29 May 2006

This Time, Timberline. But First, X-Men

Saturday, the missus and I went out to see X-Men: The Last Stand. Not going to say much about it, since it just opened and I don't want to spoil it for anyone. Suffice to say, it was an enjoyable movie - cool effects, plenty of action. We found out afterward that we should have stayed until after the credits, so if you haven't seen it yet, make sure you stick around - you'll be glad you did.

They called it "The Last Stand", but at the end of the film it seemed like they kicked the door wide open for a fourth installment. Not that I'd mind a bit.

Sunday, I spent up at Timberline, shadowing with the Mt. Hood Ski Patrol. I was hoping to get some more sled training, but the weather and shortage of hill patrollers put the kibosh on that plan. As it was, I got to hang out with and learn from some really good patrollers, and actually ski on some fresh snow - in May! Two of my OEC classmates - one of whom was in my ski test group - were also up shadowing, so it was fun to hang out with them a little bit as well.

The weather left something to be desired, however. The upper part of the mountain was very windy and cold, which isn't what one might expect in May, if you haven't skied Timberline much past the end of the "regular season". It was snowing up there as well. I was hoping the weather would be a little more like it was a couple weeks ago, so I could take some more pictures like the ones I shot on Mother's Day, and maybe get some shots of sled training and whatnot. The visibility up at the top of Mile was not very good, and the light was so flat that we were "skiing by Braille". Once you got down to the top of Pucci, the light was much better, but the snow was a little heavier and harder to push around. Still, anything that's not Eastern Boilerplate is a joy for me to ski on.

It was a pretty quiet day, despite the conditions and the races that were going on. I thought for sure we'd have seen some kind of incident on the hill. Weather (and soaked jacket - I'm gonna replace that POS Columbia as soon as I can afford to) aside, I had a great day. The snow on the upper mountain was excellent, and we did find a few spots where we were cutting fresh tracks. Even a quiet day with the patrol can offer up a decent training opportunity - for me, it was just about getting a better feel for the geography and familiarization with the standard operations at Timberline.

After we were done for the day, we headed to Charlie's in Government Camp for some beer. The hill captain bought the first pitcher, which was a local brew from the Mt. Hood Brewing Company called Ice Axe. It's an IPA, which I'm usually not big on, but it was very tasty and went down pretty smooth. The description says it's "aggressively hopped", but I found it to be a pleasant brew, and it certainly was a nice follow-up to the day's skiing. I think I'm going to have to try some more of their stuff, as they list an Amber and an Oatmeal stout as regular brews. Their Porter sounds intriguing as well.


Major Clanger said...

Hey - I saw X-Men today too, and stayed for most of the credits then left as nothing seemed to be happening. I just found out what the extra scene was on the web. D'oh! FWIW, I thought the movie was very entertaining.

brando said...

You must not know who I am. I'm the Juggernaut, yeoch!

I'm glad they put that in the movie.

brando said...

Also, Psyloche died way too quickly.