Buckle Your Boots, It’s GO TIME

31 01 2014

Dude, we have had NO snow. This is the driest, weakest winter so far in the 5 winters I’ve spent in the PNW. LAME. No snow means no snow activities. It’s just cold, often overcast and dreary, and therefore BORING. (I am not happy about this, in case you didn’t catch that.) I hate to admit to it, but I’m afraid this terrible winter might be all my fault.

Why? Because this is my first year ever to buy a season pass for the mountain.

I know. I’m sorry everyone.

But due to the cost of a season pass (and the deep-set, unquenchable desire to reacquaint myself to the sport of skiing), J and I have tried time and again to tear up the slopes of dry, snow-less Mt Hood. Sadly, time and again, I’ve left the mountain frustrated, sore, and devastated that I’ve yet to reach the expert level I was sure would come this year. It’s difficult to elevate from novice to pro, however, when there’s NO SNOW TO SKI ON. And hitting ice over and over just hurts.

Ya feel me?!

So last Saturday, J loaded the truck with our gear, made me breakfast and coffee, and conveniently did not build a raging fire. I pouted and sulked like a 5-year-old for the majority of the morning. I didn’t waaaannnnnnnnnnaaaaa go skiing…… *insert best pouty-face here*

As we drove up into the mountains, the frozen fog clinging to the trees was really pretty. Then *gasp* the sun was shining!! We’ve been living under an inversion layer for at least a week now, and hadn’t seen the sun since. But here it was – above the suffocating cloud layer! We finally pulled into the Mt Hood Meadows parking lot and opened the doors – it was warm up here, too! (What a change, to think that 40 degrees is warm….)

We pulled on our gear, buckled our boots, and tromped our way to the lodge. A nice employee gave us each a cookie (a fantastic perk of Meadows) and we hit the snow, popped into our skis, and got in line for the lift. I was stoked for the nice weather, but now I was in my skis, on the lift, and headed for the un-fun part of navigating my way down the hill. I contemplated leaping from the chairlift, but finally decided that would probably hurt even more than skiing down. I realized I had met up with an old acquaintance I hadn’t seen since my snowboarding days – my bad attitude.

I tried to toss my ‘tude to the wind as we zoomed off the lift. We were starting with a run we’ve done over and over, one I know super well, and one that I should be much more comfortable with than I am. Here goes nothing…..

Over the edge I went, down the first little steep bit, around a sign, down, down, down – wait! My turns were fine, my skis still parallel, my arms where they should be – I stopped by J at a little break and turned to look back up the hill. Then it hit me – NO ICE!

The rest of the day was the most fun I think I’ve ever had on the mountain. Maybe ever! (Ok, that’s a stretch.) My speed picked up as my confidence soared, and soon, I was side-by-side with J, spraying snow all over him every time I stopped.

skiing Mt Hood Meadows, OR

Ok, this is actually from last year, but I was too busy ROCKING IT to take any silly pictures. And this pretty well sums up the day!!

We did more runs that one afternoon and probably all the other days this year combined. I couldn’t get enough! I felt like a complete rockstar and told J so about 50 THOUSAND times. He just smiled, probably super relieved to have me acting like a human again. And I secretly think he was having a total blast, too (he likes to try to act like he doesn’t get excited. I know better.)

Then I saw J hit a little bump. Was that air he just caught? And I must be going crazy, ’cause I’m positive I heard a “WOOO!” come out of that man’s mouth. Not to be outdone, I hit a bump of my own. YEEESSSSS! That was at LEAST half an inch off the ground! Good thing women’s ski jumping has been added to the 2014 Olympics – I think I’m ready!

sarah hendrickson ski jump Team USA sportsillustrated

This could be ME!! (Ok, this is Sarah Hendrickson, but I’m sure I looked just like this….) (image source)

Ok, I’ll stop blabbering on. Suffice it to say, we had so much fun, we contrived a way to get back up there Sunday afternoon, too. My quads were so-oh-ore, but I pushed through. MUST.SKI.ALL.THE.SLOPES. Like a little kid, I giggled, I flirted with ski-dance moves, I acted totally ridiculous. I finally called it quits and collapsed on a bench in front of the lodge. J went for a quick solo run, but when he came back, I couldn’t let him take his skis off and go home. One more!! Just one more run! My legs almost fell off, but o.m.g. SO GOOD.

Ok, for real this time. I’m done. I just can’t help it – I thought I had lost my mojo, my skill, and my love of the sport.

NOPE! It’s all back. So buckle up the boots, kiddos, the weekend is here again! Saturday morning it’s GO TIME – back to the mountain we go! Even more exciting – Mt Hood got fresh POWDER yesterday. (I might pass out just thinking about it)

In fact I think I’ll just go pack up my stuff now. Might as well be ready to go nice and early!





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