January 02, 2008

Christmas Break - Volume 1

I just returned from spending nearly two weeks with friends and family in Oregon. Ashley and I flew there together on December 20th. On our first day back, Keith, Melanie, Ashley and I went skiing at Mt. Hood Meadows. It had snowed 13 inches overnight and about 3 feet over the previous 2 days . . . oh yea, and the sky was bluebird and the winds calm to nonexistent. I've skied many days in Colorado over the past three years, and only one or two were as good as my one Oregon ski day in as many years. I'm forced to conclude that Oregon has MUCH better skiing than Colorado, primarily because it snows so much in the Cascades, and the Rocky Mountains are, sadly, in a desert.

Keith in the trees at Meadows

Just before New Year's, Jake called me to ask if Ashley and I would be able to join him and Emily on a trip into the Maiden Peak Shelter up on Willamette Pass. Ashley had plans, but I joined in on this terrific outing with wonderful fresh snow abound.

The first part of the hike in was on a road that is closed in the winter. The street sign in this photo gives a general idea of the snow depth.

The trees comprising the forest were most glorious under their burden of snow.

We woke the following morning to blue skies, six miles from the nearest road.

Maiden Peak in all its splendor.

We arrived at the cabin at the same time as three other guys who had skied in from the local ski area (we hiked in from the Gold Lake parking lot, which makes the trip longer but avoids buying a lift ticket). I'd been to the hut once before, but was happy to see a few improvements: minimal solar powered lighting both the first and second floors, and an indoor/outdoor thermometer. I heard rumors that an outhouse is next. By Oregon standards, it was quite cold that night. The thermometer backed this notion up with a reading in the middle of the night of 4 degrees F outside and 20 inside. The hut is large, with rumors floating around that as much as 35 people have spent the night there comfortably.

If Ashley feels the need to elaborate on omitted aspects of our vacation, including the New Year's Eve festivities, I'll leave that to her in "Christmas Break - Volume 2". Cheers to me for including the words glorious, terrific, wonderful, and splendor all in a single blog post!

1 comment:

Ian said...

Isnt that shelter wonderful! We need to have a serious ski in party someday.