I was up in Gresham for a visit with family, so I took the opportunity to get out on Mt Hood for some test riding on my new custom made Never Summer Titan 164 splitty. I left the Timberline parking lot a little after 8:00 am, with the goal of taking it easy and skinning to the top of the Palmer Snowfield. The skin up the Mile went fairly fast, though the snow was a bit hard. The weather was beautiful and temps were hovering around 14 degrees with no wind. The sky was a deep blue and the mountain as white as I ever remember seeing it – just a gorgeous day in mid-Winter.
I reached the top of Palmer around 10:30, aided by split crampons due to the icy conditions. Recent wind activity had pretty much scoured off any of the remaining fresh snow from a few days earlier. Not wanting to descend just yet, I continued climbing above the Palmer lift towards Crater Rock. Snow conditions deteroriated quickly, becoming very icy. Here’s a shot of a couple of climbers ahead of me climbing towards Crater Rock ….
Around 9500 feet or so, I could tell that making turns was mostly out of the question, at least any fun turns. So, I wandered out towards the Zigzag Glacier to soak in the views. The snow conditions on the Zigzag weren’t any better – mostly wind blown ice sastrugi. Illumination Rock did look really beautiful though.
At noon, I decided to call it a day and foolishly strapped my board to my feet. After a few hundred feet of rickety turns, I pulled the board back off my feet and donned crampons to walk back down to the top of the Palmer. Once on the Palmer, I rode the nice groomers back down to the lodge, thoroughly enjoying my new splitter. After a quick car trip down Highway 35, I was back in Gresham enjoying the company of family and a frosty beverage.