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Annual Cloud Cap Trip

Fellow SACsters,

On Friday, 5 SACsters (Jack and Kaye Hande, Todd Wonder, and Rich and Dana Margosian), 2 Crag Rats (Hood River) and 10 Arbucklers (Hermiston) left their cars near the 3,800 ft Cooper Spur ski area and skied and snow shoed up through the rain towards Cloud Cap Inn on the north side of Mt Hood. Rain turned to snow at about 5,000 ft and wind ripped across the ridges buffeting us as we reached the Inn at 6,000 ft. As usual, the Inn was a warm and welcome retreat, and before the clothes were dry, a dinner of spaghetti and salad was being served.

For those of you that have not experienced this annual pilgrimage, you are missing a treat. Cloud Cap Inn, built in the 1890's, is maintained by the Hood River Crag Rats. They host SAC and Arbuckle clubs every year to a 3 day weekend of skiing, eating, reading, and deep, deep discussion around the two wood stoves and massive stone fireplace. This trip is open to all SAC members. Our quid pro quo this year will be to participate with the Crag Rats in a fire wood resupply weekend during the summer.

Saturday morning proved the dire weather forecasts inaccurate with the sun frequently breaking through the clouds giving us spectacular views of the mountain. Seven of us headed up the mountain towards Cooper Spur. Efforts to dig into the snow-filled stone shelter below Cooper Spur were unsuccessful and we continued up the mountain. However at around 7,500 ft icy conditions made the skiing kind of touchy so we headed back down to enjoy the powder closer to timberline. Saturday night the cooks made us thankful that we had done a little work on the mountain to earn the barbequed steaks, potatoes, and salad. This was really toughing it!

Sunday dawned warm with unrealized threats of rain. A pleasant ski run back to the cars capped a nearly perfect ski weekend. This weekend was another example that if you want to enjoy the winter out of doors in the Pacific NW, you need to study the weather reports but not depend on them entirely. Aside from the gentle rain at the trailhead on Friday, we had great weather for the trip.

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