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North Sister - Hoodoo OregonWinter 2005

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The Winter of our Snowboarding Discontent


Hoodoo, Oregon



Elevation: 4,668 Feet





It was an unexpected three day weekend.  Since my company doesn't have a real HR department, one of our sales people, El Jeffe, gets to pick which holidays we honored.  He is an activity/outdoor man at heart, as we all are at Alpine, so he picked goofy holidays that other people wouldn't get off unless A) they worked for the government, which we all know are inherently lazy and heavy and much less likely to be where we were going to be, or B) bankers, who are like...golfers or something slothly like that.  President's Day is like that.  It's just not something we as an American Society actively take part in.  I mean, there are ceremonies and maybe a parade somewhere, but it's not like their is a bowl game on it or we have a social celebration or...something.  Hell, I think most people are surprised when they go to the post office and find it closed.

Jody O'Donnell and Joel HassWe got a nice three day weekend.  I figured it was time to take advantage of something.  After my injuries this winter, I was still a little pent up and wanting to get outside and do something fun.  Linda was back in school and I knew this weekend was going to be staying out of her hair and dodging housework as best I could.  I had planned on the family going skiing on Sunday as we had finally gotten a good dumping of snow.  There was some powder up in them tha'r hills.  It had been a horrid winter for snow.  It started out great early in the season then dried up cleaner than the bottom of a parched dog's water bowl.  Most hills hadn't opened steady all year; only Mt. Bachelor had stayed open all year.  But it has been bone dry.  Even when they boasted a 30" base, I really wondered where in the hell they could find  30" in three square feet on that mountain. 

It wasn't a matter of will, it was a matter of Mother Nature's need to be obstinant.  Last year we had unbelievable snow, the snowing of a decade.  Lush, deep powder every morning a smattering during the day, but it was a lot of clear skies we saw that winter.  Then she dries up, completely.  It doesn't look like we are going to have a very moist, fire-free summer in 2005.

The weekend weather was looking really mixed, some snow, some sun, but regardless, it was going to be a fun weekend.  Three day weekends are like an impromptu lesbian make-out session in the middle of a sports bar, no matter how bad they looked or acted; it was still an impromptu lesbian make-out session in the middle of a sports bar.  Joel and I planned on climbing on Saturday and Linda and I planned on going out to Hoodoo for some fun on the snow.  Since Tanis and I had Monday off, I could get rested up before having to go back to work and sit in my chair, tired, a little sore and stare at a monitor.

Smith Rock - Red Wall - Let's Face It

Joel and I went out with Jonus, Katie and Joel's wife Jenny drove out to Smith late in the morning after some earlier muss and fuss.  We decided to hit the Red Wall so that we could be in the early morning sun and keep our body heat up.  We figured starting out with the first pitch of Peking and then Let's Face It as a second.  We weren't particularly agressive nor fast with our climbing and our pace for ticking off routes.  Jonus led Let's Face It and TR'ing gave me a nice appreciation for his lead.  It has a little bulge at the top to come around that provides for a bit of technical climbing.  Jonus and I popped around the corner where I led Dances with Clams and Jonus led Pop Art.  Joel and the women came shortly after and we ate a little lunch and felt the first of the rain that would eventually call the day.  As it continued to get a little more into a drizzle, we saw our day slipping by us.  We had got some climbing in and had some fun together. 

Smith Rock - Morning Glory - Larry Brumwell

Plus, this is the reason we live in Bend, to be able to pick and choose with our fun because we live in it.  It's like a season pass to the mountain; if you have a bad weekend of snow, who cares?  You get to come back the next day if you want, and the next one after that.  It's why we choose to be poor in this god-awful expensive town.  We know we aren't ever going to be rich living here, we choose it because we love the life.  The ability to go climbing for four hours and not care because we didn't have to do anything to plan for it other than a twenty minute car ride filled with packs and rattling gear.  Poverty...with a view.  Sounds like an add for an "Active Retirement Community."  I figure when I wake up one morning, drive over the Reed Market Bridge and get my first view of the snow covered peaks, tinged with a deep pink from the first lights of the day, and I would rather have more possessions than this view, I will leave Bend.

We drove out of the park with the rest of the rats abandoning the park due to the drizzle.  We headed to Super Burrito in Redmond and had a round of tortas and Jarritos.