To ski Mt Hood, it's all uphill from Timberline Lodge!
|Amazing sunrise over Mt Hood|
|Hood peeping out of the clouds|
Due to COVID, this year Timberline ski area limited crowds by closing their parking lots once they were full. Rumor had it the lots filled fast on weekends, so I made Catherine get up extremely early and leave town at the ungodly hour of 5 am. But the reward for our pre-dawn departure was witnessing an amazing sunrise over Mt Hood.
|Illuminated cloud over Mt Hood|
We arrived at Timberline so early we got a primo parking spot just steps from the day lodge. Unfortunately, we also learned the hard way that the day lodge (where the bathrooms were located) didn't open until 7:30. It was a long hour wait........
|Timberline Lodge covered in snow|
|More white trees|
For those who don't ski, uphill (aka backcountry) skiing has become wildly popular over the last few years. Skiers attach pieces of heavy material to the underside of skis. This material called "climbing skins" provides enough traction to enable uphill travel without sliding backwards.
|Catherine trudging uphill|
|Admiring the view|
|Timberline Lodge seems sooo small now!|
A few photos may have been taken by yours truly.......
I like to get creative with my selfies, and to get the above photo, I placed my camera on the ground, set the timer and then shuffled towards it. I programmed my camera to take 5 shots, so it was fun to see the progressive images.
|Lots of uphill skiers today|
|Step aside for the snowcat!|
|Catherine poses with Mt Jefferson|
Although we'd originally planned to skin all the way up to the top of the Palmer, Timberline's highest lift, icy snow conditions made us reconsider. That and Catherine was having traction problems. Her narrow climbing skins didn't cover the entire ski bottom causing her to slip a bit.
|Ice covered Silcox Hut|
So our plans changed - we decided to turn around at the top of the Magic Mile lift, about one mile and 1000 feet up from Timberline Lodge. I deemed this far enough for a first-timer.
|Snowcat transporting people from the Silcox Hut|
At the same elevation as the top of the Magic Mile is a small building called the Silcox Hut. A rustic lodge built in 1939 by the WPA, this building originally housed the Magic Mile Chairlift's upper bullwheel. This building was also intended as a warming hut and starting point for climbers. After the Magic Mile chairlift was relocated in 1962, the lodge became abandoned and fell into disrepair. Silcox Hut was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 and an organization created to restore the lodge. Present day it is rented out as an overnight facility to groups of up to 24 people and also used for day use activities such as weddings.
|Roof of Silcox Hut coated in ice|
|Magic Mile and Palmer Lift houses|
|Ice encrusted Palmer ski lift|
|Catherine smiles as she removes her climbing skins|
|The ski down over a bumpy cat track|