TRIP REPORT: XC Skiing Mt. Hood
Snow flurries drifted down from the low clouds, fresh powder dusting the winter landscape. White-frosted firs bowed down laden with heavy snow. We found several inches of snow on the ground at around 3200 feet on Mt. Hood National Forest. Deep enough to ski! Contouring up the road, we saw several others on the multi-use road, but mostly we were alone in the forest stillness. By the time we reached our turnaround at 3800 feet, we were skiing on over a foot of snow, and more was still falling.
We explored some side roads along the way, and took a break on the Fanton trail. The snow hadn't accumulated as much under the big trees of the deep forest. Check out the photo of snow-dusted bear grass.
The temperature hovered just below freezing. Something was falling from the sky most of the time, mostly fluffy snow, but also sleet and ice crystals now and then. But the precipitation was never liquid. A fresh coating of powder lay in our tracks for our return.
We had gradually climbed up on our way in, so the way back was mostly an easy downhill glide. We got back in half the time it had taken us to go out. Over an inch had accumulated on the van while we had been out. As we wiped the snow off the windows, a woman called out, "Merry Christmas!" to us, waving from the passenger seat of a pickup truck with a noble fir in the back.
It didn't take long to drive back down to the rainy valley. Hard to believe that we had been out enjoying a winter wonderland less than an hour away from the usual Portland gray. What a great day for being out on the snow!
Next Adventure is heading out for more Winter Trips, and you can join us! Snowshoe and Cross Country Ski trips include rental gear, transportation, guided tour, and any instruction you need to make your outdoor winter experience more safe and enjoyable.
Just $50 - sign up online at nextadventure.net/outdoor-school/
Next Adventure is a fully-insured licensed Outfitter and Guide with the State of Oregon. Next Adventure is an equal opportunity Recreation Provider operating under special use permit on the Mt. Hood National Forest and Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, USDA Forest Service.
Next Adventure Guide-Instructors are locally trail-experienced, and carry current Wilderness First Response certification.