Guest Blog & Photos by Kelsey Boyer (Timber Frame Project Engineer on our West Coast Team)
As the weekend grew closer and closer, the forecast looked more and more ominous. Despite the onslaught of snow that had arrived the previous weekend shutting down roads and stranding drivers, warm weather threatened the glorious conditions for backcountry skiing in the Oregon Cascades.
Anxiously awaiting the reports of conditions, my co-worker David and I decided that the rain was brief enough, the weather just cold enough, and the overnight snow that had fallen would be enough. Out into the wilderness we would go seeking adventure.
As we put on our boots, strapped ourselves into our skis, equipped with avalanche beacons and rescue equipment, we started our trek. An hour and a half of skinning (a ski term that refers to walking with skis that have strips of material, or “skins”, attached to the underside to provide traction while not traveling downhill) later, we reached the base of the area we hoped to ski down.
Light streamed through the trees illuminating our route upwards. We were entering the point of no return, if we went up, we would have to ski back down. As we hiked up through the snow-covered trees, anticipation rising by the second, we caught our first glimpse of blue skies.