|Blue sky and white snow|
By mid-January, Mt Hood Meadows, my local ski hill, was reporting a scant 36" base. Usually logging at least 8-10 ski days by then, my season pass had only been used twice. It's hard to get pumped for skiing when you know it's gonna be an icy, rock-dodging experience.
However my friends Kim and Hollie wanted to check things out one mid-January Sunday, so I decided to join them. The weather was supposed to be a sunny and warm, so at least we wouldn't be freezing our butts off. What the heck, I thought, might as well go skiing.
|The mountain is busy|
I spent the first part of the day on the bunny slope, getting Hollie's confidence back. Hollie only started skiing two years ago, and although she's doing great, it's hard for her to leave the security of the beginner area. But today Kim and I decided it was time to try a more difficult run. Sometimes folks just need a little push.
|Distant Cascade peaks|
So we took Hollie up to the top of the Vista chairlift. Although the trails here are also green (beginner) runs, they're all much longer than anything on the bunny hill.
|Kim giving Hollie instruction|
Thus began a long, slow descent back to the lodge. We made frequent stops so Hollie could rest. Since Hollie is still a slow skier, Kim and I followed close behind, trying to thwart any fast snow-rider that might get too close (kind of like bodyguards!). While resting on the side of a slope, we did witness one collision between a man and woman. Although scary, luckily neither person was hurt.
|Hollie is a trooper!|
Hollie was a trooper! Even when she fell (which wasn't often) she calmly picked herself up - no tears or swearing. She was making some great turns, and staying in control. The final slope to the lodge was a slightly steeper pitch. Kim and I were worried about Hollie making it in one piece, but she pointed her skis straight downhill and went for it! And didn't fall once. Yahoo!
|Traverse to Outer Limits (see all the rocks?)|
After the long trip down from Vista, Hollie was tuckered out. She and Kim went inside for lunch. But I wasn't ready for a break yet. Bright morning sunlight had softened the snow to a wonderful consistency. Time to rip it up!
|Smilin' ski buddies|
And that's exactly what I did. Cascade, the highest lift on the mountain, was turning and I made endless laps down it's wide-open slopes. When finished with her lunch, Kim joined me in the fun.
|Kim in action|
We traveled all over the resort - finding lots of lovely soft snow stashes. Even the moguls were fun to slide over. I had such a good time, I nearly forgot about the skimpy snowpack (that is, until I accidentally slid over a few hidden rocks.....good thing I had my "rock skis")
|Cool cloud over Mt Hood|
It turned out to be a great day of skiing after all. I'd lowered my expectations so much that it was a happy surprise to encounter sunny, blue skies and totally carveable snow.
The moral of my story? Even if the snow is less than stellar, you might as well ski anyway. After all, a bad day skiing is still better than the best day at work! :)