After a fun weekend riding lifts at Mt Bachelor, the weather was shaping up nicely for a mid week after work run to Hoodoo for an annual burgers and corn “Dusk Patrol.” This year, Mark and Niel were game to join Andy, Todd and I in the hopes of harvesting some corn, so we had a nice crew as we headed out from the office and up the McKenzie along highway 126. The water in the McKenzie was a beautiful shade of deep green as we made our way past Vida and then Blue River, and before long Hoodoo came into view from the Highway. A few minutes later, we arrived in the parking lot, applied skins to our skis, shouldered packs and started skinning. The clouds from the morning had given way to mostly sunny skies, and the temperature was pleasant with a slight breeze to keep us cool as we skinned. Standing on top of Hoodoo and soaking in the views, I thought to myself about how much better this was than sitting in the office….
For our first run, the group opted to ski the northwest face, thinking the exposure would lead to decent snow given the aspect with respect to the sun. I dropped in first, making several nice sweeping turns halfway down the slope, then stopped to setup to shoot photos of the others as they skied by. The below shots of Andy with the sun in the background came out nicely……
We regrouped at the bottom and joined back up with our uptrack and skinned back to the top. The route selection for run number two would be the east face, which was starting to firm back up as the sun set towards the west. Before dropping in, I snapped a photo of Andy, Todd, Niel and Mark with Mt Washington in the background.
The turns down the east face were prime corn, and we caught some of the action with my new telephoto Canon 70-300 mm lens, including the shots below of Todd and Niel.
We skied about two thirds down the east face, and opted to head back up from there for another lap. I wasn’t paying attention and ended up losing one of my board halves, which proceeded to cruise the remaining one third down the slope, so I had to butt glissade down while the others started up. I ended up getting to my board half and was able to catch up with the others in time for one last lap before burgers and beers at the base. Andy grabbed the camera and snapped some photos of all of us as we dropped in for a third lap. The snow didn’t disappoint….
The turns to the base were sweet, and we even scored some fast snow across the flats all the way to the car. I stopped before I was all the way down and snapped a few pics of Mt Washington in the nice evening light. Once at the base, we moved the vehicles to find a suitable spot out of the breeze to grill the burgers and enjoy a few beers. Drinking a cold one and grilling up burgers in the parking lot always feels better after a day of work…….
The burgers had all the fixings, including onions, tomatoes, lettuce, etc. and even some fresh cheddar Niel brought from a local farm. The little alcove we’d found in the snow bank worked well for grilling and kept the breeze from blowing the grill out, and soon we were enjoying burgers and kettle chips with a view of Hoodoo and Hayrick.
After a second round of burgers and brews, I set up the tripod and snapped a picture of the crew with Hayrick and Hoodoo in the background. Todd, being the jokester he is, flipped the camera off as I was snapping a few photos with my remote, so everyone busted out laughing, which was captured in the below photo…..
With turns had, and burgers and beers finished, it was time to hit the road and head for the barn. The ride back down Highway 126 and the McKenzie was pleasant, and I found myself dreaming of the spring turns to come. Those turns would have to wait however, as a road trip to Southern California and Disneyland were in the works for the following week for me and my family. In the meantime, however, there’s always time for burgers and corn! Here’s a parting shot from the day…..