The monsoon that was the month of March didn't allow for any sunny days. It was rainy dreariness the entire month. The only upside to all the gray, wet weather was that the mountain was getting dump after dump of snow. Hood got three feet in the last week alone. The weather gods answered our prayers a week ago last Friday, and gave us a beautiful sunny day. And - best of all - Kim and I had the day off from work! I'll bet you know where we headed.
|A beautiful sight on a sunny day|
At first we didn't know what to make of that bright, yellow orb in the sky. We almost didn't recognize it. (Oh yeah - that's what the sun looks like!) We had to dig to find our sunglasses, it'd been so long since we used them!
|My rating of the day|
As Kim and I pulled into Mt. Hood Meadows parking lot, we were treated to a wonderful blue sky and bright white snow-covered view of Hood. It was so nice to have a sunny day! I did my happy dance in the parking lot.
|I luv my tele skis|
The morning was clear, but cold. That was just fine with us. We were hoping the temps wouldn't warm up too much and preserve this nice fluffy pow. Please weather gods, no afternoon sticky grabby snow!
|Kim admires the wonderful panorama|
Meadows didn't receive any new snow overnight, so the dump that occurred Wednesday evening was pretty tracked out by Friday. But the snow was still light, fluffy and totally skiable. Kim and I didn't mind - it was new snow, after all. How often do you get to ski dry pow in April?
|The sun glints off my glasses|
The tele-ski gods were with me again today. My tele skills continued to improve. The turns came smooth and easy. Kim and I saw the Stadium run was nicely groomed so we had to go over and try it. Stadium was so good, we had to go for a second run. Trip number two I bombed down faster than I've ever gone on telemark skis. I was so quick, I even surprised Kim!
|Sunny skies and empty slopes|
There weren't a lot of groomed runs that day. I don't know what was up with that - since it's getting towards the end of the season maybe Meadows is getting lazy (and cheap - probably didn't want to pay the grooming crew).
|Killer view from the top of Cascade|
Kim and I peered over the top of one ungroomed run, and found the biggest moguls I've seen in a long time. I told Kim those were "DDD" sized moguls. That comment led to us devising a new mogul rating system, and I'll bet you can guess what we based it on! (I'm sure we're not the first people to think of this)
|Yahoo! I'm skiing!|
We finally ended up at the top of the Cascade lift. The views were great as usual. The wind wasn't as strong as it normally gets. And we soon discovered the best snow on the mountain was up on the Cascade's slopes.
Kim and I enjoyed the soft, powdery snow off of the Cascade. But we did make a few stops along the way to soak in the scenery.
|No Heather today :(|
Sadly, Heather Canyon had another big avalanche a week after the first one. This second slide came close to the bottom of the Heather lift, and almost took the lift out. All the runs off of Heather were closed, probably for the rest of the season.
|Kim heads down Outer Limits|
But there was good snow and nice runs to be had off the Cascade, so Kim and I had a wonderful morning. After lunch, I switched skis (needed to preserve my legs for a training run the next day) which upped my speed and decreased the number of times I had to stop and rest. Kim was getting tired from the morning, so that's not what she wanted. Poor Kim!
|Time for a scenery break|
We spent the rest of the afternoon skiing in the bright sunshine. The snow stayed relatively skiable, but it did get kinda soft. Luckily, the temps never got warm enough to make the snow sticky.
|It doesn't get any better than this!|
It was so nice to finally have a sunny day! I couldn't believe our luck. Not only blue skies, but nice snow to ski on, and a great panorama of views from the top.
|Girlfriends and ski-buddies|
Towards the end of the day we shared the lift ride up with another skier. He was in a good mood, as were most people we met on the chair. We chit chatted a bit about the weather and snow conditons. Then the man commented : "Boy, this has been a perfect day."
We couldn't agree more.