Hugging a Tree / Kissing a Tree

Hitomi and I skied Mount Hood on Saturday.

The pictures are trapped inside Hitomi's new camera.

Here's a synopsis: Hitomi signed up for Nintendo's (cheap) ski trip to Mt Hood. Or as she explained it, managed to get to the top of the waiting list and somebody dropped off. Ultimately, to get there and back, we spent more time on a bus than on the mountain itself. Still, the trip was fairly enjoyable, better in the sunny morning than later when reduced visibility, more snow, and flat lighting made it a difficult afternoon. I enjoyed my new skis and boots, both a bit lighter, thus a little harder to control than the heavy rental setup I was used to.

Hitomi had a tougher time with her longer and stiffer skis, I think. Still, she made it down the same slopes as I did, a little more carefully and gracefully.

The runs on Mt Hood aren't as steep as Crystal's, at least the "blue" ones felt more "green" to me. We dipped into some steeper, less groomed terrain. At some point I hope we can transition over to the "blacker" runs. It's not as if I need more challenge to have fun, but I feel to learn better control in the backcountry and build confidence I need to try less forgiving conditions.

Case in point: The following day, Kevin, Hitomi and I went up to Snoqualmie Pass and skiied some backcountry. First we (Hitomi and I) practiced "skinning" uphill and steep terrain, making kick turns and AVA turns. Conditions were wet. Unbeknownst to someone like me, the snow was super-saturated, thus heavy and hard to turn in. Or, you could turn but you couldn't turn back the other way. Luckily we had been near an old logging road, so the return was straightforward through snowmobile "groomed" terrain. I managed I crash a number of times, mostly through experimentation. Even the littlest of slopes made it near impossible to turn. It would have been fun and fast to return through the trees, but even Kevin decided against that.

Speaking of trees, yes I did wrap (hug) a little 4' tree, at low speed. And on a downhill section I was struck by a bough of fir in the mouth. Yum.

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About eliasross

Blogging before the word "blog" was invented.
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