For a while winters meant down time away from my favorite nature spots. An occasional day up at Timberline or Ski Bowl getting turns in on the snowboard maybe, but not much after that. Last year I decided to change that, with some moderate success. Hikes were happening and even a few overnights, but it was more spots below snow line in the safety of the valleys. But this winter, this winter is on a whole new level. Places usually reserved for warm summer days high up on Mt. Hood have now become my winter playground. I'm not sure, maybe it is the newly acquired splitboard, someone willing to join me on these brutal expeditions in the cold, or just the better side of El Nino give us a huge snowpack in the Pacific Northwest.
Either way I'm sold. Lets call it a Revival; seeing the same area in a whole new light. WInters presence changes the whole story. The trees bend and fall with the weight of snow and ice, The fast moving creeks and rivers fall to a trickle in slow motion, clouds roll in and out like an eery fog. Even the vantage point changes as the deep snowpack stands you almost 7 feet higher at times. There is a different type of calm to be experienced, frozen from the sound of wildlife, instead filled with the cracking and thumping of broken limbs and snow falling out of the trees. Safe to say winters won't be the lull time they used to be.