May 8, 2017 – Hoodoo Dusk Patrol

Conditions were gearing up for what looked to be a return to what used to be an annual tradition — May dusk patrol turns at Hoodoo.  The winter of 16/17 was one to remember, and Hoodoo still had over 75 inches at the snow stake on the 8th of May.  The forecast was shaping up nicely for some turns on both Sunday and Monday, so Andy, Dan and I headed out on Sunday for a day of fun lift serviced skiing at Mt. Bachelor before our Monday “after” work ski at Hoodoo.  The day was fun, with numerous runs off of Cow’s Face and the Cinder Cone….

Hiking the Cinder Cone

On Monday afternoon, Andy and I left work early around 2:15 and headed up Highway 126 towards Hoodoo.  We were looking forward to meeting Todd, who was up there already, and Dan, who was coming over from Bachelor after a 2nd consecutive day of lift served corn.  Besides the usual ski gear, we were toting a mini grill, burgers, brats and beers.  I’m not sure what I look forward to more on after work dusk patrols —- the turns or the beers and burgers.

Andy skinning up Hoodoo

We pulled into the parking lot and found Todd waiting at his car.  He’d skied three or four runs earlier in the sun, and looked a bit tuckered.  A quick phone call to Dan told us he wouldn’t be able to meet up with us for another hour or so, so we donned skins and started up the mountain.  It was a quick skin to the top, and the reward was the great views I always look forward to when visiting Hoodoo….

Looking south across the crater

The view north from Hoodoo

I changed out lenses in order to get an up close and personal shot of one of my favorite Oregon volcanoes — Mt Washington.  The snow on both the north and northwest faces was caked on the mountain and it was looking good…

Mt Washington

After the quick photo session, it was time to drop in and harvest some prime corn on the east face.  I dropped first, then setup to snap a few pics of Andy coming down…..

Andy skiing the east face

Turns in front of Mt Washington

The turns were pretty sweet, and we rode all the way to the bottom.  The skin out up the steep face was challenging, but we made it to the top again without too much difficulty.  We spotted Dan below us coming up from the car, and it looked like we’d meet up if we waited about 15 minutes.  While killing time, Andy set up to snap a few photos of me at a spot I wanted to shoot just below the top….

Matt dropping in

May turns on Hoodoo

A short hike put us back on top, where we met up with Dan. Andy elected to ski down to the car to get the burgers on the grill, and Dan and I decided one more lap down the east face was in order before skiing to the parking lot.  I grabbed the camera as we headed down and snapped a pic of Dan slashing through the deep corn…

Dan dropping in

For the second time, we hit the skin track and made the slog back up to the top.  The weather was perfect, and the light was just starting to get really nice.  Gotta’ love this time of year and the good weather….

Skinning up for another lap

Dan on top

At the top for the third time, we decided a beer was in order, as well as a summit selfie.  The summit selfie has a long story behind it, but was mainly taken as a joke to send to one of our skiing friends……

Summit selfie

We dropped down to riders left of the chair, with beer in hand.  The snow was perfect, and we ripped big wide turns down through the corn.  I caught a couple pics of Dan as he headed down….

Sunset turns

Halfway down and below the Ed Chair, I found a ski melting out from the snow, evidently lost during the season on a deep powder day.  We carried it down, along with our mostly empty beers, and continued the fun, enjoying turns right to the car.  At the bottom, we loaded up our gear and made a very short drive over to Andy to check on the burgers.  As luck would have it, he was just pulling them off the grill.  Pretty much there isn’t much better than fresh burgers and a brew after an evening ski!

Matt & Andy in the parking area

After eating a couple burgers apiece, we decided to grill a couple of brats as well for good measure.  Boy did they hit the spot……

Enjoying brats & beers

The drive back down 126 was filled with the usual bs, and even though we got back to Springfield late and had to go to work early the next morning, it was that much easier knowing we had a great evening of corn turns, burgers and beers under our belts.  Until next time…

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