Tag Archives: winter camping

The Oregon Trip: Road Trip

There’s no short way to tell this tale, so I won’t even try.  In fact, the scope of the story is so great, that words would hardly do it justice.  To that end, I’ll start with the map:

View Norway Basin in a larger map

The plan was to rally in Portland and embark on a shred-quest, the scale of which had been witnessed by none of us before…  The team consisted of myself, Rob, his brother Brad, Brad’s best friend Ryan, and fellow ski team alum Karl.  We’d rally in Portland, drive 6.5 east to Halfway, OR.  From there we’d meet up with the Wallowa Alpine Hut guides at the Carson House and spend one last night in civilization before plunging into the wilderness.  The following morning, the guides would tow us into the woods behind a snowmobile for roughly 6 miles, at which time, we’d skin an additional 2.5 miles and 2000 vertical feet to the Norway Basin yurt.  The yurt would serve as our back-country skiing base-camp for the next 5 nights. read more

The Oregon Trip: Spines, Lines and Woods

Continued From The Oregon Trip: Big Mountain Lines.

Having temporarily slaked our big-mountain-line-slaying thirst with the previous day’s activities, we got off to a decidedly non-alpine start for the second full day.  We had heard that the forecast was for snow and poor visibility, and sure enough it was pretty socked in when we lumbered out of the yurt that morning.  To make matters, it came in wet and heavy, on top of the whatever may have refrozen after the afternoon’s sun.  Between the dubious snow-pack and our dubious legs, we decided to stay out of the alpine and stick to low consequence pistes for the day.
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The Oregon Trip: Return to Civilization

Continued From The Oregon Trip: Spines, Lines, and Woods.

The conditions on the final day were less than epic, and with our day-packs overloaded with extra gear, spare parts, extra clothes, trash, etc. we decided to just schuss straight back to Halfway via the snow-mo path and steal a few turns here and there as the opportunities presented themselves. The snow predictably grew heavier, wetter, and slower as we lost elevation culminating in literally skating and poling the final 6 miles out of the woods.  Brad declared it to be torture, and Ryan dubbed it the trail of tears.  I offered no argument here. We skulked back to Carson House, showered ate snacks and then made a hasty egress, across Oregon and toward a civilization rife with beer, pizza, more showers, couches and other amenities that we hadn’t realized we might miss so much. read more