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I finally made it up to Mt Hood for a full day of downhill skiing at Timberline Ski Area on Sunday. It had been over a year since I last skied, but hopefully I will be up a few more times this season since I purchased a spring skiing pass. My friend is getting into ski mountaineering, so I figure I better brush up on my skills and spend some time on the mountain this spring.
Timberline Ski Area is home to the historic Timberline Lodge, built in 1936-38 as a WPA project during the Great Depression. The ski area boasts 3,690 vertical feet of skiing, more than any other resort in the Pacific Northwest. Timberline has the longest ski season in North America with summer skiing through Labor Day and sometimes into September and October.
My friend Matt and I left early and arrived at Timberline around 8:30 AM. We met Jordan, one of my friends from work, at the day lodge. The weather was breezy with lots of snow coming down and a temperature in the low 20's. It seamed more like an average winter day on the mountain, though it was supposed to be Spring.
The upper mountain (Magic Mile and Palmer chairlifts) was not open due to the poor visibility, so we skied most of the lower mountain's blue and black runs. We all fell a couple times, but had a great day. There was plenty of powder and only a few icy spots. On one run I took a wrong turn and ended up on a slalom course. I skied through all the gates (I am not the most graceful skier) just to be informed at the bottom that the course was not open to the public. I quickly apologized and went on my way.
Jordan had to leave early, but Matt and I stayed and skied until close at 4 PM. I even took a few runs on my 5th Element Ski Boards (mini skis). I was surprised how well they skied (they are only 99 cm long), but noticed they required more muscle to keep them stable. I tired after several runs and switched back to my regular downhill skis. Despite the weather, it was a great day of skiing. I look forward to my next skiing trip which will hopefully be on a sunny day.