Doug suggested we ski over to a second lift up on the mountain. When I agreed, I didn't realize we were going to the mountaintop. As we started up the mountain, the wind picked up and started pelting us with little flecks of snow. Looking down from the lift, I could see snow flowing off the mountain ridges and sweeping across the runs below like an ocean wave. The wind would whip up snow in twisters around the run so that there were little snow devil type mini tornadoes. All this I got to see through my pink-tinted snow goggles. The site was incredible. Finally, at the end of the lift, I lost it. We got off the lift into a little shelter at the top of the mountain. Outside, the wind was howling so loud I had to shout to talk to Doug. I looked outside and could only see a little ridge where the ski run went off to the right. Below that was a steep drop off and rocks peeking out from the snow. We were above the timberline, but looking out across the top I could see the line of clouds below us and the trees descending from that. I felt like I was on the edge of the world, about ready to blow off into the heavenlies. Once I got out on the run and the wind was gusting and flinging snow into my face, I was sure the wind would blow me off the edge. I dug my skies in horizontally and started screaming and crying. I've never been so scared in my life. Doug, my hero, helped me through it and convinced me to just focus on the run. I couldn't even see anything but the ledge when I was pressed up against the mountain, but I listened to him and looked over. The run actually looked very wide and not too steep. So, what else could I do, but I went for it.
The run was doable, but really hard-packed snow. For those of you that don't ski, the powder is soft and moves with you, but the hard-pack is icy, rigid and hard, so skiing over it you feel every little bump and it's not forgiving. The wind was blowing the snow across the run horizontally, so I'm sure it was blowing the powder away. Anyhow, I hit a ridge and lost control. It wasn't too bad of a fall, although my skies flew off and I had to hike up the mountain to get them. After we hit timberline, the powder returned as well as my confidence. We shooshed down the mountain very happily and had some lunch. Then... I wanted to do it again! This time, with a camera.
So, the second time, although easier on my mind (I always feel more confident about something the second time), it was much harder physically. The wind was blowing much stronger and I couldn't even see the run below me as I was skiing. Still tough making myself get out of the lift and onto the run. Doug and I had to dig our skies into the side of the mountain to take the pictures (so be grateful!). Plus, it was 16 degrees at the base, so at the top, with the windchill factored in, Doug did not want to remove his glove to snap the picture. But, we did and we're glad they turned out. However, this time down, since I couldn't see the run, I ended up in a rocky patch and I HATE moguls/rocks. You're supposed to ski around them, but I'm not a great skier, so I always end up going over them. I got going much faster than I'm comfortable with and then I lost control. I started screaming and hit a rock. Doug said he was really scared for me because I flew into the air. My skies fell off, my poles too, and I started twisting horizontally. I must have the best guardian angel ever, because I hit a rock with my leg, not my head. I came out of that with only some soreness, stiffness and nasty bruises. However, I skied to the bottom just fine and then we skied the lower half of the mountain the rest of the day. It was so much fun!!! I love skiing! It's the scariest, but most exhilerating thing I've ever done. I definitely recommend it to all of you. Here's a link to our pictures: http://www.public.asu.edu/~dthibod/Pics/MtHood/
We had a really nice anniversary dinner that night at Stanfords. It's a classy steak restaurant near Doug's apartment. What a fun time! I woke up with a stiff neck and it hurts to walk, well, or move my arms much, but SO worth it!
Happy Birthday Lindsay!