My Boys in a Blizzard at Mt Hood Ski BowlFor most skiers, slogging through a low snow ski season is something we’ve all experienced from time to time, not happily of course, but what choice do we have.  After the record snow fall that the Pacific Northwest had last season (2016/2017), I was afraid Ullr (the old Norse God of Winter) would decide to take this season off.  Just before Thanksgiving 2017, those fears vanished when we had a healthy dose of early snowfall.  Skiing freshies at Timberline in mid-November, days after buying my seasons pass was amazing.  But then…the rain and above freezing temperatures came back and basically didn’t stop until last week (early February).  I found myself wondering if our early anticipation and excitement jinxed the season and brought on Ullr’s wrath?  All I could do is dig out my rain gear and rock skis, two things that skibum’s don’t like to talk about and just pray.

For diehard skiers, the call of the mountain never stops.  That primal urge inside all skiers and snowboarders to be flying down the mountain on fancy sticks we call skis, just ebbs and flows as winter turns to spring and summer and then back to fall and to winter again.  Generally with a good solid ski season, we all get our skiing fix in which then quells our desperate need to fly effortlessly over the snow in the middle of the wilderness and gets us through the summer and fall until the next ski season.  But when we have seasons such as this year, when we can’t get our runs in because of a lack of snow, the call of the mountain grows louder and stronger.  I absolutely love the Pacific Northwest for many reasons.  One huge reason is that I love having world class ski resorts only three hours from gorgeous beaches.  So it becomes a very sad day when I get depressed after my wife suggests that we go to the beach because it is 60 degrees in town (Portland), in JANUARY.

So as December and January slipped away and I saw February heading in the same direction, my depression getting worse and my ever increasing pot of vacation time that I had hoarded for those potential mid-week ski days, winter FINALLY arrived with a vengeance.  Ullr answered our prayers with a massive dump of spectacular, gorgeous snow.  From the second week of February, through last weekend, Timberline ski resort received almost six feet of fresh powder and the Upper Bowl at Mt. Hood Ski Bowl finally opened with its adrenaline packed black diamond runs that I had been waiting a year to ski.  I got down on my knees and thanked God over and over.   My depression instantly lifted as I put my rain gear and rock skis away and waxed up my Volkl Kendo’s and headed up to the mountain at 5:00 am for a chance at first tracks.

Driving home that night in a massive blizzard, with my endorphin infused muscles aching, after a truly amazing day of skiing with my two boys, I was finally at peace.

So goes the life of a Skibum.

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