Yes. FINALLY. I think this is one of the latest dates I’ve had for getting up on the Magic Mile in a ski season. Between health/back/weather, it’s taken until now to get up there…but oh yes, it was worth it.
Yesterday was a spring skiing type of day. Temperature inversion so that the higher up I went, the warmer it got, even with a stiff east wind. However, this time the western valleys were clear:
(okay, a bit hazy. But still, no fog).
The eastern valleys, though?
I swear, I didn’t know that Central Oregon got this much fog until I started skiing.
Started out my day skiing in the trees. Icy at first, and I wondered if I’d overwaxed my skis and hadn’t removed enough of it in the scraping and buffing process. Then I decided, once things didn’t change after a run (even on the iciest days, if it’s the wax one run will change things), that maybe it was the conditions and just stopped worrying about it, continuing to ski conservatively. It was pretty enough down in the trees:
and there was no wind to speak of. But early in the morning it was slick and icy, and I kept looking up at this:
and wanting to be up on the open slopes in the sunshine. Finally I told myself “One test run,” and went up.
And oh, it was so worth it. The surface wasn’t the greatest in the world. It was icy mashed potato lumps. Not much snow over the wind-scoured ice, certainly not enough yet to settle in between the iced snowdrifts that I discovered in lower snow last year, but still eminently skiable. And it was the Mile. Up on top of Oregon, higher than most other points around, lots of gorgeous scenery AND NO ONE ELSE UP THERE! Only a handful of us were riding the Mile. Of course, given the lack of trees and the wide openness of the run, it’s possible to have a lot of wide open space on the Mile once there’s enough snow.
There was wind. I got chilled but not cold. The new ski jacket passed the windy Mile day test because while I got chilled on the ten minute ride up, I didn’t get cold. The jacket fits snugly and keeps me warm. The wind kept a lot of people off the Mile but hey, I’ve experienced worse. It was strong enough to buffet me around when I had my back to it, even skiing downhill and not across the slope (there’s been more than a few times since I’ve lost weight that I’ve gotten off the chair, turned left, and had to dig my edges in to keep from skating across the flat when the wind caught me). But it was not bad.
Of course, after that one December day last season, where I shivered up the lift, got off at the top, looked at the solid sheet of wind-carved ice in front of me and realized This Is A Bad Idea, my standards have changed somewhat.
So it was a gorgeous ski day. I got four runs in on the Mile, a Kruser run and a Jojami run. My back and hip started talking to me after the sixth run and the clock was running out, so I skied back to the lodge, changed out of my gear, and went to work. Had an extremely pleasant First Friday with friends after work, then came home. Sweetness.
And now, off to the ORELA. Bleh. But probably skiing tomorrow, and horse this afternoon (once we get sandbags made up for the renter to have in case of flooding later on this season). Going to be a busy weekend.
No rest for the wicked. But that’s the way it is.