I'm writing this today, because I'm not walking on a trail that more resembles a small river with snow covered banks, with a ridiculous amount of rain falling on my head. No, I'm not doing that, bacause I was doing that earlier today. So after aborting an over night gear test on the McKenzie River Trail, I'm back home, being warm and dry, and reading trail journals (and possibly enjoying a soda pop). The forecast called 100% chance of rain and I was very excited to spend the evening under my new tarp. The problem wasn't all the snow we were heading up in to, but the temperature. And I guess I wasn't really excited about sleeping on snow either.
Eugene and I stopped for lunch where the trail crosses Deer Creek Road. Like a couple of hobos, we sat under the bridge out of the rain, and there we passed the moon shine and contemplated life, and if we should continue walking. We had gone five miles and I was still cold with all of my clothes on. For fear of Hypothermia and being wet and uncomfortable, and I can't remember the other excuses, we decided to head back and end the journey early.
Don't worry though. My ventures aren't all falling through. I did just get back from skiing at Mt. Hood. Monday was full of wonderful lift served skiing at Meadows. Aside from a steady 30 mile per hour wind with gusts up to 70, It was a sunny day with great friends. And the wind might not have been quite that much, but it felt like it when the chair almost swung into one of the towers. Very fun.
Derrick and I gettin a lift. Photo Seth Swallen
Shreadin' the groomers! Photo Seth Swallen
Tuesday was all about training, or something. We skinned into the backcountry on the north side of Hood. Stopped at the Tilley Jane shelter for a snack, then continued to treeline. The avalanche hazard was minimal because there's only about two feet of snow at 6500 feet, where we took the skins off and headed down. The skiing at the top was mostly good, and due to very inconsistent snow I had a lovely crash. And I sure made it count. The fall left me cold and confused with snow in all of my bits (this is good for a person every so often). The last mile of descent back to the car was miserable. The trail was frozen solid, offering only an icy path down. Unskiable. Walking down was the only option due poor snow coverage, and lots of death rocks to ski into. With helmets still on our heads, and the skis on our packs, we slipped, and stumbled, barely in control back to the car. Then day made for about 2800 foot ascent, 3.5 miles each way. Awesome day!
Thanks for the great visit Seth!
Making preparations for descent. Photo Seth Swallen
The search for anything to jump off will never end. Photo Seth Swallen