Scaling Mt. Hood to Welcome 2012

Asit Rathod, Guest Author
January 9, 2012 (Updated February 20, 2012)

Watching the first sunrise of 2012 from the top of Mount Hood with my close friend Carlos Martinez was so beautiful it was almost impossible to describe. However what was truly amazing was the fact that Carlos’s new wife Nancy let him spend their first New Year as a married couple climbing with me for the first summit ski descent of 2012. Thank you Nancy!

After a long dry December the snow came back with a fury, almost two feet in two days making the resorts flush with powder and excited all the skiers/snowboarders that were going crazy with no powder for almost a month. Timberline, Mount Hood Meadows, and Ski Bowl all had amazing New Years celebrations and they were packed. The beauty of the crown jewel of Oregon is how close it is to the city of Portland.

December 31, 2011

7 a.m.: “Hey Carlos looks like we might have a weather window tomorrow and be able to ski from the summit. You down?”-me “I gotta check with the wife but heck, ya!”-Carlos

5 p.m.: After a full day at the office picked up Carlos and off to Mount Hood Meadows for a little bit of night skiing. Super fast packed powder turns and a whole lot of laughing about stories from our year

9 p.m,: World famous Charlie’s Mountain View in Government Camp for a proper end of the year cocktail then Huckleberry Inn for an amazing plate of breakfast for dinner. The apple pie al a mode and glass of milk was so good I wanted to slap someone.

January 1, 2012

12:01 a.m.: Rang in the New Year with the Boverman family in Rhododendron. I some how had a crazy idea I would shave my head for good luck coming into 2012; sometimes an idea is best just left as an idea. Looking like an East Indian version of uncle Fester we fell asleep watching LMAFO and Lady Gaga on the Dick Clark special.

5 a.m.: Started climbing from Timberline for the summit of Mount Hood and quickly realized how out of shape we had become. ‘Pain is weakness leaving the body’ was the mantra that we kept repeating.

7:45 a.m.: All the tiredness, freezing cold temps, and plain misery of not having slept in 24hours all of a sudden made sense. The first sunrise of 2012 started coming up and all we could do is laugh and “high-five” each other of the awesomeness of this moment. Just as the sun stared rising past the horizon, “Baba O’Riley” by The Who came on through my headphones making a perfect moment, somehow even more perfect.

2:30 p.m.: Standing on the 11,239ft summit we exchanged some hugs and a couple ‘I love you brother’ and started getting excited about the 6,000ft of powder we were about to enjoy. I realized that we, along with one amazing dude who put down a post hole on the Old Chute that made the end of our climb so easy, were the first Oregonians on the summit of Mount Hood for 2012. We could not have asked for a better day

4:30 p.m.: Back at my office in Wilsonville finishing up year end business, I had a stupid grin reveling in the fact that just a couple hours ago I was standing on top of Oregon with completely untracked snow all the way back to Timberline.

Who knows what 2012 will bring for us but if the way we started our first day is any indication it is going to be one an amazing year. Get out on a clear day and watch a sunrise once this year and it will be a perfect reminder of the greatness of our Oregon.

Editor’s Note: Asit is our “Ask Oregon” ambassador for snow sports and has more than 140 ski descents from the 11,239ft summit of Mount Hood. Read more of Asit’s adventures here.