Wow, I just got back from the big Mount Hood Ski trip a few hours ago and boy it was so much fun so here is the action through the weekend.
I woke up in the early afternoon, took the day off work, and starting packing up all my gear and organizing the truck for the 4 hour journey to Mount Hood. After getting the truck all packed and situated I headed over to my buddy’s house, who was also my Co-Pilot and Navigator, to load his gear and get down the highway. It wasn’t that simple though to my dismay. First we had to load the truck with Jason and Kate’s gear then go to Pat and Sarah’s place just north of Quest Field in downtown Seattle. Kate jumped in with Pat and Sarah (my truck doesn’t have enough room for 3 people for a long journey) and after messing around with packing (they weren’t ready) and getting some munchies we were off.
Having a half of tank of gas in the truck I thought I would just get gas near Portland to save us sometime. After driving a bit of time I checked how far the truck could travel and to my surprise it was registering of 200+ miles. That was more than enough fuel to get past Portland and maybe to the cabin in Welches, Oregon. As we approached Kelso Washington, Jason and I started to smell burning rubber and not just a little burning, a lot of burning and all of a sudden there was massive smoke and semi trucks, 400 yards in front of us, swerving and and weaving. It was wild and kind of shocking and we expected to see some carnage but as we approached there was nothing, absolutely nothing.
Then I looked in the mirror and at the same time Jason’s cell rang. It was Kate…their vehicle done ran out of gas. How do you do that on a road trip I was thinking. Looking at the gas gage there was just under a half of a tank. The new Chevy didn’t burn hardly any fuel so how was there econo vehicle out? Don’t know but I had to double back after getting fuel and help them out on the side of I-5, see Pat refueling.
Back on our way things went smoothly and we all arrived in Welches around 6pm finding the monster cabin that we were all staying in. It was two floors, under covered parking, 5 bedrooms, hot tub, two bath, and a large living room and fire place for all the antics. The place was off the charts and completely huge and housed 12 of us comfortably. It wasn’t until the the ghost was mentioned that things started to get a tad un-nerving (only when sleeping) and the ghost was mentioned in all the Guest Book entries in the cabin, creepy huh?. After kicking it all night everyone passed out and went to bed to get ready for the early rising…(it snowed 22" the day before our arrival). I slept like garbage since I slept alone down stairs…that cabin made some weird ass noises all night.
Morning came way to soon and at seven in the morning I was awoken, not by the ghost, but by buddies saying "it is time". Rolling my beatin ass out the sack I found the snow gear and suited up. It was a morning full of snow, the cabin had snow all over the grounds, and being light little truck I was happy that Les Schwab had chains for my 20s. Jason and had to chain up long before reaching Meadows but that was cool because we were safe and made it to the resort with ease.
The whole day was filled with skiing waste deep powder, challenging runs, more challenging runs and some nice booters that were trying to hide from me. Being a really large crowd we all sort of did our own thing but mostly it was David, Ryan, Jon, Jason, Dennis, Glenn and I all riding together since we are the most aggressive riders of the group. The days flew by fast and it was really to early to be tired but being the first day on the mountain, in deep powder, are legs were burning and well decided to head on back to the cabin.
The evening was pretty quite and we ate hearty, hamburgers, hotdogs and to many snacks, and played a few games. It was a charades if you can imagine that and let me tell you it is harder than it looks. Have you ever tried to charade a person’s name? Impossible it seemed but after awhile we got the hang of it. After the game we pulled out the tablet PC and projector and watched the footage from the helmet camera. The camera wasn’t angled correctly so the footage was really poor. Now it was late and we hit the sack but this time I got a couch upstairs in a room with others so the ghost didn’t bother me much, still heard creepy noises though.
Last night it was a consensus to go to Ski Bowl and start skiing later in the day so we had enough energy to do some night skiing. The powder at Ski Bowl was a quite a bit wetter than at Meadows because of the altitude but at the higher elevations it was pretty dry. David, Ryan, Jon, Jason and I made our way to the top of the mountain ASAP because we were getting soaked due to the really wet snow. After getting up to the top we decided to take a double black powder run as a warm up. My legs were on fire and I had enough of heavy wet powder to last me a weekend and so did Jon and Jason. Jason went to the lodge because he is a Sally and Jon and I hit the terrain park to work on the air skills.
The park footage came out pretty good and there were some crashes as well from me trying to ride some rails on my sticks and falling upon landing of the booters. With the snow being so wet it made it extremely difficult to get enough to speed to clear the gaps but with a lot of effort I started to get over them but wasn’t land far enough down the landing ramp in my opinion. I am in process of getting the videos on to YouTube for everyone to see.
After the park riding Jon and I met up with David and Ryan for more big mountain riding. We headed to the higher elevations and took some double blacks and it was steep and deep…it rocked because the snow was getting better and it was still coming down like crazy. Ski Bowl was supporting waste deep powder and on everyone it seemed like there were fresh tracks to be made. Our last run of the after consisted of riding the lifts to the top of the mountain and then hiking to the very top of Tom Dick Peak. It was a hard since it was our second of riding and we were tired from the days riding. It was a sweet run and David set his camera up and shot this group photo. We rode the heck out of the run and by the time we hit the trail at the bottom we were due for a monster break in the lodge.
During our break we downloaded all the helmet camera footage and watch the movies on my tablet. The other skiers and snowboarders were looking at us like we were weird but we didn’t care…we were on video. We chilled for about 2 hours and the rest of the group showed up for night skiing. We were tired but when we got out side it had quit snowing and the clouds had lifted to expose the terrain. It looks awesome and it gave us new life.
We started off by skiing the top of the mountain and never quit because the powder was good and I was taking a huge hit at the top. It was a side line off a cliff and my buddies thought I was crazy for thinking about taking the line, little did they know that I am crazy and Goingbigger!
It was crazy fun and all my friends were shouting and cheering. It feels good when that type of stuff happens and when taking a line like that the adrenaline goes shooting through the body giving it a boost of energy and vibrancy. It was by far the biggest air in two seasons so it made me extremely happy to have it caught on video, thanks Chris for letting me borrow it. We skied until 8pm which put our time on the mountain at 10 hours. All my major muscle groups hurt bad, really bad and still hurt, and my ring finger was slightly hurt due to me landing on it on the final jump of the evening.
The whole gang was tired and we did our annual group photo at the base of the mountain before heading back to the cabin for food and relaxation.
We all slept in, somewhat, and then started cleaning the cabin so we could get out in a timely manner. With everyone chipping it doesn’t take long before the cabin was clean, trucks packed and we were down the road to a spot to get some mean breakfast. After filling up on food we all parted ways, like at the end of Ocean’s 11, and headed back home and I proud to say the 5.3 liter V8 only took a tank and a half of gas to go their and back It was a great weekend and can’t wait till we do it again.
Related Post: Whistler/Blackcomb 2006