I met up with Loren and her regular Saturday group of “Hardy Girls” for a ski trip up to Broken Top. Although I was the oldest in the group of four other women, it wasn’t by more than ten years so I figured I could keep up well enough. The sky was deep blue without the blemish of a single cloud. The wind was mild and though there wasn’t much fresh snow it wasn’t too icy so we had a good three-hour ski into the heart of the Cascades.
Once we made it across the canal road and into the lower reaches of Broken Top’s bowl Loren suggested climbing the NE ridge of the mountain for a little steep skiing. The wind was stronger in the wide open spaces above the tree-line. We made our way up a small couloir that was hard-packed with barely a skiff of new snow. Even traversing was hard for me on my negative scale skies. At the halfway point I started considering the even bigger challenge of getting down the steep, narrow, slope. I mentioned my concern to Peggy who agreed it was silly to keep going so we told the others we would wait for them and we scooted over to the smattering of trees that formed the west wall of the couloir. However, Liz decided to join us too and soon Amy came back down to us carrying her skies. It was too steep and slippery for non-tele skiers. Loren made the top of the ridge in her wide, hybrid touring/tele gear and enjoyed the 100 yards of turns getting back to us.
We were barely sheltered from the increasing winds in the shallow bowl of a tree well. The sun was bright but with temps in the teens. I grew cold quickly. I don’t like to eat much when I’m skiing and since I have plenty of “stored energy” to burn from my hips and thighs, I opted to start the return journey after about 15 minutes in our lunch spot. I ate a few nuts, drank water then told the others I was heading out. Everyone else was getting cold too so I waited five more minutes so they could finish their elaborate lunches of beefy sandwiches, hot soup, cream cheese covered bagels, etc. Loren shared her hot tea with me and I accepted an energy bar. Though I didn’t need it, at least it gave me something to do while waiting for the others. I side-slipped down the steep grade for the first 50 yards until it shallowed out a bit so I could traverse to the bottom. We still had half a mile of declined terrain to cover gradient was such that I was able to make a few tele turns which kept my speed in check. After falling three for four times I made the canal road. The final four miles back to the car was mostly downhill but it had just enough pitch to keep you gliding without much effort.
Back home, after a long, hot bath, and a bowl of home-made soup I thought I’d be more tired than I was. The pace had been slower than I normally ski so even though the five-hour round trip excursion was my longest ski this year, the modest speed and fast snow made for a perfect outing, with room to spare.
After a smidgen of a nap, Bob and I went to see The Kite Runner. It was good, though not great. The two young actors were notably good, as was the depictions of culture. The scenery was spectacular though it turns out it was filmed in China not Afghanistan. The plot was too predictable, a few too many coincidences, and I didn’t care for the adult actor’s performances.