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Sunday, January 18, 2009

The high country

We're heading up to Mount Hood today -- anticipating fun, but as always, with deep respect for Mother Nature. Just yesterday they pulled an injured climber off the mountain. And it was not just any climber. It was Michael Leming, a Nike executive who himself is a rescuer up there.

Googling Leming, you see he was part of the 2002 rescue effort in which the helicopter crashed. Three people had fallen to their deaths before the chopper showed up to help others who had been injured.

Leming was also one of the people looking for the climbers who perished trying a "fast and light" ascent up the north side of Hood two years ago. As I recall, two of the three out-of-towners' remains from that tragedy have never been located.

So we're going to have fun, but not without reverence for where we're having it. (Photo courtesy Doug Adair.)

UPDATE, 8:29 a.m.: We got only as far as packing the car to head out when we realized that there are going to be significant wind issues on the mountain today. At 5,000 feet, Ski Bowl is reporting average winds of 44 miles per hour. After hemming and hawing for a while, we've decided to stay home. Those sandwiches, we'll eat on the living room rug, picnic style.

This is the first time we've wimped out on skiing due to weather, but sliding around in 50 mile an hour gusts just isn't our idea of a great outing. We'll be thinking about the skiers all day, but it won't go beyond that.

Comments (5)

Heh. We wimped out last night after going to an event in Welches and seeing how windy it was then. No way do I want to be up at Timberline when the wind's like this--doubtful even if the Mile or the other high lifts will be open, and if they are...I've been on Flood when the wind's high. Uh-uh.

I skied Timberline all day.
There when it opened and quit around 3.

3 was an early quit for us but we had skied friday open to close with a couple night ski runs too. My college daughter got tired today,,plus she had dropped to her knees on hard ice earlier and bruised them. I sent her to get the car while I went up the Mile again.

The snow was a little icy in the AM, but it loosened up quickly.
A little mushy on the bottom runs in the afternoon.

The wind wasn't bad. It was only blowing moderately at the top of Stormin Norman and on the Mile. No detriment at all.
A beautiful day.

Friday was fantastic. No wind, temp in high 50s, good snow, very little ice & no mush. No gloves no hats no jackets and ate lunch outside. I still can't figure out why the snow lasted without turning slushy.

From top of Mile, down past Stormin to bottoom of Jeff Flood is 2.5 or more miles. Great long run, through the trees on the bottom half.

When Palmer is open it's 3.5 miles or more depending on the route.


Wow. I wimped out on the ski bus to Meadows for the same reason. Could not imagine what the winds would be like.

My eight year old is just getting into it and I think we may just head out to Bachelor in a few weeks. It's pretty challenging to learn snowboarding on that mush on Hood.

It was a stunning day up on the mountain, though peak gusts were nearing 70 when we passed silcox about sunrise. Lots of blue ice up high - the climbing was hard and it didn't look like anyone summited - but the sun was bright, the temps were warm, and the views were unbeatable (and the wind did die down late morning). Another day I didn't get any older . . .


Meadows was awesome on Sunday. Sunny, warm and light wind. For whatever reason the high winds down here weren't up there. Their website is usually pretty reliable in terms of reporting current conditions, plus there is a link to the NOAA site which gives a fairly reliable report.

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