Thursday, May 14, 2015

End of the Season

It's time to play catch-up!  Hopelessly behind in posting stuff, I'm gonna start from the oldest and try to work my way up to the newest adventures from this wild and wonderful spring.

So this post is a month old - it's from a bluebird day in mid-April, when my best ski buddy Kim and I headed to Mt. Hood Meadows for our last day of the 2014-15 ski season.

Bluebird day!

It's been a tough winter for those of us who love sliding on snow.  Aside from some huge storms in late December, Mother Nature's been mighty stingy with the white stuff.  Many ski areas around the PNW were forced to close early, while some didn't open at all.

Mt Hood encircled with clouds

Lucky for me, Mt. Hood Meadows, the resort where I always buy my season pass, stayed open until mid-April.  Although the lower runs were nearly bare by then, it's upper reaches still had adequate cover.

Kim strikes a skiers pose

Sunny skies greeted Kim and I as we pulled into the parking lot that morning.  Jazzed by the nice weather, we clicked into our skis and headed up the lift.

Ridin' up the Cascade Lift

Looking for the best conditions, we headed straight for the Cascade chair, which quickly zipped us to Meadows' highest runs.

Dramatic clouds

Warm temps had already softened the snow.  It was a dream to ski through.  We did a lap downhill and eagerly rode back up for more.

Ski buddy photo op

My foot finally healed from bunion surgery, it was wonderful to race down the slopes again.  From those first tentative turns on MLK Day, I smiled thinking how far I'd come.

Above the cloud layer

The ski area's very top, gave us a bird's-eye view of the world below.  A world that was shrouded by heavy clouds.  Made for some awesomely dramatic photo ops.

And of course I had my GoPro.  One last chance to capture those magical skiing moments!

Heading down the Cascade main run, I was filming away, when I noticed a huge puff of snow off to my left.  For a split second I wondered what it was, and then shrugged and kept going.  When I reached the bottom, Kim caught up to me and said "Did you see the snowboarder that almost took you out?  Hope you got it on tape!"  She'd been skiing behind me and witnessed the entire thing.  Reviewing the footage later that night, sure enough, you can see a snowboarder heading straight for me, and wiping out at the last moment to avoid a collision.  Whew! 

You can check out my near-miss in the above clip.  (It's about 56 seconds into the video)

Kim admires her tracks

Saved from an accident, Kim and I continued to make laps off the Cascade.  With only a couple lifts running, and the best snow up high, everyone was crammed into the half dozen open runs.  Which quickly became crowded. 

Top of the Cascade

So we took a run down Outer Limits, a trail providing lovely views of the nearby mountains. 
Mt. Jefferson obliged by poking it's top above the thick cloud bank. 

Mt. Jefferson rises above the clouds

We passed by some areas where the snow had melted all the way down to it's rocky soil.  A sad a normal year, this area would still be under several feet of snow.

The snow was mighty skimpy in some places

Around late morning, Kim and I took a quick bathroom and coffee break.  Imagine our surprise when half an hour later, we emerged from the lodge into a totally different world.  Thick flog cloaked the slopes, reducing visibility to nil. 

Find the skiers

Not wanting to quit yet, Kim and I were determined to make a go of it anyway.  Heading back up the Cascade Lift transported us into a world of white.  We could barely see a foot in front of us, let alone any of the other skiers.  "Skiing by Braille" was not our idea of fun.  We both decided it was time to throw in the towel.  Besides, burgers and beer in nearby Hood River were calling our names.

A perfect last day!

Thus ends another ski season.....Although short, with trying conditions, I'm glad I was at least able to log a few days on snow this year.

I posted this great chairlift shot of Kim and I on my Instagram account.  It perfectly captures the joy we felt on this glorious final day of the 2015 season.

Happiness is ...... a sunny spring day on the slopes with your best ski buddy.


  1. Hoping that we get a LOT more snow next ski season! Wow--that was a near miss...
    Blessings, Aimee
    PS: Glad to hear you healed up nicely!

  2. Hello Linda, awesome photos from your last day of skiing. I am so glad that snowboarder missed you, that was close. The scenery is just stunning. Have a happy Friday and week ahead!

  3. Very nice series - it's pretty there, though I'm glad our snow is finally gone.

  4. I'm not a skier, but I sure do love those beautiful mountains! Your comment about burgers and beer in Mt Hood reminded me of one of my favorite breweries up there: Double Mountain. Great brews and excellent thin crust pizza!

  5. I'm glad your foot was healed enough so you got to ski this season. Now, on to the hiking season!

  6. You sure do know how to have a good time, Linda! I loved the pictures and everything except the near miss. :-)

  7. I remember one year in early july standing on the snow near Timberline Lodge wearing my flip-flops. Tom The Backroads Traveller

  8. Those shots of the clouds are just awesome! I know how much you enjoy skiing so I am happy you got one last day in before the snow melted! Good thing the snowboarder wiped himself out or you would have had a different go pro video. :(

  9. The scenery is so spectacular I wouldn't be able to concentrate on what was happening behind me. Glad your foot is back to full strength and hopefully next season you'll have more snow. Expect you'll be back to hiking now.

  10. Linda, At first I thought you'd had a surprise snow storm! I always love your breathtaking photos of the magnificent landscape. Lucky that boarder did the right thing and wiped out! You had him on tape!

  11. Fabulous GoPro footage and a wonderful final day on the slopes. So glad the bunion surgery has healed so well. Aren't friends amazing to have!

  12. Linda, another gorgeous series! So lovely to see all the snow, and I am glad that you are healing well. I have never had a bunion but I have had gout several times. Ouch. Thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous photos!

  13. It's been a very good season in the Scottish resorts for long lasting snow. Fairly short runs compared to Mt Hood though.

  14. Those look like beautiful gentle ski runs to glide down! Great last day on the slopes.

  15. Awesome! I love that you got the snowboarder on camera! That looks like a pretty close call.

  16. What bliss! Blue skies and snow are a magical combination.

  17. So glad the snowboarder stopped before hitting you! It could have been a messy end of the ski season! Let's hope you get more snow NEXT year.

  18. What a fun post! I hope that next winter you have a lot more snow. And if I can find a way to send you ours, I will! :)

  19. I think I skied four times this year. I rely on cross country skiing and snowshoeing as a break from running so much. But not this year. I can tell my body feels much more tired because I've done the same thing all year. I hope we both have a better snow season next year.

  20. What vistas you photographed so well plus had fun skiing ~ MA got all the Snow ! Wish I could have sent you some!

    Happy Weekend to you,
    artmusedog and carol

  21. Looks like a beautiful day for skiing.

  22. Dearest Linda; Wonderful vistas with great photographs♪ Making me wish to try skiing just for once :-)
    Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend in America, xoxo Miyako*

  23. Glad you had such a good final day of the season. The narrow rocky runs look rather like some of our Scottish skiing!

  24. I never tire of seeing photos of Mt. Hood! It may be the end of the season, but the adventures never end with you. Our youngest daughter worked at a ski resort here in UT this year and loved it. Now she is off on a van adventure and then on to Alaska. Oh to be young again? lol!

  25. What a beautiful place - a perfect last day of the season!

  26. how cool you were above the clouds. sorry the fog cut your day short.


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