Sunday, November 26, 2006

Epic Day at SkiBowl

Today I went with my buddies Toshi (who we now call Kamikaze Kimura the Samurai Shredder - you'll see why later) and Aaron Hartz to SkiBowl on Mt. Hood for the 2nd day they've been open this year.  Aaron and I had heard reports of massive snowfall over the weekend up there so we wSkibowl_112606_003ere totally stoked to get out and hit some pow.  Toshi offered to drive and we got an early start around 6:45am from Corvallis.   We drove directly to the mountain with just a quick stop at a gas station for some coffee to wake up.  We hit the snow line just a few miles past Kathy's
Kabins which I had just stayed at over Thanksgiving.  Toshi didn't bother to put his chains on although a lot of people who were heading further over the pass did.  When we pulled in and started to unload the car we heard the resort bombing the slopes with shells to clear any avalanche danger which is always a good sign! 

    The resort wasn't that busy and we were able to get our passes quickly and hit the slopes.  The upper bowl was amazing and had plenty of gnarly terrain to thrash.  The lifts themselvesSkibowl_112606_008 were old school 2-person chairs with no safety gate.  I was beginning to really like this place.  It had snowed nearly 3 feet over the past 3 days so everything was soft and powdery when we got
there.  From the lift I picked out a line that dropped over a 10' ledge at the start, carved down a steep slope of pow then dropped over a bigger 15-20' drop at the end before heading into trees. The pic of the skier with the crossed skis is me  We gave Toshi the camera and got some film of Aaron and I crushing it.  We had to be very careful of what was underneath the snow still because the base layer was pretty much the same powder we were blasting through all day. 

    After a few more runs down that face they opened up the backcountry so the three of us Skibowl_112606_039
went exploring and were able to get fresh turns down some sick steeps intoSkibowl_112606_029
trees.  I got a great sequence of Aaron coming off a pretty good size ledge HERE.  Also in the pic on left. We made the hike to the backcountry twice before the snow got too sticky and warm at the bottom making the traverse back to the lifts difficult.  My skis aren't waxed and the snow became so sticky in the afternoon that I was able to literally "skin" up the trail from the snow stuck to my ski bottoms. 

    We took a quick break for lunch at the base lodge then went for a few more runs.  On our Skibowl_112606_019
second to last run I spotted some pillows (big rocks covered in snow) that ISkibowl_112606_032
wanted to try out.  Aaron guinea pigged the jump and I followed him.  It was a good 10-12' drop.  Toshi was standing above and I told him to give it a try... well I didn't have to ask twice.  I barely had time to push record on my camera as he came sailing over the edge leaving a big bomb hole below.  Check this video HERE.  On his firt drop Toshi pretty much hurled his carcass!  Aaron and I decided his new Skibowl_112606_054
name is Kamikaze Kimura the Samurai Shredder!  By this point Toshi's glassesSkibowl_112606_070
were completely fogged and it was dumping so he headed down while Aaron and I took one more run through the pow which was amazing.  Once again Aaron and I pushed each other all day to do things we both sometimes questioned but it always turned out fine.  Looking forward to a great season!


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