|Another bluebird day!|
Sunday of MLK weekend was another warm, sunny bluebird day. Good views of Mt. Hood could be found almost anywhere on the slopes of Mt. Hood Meadows.
|Kim and Denise are ready to go|
My ski-buddy Kim came along, and the three of us headed for the lift to check out the snow.
|Ski buddies on the lift|
Although the inversion was still firmly in place, and the weather above freezing the past week, snow coverage wasn't too bad. The grooming crew had done a fine job covering up hazards on most of the trails.
|Chasing our shadow|
An endless supply of solar energy meant many opportunities for shadow photos. Gotta do something while riding a slow chairlift!
|I catch a photo of my daughter in action|
Since none of my friends snowboard, I don't know a lot about the sport. Spending the day with my daughter opened my eyes to some of the challenges boarders face.
|Kim taking a break against a lovely backdrop|
Such as stopping and starting. Every time we stopped, Denise would sit down in the snow. With both feet strapped onto her board, she wasn't able to balance herself very well in a standing position, so it was easier to just sit down. (Denise is still an intermediate, and I think more experienced boarders are able to do this).
|A passing cloud hides Mt. Hood|
I was using my telemark skis that day. Making tele turns is quite a workout on my quads, so I take frequent breaks. This was counterproductive for Denise - she'd just as soon slide all the way to the bottom without stopping. A few times, when I stopped, Denise decided to keep on going to avoid having to get up and down so much. No worries - we all met up in the lift line.
|Practicing my tele turns (photo by Grant Myrdal Photography)|
The other problems snowboarders face is propelling themselves through flat or uphill spots. Since both feet are strapped to one board, it's very hard to move when you run out of momentum. Skiers with both feet free, can skate, which works well to glide up hills and through flat areas. But boarders either hop, or have to pop one foot out of their binding and push themselves along. For that reason, we tried to avoid flat areas.
|The mountain came out again|
But there was one run off the Shooting Star lift that required riders traverse a short uphill segment. Poor Denise! The first attempt she ran out of speed, and ended up on her back. The second, she made it up the slope - just barely! The third was another undershot of the hill and a fall.
|Denise gathers speed to make it up an incline|
I have to say Denise was in good spirits through it all and never complained - even when she took a few bad tumbles. I'm sure it's not easy being the lone snowboarder in a group of skiers (older skiers at that!) and having to put up with all our stops, starts, and uphill treks.
|Mother and daughter on the slopes|
I was impressed with Denise's snowboarding abilities. She only took up the sport a couple of years ago, but kept up with me just fine. I've heard snowboarding is easy to learn, and once you have the basics down, people's skills progress more rapidly than skiing.
It does look like fun. I've seen boarders rip through deep powder or soft crud with no problems. But I think it's way too late for me to take up yet another snow sport. It took me long enough to learn how to ski! And I don't think my knees or butt could take a bunch of falls while I'm learning.
|Basking in the glorious sunshine|
So I'll leave the snowboarding to Denise. I had a great time watching her gracefully zip down the slopes. By the end of the day, I had a new-found respect for snowboarders.
It was wonderful to spend the day with my daughter, sharing the sport that I love.