The snow was flying early this season, and the stoke factor was high, with the Pass making one of it’s earliest openings in recent memory. After opening on Friday, December 2nd, I was on duty for both Saturday and Sunday on the weekend. With all the new snow, I was hoping that maybe EPA would open, but it looked like it would be Twilight only for weekend. Even so, the area was looking good, with really nice coverage for early December.
I was on duty both days, and covering for Hutch with Patrol 1 on Saturday. After a good morning meeting, we headed out to open Twilight and catch our first lift rides of the season.
Even though the Pass was open the day before, we still found some really good snow on the runs and in the trees around Swoosh and Rough Cut. After a few runs, I headed down to the patrol room for a drink of water, and then headed out to meet up with Shannon and Greg to run some unloaded sleds to knock the rust off from a several month hiatus….
It’s always fun running sleds, especially when they are unloaded. Shannon, Greg and I each took a turn in the handles, and had a friendly competition to see who could dig the downhill skag in the furthest and get the sled to turn up on edge the most…..I’m not sure who won but I almost tipped the sled over :).
The rest of the day went well, with only a couple of incidents, and soon it was time to sweep the hill and call it a day. Sweep went without a hitch, and then it was time to enjoy a cold beverage after the evening meeting. My offering of choice for the day was a great tasting PCT Porter from Crux Fermentation Project.
After enjoying some fun camaraderie with Patrol 1 after the evening meeting, Shaun and I headed down the hill to stay at Brian and Shannon’s for the night since the four of us were all back up and on-duty the following morning. Brian cooked up a great tasting piece of salmon and coupled it with a baked potato bar, and the meal hit the spot. We washed it down with a bottle of wine, and then it was time to hit the sack. The next morning dawned early, and after making the short drive to the Pass we were out making turns again. I finally got the chance to make a few runs with Shaun, and captured the below picture of him right after he went off a small roller on Swoosh.
Up next, I made a few runs with Greg running sleds, and then I headed up to the top of Twilight to catch up with Brian, Shannon and Jen.
As the day wore on, I made a few more runs and captured a few more photos in between incidents and while managing the hill. A couple of shots that piqued my interest was the afternoon light on the upper mountain, as well as new snow gun at the bottom of Twilight…
The afternoon wore on mostly without incident, and everyone made their way to the top of Twilight for the evening sweep. Since only Twilight was open, we were able to start sweep a few minutes after 4:00, as opposed to having to sweep the upper mountain first.
Sweep didn’t take long, and a with the mountain cleared it was time for our evening meeting. Being a Sunday, I brought beer up for patrol, and it was nice to sit back, relax and enjoy some socializing with the crew again. My beer of choice for the second patrol day of the season was a good tasting Lager from Ninkasi Brewing Company.
After enjoying the beer and company, it was time to check the incident reports and close up the patrol room, and put a wrap on the opening weekend at the Pass. Brian, Shannon, Shaun and I piled into Brian’s truck and headed back to Oakridge, fully happy with a successful opening weekend at the Pass. Here’s a parting shot of Shannon from Saturday pulling an unloaded 100…