and I got to the bottom, took one look at each other and said "We gotta do that again!"
|Nice soft corn snow|
So back up we went! Dean and I made a couple runs down Two Bowl, and then tried the other bowls off of Express. All of them had awesome snow. After three runs, we began to notice other people on Two Bowl. After another run, there were lots of skiers heading down. Word had gotten out!
|The Meadows cookie man - my favorite guy!|
My favorite employee at Mt. Hood Meadows is the cookie man. He usually hangs out around the lift on busy weekend afternoons, throwing cookies to the people in line. Cookie man was on duty that afternoon passing out his sweet treats. Dean and I made two trips through the line before we were lucky enough to each snag a cookie.
|Colorful banners brighten the slopes|
After at least half a dozen trips down the bowls, Dean was getting tired. The snow was so good, we both hated to quit, but our legs were giving us stern lectures. So we made one final run down Four Bowl, our very favorite run.
The day began slow, but ended up great. The snow held up wonderfully, and for once didn't turn to mush in the afternoon. I guess if I can't have powder, a warm spring day is the next best thing. Gotta love that "Juneuary" corn!