Original plans of attending a glacier travel and crevasse rescue class with the Santiam Alpine Club and getting August turns on the Elliot Glacier were thwarted by forest fires and the closure of Hwy 35. Good thing there was plenty of snow left for riding on the Palmer snowfield. After thinking it over, we decided on buying lift tickets to ride as much as possible for most of the day with the possibility of heading out to the Zigzag glacier in the afternoon. The snow was rock hard in the morning, but softened up nicely by about 9:30am. We never did get over to the Zigzag, as the lure of steady continuous vertical kept us on the Palmer. A few people were climbing to the summit, but we didn’t see anybody with skis descending from the Crater Rock area. The mountain pretty much cleared out by 12:00 and the last hour and a half we had it to ourselves. Lots and lots of vertical was had. I saw a high school friend splitting up the Magic Mile and Palmer – Kelly it was good to see you.