Intimidated doesn’t begin to describe what it feels like to backcountry adventure via boot pack while your 3 counter-parts effortlessly glide on touring set ups. This was the seen during our approach of the tallest peak east of the Cascades: Paulina. We started quite late in the day, having taken a few runs at Bachelor while one of our party, Galen, down hilled the ski leg on a Pull, Peddle, Paddle team.
Secretly, this was my perfect opportunity to clean out my mountain employee locker, since there was a vehicle on hand. Otherwise I would have had to drag the wonder-onzie, my board, boots, and miscellaneous ski components on the bus and best of all, jerry-rig transportation for the gear on my bike to my house. Thank goodness for friends with cars…
Finishing up my season, this my most proud spring ski day yet, I was stoked to make all the get backs stall-out free and even ski the summit. Running into friends Augie and Joanna from the Crankery, was icing on the cake. It was hilarious watching our party ski tree tops pocking from the slush like gates and spread-eagling into silly jumps. The entertainment seemed a blend of equal parts synchronized swimming and carefully choreographed ice skating routines, as much as a skiing. Perhaps the most jaw-dropping, one gentlemen was clad in an orange cut off button down, brightly colored fanny pack (or bum bag as they say in the common wealth), jeans, a royal blue send band, and neon graphic-ed skinny skis, circa 1988. It was incredibly attractive in a throwback kind of way and emanated the spread stoked concept.
When we finally reached the access road to Paulina Peak, off HWY 21 in the heart of the Caldera, it was almost 2 pm. The trip turned out to be a great practice run. Heather and I took it as a chance to tiered out Olive, her enthusiasticly spirited pup. We decided to capture the summit on a future winter excursion, turning back about 3:30 pm. It’s always a shame to back out of a conquest, however, post Paulina boot-pack has left me with a list of necessary measures to take before future seasons backcountry expeditions, namely, obtain a touring set up with Praxis skis from the Plankery.