Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Might As Well Ski Anyway....

So far this winter has been a huge disappointment.  Snow has been scarce in the Cascades.  For a die-hard skier like me, the drier-than-usual months of December and January have been nothing but bad news.

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.

Sunglasses weather!

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!  :)


  1. ...beautiful, I've only been there in July!

  2. Fantastic that you were urged to go by your friends. The sky and vistas look magnificent. Congratulations to Hollie for her commitment and today's achievement.

  3. Glad you found enough snow to enjoy. I hope we get more this winter. It's been so unusually mild.
    Great captures. Truly enjoyable post!

  4. Well at least you used your pass again and had a good day with friends. I love that last photo

  5. Gosto bastante destes passeios pela montanha quando está cheia de neve.
    Um abraço e continuação de boa semana.

    Dedais de Francisco e Idalisa
    O prazer dos livros

  6. Hello, sounds like a fun time skiing with your friends. Being outside anywhere is better than being at work. Love the last photo, gorgeous view of the mountain. Have a happy day!

  7. "After all, a bad day skiing is still better than the best day at work! :)"
    My thoughts exactly!

  8. That's a positive way of looking at it! I would happily send you snow from here if I could. We have tons of it this winter!

  9. Worth going just for the views.

  10. Looks a cracking trip. Looking at the snow levels there that would be full winter conditions for our mountains as we rarely get it more that a few feet deep now and it doesn't last long even on the summits as soon as there's a thaw.

  11. Despite the thin snow it looks nice. I'm hoping to get out for the first time this weekend; we've also had a dry winter and I'm saving my five days for this time of year.

  12. There's a 126' base here! We are getting all your snow.

  13. That's nice you skied down with your friend. The lack of snow has been really frightening.

  14. You finally got to go! How wonderful that you two really good skiers and taking their time to help out someone who is just beginning to ski! It is beautiful there!

  15. One of my disappointments moving to Florida...leaving my skis behind. Not a short drive to Ski Apache from Tampa :[

  16. Yes indeed, the same could be said about hiking or many other things...anything is better than work!

  17. I like your attitude! Make the most what life presents you. Great photos as always Linda. I always enjoy going along on your trips.

  18. Beautiful landscapes! Sorry your weather has not cooperated.

  19. So many version of that last sentence! And work never comes out on top!

    Looks like a good day to me!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  20. Well I know for you not having much snow is a bummer but I've been happy with the winter here so far. - It's good you got out and made the best of it anyway.

  21. Our snowpack is also way below normal. Some of the tree wells are still showing and today I scraped some rocks on a mogul run. However, we still go out and get some exercise. I had to smile when you said you followed Hollie to protect her. I do the same with my younger Grands. At least you had a bluebird day to be on the slopes.

  22. Weird weather everywhere - but you got some nice pics anyway

  23. Hollie is fortunate to have you and Kim as skiing buddies watching over her! Colorado's snow pack began weakly but has picked up considerably these past weeks, although below normal. Hopefully next year will be better!

  24. Awesome that the weekday bus is back. What a great mid-week break you will have, the rest of the season!


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