AndyO Blog

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Mt. Bachelor turns dangerous

Today we drove up to Mt. Bachelor, one of the premier skiing destinations in the Pacific Northwest. The family reunion crowd ate lunch together in the cafeteria in the main lodge and outside. It was 85 degrees F. My taco salad was just OK.

Brenda and Cam bought tickets to take the chairlift up to the top of Bachelor, which is around 9,000 feet. I stayed behind with Drew--although I wouldn't have gone anyway (I'm not a fan of chairlifts). After an hour, the rest of the family left, and Drew and I hung out by ourselves, waiting for Brenda and Cam to return. We finally went outside to enjoy the mountain air.

Then it started raining. I pictured Brenda and Cam, sitting on the chairlift trying to stay dry.

And then it started hailing; the hail was a little smaller than a pea. Now I was starting to worry. Thunder shook the mountain. Drew and I talked with a few people who were also taking shelter from the rain, including two women who had just biked to the lodge from Bend.

We watched the procession of people coming off the chairlift, but still no Brenda or Cameron. When we finally spotted them, they were both wearing bright yellow North Face jackets. They were soaked. Brenda showed me her legs that glowed with hundreds of bright red welts.

"What happened?" I asked, thinking they might have been attacked by bees.

"They're from the hail."

She went on to tell me that marble sized hail came down on them during their chairlift ride from the summit to the midpoint. She had left her bare legs exposed so she could protect Cameron. It had turned into a very frightening moment for both of them. For some reason, all I could think of was the book "Into Thin Air," and how the sudden change in weather on Mt. Everest ultimately killed 8 climbers and guides.

"The Ranger told us this storm developed without warning, right on top of the mountain," Brenda said. Now that Brenda was out of danger, she was shaky and a little nauseas. We went back into the lodge to get some hot chocolate.


For dinner that night, we all met at a pub not too far from our resort. Brenda and I ended up chasing Drew around, as he just wasn't content to sit in a high chair or to get passed around to different family members. My cousin George helped keep Cameron happy. Cameron was happy to have a "big friend."

When it was my turn to watch Drew, I decided to walk around the empty part of the parking lot. Drew has discovered that he can run, but he's still not very good at it. He ended up falling flat on his face. He skinned his forehead and his nose. I guess it could have been worse.
posted by AndyO @ 11:08 PM   0 comments