Monday, April 21, 2014

Snow on the mountain...

Coming soon: After I return from Italy this weekend after visiting friends for a couple days, I'll upload a follow-up post filled with more snowy neighborhood photos like this of Lena, Levi, and Kathy!

Chairlift photo from Summer's Facebook page

Photo by snowboarder @JonNW, snapped at the highest point of Mount Hood Meadows as we were all about to drop into Heather's Canyon

Snow is a big deal for us in the Portland area. We spend most of the winter hoping for (or dreading) our annual snow event, and then when it finally happens the city essentially shuts down. Meanwhile, the rest of the country laughs at our unpreparedness to handle such minuscule snow accumulation. It's an annual tradition!

A live tweeted photo from my record-long 4+ hour commute home from PDX airport and Warner Pacific College on the first day of the freeze. I-5 south traffic was stopped for so long that I turned off my Jeep Wrangler, safely shot a picture, and tweeted it.

More on that local snow event in my next post...

Another annual tradition (at least we Hamilton kids HOPE it is!) is one of my dad's Christmas presents to Kathy, Mike, Summer, and me: a ski day at Mount Hood Meadows with Bo himself.

Kathy swapped out Bo's ski offer for a shopping day. And it took a tremendous amount of schedule coordination, but last month we found a day where the remaining three of us could snow ride together with Bo.

The Drive

Stopping in Sandy on our way up to Mount Hood, we fed our maple bar addiction at Joe's Donuts.

A painting from local favorite artist Michael Sorensen is on display at Joe's. Come for the donuts, stay for the artwork.

Busy Saturday:  We were herded onto the shuttle bus from Mount Hood Meadows' overflow lot

The Slopes

The sun was shining, the snow was soft, and the clear skies provided limitless visibility to enjoy God's creation.

Our 71 year old dad skied his heart out until lunch time and then set up shop for the afternoon in the lodge. Mike finished up his final snowboard run later, looking to get a head start on our post-slope festivities outside the lodge.

With a little persuasion, I talked Summer into joining me for some backcountry action on Meadows' sole double-black diamond run.  Meadows' regulars know that weather conditions often cause Heather's Canyon to unexpectedly close at a moment's notice.  We didn't want to miss our window.

The melting snow on the more aggressive stretches of Heather's Canyon was soft enough that even the most spectacular wipeouts didn't really hurt.  My little sister overcame her fears and managed the back country terrain like a pro.

And a good Samaritan was kind enough to toss my equipment downhill to me after one spill, saving me a steep climb back uphill to collect my post-wreck ski that was littering the slope above me.

The after party

Live music, variations of pulled pork and rib sandwiches, and a host of other refreshments were served outside the lodge.  It was a call, to entice snow riders as they geared down to exit the mountain.

We answered the call.

Coming next week on Garth's Blog

(or possibly the week after, depending on my overseas in-flight productivity and our WiFi signal in Bobbio Pellice and Torino, Italy)...

Lena and Levi share the spotlight for some never before seen photos in:

...Snow in the yard!

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