Mountain Madness

June 8, 2010
By , Beaverton, OR
Dawn had just broken over the horizon with the sun shining like an angel’s halo. The snow on the side of the road glistened like diamonds as we zigzagged our way up the mountain. As the sun shone on the mountain, and the snow, it also shone on the dirty windows reflecting inside our car.

Chit! The opening of Cody’s energy drink woke me up and the smell of the drink mixed with the rainbow of air fresheners hanging around my friend’s rear view mirror invigorated my senses. I rubbed my eyes and looked out the window to see the vast parking lot of Timberline Lodge. As we wove through the rows of cars looking for a spot, I chuckled at the Toyota Prius that was already buried to its bumper in snow. Why would you bring a car like that to the mountain? I wondered. Once we pulled into an empty spot I started handing people their bags, flooding the car with our gear. Grabbing my pants I wiggled into them while I was crammed behind the drivers’ seat. Knowing I would need more room than the confines of the car to put on my boots, I opened the door. However, I quickly shut it after a flurry of snow and cold air stormed into the car, leaving a fine layer of snow on the door and everyone’s gear. An onslaught of complaints quickly followed the snow from the other passengers in the car. Surrendering, I contorted myself like a gymnast to get my boots on inside the car.

Finally, once everyone was ready, we ventured outside the car to begin the day. A few cars down, there was another group of snowboarders getting ready. Heavy metal music blasted as the scent of their cigarettes wafted over to our car. The sound and smell quickly evaporated as I put on my headphones and tied my bandanna behind my head. Flinging my board over my shoulders, we started walking up the road to the lodge. On our left was a ten-foot high embankment of multi-layered snow, and a sea of snow-covered cars to the right. As we trudged up the road, we passed people in brightly colored jackets, bandannas, and the inevitable spandex-racing suit.

When we got to the end of the road, there stood the lodge towering above us like a castle. It was as busy as Grand Central Station. Pushing open the large, wooden, weather beaten doors, I felt the rush of warm, moist air, which smelled like wet dog. We went in to get tickets. Waiting for my friends to get their tickets, I watched people peeling off layers of clothes and drying their clothes by the giant, inviting crackling fireplace. Bored, I pulled out my iPod, spinning the wheel like a roulette wheel looking for a song that would get me pumped for riding.

Finally, once they had gotten their tickets and were ready, we ventured outside again and walked over to the hill to get down to the lift. The familiar feeling of the crunching snow under foot let me know it would be a good day of riding. The wind had subsided and it was a clear day, snowing enough to cover your tracks and ensure fresh powder all day. I sat down and strapped in my feet. The trail to the lift required a slight turn to the right and then through a small tunnel of trees that put you right outside the Pucci lift. Jumping up, I pointed my board down the hill and pushed off. As I dragged my gloved hand on the ground feeling the light resistance of the fresh powder, I sent a spray of snow into the air.





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