Mt. Hood ski from Crater Rock

Saturday June 16th, still needing a ski day for the month, I escaped up to Timberline Lodge while Karis was running the Wy'East Wonder 50km trail race. 

After dropping her off at Bennett Pass Sno Park a bit after 8am and watching the racers start, I made my way through a thick fog band and up the twisty road to Timberline. Starting a bit after 8:45am I could barely see the top of the Palmer lift through the clouds and had low hopes for a decent outing. 

Hiking up the dirt from the parking lot in my boots I was able to begin skinning on the climber's trail at 9am. Making consistent progress up the Palmer snowfield and toward the hordes of junior racers running gates I reflected back on when I was doing the same thing over 10 years ago! I would have thought it crazy to skin uphill in mixed visibility for crummy turns on the descent, but here I am, trudging uphill, listening to podcasts, and watching the groms arc turn and spin 360s off tabletops. 

Luckily the snow was still quite firm above Palmer and I was able to skin without ski crampons all the way to Crater Rock and Devil's Kitchen. At this point the visibility was down to less than 50 meters and I was at my 11am turn around time. Thankfully by the time I transitioned and was ready to ski down there was a break in the clouds and I had no trouble navigating the firm slopes down toward the ski area. While the snow wasn't stellar it was still a nice outing and happy to get 4,000ish feet of descent in June!

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Stinky Fumarole

Mt. Hood Oregon

Upon arriving back to Karen, I quickly changed and drove to Parkdale to meet Karis at the finish line of her race.  After this trip I think it will be possible for me to summit Hood in about 3 hours, including breaks. My uphill fitness is quite good after the winter of focused training and a spring full of ski outings. Next season the goal is to try some of the more technical routes on the mountain and then ski down, looking forward to it already!

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happy raven, soon to be sad climbers

Mt. Hood, Oregon 

Have Fun and Stay Safe, 

Andrew   

Andrew Kersh