“I love skiing, and I love being outdoors with my dogs,” says Sandy resident and Cascade Sled Dog Club member Ruthann Lee of the easy logic that prompted her to try skijoring a few years ago with her two Bouviers, Chica and Lily. “A harness and a tug is really all you need, and a belt for yourself, and some cross-country skis. Most dogs like to pull.” It’s best to start with one dog and a flat trail, says Lee, such as those around Frog Lake.
It’s tempting to view snowshoeing as a consolation prize, the winter sport for those whose achy knees or busted wallets keep them from whooshing down the slopes. Committed ’shoers know better. Sure, it’s cheap, but it’s also a great workout. Try the trail to Lower Twin Lake, a 3.9-mile out-and-back near Government Camp. Or check out the Oldman Pass Sno Park near Carson, Washington, where a spiderweb of trails stretch in all directions—just make sure you’re not stomping on cross-country tracks, or prepare to be admonished by someone brandishing two sharp sticks.
Pro tip: Call the ranger station to make sure trails aren’t blocked by downed trees from fall storms. Check snow levels, too; it’s always a bummer to arrive and find only a few inches of hard-packed, crusty snow. —Julia Silverman
For a young kid growing up in Sandy, at the foot of Mount Hood, there was a mysticism around the snowboarders, with their long, tattered hair, secondhand clothes, and old Subarus dressed in punk-related bumper stickers. The out-of-towners? No, thanks. I wanted to be the real deal. Snowboarding, I would later learn, didn’t really require the long hair and the Subaru—just a board and the will to get back up. I’ve knocked myself unconscious, gotten stuck in snowbanks, and been bruised by a ski lift I couldn’t quite catch. But when I’m on a board carving down the mountainside, I catch myself with that feeling of mysticism from all those years ago.
Favorite run: Timberline’s Magic Mile —Riley Blake