Most winters people look forward to Groundhog Day. By February everyone is tired of cold weather. The hope is that the little critter won't see his shadow and we'll have an early spring .
|Lots of shadows today|
But this year we really haven't had winter yet. So I was perfectly fine when Feb. 2nd dawned clear and sunny. Bring on six more weeks of winter! Mt. Hood could use it!
|Heather Canyon was finally open!|
A sunny day makes for a great ski day. Almost as good as a powder day. (You know the Linda saying: "If you can't have fresh powder, sunshine is the next best thing!") And after two crummy Thursdays in a row, we were due.
|See the mountain?|
On this particular day, I teamed up with my friend Glen. This was the first time we'd skied together this year, and it was great to make some turns with him and catch up.
|Dorky chairlift photo (I'm the dorky one!)|
After weeks of not enough snow, Heather Canyon was finally open. Of course, Glen and I had to go check it out. The top slopes had varying conditions. The snow alternated between wind pack and nice powder stashes. We found a small ribbon of pow hidden between some stiff snowy ridges and had a great ride to the bottom.
|Doesn't Glen look like a pro skier?|
Around mid-day, the temps and sunshine combined to make almost every slope ski-able. Even the ungroomed stuff became nice soft corn snow. Yahoo!
|Glen demonstrates his skiing skills|
Glen and I traveled around the different lifts and slopes of Meadows, trying our best to hit the highlights. I love days when the snow is good everywhere. Opens up a lot of terrain. The only problem is, you never have enough time to ski everything!
|Two Bowl photo for Kim|
Glen was trying out his new iphone and sent a photo of us to my friend Kim, stuck back at work (yes, I know, how mean!) Kim texted us back a "hello" and told us to "ski Two Bowl for me." So after lunch, that's exactly what we did. And to let Kim know we'd complied with her request, Glen sent back a photo of us under the trail sign.
|Mt. Hood hairstyle|
By afternoon, increasing winds caused some interesting lenticular clouds to form around the top of Hood.
|Cool lenticular cloud|
The shape of the cloud changed throughout the afternoon. It was very cool to watch. You never knew what mood the mountain would be in. I particularly liked this view and tried to capture a decent photo. But two snowboarders plopped themselves right in the way, and wouldn't move. So I took my shot anyway. Now one of these folks will have a photo of their butt on my blog. (That's what they get for not moving!)
|Hood decides to show herself|
Near the end of the day, Glen and I took a final ride up the Cascade lift to the highest trails at Meadows. The clouds temporarily cleared from Hood's summit, and we were treated to a brief glimpse of the mountain.
On the way down from Cascade, Glen spotted the aftermath of a small avalanche. Of course, we had to ski over and check it out.
|Looking up the slope from where it came|
It looked as though the ski patrol had bombed a small cornice to keep it from coming down on the skiers. It was quite a large area of hard, chunky snow. Wouldn't want to get caught in that. Thank you Mt. Hood ski patrol!
|Take that, groundhog!|
As we shushed down our last run, Glen and both agreed it had been a stellar day. Although the sunshine was nice, I do hope more snow is coming. The way this winter's been going, I don't want six more weeks of skimpy snow. I'm crossing my fingers that ol' Mr. Groundhog is right and we'll see a return of winter!