April 1, 1984
With the weather report promising “clearing skies,” six of us headed up
past Cougar Reservoir, and onto forest road 1980, climbing ever higher, and wondering
if and when we would reach snow level.
Clouds hung heavy all around when we finally reached snow on the road at around
As we proceeded up the forest road on fresh (albeit rather moist. . .) snow,
fog rose from the surrounding valleys, and eventually engulfed us in a whiteout of
The climb was invigorating, and soon most of us were skiing with just shirts (??-editor)
and without mittens.
Of botanical interest was a lovely grove of Alaska Cypress which we passed at about the
4900 foot elevation.
As we neared the top, it became noticeably colder, and when we reached the summit and
its lookout tower just after noon, the idea of a relaxing picnic, while soaking up the
sun and the view of the Three Sisters, became more of a fantasy than a desired possibility.
But no sooner had we seated ourselves to eat our lunches, than the heavens parted, and
a Great Golden Orb shone brilliantly upon our sun-starved Valley-Girl and -Boy bodies.
We all expressed our appreciation; five minutes later, the clouds and fog closed in again,
and it began to snow!
We didn’t tarry, and the 3 or 4 mile trip that took us 2½ hrs. on the way up,
required but a mere 45 minutes (or LESS for some speedsters!) to descend.
Toward the bottom, the snow’s warmed considerably, so a pair of WATER skis
might’ve been more appropriate than our Fischer Steps.
We left the snow squalls behind, and on our way back past Cougar Reservoir, stopped to
pick branches of red-flowering currant—that lovely harbinger of spring in the
Those who were treated to a delicious variety of winter weather (white-out, sunshine,
mini-blizzard . . . but NO RAIN!) were Tom Brinton, Fran Gnose,
Bud Kloster, Curt Offenbacher, Marie Street, and leader Whitey Lueck.