Drove up to Timberline Lodge and the sun was out and the sky was clear and the snow banks were 15-20 feet high on the side of the road. Mount Hood loomed ahead.
We “split” our boards and put the skins on which are these long strips that stick on the bottom to give you traction so you can “skin” up the mountain. We clipped in and headed up. We started at 6000 feet and a mile and an hour later we were at 7000 feet.
We found a flattish spot and and sat and ate our pbjs and chugged water and chatted and tried to take in the endless views for about an hour unaware that our faces were burning. The summit looked so close…but it was like an optical illusion cuz it’s over 11,000 feet and super steep and getting up it requires ropes, ice axes, crampons and technical mountaineering skills and I have zero of these things and zero interest in mountaineering.I did have an interest of continuing up the glacier but I felt weird from the altitude and Travis said even though it looked really gradual that it was actually very steep and this was my first time doing something like this so we decided to descend. We peeled the skins off, clipped the board back together, moved the bindings and strapped in. Oh the awkwardness of riding down on a rental. I could hardly control the board and had trouble turning so I stayed close to the groomed Timberline area which is a ski resort with lifts which we were basically next to. Travis dropped into this gulley that looked really fun but I stayed up top since my board felt so weird. I giggled all the way down stopping to do a face plant somersault which made me laugh so hard I wasn’t sure I’d be able get down.We explored Timberline Lodge which is full of history describing how this massive place built in the 30’s on this giant active mountain volcano where people ski all summer long. We took advantage of the heated outdoor pool and jacuzzi. We lounged by the gigantic fire places. We smothered our sunburnt faces with fancy hotel lotion. We watched The Shining in our little bunk room where the windows were covered with snow. We ate the infamous breakfast buffet. We woke up to tons of snow and had to put chains on the tires – a new experience for me. Of course the road was then clear so we pulled off to take them back off. A fun adventure with chains. Once below the snow line we went for a little hike on the foothills of Mount Hood in the rainforest where there were old growth Douglas furs covered in electric green moss. We hugged them. Travis described them as Dr Seuss trees. We walked long this raging river and it was intense how powerful that water felt. Tomorrow we head to the coast!