At 5:00 AM it was overcast in Welches and as we headed up we encountered mist and fog well before arriving Govy; leading us to believe that we would be above it today.
Unfortunately as we drove up the Timberline road we never broke through the cloud layer and the visibility in the parking lot was just as bad if not worse than the previous 2 days.
The Mile was scheduled to run while the Palmer was on stand-by. Uros and coaches from other camps headed up the Mile to provide a hill report. Very-low visibility gave way to slightly improved visibility and lift tickets were handed out.
Tiickets were handed out and people were heading up and Uros radioed down to say that it just got worse and to hold the group. It was almost 9:00 AM when Dave, Tyler & myself threw the towel in and headed back down to Welches and awaited the return of our test skis.
Since the campers did not start to ski until 10:00 AM they ended up setting gates and staying up until 1:45. The campers did a great job returning their skis and we headed up to Govy to return skis and say our 'Good-Bye's to our test center buddies for the very last time.
We left Welches at 5 AM, Govy at 6 AM and up the Timberline road. The weather teased us at mile marker 3 & we caught a brief glimpse of the sun to the east and no sooner did we make the turn to the west and it was snowing; progressively harder as we approached the parking lot.
The Mile was on a delayed start, Palmer on stand-by and the weather radar kept showing precipitation coming in from the west. Chris Acosta headed up the Mile lift at 7 AM and took 2 loops down to check the snow conditions.
Chris indicated that visibility was extremely limited and the snow varied from ice to windblown. The racers were given the option to ski or head down and Annie, Gretchen, Lauren, Libby, Nellie & Rosie headed out with coach Maisie Ide; while the rest of us headed down.
Many of the campers headed down to the Lloyd Center in Portaland while we reclaimed the 30 pair of SL skis that were out for testing and made arrangements to pick up the 25 pair of GS skis that we had taken requests for tomorrow.
After our work was done we broke down our shop and packed the truck as we head home after tomorrow's training. After 16 years I always have mixed emotions as this signifies the end of another summer at Mt. Hood but at the same time it will be good to get home.
The forecast was correct and we woke up to rain in Welches, rain in Govy and mist & fog at Timberline. We arrived at the Wy'east day lodge at 6:15 and waited until 8:00 AM to make the call. The Palmer was iced in for the day which meant only free-skiing on the Mile.
It was decided that everyone would be given the option to ski or not to ski and when asked everyone opted to stay and free-ski for 2 hours with the coaches on the Mile lift. This was quite a surprise given the whining and groaning of Group #1 over the past few days.
Dave, Tyler & myself decided to go and hang out in the Timberline lodge until the athletes came back down. Constructed during the WPA days it was officially opened to the public in June of 1937. In 1977 it was the 1st ski lodge to receive National landmark designation.
The forecast for tomorrow is slightly better than today but still looks like a wet one and as such Sailer camp will stay on SL for one more day and TR2 will begin their SL session as well. The weather looks better for Friday & Saturday as we wrap things up and start heading home.
It was definitely a case of preparing for the worst and hoping for the best today. The forecast was for a 70% chance of precipitation and driving up from Welches to Govy to Timberline it seemed as through it was going to be accurate.
As soon as I walked into the Wy'east day lodge I went to the ticket counter and asked if we were on "stand-by" and to my surprise both the Magic Mile as well as the Palmer lift were scheduled to open. No sooner did we get our lift tickets that the cloud cover started to slightly break up.
Conditions were quite challenging but the TR2 athletes kept hammering GS even with visiblity no more than 3 panels down the hill. Coaches up and down the lanes dismissed the griping by advising their racers that someday they will be faced with these same conditions on race day.
Surprisingly we skied until 11:00 AM on a day that originally we throught would be a wash out. Skiing down from the top of Palmer to the parking lot was no picnic. At the top the visibility was reduced to almost nothing and amazingly the lower we skied the clearer it became.
One more day of SL for Sailer Camp and Team Gilboa while TR2 enjoys a day off between GS and SL sessions. The weather forecast for Wednesday looks worse than it did today so we are again planning for the worst and hoping for the best.
After a short but well deserved one day break at the Oregon coast we headed out the door up to Timberline at 5:00 AM to start the 2nd week of our tour-of-duty at Mt. Hood. Last week there were only 6 camps in session but this week there are 24 and thus the earlier departure time.
It was pretty cool in the liftline today as Erich Sailer engaged Hermann Gollner in conversation. Hermann was an accomplished ski racer, freestyle skier, racing coach, reknown mountain climber and invented the 1st break-away slalom gate known as the "Hermangate".
It was a warm and busy day on the lanes. Sailer Camp was busy skiing Day #1 SL while TR2 and Team Gilboa continued with GS training. We were in and out of the clouds all day and each time the sun came out it became incredibly hot and salt was being used at an incredible rate.
Everyone skied late today as it appears as though both Tuesday & Wednesday have high potential to be skiing in a rain/snow mix. As always the weather is the wildcard that everyone wrestles with on a daily basis here at Mt. Hood.
In the afternoon we cleared out the Test Centers and set up over 30 pair of skis for tomorrows testing and tuned several sets of skis as well. Our day finally wrapped up around 9:00 PM just in time to put the blog together and get ready for Groundhog Day...