Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Oregon Bliss - Trout Creek to Mt. Hood

Aw yeah. Spring time!

Skiing – climbing. Corn snow – crack climbing. Legs – arms. Endorphins - adrenaline. Choosing is hard to do. Manic energy solves the problem.

Saturday. Nate picks me up at 8, and we pull into Trout Creek around 11. A swift hike up to the crag, and we’re climbing splitter cracks for the next 6 hours surrounded by the Eastern Oregon landscape. On one side – the cracks.

On the other – the mountains.

Today we climb cracks - finger cracks, cuticle cutters, calf crushers. Tired and worn out we collapse under a juniper tree with the Deschutes whirling and whooshing in the background.

Sunday. We wake up in the duff at 5 am with the songbirds chit chatting in the branches overhead. The Deschutes continues its endless journey, and a couple of dedicated fishermen head off to the river. The sun rises up out of the sky as we drive north towards Mt. Hood, painted white with a fresh coating of spring fluff. Anticipation builds.

At 7:00, we hook up with Pat at Hood River Meadows. We step out of the car to blue skies, warm temps, calm winds and fresh snow. We’re skinning from the main base by 7:30, and we haven’t seen another soul. I let the music tune out the sounds of the mountain and synch up my breathing with my stride. I start to sweat and don’t care as the runs of the ski area fade away below us. My skins bite hard in the smooth softening snow, and I point ‘em up hill. My thoughts drift … they may even fade away for a few brief moments. Peace.

A few hours later we peel off the skins at 9700’ with the snow quickly deteriorating.

It’s now or never, and we drop into Super Bowl carving turns in the corn. My brain focuses in on the terrain ahead, searching the snow for signs of the dry heaves. Legs burn.

The barren snow slopes give way to white bark pine and then a forest as Heather Creek gurgles out from under the snow. 5000’ later we stumble back to Hood River Meadows.

We collapse on the blacktop, peel off the clothes and start drinking cold beer. My fingers still hurt from the day before. Scabs come off with the fleece gloves. My back hurts. My stomach cramps as the beer starts to soften the lump of shot blocks. Slowly my thoughts creep back into my consciousness, and I realize I haven’t missed them.

Satisfaction – Oregon style.


  1. sweet blog! (found you by CC.com post)

  2. Hey thanks. Looks like you got a cool blog as well. Run it out!

  3. You bucking fastards!!! Noice.

  4. hey hey congrats on the new bun! let's go get some turns when you get the hall(e) pass.