Monday, February 16, 2015

Winter is hiding in Oregon.

There is a place, where I went once before. When we skiied into that place it looked like this:

Last week, I skiied into that place again and it looked like this:

I know... right, what is with that?

And if that wasn't enough it was raining, which made Kala make this expression - which pretty much summed up how I felt about it too.

Chuck put on a brave face for the camera, but everyone knows he's really thinking the same thing as Kala.


Once we had dragged our soggy asses into Big Sheep, dried them out a bit, built a bridge across the ice-pond, and generally steeled ourselves for action, we headed out into the apocalyptic blizzard once more (exaggeration may  be present).

It was not this:

Chris, exploding some snorkel-worthy pow (if you breathe through your knees) in 2013
But it was this:

Chris, stirring up something that would make a refreshing drink if you poured fruit syrup over it in 2015
Given the almost complete absence of winter here on the coast, I'm not going to complain about snow, whether or not it would make a nice slurpee. I'm also not going to complain about spending the evening in a nice warm yurt, with great people, eating great food - that would be difficult. It was great to get acquainted with our new ski-friends and re-acquainted with the camp, including the fun of the "gimbal-handle saucepan" and the box of vintage Couloir magazines.

Day two arrived like a giant fiery orb peeking above the horizon and showering us with life-giving radiation. Actually, it was a bit cloudy and still snowing - but that doesn't sound so dramatic. The absence of solar radiation and more snow with lower temperatures overnight meant for some pretty agreeable skiing on south-facing slopes.

Kala, having decided to stop living the dream and attach her heels to her skis last year, still seems to be having fun. Personally, I don't understand it at all.

Chris, doing what he does - making the snow come off the ground
Over the next few days, the fiery orb made more and more strident appearances. The south-facing slopes got roasted so we made for the trees like a collection of woodland sprites - but bigger and with skis.

Chuck, adding the tree to his ski.

Some idiot with his heels not tied down properly - I was actually one of three nostalgic flappy-heel fools on this trip, a rare treat these days.
Inevitably, the big fiery-sky thing got so friendly with us that the long dark patches appeared on the ground. Trust me, it was awful.


There was nothing for it but to keep skiing up, and down, and up, and down... like Sisyphus, but more awesome (and with skis).

Chuck attempted to escape by fooling gravity. It worked for a while, but that gravity is tricky stuff.
By the end of it all, there was noting for it but to stand on top of things and look mountainous for the camera.

You've no idea how long it took for Chris and I to co-ordinate our outfits for this picture. 
Atop "Lesser Mt Nebo". Front row: Chris, Dr P, Horton, Kala, and Chuck.
And that's about all I have to say about that, except thanks to those above for the food, photos, and fun times.

For the record, here are photos from Dr PKalaChuck (that one  might not work if you're not me - but as this is really all about me, that seems ok), and Me.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Follow me follow, down to the Wallow(as)

There need to be some words here to explain things, but for now... here are some pictures.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Marriott Basin - home of THE RAD HOLE

Gadzooks, it finally snowed. It didn't snow very much, but at this point I'll take what I can get. 

An intrepid crew of eight passed through the mystical snow-portal of Pemberton, pausing only to eat chili, brink beer, and sleep for quite a long time. Two of the adventurers were missing at this point, but the were with us in spirit, and on the phone. The plucky band braved the not-too-early start and excellent road conditions to reach the hallowed wilderness entry known only as "the pullout opposite the snow shed". The crew (still missing two at this point) strode forth into the mild temperatures and sunshine. Along the way they made elaborate signs to beckon their missing compatriots forward along the true path. This turned out to be entirely ineffective - but never mind. 

After a fair bit of striding forth, the mysterious and fragrant edifice of the Wendy Thompson Hut loomed over the horizon - or a pile of snow at least. The partial gang awaited the arrival of their missing members, and avoided intoxication by the heady vapors of the hut by doing some things outside. One of these things turned out to be most excellent.

The first thing was walking up a small hillock, which wasn't all that really.
This second thing was borne from necessity, but rose to become something truly radical which the happy band had never dared to dream of before. I am speaking of the creation of the world's first RAD HOLE.

Yes! It's a hole for filling buckets... but it's RAD.

You can't even imagine how exciting this was - seriously, you should have been there.
During the excavation of the RAD HOLE, the eight were united, and drank some beer to celebrate. Then we played Frisbee before dinner time and the evening descended into playing Cards Against Humanity, which is best left un-described.

Seven of eight - because I took the picture.
It's amazing what 10cm of snow on top of horrible re-frozen crust can do. A couple of laps above the hut and the ski out were my first real skiing of the season. Hopefully there's more where that came from...