Saturday, February 15, 2014

Palmer Revisited

Okay, bouncing back to another mid-January trip up the Palmer.  This time, my buddy Young joined me for the journey.

Good morning, Mt. Hood!

Once again, our day dawned clear, sunny and warm.  The entire month of January saw the same above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation that has plagued the West coast. 

Mystery building along the climber's trail

It made for a lovely blue-sky day.  The views along the climber's trail to the top of the Palmer Lift are so nice, I didn't mind today's lack of winter weather.

Heading out of the forest

We started at Timberline Lodge, and followed the climber's trail through a short, forested section. 

Checking out a snowman

And passed by the resident snowman, looking a little disheveled from the relentless bright sun.

Skiing buddy selfie

Then Young and I left the forest for wide open slopes beside the Magic Mile's ski trails.

Looking down on the adjacent hills

The views were grand indeed.  Looking to the west you could see rumpled foothills speckled by Ski Bowl's white trails.

A long ways to go

But my friend and I had 2.5 miles and 2500 feet of climbing ahead of us.  And from our position far below the Magic Mile lift, it looked like a long, long way.

Pretty skis

But we did take time for a few breaks, to have a quick snack, gape at the scenery or admire our pretty skis.

Great views behind

And while toiling up the steepest portions of the trail, I remembered to look behind once and awhile.

Climber heading down

By mid-morning we began to see a few mountain climbers trudging down the trail.  They all looked tired.  In order to summit Mt. Hood, one must start at midnight and climb through the early morning hours.  The cold nighttime temperatures guarantee that the ice will be firm - you don't want ice collapsing and falling.  One climber had a novel way to transport his gear down - he loaded it on a plastic sled.

Hood is getting closer

There were lots of other backcountry skiers gliding uphill.  And we got passed by them all.  Sigh....made me feel like an out-of-shape old woman.

Panorama from Palmer's terminus

But, after a very long climb up the steep upper slopes of the Palmer, the top lift terminal came into view.  It was a sight for sore eyes (and legs!). 

Lunch behind a rock

It was very windy on top, so Young and I found a large rock to duck behind.  We broke out the sandwiches and tea and enjoyed the view we'd worked so hard to attain.

Young naps in the sunshine

Our bellies full, my friend and I laid back and relaxed in the sunshine.

Time to take off the skins

Then it was time for the best part.  Taking off our climbing skins and preparing for the trip back downhill.  Skins off, helmets on, boots locked in "ski" mode, and warm coats and gloves donned.

Enjoying our downhill reward!  Reaping those turns we'd earned.

Timberline Lodge

It was a sweet trip down, but way too short.  It didn't take long until Timberline Lodge came into view.

I've included a short video showing a small portion of our ski down.  Enjoy!

As always, it was great to be outside on a sunny winter's day.

Sharing with:  Weekly Top Shot.


  1. Looking at your beautiful photos makes me want to blow the dust off my camera and start photographing again.

  2. You're a true inspiration.. you take on huge challenges and conquer them all. Way to go, Linda!
    And your photos are wonderful!

  3. Yoy have more snow than the Sochi Winter Olympics

  4. Wow, that was a nice climb up..The views are fantastic. I believe hubby and I have visited the lodge during our July trip 2 years ago. Beautiful photos. Have a happy day and week ahead!

  5. The video is perfect and the images too. I don't ski, but you sure make it look interesting and inviting.

    Mersad Donko Photography

  6. Nothing quite like the outdoors on a warm, sunny day!

  7. I enjoyed your trek, Linda - and I didn't even get out of breath on the climb!

  8. Thanks for sharing your trip to Mt. Hood and your lovely photos. You are in better shape than I am. Is Palmer part of the mountain, not sure what it is. Glad you were able to get out and enjoy yourself on the slopes with your friend. Lovely colorful skiis indeed. We just got back from a walk in the wind this evening! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  9. "Out-of-shape old woman" Ha! -You rock, Linda!!!
    Great photos & gorgeous excursion, as always. Love seeing you & Young having fun in the sun!

  10. What a gorgeous place and love the view of mt hood! Your selfie with your friend is so cute !

  11. Wow! Looks the Winter Olympics on your blog ~ great photos and fun time ~ thanks,

    carol and artmusedog

  12. What gorgeous blue skies! And I love your skis - they are very pretty!

  13. Nothing could be better than these gorgeous mountain shots. Are you finally getting enough snow for your new skis to be broken in!

  14. I don't remember my skis, some zillion years ago, ever being that pretty Linda! LOVE, as always, all your beautiful mountain photos--especially under that blue, blue sky.
    PS: Love that 'resident' snowman!

  15. You climb UPhill on skis? You are one crazy lady..but I like crazy. You need a GoPro camera, it would be great for your skiing. I'm resolving to use mine this year, I neglected it last year.

  16. Nice series- can't believe that long climb

  17. Old woman? You must be in extraordinary shape Linda -- thanks for taking us along. :)

  18. What a beautiful winter landscape...the sky such a brilliant blue

  19. That looks amazing, but I'll take the lift!

  20. Absolutely great pictures. I haven't seen snow this year, what a pity!


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