Each of the past three weekends I’ve gone skiing. First I went to White Pass. Originally I had a few people willing to go with me, but they all bailed at the last minute, so I went alone. It was my first ski of the season, and I was by myself, so I opted for the half day instead. The weather was beautiful:
I skied hard and fast. I was feeling it in my thighs immediately, and was surprised at how quickly I was back into going over small jumps, tackling mogul runs, and speeding down the faster stretches. By the end of the day I had worn myself out and had some really good runs. It was great. The people who bailed don’t know what they missed.
The next weekend some people bailed again, but I was with Katie, so I wasn’t alone. We got to White Pass at about 10 and had a few runs. It was snowing and a little windy, and the snow was a little rough from the day before. We stopped at the lodge for some spiced wine (it turns out they just put apple cider mix in burgundy and put it in a coffee pot on a burner). We had lunch, too, and when we went outside to continue skiing, my rental skis were not there. I searched the whole area but didn’t find them. I went to the rental office and they said if they didn’t show up, I was responsible for replacing them. If somebody had accidentally taken mine, their bindings would likely not fit and they would have a bad time and go to the rental office, so we waited for a while back at the lodge. We took another tour of the area to see if the skis were there, then headed back to the rental office to see if they had shown up, and they hadn’t. Fortunately they loaned me another pair to use until the end of the day, and said it was unlikely that they were stolen and that it was probably a mixup. We continued skiing the rest of the day. It was pleasant, and we had some good runs. When I turned in my second set of skis, I asked about the first set, and they had already been returned, so I was off the hook, but the person who took mine probably didn’t know their set was likely still outside, so I wonder if they got screwed.
We drove back, stopping in Yakima for dinner at The Depot, which is a really nice restaurant with good food and service. Sadly, we were the only ones there, and we have no idea why.
The last ski trip was yesterday, and I went up with two friends to Bluewood, which is slightly closer, in the opposite direction, and has a totally different feel. White pass is a lot more challenging, but there aren’t as many fast runs. It has more lifts, and the people are all ages. Bluewood is much more of a beginner’s ski area. There are only a few runs with moguls, it’s almost entirely middle and high school kids, and most runs are very wide and straight. It was a perfect day for skiing; below freezing, with a good rate of snow that put about 1/8″ on the groomed ground between runs. There weren’t many people there, so the average wait for the lift was about 30 seconds, and the runs were so open that we could speed down the runs without worrying about traffic. The trees were fun, the moguls were interesting, and we had a few ‘death races’ down some of the runs where I tucked as far as I could and felt the snow stinging as it hit my face. Then at the end of the run I would stand up straight and put my arms out to let the wind slow me down; it almost felt like skydiving. On the way home the snow was freezing rain, and the defroster couldn’t keep up, so the windshield wipers were constantly trying to scrape away a thin layer of ice on the windshield. We passed a car that had turned over in a ditch, and a van shortly after on its side. Almost home, we encountered a snowplow on its side as well, and you know when the snowplows are on their sides that you probably shouldn’t be out driving. We made it home without problem, though, and it was a good day.