Days three – five – 12/30-1/2, Mt. St. Helens

We had been planning our New Years skiscursion (like what I did there? Ski excursion = skiscursion!) for several weeks now. Back when it was snowing, we had hoped for major pow and lots of coverage, but then winter disappeared before it even officially began. We were doubtful of the snowpack, but went ahead with plans anyway.

Daryl got off work early on Friday and met me at the house so we could finish packing up the SKIburban. We managed to leave town in fairly good time and I drove us to Hillsboro to meet up with Nick. After running a few errands and buying a healthy selection of beer (including delicious, delicious, impossible to find Pliny!), we hit the road to the mountain.
We gut bombed at Burgerville in Woodland then drove around the Marble Mountain Sno-Park doing donuts before camping out in the back of the truck for the night.

The next morning we were all rudely awaken by the stupid snow mobilers and repacked our gear into our packs and the sled. After coffee and breakfast, we were off!

It was a great skin in, with plenty of snow coverage. We got lots of compliments on our sled! Also, I cannot state enough how much I adore my Gregory pack. So comfortable!

We skin up to just below Chocolate Falls, then veer off to the east to find a place to camp. Ozzy has the right idea and lays down as soon as possible.

We set up camp and then broke into our sled of beer. What do you think, will 21 beers be enough for three days on the mountain?
“On tap” for the weekend: 6 Anderson Valley Brewing Company – Hop Ottin’ IPA (Delicious! How have none of us had it before?) , 4 Fearless Brewing Company – Scottish Ale (“Tastes like Budweiser” according to Nick. It was okay, but definitely no Cold Smoke.), 2 Caldera Brewing Company – Caldera IPA (So yummy!), 4 Fort George – Vortex IPA (Obviously we had to share the extra one as this is all of our favorite of the bunch.), 4 Fort George – 1811 Lager (Always a favorite.), and 1 Russian River Brewing Company – Pliny The Elder (I LOVE Pliny. We had it on tap two years ago at the Indian Food and IPA dinner and I’ve searched for it every since. We all begrudgingly shared this for our midnight beer.).

We get our fire started and then make an awesome dinner of sautéd onions, green pepper, carrots, zucchini, and chicken with a Vortex-Italian Seasoning sauce. I’m not kidding when I say I eat better while camping than I do at home!


Drinky, drinky, drinky, drinky, drinky, drinky, drinky!
[Note: of the 21 beers we started this trip with, we were down to only three by the end of the night…]

We had gone to bed hoping we’d wake up on the first day of 2012 with three feet of pow, but alas. Blue skies it was. After making a quick breakfast of oatmeal and coffee, we grab our day packs and head up the mountain!

We stopped around 6,500 or 7,000 ft and took a little break (enjoying the gorgeous view of Mt. Adams in the background) before heading off down the mountain.

I didn’t exactly do a lot of skiing on the way down, but I did side-slip down what Daryl and Nick estimate would be a Double Black were it a ski area, so that was awesome of me. I can’t wait until I can actually ski. *le sigh*

We get back to camp and start a fire while enjoying the beautiful moon halo. Dinner that night was a Mountain House Beef Stroganoff and falafel that Nick made.

After waking up, we scurry out the back door of the tent and made this awesome breakfast in our camp kitchen (ps, why did we make a camp kitchen and only use it once?). Potatoes, chicken&apple sausage, green peppers, mushrooms (only for the boys), cheese, onions, and eggs. Nom, nom, nom.

It then started to rain, so back into the tent we go to watch some ski videos on Nick’s iPhone.

Modeling the latest fashions from Milan. Or not.

We had planned on jibbin’ today, but the weather was not cooperating, so we decided to pack up camp and call it a day. It was raining and nearly half the trail on the way out was dirt. I finally got some actual turns in on the way down before we had to abandon our skis.

After we got back to the truck and loaded it up, I spied a whippet and quickly snatched up my new find. It’s definitely a well used pair, but we can buy new bottom sections and baskets and they’ll be good as new!

The slush that was the parking lot.

I wish there had been more snow (obviously) and I wish I didn’t always feel so inadequate as a skier, but both of those will come with time. It was a GREAT weekend and I’m so happy we rang in the New Year in the mountains.

Daryl edited a great video together of the trip!

Five days down, 95 to go!

5 thoughts on “Days three – five – 12/30-1/2, Mt. St. Helens

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