Protected: June 9, 2019 – Three Fingered Jack, North Bowls

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Protected: June 2, 2019 – Mt Jefferson, West Rib

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Protected: May 27, 2019 – Willamette Pass

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May 22, 2010 – Willamette Pass Dusk Patrol

Due to a variety of factors, including the weather, it had been awhile since I’d been out for some turns, and I was jonesing. Dan had been up to the Pass a few days earlier, and said the snow was holding, so we made plans to head out after work for some dusk patrol turns. We met up at Dan’s house around 4:30 pm, and headed up to the Pass shortly thereafter. The weather started to sour on our drive up, and a few miles past Oakridge it was raining pretty hard.

Gearing up at the snowpark

The rain turned to a light drizzle as we pulled into the snowpark to gear up, and by the time we reached the pass there were only intermittent rain drops. We set out on foot, with the southside of the Pass looking pretty sparse. The weather felt more like March than May, but we weren’t complaining — it was nice to be hiking in the cool temps.

Heading out for some turns

Dan hiking up By George

We worked our way up the snow-less By George, finding a rental ski along the way, which we placed near the road in case management might be out later in the week. After 20-30 minutes of hiking, we found snow at mid-mountain, and were able to switch to skins at the base of Amber’s Way.

Patches of snow on By George

A short skin later, we were standing at the base of RTS, looking up the run at what was pretty damn nice coverage for the end of May! The weather was holding and we were stoked. We put in a nice bootpack up the run to the top in the near perfect snow. There’s just something special to me about climbing and skiing RTS — it’s probably my favorite ski run in the world and a place that’s defines me a person…

Looking up RTS

Dan approaching the top

As we approached the top, there was a thin ribbon of snow that went up along skiers left that had a couple of spicy sections in it. We followed it to the top, which was the end of the snow and only a short distance from the top of EPA, and decided it was good time to enjoy a cold beer. I pulled my beverage of choice for the afternoon out from my pack and buried it in the snow…

Light Me Up Lager

A few minutes later, the beer was cold, and so were we after sitting around in the wind up top. We drank half the beer, leaving the rest for a second lap, and dropped in. Dan dropped first, and negotiated through the cruxy section of small trees and stumps. I came down next while Dan shot a few pictures. You know what RTS stands for…..Rocks, Trees, Stumps…

Sliding down through the crux

Turns down RTS

We made turns back down to our packs at the bottom of the run, and the snow quality was excellent. Halfway down the run, I grabbed the camera back from Dan and fired off a few shots of him enjoying the turns….

Dan skiing RTS

Post work turns on RTS

At the bottom, we were stoked, and quickly put the boards on our backs and booted back up for another lap. Halfway up, the weather, which had held off for the duration of our trip, moved in and started to rain. At the top, we drank the rest of my beer and enjoyed turns back down for a second lap…

Turns in the fog

Evening turns on RTS

Back down at the bottom, we shouldered our packs, and made turns out via Amber’s Way, which brought back fond memories from earlier in the year during patrol. We had to cross a patch of dirt, and them were able to link turns down to skier’s right on ByGeorge and the haul road.

Dan ready to head out

A quick boot across the haul road led us to High Lead, where we were able to link turns on a thin ribbon of snow down to the intersection of Timburr Glades.

Skiing down High Lead Glades

The end of the snow

At the end of the snow, we threw the boards on the packs and made the short hike down Timburr Glades to the base area just as it started to get dark. Back at the car, we changed quickly into dry clothes, grabbed a quick bite, and headed down the road. Although we ended up home late and had to work in the morning, it was definitely worth the effort for an evening of good corn!

May 3, 2019 – Hoodoo Dusk Patrol

One of the day I look forward to most each year is the annual after work dusk patrol. There’s nothing quite as nice as skiing good corn on a warm afternoon after a long winter season, followed by grillin’ up some burgers and brats in the parking lot while sitting in flip flops and enjoying a cold beer. This year’s trip started out like many in the years past — with Andy, Neil and I leaving work around 2:00 pm and driving up highway 126 to Hoodoo. We arrived at our favorite pullout, loaded up packs, and headed out…

Heading out for some evening turns

Skinning up the ‘Doo

The skin up Hoodoo in the afternoon sun is always enjoyable. The views back to the north from Black Butte to Mt Jefferson never disappoint, and cresting the top and seeing Big Lake, Mt Washington and the Three Sisters is always a treat. We made it to the top in short order and snapped a few pics….

Andy and Niel up top

Matt and Andy

As we readied to drop in we could see Joe (who was planning to me us) heading up down below. After a brief discussion, we elected to ski the east face, which is probably my favorite run on the hill. As we dropped in, I headed down and found a spot to snap a few photos of Andy coming down…

Andy skiing the east face

Turns on the ‘doo

I also got a couple pics of Neil skiing by, with Mt Wahsington as a backdrop. After snapping the pics, I followed the guys down the face, enjoying the soft, albeit a bit bumpy, snow down to the bottom.

Neil and Mt Washington

At the bottom, it was decision time for whether we should head back up and ski the west side of the hill or ski a few laps on Hayrick. The snow on Hayrick looked really good and was right in front of us, so we ditched the packs and put in a bootpack up the short, steep slope. At the top of the pitch, we could see Joe drop in down the east face of Hoodoo, and we met up with him at the bottom.

Andy slashing some May corn

Turns at the bottom

We climbed back up and put in another lap, utilizing our existing bootpack, up around the dogleg and to the base of the cliff where the snow ended. The ride down was equally as nice as the first run. Having laid a few tracks down on the slope, we moved north a little bit to another patch of good looking snow and checked out a new line…

Andy and Joe heading up

Neil

It didn’t take long to get to the top, and we were enjoying some quality turns back down in no time. Andy and Joe decided to head back to the car to get the grill going, and Neil and I stayed behind for one more run because the snow was just too good.

Neil taking a quick break halfway down

Looking out across Hoodoo

We skied down and then out across the flats below on Hoodoo, and made the short walk to the car, where Andy and Joe were getting the food in order. It always feels good after skiing a few runs to pop the boots off, grab and cold one and change into shorts and flip flops! On the for the evening was grass fed beef from my freezer, along with some quality brats that Joe brought. There was also various other items like chips and salsa, guacamole, and all the fixin’s for the burgers…

Joe grillin’ burgers and brats

Andy tending the meat

When the food was ready, we definitely ate like kings. Sitting there, enjoying the good company, quality meats and cold beer, with a view of the mountain, everyone agreed it doesn’t get much better than that.

One of the evening’s offerings

Hoodoo Voodoo and Hoodoo

Like all good things, our evening eventually came to an end with the realization that we needed to head back down to the valley (with the exception of Joe who was going to check out Jefferson the following day). We packed our gearts, snapped a few photos, and said goodbye to Hoodoo, knowing we’d be back again when the time was right for another day of corn, brats and sun!

Enjoying the tailgating in the sun

The Crew

Here’s a parting shot from the day of Andy chillin’ and enjoying the apres ski….

Andy