January 2, 2017 – Best pow day of the year

Champagne was the order of the day, as in champagne powder. The epic start to the 2016/2017 winter was continuing, and Dan, Joe and I made plans to head up on the day after New Year’s to take full advantage of the several feet of new snow the Pass had been blessed with. After a few mini epics, including a plumbing issue and a flat tire the night before, I was unsure if I’d be able to make it. Things worked out in my favor however, and I made it up to the Pass after getting my tire fixed early in the morning, and met the guys in time to snag one of the first chairs of the day.

We spent the first several hours of the day riding powder inbounds, before taking a break around noon for lunch and then heading out of the area for more fun. The snow pretty much rocked, and was light, deep and smooth. Joe skied it like a champ…

Joe enjoying the pow

Dan did too.

Dan ripping some pow

Our first lap out of bounds was stellar, so we put in a skin track and made a few more. The weather improved a bit as the day went on, but it remained cold, around 15 degrees for a high.

Dan on the skin track
Feeling small in the trees

Back the top, it was time to rip skins and enjoy a beer. I always enjoy the relaxed pace of the sidecountry in contrast to the frenzied powder rush of the resort….

Ripping skins for another lap
Beer of choice for the day

On the second lap, Dan grabbed my camera and setup to snap a few photos of me enjoying the pow. This was easily one of my favorite runs of the season — the snow was so damn fine!

First turns of the new year

After half the run, I grabbed the camera, and took a few shots of Joe coming down, including the ones below. I especially like the Willamette Pass sticker on his helmet in the first photo….

Joe ripping
More pow turns

We skinned back out and decided to enjoy a third lap before heading back to the area. It was equally as good as the first two….

Dan skiing through the trees
Back at the area

After catching one more lift ride in the area, we decided to venture out for one more sidecountry run. Our timing was perfect, and we just headed past the ropes as patrol was closing the backside.

Willamette Pass Country

We made sweet pow turns all the way back down to the patrol room, where cold beer was waiting. Over chips and salsa, we all agreed it was definitely one of the best days of the winter. Here’s a parting shot from the day…

Enjoying the champagne pow