Backcountry progress

Last year (’22-’23 season) I invested in a splitboard, skins, bindings and boots. I hadn’t been snowboarding for a few years because I found resort crowds and expense increasingly annoying. I started heading up easy local trails with the splitboard to get accustomed to the mechanics and cadence of transitioning from uphill to downhill modes. I loved that I could just wander anywhere in the snow.

This year I invested in the education of a Mazamas backcountry touring class and it was a huge boost to my knowledge and experience. I’ve got better avalanche awareness and I’m making informed decisions in the backcountry. I also found some new adventure friends which is pretty nice too.

Today I planned a trip to ride the Lower White River Bowl, which is a couple of miles up the White River Canyon on Mt. Hood. I’d done the approach once before with the Mazamas class, so it felt familiar. I was surprised that we were the first tracks after a couple of days of snow. The conditions on the run were a little soft since it’d been in direct sun all morning, but still fun riding!

Our trip was about 3.5 hours car to car, 1,400′ of elevation gain, and 4.7 miles round trip. It was a quick one, but definitely built some confidence. I’m looking forward to many more years of doing this.