Alright! Not immediately seeing my "Men in Red" skiing companions from the Vancouver bus, I jumped on the lift and enjoyed a couple quick runs before meeting up with the guys.
|Brian models his tutu for me|
But, what's this? Brian was wearing a tutu! A 6 foot 6 inch tall guy with a flouncy blue skirt hanging below his jacket. I asked him if he'd lost a bet or something. Turns out his niece likes tutus and he'd donned the frilly garment just for her.
|Sun breaking out of low clouds|
Now that's a man who's not afraid to get in touch with him feminine side! Of course, we gave Brian a ton of ribbing, but I had to admire his spirit - and courage.
|Skiing down from the very top|
It was fun to watch the other skier's reactions to an extremely tall man in a tutu. One guy just couldn't stop staring as he passed by. Finally Glen called out "yes, it's a tutu!"
|Descending into the clouds|
A sunny, calm day meant the resort's highest lift, the Cascade, was open. My friends and I eagerly packed into a chair for a scenic ride to the top.
|"Let's try this run!"|
Although the day had started out sunny, foggy clouds began to swirl in the valleys below. From the top of the highest lift, it made for some cool views (and photos!)
|The guys admiring clearing skies|
With a group of four, chairlift discussions often centered around which run to try next. When someone proposed a trail of questionable conditions, Glen would laugh and say "How bad can it be?" It got to be such a frequent comment we all started to repeat the phrase. Pretty soon it became an inside joke - and our group's new motto!
|There they go!|
Since this year's skiing photos mostly consisted of my friends standing around, I set my GoPro on "burst" mode to try and capture some action (and prove that, yes, we really do ski!)
|Tutu man in action|
Due to the GoPro's extremely wide angle lens, I learned the hard way that in order to get photos where the skier isn't a tiny dot, your subject must be extremely close. After shooting dozens of images, I finally discovered this by accidentally capturing Brian as he swooshed by.
The day's blue skies and intermittent clouds made for some spectacular scenery. It's weather like this that makes me happy to be outside in winter.
|The view from HRM lift|
When someone suggested we try the trails off the HRM (short for "Hood River Meadows") lift, the group was skeptical. The resort's lowest elevation chairlift, it normally had the worst snow conditions. But we all agreed to give it a try. (After all, how bad can it be??)
|I've never seen the surrounding hills look so good|
Surprisingly, HRM turned out to have the best snow. Not only that, the clear skies and sunshine on nearby snow-dusted hills were absolutely stunning. I never knew HRM could look so good! My friends and I made lap after lap until our legs cried for mercy. Well, that and it was almost happy hour.....
|My "Men in Red" ski buddies|
Another great day on the slopes with my friends! Sunshine, good snow, a little goofiness, and lots of laughs.