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!
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!
happy raven, soon to be sad climbers
Mt. Hood, Oregon
Have Fun and Stay Safe,