Easter Sunday 2010 at Mount Hood Ski Bowl

19 04 2010

Winter 2009 – 2010 at Mount Hood Ski Bowl was a joke. I bought a pass in November 2009, when we had four feet of early season snow. Then things happened. Accident, injury and El Nino.

Before this season began I made a commitment to boycott Mount Hood Meadows. Year after year of corporate marketing and boring terrain finally made me say good bye. I craved the low key Mount Hood Ski Bowl atmosphere – plus I loved the terrain in the upper bowl, and the warming sanctuary of the mid mountain hut. Many seasons, Ski Bowl’s lower elevation meant inferior snow. But the past several years it’d racked up some serious numbers, like a 130″ base by early March. I bought my pass gambling that it would happen again. I lost. But not quite in the way I imagined.

Just before Thanksgiving 2009, on my very first run, fate took an unfortunate turn. Standing in the middle of the widest slope on lower bowl, I was hockey check-blasted by a kid on a snowboard. Did not hear him, did not see him. I don’t know what he saw. But my shoulder was dislocated, and with that, most of the 2009 – 2010 season. But Planet Earth also conspired against my gamble. El Nino threw warm, and dry weather at the Pacific NW. My heating bill hit all time lows, as did the mid-season snow pack at Mount Hood Ski Bowl. The base was less than three feet in mid February.

By that time, after diligently following a physical therapy regimen, I was released to go at the hill. Base depths at Ski Bowl didn’t please. So, I headed to Utah for a wonderful week. Returning, El Nino’s grip started to relax. And winter made a late season comeback. Late in March, Oregon’s Cascades received over four feet of fluff.

Easter Bunny Brings Powder

And I took advantage. On Easter Sunday I headed up there, and was rewarded with feathery fluff – a serious bounty. Uncrowded and free of hype, Mount Hood’s Upper Bowl was a treasure. Well worth waiting for.

Here’s a view from upper bowl lift…

Upper Bowl Cliffs from the Lift

No way to describe how good the snow was this Easter Sunday! It was truly dry – a major rarity in Oregon. And deep. My ski poles labored to find bottom. And soft. No ice anywhere. And not crowded nor windy. All just right for me!

Some just weren’t prepared, for I witnessed some serious carnage from the lift. In some ways, I wait all year to see such carnage. You could tell this guy was going to bite it hundreds of feet before he actually did. When it happened is was a beautiful thing, yard sale, skis, poles, goggles, and a 100-ft face first slide…man one has to feel for the guy.

Well, once that guy did his yard sale I figured it was time to take a break. And true to form, the mid mountain hut was full of Easter Sunday merry makers. Folks of all stripes were enjoying the fire and swapping stories of the feather snow we all experienced this day!



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