Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Girl's Day Out

Last Friday my friend Kim and I both had the day off.  Kim's friend Tamie was also free.  Kim and Tamie's kids had a teacher work day.  There was just one thing to do.  Head to the mountain!  Time for a girl's day out.

Kim and Tamie ridin' the lift

When we got up to the mountain, Kim and Tamie's boys instantly ditched their mothers and headed for the parks.  That was just fine with us girls.  Woo-hoo, no kids!  Time for the ladies to have some fun.

Aftermath of the avalanche in Heather Canyon

Mt. Hood had received another dumping of snow over the past few days. However, the thick coating of heavy snow created another problem.  Early Thursday morning, a large slab of snow sheared off the side of Mt. Hood and roared down the Clark side of Heather Canyon.  The avalanche deposited debris past the bottom terminal of the Heather lift.  Luckily, this event occurred very early in the morning, before Meadows was open, so there were no skiers in the canyon. 

Spectators checking out the avalanche

Of course we had to ski over to the side of Heather Canyon to check it out. We, along with lots of other lookie-loos, peered over the edge of the canyon.  The slide was quite impressive!  I attempted to take some photos, but was quite far away, and it was hard to capture the magnitude of such an event. 

Kim and Tamie waiting for me to finish taking photos

Obviously, Heather Canyon was closed indefinitely. We were told it was quite a big mess down near the Heather lift loading area. This slide was even bigger than the one that occurred a year ago, in January 2010. The Mt. Hood Meadows blog has some great photos and information on the slide. If you're interested check it out:

Kim skin' down Stadium Run

After checking out the slide, we did a couple runs on Shooting Star.  Then I took the girls down the Stadium run, which was perfectly groomed and hardly touched.  Niiice!

Kim poses with the unknown celebrity skier

Tamie likes to cover up when she skis.  I think her motto is: "leave no skin exposed."  She didn't even pull her face mask down for some photos.  So I think this is Tamie in the photo above, but since she can't be identified, I can't be sure.  Kim wanted to tell everyone we were skiing with someone famous (Cheryl Ladd??).

Attempted group self-portrait

I tried to get a photo of our group, but I'm no good at self-portraits, especially if there is more than one person!  It's really hard to hold a camera and fit three people (including the photographer) in the viewfinder.  I had some pretty funny attempts, but this one turned out the best.  And, yes, we think the person in the red coat is Tamie (but she just might be Julia Roberts).

Girlfriends and ski buddies

We got hungry around 11:30, so headed in for an early lunch.  Since the boys wanted nothing to do with us old mommies, we decided to eat in the nice restaurant.  We had a great (and expensive) lunch.  I ate way too much food, and it was hard to motivate myself to get back out on the slopes.

Sharing chocolate and laughs with Meryl Streep

We eventually waddled back out to our skis and headed up the lift.  But all three of us were dragging.  I don't know if it was the toll of this morning's exertions, or the lunchtime indulgence, but we girls had no energy.  After a couple of runs, Kim said she needed some sugar or caffeine (or both!).  Luckily, Meadows has a mid-mountain snack hut called the Mazot.  We skied down to the Mazot to get us some energy.

Chillin' at the Mazot with Kim and Jennifer Annison

All three of us got some form of chocolate goodie.  Kim got a snickers bar, I got a brownie, and Tamie got a cup of hot chocolate.  We pulled up some chairs outside of the Mazot, enjoyed our treats, listened to some music and did a little bit of people-watching.  One man, who looked like he'd had entirely too much to drink, came up to me and asked if I'd help him out by fastening his helmet chin-strap.  He looked so pathetic I felt sorry for him, so I did as he asked.  As the drunk man skied away, cup of wine in hand, we girls agreed to stay far away if we saw him on the slopes.

Mt. Hood sighting

After a cloudy morning, we were rewarded with a sunny, blue-sky afternoon.  We got some beautiful views of the mountain while we skied.  I took this final photo of Hood from the parking lot.  In this image, you can see the fracture line where the avalanche started.  Look just to the left from the top of the chairlift, and you'll see a circular shape in the snow on the side of Mt. Hood. That's where it all began.  Looks awfully impressive when compared with the size of the mountain!  It was quite humbling to see the aftermath of such a large act of nature.  All I can say is, even when Heather Canyon is reopened, I don't know if I'll be skiing in there anytime soon!

Nice to have a day to ski with the girlfriends.  Kim and Tamie, it was great fun (at least I think it was Tamie I skied with......but it could've been Angelina Jolie!)


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