The Speedsters Hit the Uncrowded Slopes of Willamette Pass
What induces giggles, guffaws, and sidesplitting surrender to being in the moment??? The answer: the first day of the ski season at Willamette Pass – back on the hill with the sun shining, speedy snow, no crowds, and ample comradery.
My friend Sally had planned ahead (what’s new??), and gotten her “Silver Passport” renewed at the Eugene sales office. She was – how can I emphasize – READY TO GO the moment we pulled into the parking lot. Daughter Al and I stood in the not-too-painful 15 minute indoor line to get our passports.
We had only made the decision to commit as we made our way to the mountain as Sally inspired us by talking up the advantages of “No waiting to renew ski keys!”, and “Free ski corral”. Speaking of the trip up; we had a beautiful drive, with clear roads and blue skies, as well as tantalizing glimpses of frosting on trees, ground, and river bank as we gained elevation. (Clear roads though – always a relief, even with all-wheel drive and traction tires.) As I said, we were left momentarily cooling our heels while the better-prepared among us headed for the lifts. In the 50 minutes before we rendezvoused, I heard Sally swoosh down a half dozen runs. Speedster! Al and I warmed up on Duck Soup, Peekaboo, Sally’s Way…all early-day favorites since my daughter was 5. After hooking back up with Sally, we took Twilight, skied down “By George!” (where we encountered the only crunch of the day), and spent the rest of our glorious time on the backside (60+ inches at Peak 2). Have I mentioned I love Willamette Pass? It’s local, its terrain is diverse, and it is – year after year, one of the friendliest-feeling places I’ve ever been. Sunday was nearly perfect; the day brilliant, no wind, the runs were fun and fast…it felt a bit like spring skiing. Even better tho’, as the season has just now begun. Did anyone hear me say “Yahooooo”?!?!?!?
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About the Author: Mo Sherifdeen
Mo is Travel Oregon's content publisher and loves to hike the forests and mountain trails of Oregon with his wife, daughter and dog. He is also known for getting lost inside a maze of books at Powell’s, sipping an IPA (or two) and seeking the best fish 'n chips along the Oregon Coast.