words and photos by Bevan Waite
There’s no Friday night partying for college ski bums during the season. In fact, there’s a whole list of rules a true college ski bum has to take into consideration.
When it comes to skiing, it’s our first priority. That means no girlfriends to tie you down, no stomach pumping frat parties, no waiting on a powder day, no weekends off, and generally no dillydallying, because there’s a limited amount of time you can spend on the mountain each week, and every minute in the snow is more precious than any minute spent doing any other activity. School itself takes up so much time and energy, I already have a hard time juggling my obsession of skiing with my arduous course work load.
As we drove up highway 26 through the valley, the summit of Hood began peaking over the densely forested ridge lines. There was an awesome billowing lenticular cloud already formed by the time we got full views of the rocky volcano. It was quite a nice day, even early in the morning, but It was sure windy, the lenticular cloud was changing every second. It looked like an enormous breaking wave continuously curling over the summit.
The snow was nothing special, obviously, but for closing weekend, the coverage wasn’t bad. Noah and I took a few warm up runs speeding down the 1 and 2 bowl faces and ultimately ripping down under the chair to showoff boosting airs at absurdly high speeds. It was this confidence and cocky attitude that sent me flying down one of the bowl chutes, through some trees, and on to some not so thawed moguls.
I nailed one of the moguls and uncontrollably took to the air off balance just enough so that when I returned to the slope I was sent into an vicious rag doll through the remaining bumps. To be perfectly honest, I don’t remember much, but from what I’ve been told, I backslapped and was sent head over heals for a number of flips. My limp body eventually slid to rest at the bottom of the slope; I was unconscious.
I don’t know whether to feel lucky or unlucky for enduring my worst fall of the season on the last day at Mt. Hood Meadows. Concussed and eerily confused, the day of balls to the wall charging ended with that tumble. After a little trip to the ER, I was released with nothing more than a concussion and a splitting headache. Nothing a little acetaminophen couldn’t temporarily fix. We headed home just in time to catch the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis concert held at the University of Oregon’s Matthew Knight Arena. Even in my concussed state it might have been one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. What an eventful day to end my season.