El Nino Winters might start late. But the winter days last long into the usual days of sun. Today I woke up, hoping to put on my skate skis and scramble up to the top of the Cinder Cone at Mount Bachelor, then point them straight down the hill to the faithful truck waiting below. I got a report from my training mate Lars saying we might be in for some powder and decided to throw the heavy metal gear into the back. Good choice.
The tools of the trade: Lightweight backpack with electrolyte-filled beverages, poles, skins and skis.
The Chairlifts might be overhead, but with the mountain closing down last weekend, it makes for quiet trails. While this certainly equates to fewer gravity assisted turns, it also means fresher stashes of pow and no worries about getting in the way of paying customers if you want to trek to the top.
Turn it around, and head back up one more time? Why not. It's the time to earn some hours and build that base for the next time.
Until next time.