Willamette Pass (“Your Choice Trip”)

December 7, 2001

[When I scheduled the “your choice trip” to Willamette Pass in November, who would have thought it would be a bright sunny day? Who would have thought that a Register Guard reporter and photographer would accompany us? By now, you probably saw the article in the Register Guard about the Obsidians, the 75th anniversary and the trip to Rosary Lakes. Here is my version of what happened. — J.J.]

At the Pass, Rick Ahrens, Doug McCarty, John Jacobsen Kitson and Peter Graham took off on down hill skis. Dick Hildreth purchased a 2 hour lift ticket to practice his telemark skiing. Unfortunately, Dick’s two hour pass somehow got switched with Doug McCarty’s all day pass. Doug had to show his receipt every time he got on a lift.

The cross country skiers congregated in front of the lodge to wait for Matt Andersen, the RG photographer, to rent snow shoes. John Hudson took off to break trail while Georg Jaschek (on his first trip) Dave Kayfes (reporter), Marilyn Kerins, Peggy Mathes, Charlie Van Deusen, and I practiced our snow plow turns. The plan was for Matt to rent snow shoes so that he could be in front to photograph us on the Rosary Lake Trail.

Matt is a Western Washington senior on an internship at the Register Guard. This was one of his last assignments. We found out that you can’t rent snow shoes on weekdays. With a lot of persuasion, Matt was able to rent the needed snow shoes. He quickly put them on, stepped off the trail into the deep snow to go around us and fell head first along with his two cameras. I was so surprised. I am sure he was, too. After one more fall and wet cameras, Matt decided to come up with another plan. This is a resourceful, flexible guy.

We caught up with John H. on the trail where a large tree had fallen across the path. Our R-G reporter found a way to crawl/ski under the tree. Off we went! We only had three more trees to go around or under. While eating lunch at the lower Rosary Lake, Peggy shared sugar cookies with green sprinkles. What a treat! Was the reporter impressed or not?

When a skier in a black helmet appeared, I was again surprised. I didn’t recognize Dick. He skied from the downhill slopes over to Upper Rosary and down to us. Since the trail was broken to the middle Rosary, Dick, John, Charlie, and Dave decided to ski up to take a look. Charlie was the co-leader and did a great job of keeping this group together and hunting for the ski baskets that the reporter lost.

On this bright sunny day, I was looking forward to a great run out. Was I surprised, again! The melting snow and falling snow bombs made a mess of the trail and clobbered us a few times. About 10 minutes down the trail, we met our photographer skiing up the trail. One of the owners of the lodge gave him a ride on a snowmobile to try to photograph the Obsidian down hill skiers. When that didn’t work, Matt rented skis; he was determined to reach the lake. When he met the returning skiers up the trail, Dick offered to go ski back to the lake for the photographs. By this time, the falling snow made it difficult to hold the camera steady.

Meanwhile, our group of four continued down the hill. All of us had a turn at falling. On one fall, Peggy buried her skis in the snow. Georg worked hard help pull her up with his ski pole. By the time all of us got back to the lodge, it was time for Marilyn and her group to take off for Eugene. By 4:00 Doug and his down hill passengers departed. The rest of us sat in the lodge drinking hot chocolate and visiting with the R-G reporter. We were hoping that Matt’s camera would “unfog” so he could take pictures of us in the lodge. Isn’t that a typical Obsidian scene? I tried not to worry about how my wet hair from all that falling snow will look in the photograph. No vanity here!

I was surprised to find out that Georg is 70 years old. He learned to ski in Czechoslovakia. He and his wife moved to Pleasant Hill a few years ago after they sold the farm in Ohio to the Nature Conservancy. He was a farmer and a teacher. In a tractor accident, twenty years ago, he became a quadriplegic His recovery story is amazing. I was so glad to have a nonmember on the trip. Our club is so good about welcoming nonmembers and making sure that they have a good time.

When we left the lodge carrying our skis to the car, Matt continued to take photographs. I wondered which photographs will appear in the R-G. I hope that Matt is happy with them. It was fun to have Matt and Dave on our trip. It was a trip full of surprises with all of us appreciating the companionship and the sun. I was also glad that everyone had a good time and that we made it safely home. Now all I had to do was write the trip report!

Participants were: Rick Ahrens, Kitson & Peter Graham, Dick Hildreth, John Hudson, Georg Jaschek, John Jacobsen, Marilyn Kerins, Peggy Mathes, Doug McCarty, Matt Anderson (photographer), Dave Kayfes (reporter), Janet Jacobsen (trip leader) and Charlie Van Deusen (co-leader).

Click here to view the 1/3/02 Register Guard Story on The Obsidian's 75th

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