Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Shrapling in Oregon

I grew up a skier. My mom would take us to Tahoe twice a year – once in the summer and once in the winter. I learned how to ski on the beautiful vistas of the Sierras. Around 16, I decided it was a good idea to try snowboarding. It seemed really cool and I thought I would give it a shot. I was awful - spending all day on your ass isn’t any fun. So a few winters ago I went back to skiing. And haven’t looked back.

This past weekend, a small crew of us hit the slopes that Oregon’s Mt Hood had to offer.

Mt. Hood in all its glory

Six of us drove down from Seattle and our beloved friends from Eugene drove up. We wasted no time, and hit the mountain on Friday night when we arrived. We tried to go to Ski Bowl but it turned out the lifts were closed. We headed over to Meadows instead. It wasn’t a great night for skiing, slushy rain typically of the Northwest, but we had a good time teaching Stacy to ski.

Meadows at night

There was one hiccup, we got separated during our last run and Orange lost a ski somewhere along the way and couldn’t get it back on. As the mountain was shutting down, we sent ski patrol after her to make sure she didn’t have to spend the night up there. She got her ski back on right as they found her.

Orange, looking like the bad ass ski bunny she is

We feasted on Philly cheese steaks as our other guests arrived from Seattle. The next morning we hit the mountain, early but not too early, and checked out Timberline.

Stacy, Orange, Kenz and Eric at Timberline

I was impressed with Timberline – it’s high up on Mt. Hood with gorgeous views that reminded me of Tahoe. The runs were long and not crowded - no waiting in most of the lift lines, even on a gorgeous Saturday.

J. at the top of the hill

We skied most of the day but J. and I were feeling pretty tired from our last night skiing.

Me and J. - beat but happy

So we called it quits just after 4 and waited to meet the others in the legendary Timberline Lodge, you may recognize it from a little movie called The Shining.

Here's Johnny!

I have to tell you, there are few things better than a well earned beer after a long day skiing.

Mt. Hood IPA - Ah-mazing

Except maybe this hot chocolate.

As our group trickled in from the slopes, we realized that two of our least experience skiers were running a little late. Their significant others were worried that they had taken a route that was closed because it wasn’t lit for night skiing. So once again we made friends with Ski Patrol. But as it turned out, they were just getting one last run on the day – guess these girls have got the bug.

View of the summit from the lodge
There were beers and shots to celebrate. Most of us were beat and decided to head back to the cabin and get dinner started, two brave souls, Ray and Bryan shut down the mountain.

Bryan, Eric and J. celebrating a long day on the mountain

Ray ready to go back out there

The next day we attempted to go tubing but were once again thwarted by the low snow levels. So it was off to Mt. Hood Brewery to watch part of the US v Canada gold medal game hockey game. Then we said goodbye to a fraction of the group who had to go back to work the next day. The rest of us headed back to the mountain for one last evening skiing trip at Meadows. We managed to get Stacy down a few blue runs without breaking any bones. It was a beautiful night for skiing and while my legs were tired it was nice to have the mountain all to ourselves. And we managed not to call ski patrol.

Orange and Stacy

It was sad to pack up the car the next day and return the rented skis.

There are few things that I love more than being at the top of the mountain peering out at the peaks, pushing off and hearing the snow scrape against my skis. Thanks to all for the lovely and relaxing weekend.

Violet in Keen snow boots

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