IX. Mt. Hood
After the caves, we headed to the Timberline lot, which, surprisingly, was quite a scene. The car two over from where we were parked had a “Outdoor Gear Exchange” and “Long Trail Ales” stickers on it, two Vermont institutions that aren’t far from my house. It turned out that the car belonged to a former Jeffersonville native who’d skied a lot of the same places I had back home. It was a pretty fun coincidence.
– On the approach.
– I can’t speak to the legality of paragliding off Mt. Hood, but I will say it looked really badass.
– Wow, what rugged features! Oh, and look, a mountain too!
– Kyle, carbo-loading, and manning the yard sale.
We got up at 430 the next day, and were hiking by 530. Kyle wasn’t feeling well, so he stopped shy of the hogs-back. I reached the hogs back at around 930-10, and topped out at 10:30. On the way up, I was constantly getting questions about the skis. It was as if people had never seen them past the hog’s-back before. Frankly it struck me as a little strange; some of the best racers and freestylers in the world were skiing down below on the lifts, yet it was totally inconceivable to many of the people higher on the route that someone would try and ski off the summit.
Anyway, I topped out, took pictures, enjoyed the view for a few minutes. I then clicked in, cranked up on the Dynafits, and skated over to the pearly gates. The first turns involved dropping in on a rime covered, ski-length wide chute. I threw a few jump turns down it before letting it run out on to the upper snowfields where I had to take a break to catch my breath. I had a short conversation with a 20-something guy, who was guiding is 65 year old father up his first real mountain. After catching my breath, I headed skiers right, to the steepest pitch on the south side of the mountain, and laid some awesome-feeling turns down on the steep, exposed, corn. Aside from the powder day by Rainier, they were the best turns of the entire trip.
I met up with Kyle down where I’d left him, and we skied the remaining 3000 feet of corn back to the car together. On the way back north, we brought our dirty selves to a great little greasy spoon place and gorged ourselves on greasy burgers yet again.
– Kyle, feeling the burn on the early morning frozen corn.
– Weird snow.
– Bachelor to the south, and a contrail casting a shadow over the whole landscape.
– Hogsback denizens.
– The remainder of the climb.
– I thought that Tuckermans had prepared me well for witnessing sketchy beheivor in the mountains, until I saw this. I still have no idea what was going on here.
– Looking back over the Hogsback, down onto the ant farm below.
– Almost there, my knees were hurting pretty damn bad by this point.
– No complaints about the view.
– Next time, I’ll be coming up the north side. It’s way steeper, and much less of a shit-show.
– Checking out the way down.
– Some of the best turns of the trip. (upper right)
– Your author.
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