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I've grown up skiing religiously every winter since I was about ten years old.  Last winter, however, I found myself living down in Southern California, where I encountered lots of sun and about one day of skiing on a small mountain with a twenty inch base just outside of LA.  My anticipation and longing to ski has been building steadily ever since I took this one season hiatus, which is why I was bursting with excitement to get to Mt. Hood.  I had heard stories of friends camping out in the parking lot and getting to ski in July or August for weeks at a time, and I wanted to get myself a taste of this year round Northwest summer skiing.

Upon arriving I was greeted by embracing warmth, a small glacial field of snow, and an operating lift- more than I could ask for as I strapped on my boots for the first time in months.  It was an odd sensation riding a lift over bare rocks, holding my skis in my lap rather than on my feet, but once we got onto the snow the overwhelming sensation of pure bliss and peace that the mountains always offer me took hold.

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The small ski area consisted mostly of a park, some slalom courses teeming with aspiring racers, and one lane of open snow that allowed me to do whatever I pleased- namely, go fast.  And it felt so great.  After lapping one open lane for a while we decided to meander on down to the park.  It was a fun little park with a variety of options and features- having Baker as a home mountain and often preferring big mountain skiing to park I found it fun to spend some time working on honing in on my atrophying skills while I'm airborne.

After lapping the park for a bit we decided to see exactly what Timberline had to offer and hike out of the ski area a bit.  It was a steep hike in some hot sun, but offered the longest run of the day with some fast, fun turns and a spectacular perspective of the mountain ranges, rivers, and lakes we were surrounded by. The snow was suncapped and slushy, the people were welcoming, and the skiing was just FUN to put it simply.  For a girl who's been vying for snow since the first time it rained about a month ago it was a delicious little taste of skiing that satiated me for the time being but left me craving more!

-JR

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