|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.
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|
And.....yahoo! Reaping those turns we'd earned.
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.