13 January 2008

Ski Days 8 & 9: A Bowl Full Of Contrast

Rescue Center, atop the upper bowl. Note the snow depth - they had to dig out a trench so you could see out the window!

This weekend was back-to-back patrol days. I'm sitting here exhausted, but quite happy, sifting through some 50-odd photos from the weekend. I hope you enjoy the ones I decide to post.

Saturday was...soggy. I carpooled with OEC classmate Bob, and we were wondering when the rain would change to snow as we drove up. It was snowing in Gov't Camp, but it wouldn't be long before it turned to rain. After opening Multorpor with one of the hill apprentices, I got to dry off just barely enough and had to return to the east side of Ski Bowl to spend two lovely hours at the Cascade chair.

The tiny patrol shack at the top of Multorpor lift. I wonder how much snow it can support...?

After chatting with fellow patroller (and Steelers fan) Patrick, I set about manning my post. The stint at Cascade basically sucked, except for the very turnable snow on Challenger. The un-groomed runs were just heavy glop, but the groomed stuff was almost velvety smooth. I decided not to let the rain bother me and just make laps, since there isn't really any place to hang out and stay dry up top, and I wasn't going to sit in the lodge at the bottom.

Okay, I'm silly, taking a shot of the skibowl.com webcam, but there you go.

Fortunately, my relief arrived a little early, so I high-tailed it off to RC to dry off and eat lunch. When I finally dried off, I decided to take a few more pictures, since it wasn't raining on the upper bowl, and the weather did ease up a tad. The trainers were running a scenario for the apprentices, so I shot a little of the action there as well.

An incident scenario in full swing. We even had the area fooled that this was a real case - much to the chagrin of the head pro patroller...

Looks like they're ready to transport.

It was a light day for cases, thankfully, as I don't think anyone wants to have to examine an injured person on the hill in the rain. Other than the photos, I don't remember much about Saturday. Worked with a good bunch of patrollers, though, and did hit the Rat for a brew with the crew afterward.

No wonder they call it "Sunday". Hood, all white again.

Sunday was basically awesome. Except for a little slide on some black ice, the drive up was excellent, and the air was crisp and cool when I got to the patrol building in Govy. Chatted with the hill captain and a couple trainers, then headed off for the Palace. I booted up and got ready, drawing the Rescue Center opening assignment. After a snowmobile ride, some "trail merge" sign/fence setting, it was off to the top of the Ski Bowl world to check the snow depth and get RC opened up.

The only drawback to RC opening is that you don't get any runs in until 10. But today, that was just as well - the glop from Saturday had frozen up for the most part overnight, so much of the early skiing was like being back east. Chattery death cookies abounded, but the groomed stuff was pretty nice.

As I was taking some shots of Mt. Hood, a guy got off the chairlift and asked if I was taking pictures of the mountain. Of course I was, so I said so, and he asked if I'd e-mail them to him. I said, "sure!", he handed me his business card, and thanked me. I should have told him I'd do it if he donated some money to the patrol.

Jeffrey, our happy hill captain, heads into RC.

Immediately after my RC shift, I headed out to Tom Dick Peak to ski the Outback. I knew some of the snow would be firm, but I expected the very upper part to be nice, since it didn't really get the rain that fell on Saturday. After trudging out to the peak, shooting some photos (and crappy video that I probably won't bother posting), I dusted off and dug out the warning signs. There'd been so much snow that one of the signs was nearly buried, and the other was just plastered with snow.

The ridge off to the west of the bowl boundary. I forget what it's called.

My patroll-y duties complete, I took in the view, and then headed down. Well, I guess I wasn't really done. Just below the chutes, there were more boundary markers, and they all needed clearing and re-setting. But, I was right about the very upper part of Tom Dick Bowl - the snow was great, if you found the untracked stuff - and I did. There was probably 2 inches of loose snow over top of the hardened glop from Saturday, and staying off the tracked-up stuff was the way to go.

Lower down, however, was a different story. The untracked stuff was crusty underneath some fresh snow, and when you didn't plunge into the crust, you either chattered on the death cookies or got bounced around by all the grooves in the snow cut by the rain from Saturday. It was survival skiing, to be sure, and not the kind of fun I expected. I did manage to find some nice lines here and there, so it wasn't all bad.

After returning from the Outback, I made a couple more runs on the Upper Bowl and then headed off towards Cascade for my shift there. I left a little early to cover for Vince, who was involved in a case, but got sidetracked by an injured 'boarder on my way there. On initial scene size-up, I was thinking we might have a shoulder or a clavicle, but it turned out to be a broken wrist. An apprentice was in the area, so he helped me get her splinted up and loaded in a toboggan. I got to "drive" the sled behind a snowmobile once again, this time on the rather long and undulating Lake Road trail.

I finally got over to do my shift at Cascade with maybe 40 minutes of it remaining. I ate my lunch sitting outside up top, made a couple runs, and was relieved. I headed off to RC to take a little break, get some more skiing in, and then coordinate and lead the Outback sweep. We had a ton of hill apprentices with us, and their trainers, so we were able to cover sweep quite well.

With sweep finished, we headed on back to the Palace to de-boot and de-brief, then head on home. Mt. Hood was looking awesome with a little alpenglow going on, so I stopped to snap a picture on my way to the Sorento.

At some point, I could recycle shots of the mountain. But why?

No time for beer with the gang this time - I was tired and B was making some kick-ass spaghetti.


BJDorr said...

I'm not sure of the name for the ridge along Tom Dick and Harry, but I hike it frequently in the summer. I didn't see a name for the ridge other than "Tom Dick and Harry" on my GreenTrail map.

I wondered if anyone did any snowshoeing to the top of trail #664 at TD&H today. The view must have been great!

Ghost Dog said...

I didn't see anyone on snowshoes from my vantage point, but that was the only trip I made to the peak that day.

lands said...

Contrast? You want contrast?

Look here http://picasaweb.google.com/lkurfis/EarlySkiing

Ghost Dog said...

Heh! That's great stuff. I wish I had that shot from the Essex Reporter from one of the HS races back in the day.

nightwatcher said...

You got to send some of these to the snojob, they are GREAT!! Looked like some awesome times!! How is the shoulder??