Plans with the family were in order for the weekend, so if turns were to be had this week, they would have to be quick and easy one day after work. Hoodoo seemed to be the logical choice given the time constraints, and the weather for Friday afternoon was looking favorable some some soft snow. Plus, Andy, Todd and I had been planning an after work dusk patrol for some time, but plans had been falling through due to unplanned meetings, the weather, or other ski trips.
We left work around 2:30 and cruised up Highway 126 with temps hovering around 65 degrees. One of my favorite things about hitting Hoodoo late in the season is grilling burgers in the parking lot post-turns, relaxing with a beer in the camp chair, and enjoying the sunshine . As we drove to the hill, I could already taste the suds and burger before we arrived.
About 4:00 we pulled into the parking lot and the mountain was still skiable from top to bottom on the north side with decent coverage. Someone had made a few turns from the mid-mountain level, but the top half of the hill was untouched. Andy and I loaded up the packs and started skinning, looking to catch up with Todd who’d arrived about a half hour prior to us and was nearing the top.
The skin up went quickly. Todd dropped in and made a half lap while we were on the lower mountain, and we met up with him at the top a few minutes later. Andy was interested in making a few runs on the northwest face of the hill, similar to what we’d done last June, so we decided to give it a go. I snapped a few photos of Todd and Andy as they ripped the nice snow, hoping to get a shot of them making turns with Three Fingered Jack and Mt. Jefferson in the background…..
The snow was in excellent shape, and we booted back up for another run. I dropped in first, and enjoyed the creamy turns down a ways before stopping to shoot a few photos of Todd and Andy as they dropped in for run number two….
Back at the top after the second run, I hiked out on the cinder a ways to snap a few photos of Mt Washington and Big Lake. Turns out a few buddies of mine skied Washington the day following and found pretty good conditions in the northwest bowl….
For our third and final run, we dropped into the main north bowl and found excellent snow. Andy dropped first and took my camera and snapped some photos of Todd and I enjoying the turns. Here’s a couple of shots….
The turns were nice all the way down the hill right to the parking lot. Andy and I bid Todd farewell and headed towards our car for my favorite part of the trip – the beers and burgers. I’d brought all the fixin’s and Andy supplied the buns, burgers and the grill. Chilling in my camp chair with a cold Black Butte Porter I pulled out of the snowbank definitely hit the spot. The sun was really pleasant, and after some tinkering with the grill the burgers were cooking….
Sitting back and sinking my teeth into a fresh burger reminded me of what I really love about snowboarding. For me, it’s not always about hardcore burly lines in the backcounry, it’s more about the lifestyle. I love the hardcore burly lines as much as the next guy, but I’ve found that I really enjoy a balance of all the different aspects that snowboarding has to offer. Whether it’s lift served patrolling or making turns every month of the year, or whether it’s hardcore lines in the backcountry or just some easy earned turns at a closed ski area with friends, the snowboarding lifestyle is one I’m thankful I’m able to live. I don’t know yet where my next adventure will be, but as long as I’m able to make a few turns somewhere with some close friends I know it’ll be a good time.