I headed up to Mt Hood solo for some early November turns, since my buddy Todd was sleeping it off after the big Duck football game the night before (at least that was my suspicion since he didn’t answer his phone in the morning). I was suprised at how much snow had melted from a few weeks ago. I ended up buying a 5 point flex pass for $109 and used 1 point today. I rode the Palmer chair about 10 times and the turns were pretty nice. The weather was absolutely beautiful, so as the snow started to corn I decided to head up towards Crater Rock for some out of area turns.
The snow on the lower WR snowfield was pretty suncupped, but the upper snowfield yielded to perfect corn upon my arrival. I was surprised by the fact that I pretty much had the mountain to myself, aside from a few climbers. I climbed up to the top of the gravel ridge just below 10,000 feet and decided to turn around at this point, given that the snow above this level was intermittent and frozen solid. Prior to strapping into my bindings, I checked out the snowfields to the east towards the Zigzag Glacier, but elected to ride back down the way I hiked up since the snow had corned on the White River side.
The ride down the White River snowfield was nice corn, making the hike from the top of the Palmer worth the effort. The snowfield should be in decent shape for several days as long as the sun is out, but hopefully a large storm moves in soon and pukes all over the whole mountain so we can get on with winter!!! All in all, today was a fun day of riding and marked my 24th month of consecutive turns – about 15,000 vertical feet of lift served and 1,400 vertical backcountry. Here’s a parting shot of the upper White River Glacier and mountain a few hundred feet below my turn around point…..