The first snow

Field Report No. 20151103BB

Topic: Powder hunting

Conditions: Enchanted

COMMENTS: My car strove to meet the distinct line of the season’s first storm as I pointed toward Washington Pass. Monoliths on both sides, monoliths whose rock slabs I climbed in the cool sun only weeks ago, wore heavy coats of their fluffy winter garb. As I peeled my skins, gingerly affixing them to my trusty boards a stern breeze howled over me from the icy purple haze lingering near Rainy Pass. Soon unconsolidated powder husssssshed underfoot turning the corners of my mouth and nipping my cheeks a becoming shade of rose. It was just me and the insistent wind doing our ancestral work. I directed my skiis back toward my car as dark turned everything white the pastels of a cloud-dulled sunset.

KEY FEATURES: Autumn’s final hues encased in snowy tombs. Tree and rock knobs still poking their heads through a fresh blanket of white. Stark black-and-white cliffs against a dramatic sky. The cold. No company.

RECCOMENDATIONS: Before shoving off fill your thermos with a hot drink and get a few landjägers for the ski at the Mazama Store. Retire to The Freestone’s plush couches with a glass of local wine après. You won’t regret ordering any of their new menu items.