I wasn’t sure what to expect as I headed out for my second patrol day of the season. Conditions at the Pass the day before had been marginal at best, but snow was in the forecast for most of the day on Sunday, meaning the chance of scoring some powder was a possibility. The snow report indicated one inch of fresh snow had fallen overnight, but upon pulling into the resort parking lot we were greeted to 5 inches of some of the lightest driest powder I’d seen in awhile – and it was snowing hard! After the morning meeting, we headed out to open the mountain, and it felt nice to be out making turns in the storm snow.
The first run I made after unloading the sled from the top of the EPA shack was down to Good Time Charlie’s and Eagle’s Flight to close the runs, since the front side didn’t have enough snow yet to warrant opening that part of the mountain. After the first few turns, I knew it was going to be a good day! 6 inches of blower powder over the groomed base made for some awesome turns. After roping off the runs, I rode to the base and headed to Peak 2 with Raleigh to start the day. I snapped a few shots of Raleigh ripping some nice freshies about a half hour after the mountain had opened….
Riding back up the Peak 2 Chair, a few patrollers who were up for senior OEC training were ahead of us and making a few runs before the training began. At the top, we all decided to make a couple of runs in the Dragon’s Back area, and by now I think there was between 8-9 inches of new fresh snow! Our choice to ski Dragon’s Back was a good one, as the following photos show…
After making a few more runs, I headed in for a quick lunch break while the skies continued to puke snow. Poking my head out the door of the patrol shack, I snapped several photos of patrollers practicing scenarios in the snow storm. I like to call the one below “Dedication.”
After lunch, the rest of the day was spent making runs on the backside before taking a bump slot at the top of EPA at 3:00, where I shoveled much of the snow off of the patio area around the shack. At the end of the day, we swept the mountain, which took a bit longer than normal due to a patron needing a sled ride down to the base area. I coordinated the frontside sweep, which meant I got to make the last run of the day. Riding down in the fresh snow, my legs started to burn, telling me the day had been a success. At the base, everyone hit the road after the evening meeting. The drive home took over 4 hours, with really icy snowy roads between Oakridge and Dexter and several people in the ditch. It was all worth it in the end though, as the below photo of Raleigh shows. Perfect powder always seems to make it worth it.