Saturday, December 31, 2005
I purchased a snowboard and then drove straight to Bachelor the next weekend, anticipating the thrill of trying out my new board. By the end of December, I had decided that I would like to make it to all the ski areas in the state (who knew there was a Ski Oregon Challenge?), and to that end I had bought my first snowboard. Bachelor was the perfect location to test out my new gear. After a couple of runs down the hill, I was all smiles, and glad to be there for a true powder day. On the drive up, I had been worried about too much snow, but my fears were allayed once I took to the hill. Conditions were great, and there would be fresh dry powder all day long. I met up with my sister, her husband, and a family friend, and we all took our boards up to try out the moguls. Not having any experience on moguls, the first run was a little bumpy, but I started to get the hang of it quickly, and by the end of the day I was actually carving turns with confidence. A full day at Bachelor called for some relaxation, so we all went back to Sunriver to enjoy a soak in the hot tub. Good times!
Saturday, December 24, 2005
My second trip of the season was to Timberline. I had not yet explored the blue runs at Timberline, or even the Magic Mile. Today was the perfect day to expand my horizons. I brought along a friend, and after making a quick stop at the rental shop (we were first in line), we hit the slopes. The snow was great, and the weather was perfect. A couple of runs down Pucci and then Norman, and I was ready to check out the Magic Mile. I enjoyed peeking back over my shoulder as we sped up the chairlift, taking in the amazing views of the cascades. We decided to start with the East Mile, and it was in fantastic shape - soft powder, and no ice. It was such a beautiful day, I had to take off my hat to cool off! After making a couple of runs on the East Mile, we decided to be even more adventurous, and made our way down to the top of Norman. Having followed the ski area boundary down from the top of the mile, we kept going along the west edge of the ski area, and made our way down Paintbrush. It would be my first attempt at a black diamond, and my friend's as well. Deep breath, and then down we go. It was a thrill, and even though I had to unstrap and kick in a few spots, I was ready to go again. My friend was a little slower, so I made my way to the bottom, gave a friendly wave on the ride up Norman, and then caught up on my second run - no kicking involved. Awesome. We spent the rest of the day cruising the Magic Mile, and soaking up the sun and snow. What a beautiful day.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
This season I finally decided to get serious about snowboarding. I had only been on the slopes three times before this season, but that was enough for me to get the bug. I started my season with a trip to Willamette Pass in December, where I was pleasantly surprised by the excellent conditions. After parking my car in Eugene, I rode the ski bus to the mountain and headed straight to the rental office. The employees were very helpful, and had me on the hill in no time. I checked my bag at the desk, and took to the slopes. Being a relative beginner, I started out with a few passes down the front side, and then made my way to the summit to try out some blue runs. The weather was sunny, and the view from the summit was amazing - I really felt on top of the world. A quick stop to strap in, and the rest of my day was spent exploring the intermediate runs, with an occasional detour to duck through the trees. It was a beautiful day, and by the time I returned my gear, I had decided that this year would be the perfect year for snowboarding.