Snowboarding is fun. I mean, it kinda of goes without saying, but when you’ve been doing it for a long time, sometimes you can forget. The past few seasons I’ve admittedly been a bit snobby about things such as the conditions, which will happen when you live somewhere it gets really good (and also really bad). But this season, the magic is back. I’ve already ridden more times this year than last, and I actually have passes to multiple resorts. Well, I HAD passes, I should say.
The unintended consequence of my refound love for snowboarding is I’ve completely reverted back to my 16-year-old self. This means, I am “trying” and actually putting effort into “getting some” again. Apparently though, even when you’re almost 30 and attempt to use rational and logic to get out of it, you will still get your pass pulled for cutting a rope. As you can see from the photo above (taken on the fateful run), it was worth it, but I am currently on a two-week time out permanent suspension from Mt. Hood Meadows.
Technically, the bottom of Heather Canyon was open yesterday, which means the lift was running, the mitigating factor in if you can ride one of the best/steepest sections of the mountain. I happened to be following a few uber locals, and while we were all keenly aware of the potentially pass-losing consequences, ducking in a bit above the one open gate definitely yielded turns that were somewhat epic. If everyone else hadn’t been cutting in early as well, the ski patrol may not have set up a sting operation at the bottom, but you know, that’ll happen when no one wants to follow the rules. Jerks (the people cutting the ropes, not the ski patrol who were JUST DOING THEIR JOBS). As I popped out of the sticky cat track I heard the fateful “What do you think you’re doing,” and soon was freed of the excessive weight of one of my seasons passes.
Since they are were nice enough to give me a media pass, I decided I would attend the “skier education course” they want you to take before they give you your pass back. It also helped that one of the other idiots I was with got his taken as well, so my other option was sitting in the lodge and waiting. The course went something like this: watch a 30-minute scare video about ski safety ala the ones they show you about drunk driving in driver’s ed. Review the agreement we signed (but no one has ever read) when we got our passes, and finally a fun q and a where the other people tried to blame the mountain for it being “confusing” etc. We were then informed to get our passes back, we’d have to educate 5 other people and get them to sign a piece of paper saying we did, and bring it back in two weeks. I asked if I could do my educating via twitter, but apparently that is not enough of a waste of time, so they said no.
I felt like I was back at Pico, sitting the office getting yelled at for ducking under the rope for the little river bed section that was next to the Golden Express, and I must say, I kinda liked it. I guess I’ll just have to make due with Bachelor for the next two days and then Ski Bowl until the 23rd for the rest of the season. Shucks.
Disclaimer: Heather Meadows has avalanches. You should not duck the rope and go in there, even though I survived and it made for a funny story.