Mazama Lodge, Mt. Hood

February 5-7, 2003

An extraordinary thing happened. After weeks of no snow and torrential rains, it snowed on Mt. Hood for five days in a row, putting 30" of beautiful powder on top of a 50" block of ice base. The snow stopped one day before we got there. The sun came out, but the air was cold. Result: We had beautiful powder to ski on for all three days! The skies were blue, the views incredible. Everyone was, quite frankly astonished. Most were prepared to hike or read a book! With the sign-up hovering at 51 for a long period of time, it dropped to 46 the first day, which gave us a great crowd and more than enough to pay the bills!

All things combined in the leader’s mind, to make this THE best of the four trips to the mountain. The food was excellent and more than plentiful, the staff at the lodge was very helpful; and as described above, the weather and snow conditions were perfect.

The first day, people claimed bunks, dropped gear and headed out for a day of skiing. Many went to Timberline Lodge for downhill. Many cross-countried or snowshoed up the West Leg Road from Mazama Lodge to Timberline. Many chose to go to Trillium Lake by skis or snowshoes. Several ventured to Tea Cup on the east side and astonished all of us by declaring that the trails were good there too! Ed and Chris reported that high winds came up at Timberline just as they were heading for the car. That evening appetizers appeared before dinner, which were enjoyed by all with their liquid refreshment. After dinner, what to my wondering eyes should appear but a really huge, beautiful chocolate cake and two boxes of liquid refreshment. The cake said “Better on the Hill than over it. Happy Birthday Sharon.” Well, I have to tell you it was a shock! Sylvia Harvey drug the cake and two boxes up the hill using Carol Petty’s small sled. Good thinking, Sylvia. This was a BIG cake! She will not tell me who was responsible for this wonderful gesture, so my very sincere thanks go to those who participated in the planning and execution of the best birthday party I have had in many, many years.

Thursday gave us another beautiful day with people heading out again to “blanket the mountain”. Because the winds were still blowing, the downhillers decided to head for Mt. Hood Meadows. Steve, Ellen and Jim Whitfield decided to try the Yellow Jacket Trail, connecting to the Boy Scout trail. Yellow Jacket is listed as “Most Difficult”. On their return, Jim declared that it’s good that the trailhead came when it did, because they didn’t know how much further they could go. In the late afternoon, a large group wandered up to Timberline Lodge to watch the alpenglow settle over the mountain. It was truly beautiful. Again, that evening, everyone reported a perfect day, no matter what they strapped to their feet. That evening was a little quieter, with cards, books and board games on display. There were some mean tables of billiards and ping-pong going on on the bottom floor.

Friday, the last day found everyone packing up after breakfast. Some went home, some stored gear on the bottom floor and went out for several more hours of “perfect” snow conditions. Rick reported great snow conditions at Timberline again. The wind had died down by this time. It was a wonderful trip and my very sincere thanks to all who shared it with me. We did bring back a few “lost” items that are looking for their owners. Please see the separate box for description of items.

I want to thank Norma Lockyear and Barb Bruns for their help in “returning the lodge to its original condition”. I also want to thank those drivers who helped by taking passengers. Shall we do it again next year????

Participants were: Rick Ahrens, Ann-Marie Askew, Mike Bebout, Dave Becker, Lois and Ray Bjerken, Barb Bruns, Melody and Jim Clarkson, Wayne Deeter, Peter Graham, Sylvia Harvey, Carolyn and Cork Higgins, Mary Ann Holser, John Hudson, Richard Hughes, Ellen and Steve Johnson, Rob Kappa, Marilyn Kerins, Dot Leland, Ed Lichtenstein, Norma Lockyear, Peggy Lee Mathes, Scott Matthews, Kelly, Kevin and Margaret McManigal, Dick and Rose Marie Moffitt, Anne Montgomery, Beki and Bill Montgomery, Marilyn and Royal Murdock, Judy Newman, Carol Petty, Sandy and Chuck Reul, Chris Stockdale, Chuck Wagar, Jim Whitfield, Sue Wolling and Sharon Ritchie, sort-of-a leader!


Mazama Lodge


Waiting in Timberline Lodge for the alpenglow


Alpenglow


Climbers coming down the Hogback, ’schrund barely showing


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