Professional Skier Asit Rathod skis Mt. Hood’s northeast face in the buff on May 13, 2012 after having a ‘McConkey moment of clarity.’

By: Asit Rathod (@presidentofpow)

Written on May 13, 2012

Hey hey All!!
Guest blogger Asit Rathod checking in from the ‘Ring of Fire’ Volcano Tour and Mount Hood; and what a day it was my friends!

Quote of the day award goes to Jess McMillan during brunch in Hood River…”I’m really happy about being drunk right now” (ed. note: let’s face it everyone, she’s earned it). It’s funny but as we grow older and the years keep adding we start realizing how much life changes but good friends still stay the same.

So I got an email a few weeks back from my old friend Chris Davenport that his merry band of crazies were going to ski the Pacific Northwest ‘Ring of Fire.’ I read the itinerary and thought they’d have a better chance of winning the lottery than staying true to the dates. Well son of a gun, I should have bought that lottery ticket.

We all rendezvoused around 10pm in the parking lot of Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood last night and it was as if time had never passed since our days together almost two decades ago. Yes we are that old. Then out of nowhere, I see a smile that made me smile from within as if I had just seen the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause kung fu fighting each other. Mr. Jim Morrison gave me a hug and that signature smile that was exactly as I remembered it 15+ years ago. I knew a whole lot of awesomeness was about to happen but we had to get some zzzzzz’s.  So a big hug, HI-5’s, and ‘sleep well’s’ was all that two old friends could give each other.

(Post is continued after the jump.)

The alarm at 3:37am hit me like an angry ex-girlfriend asking me why I was such a big !$?. We had a crew of thirteen skiers, snowboarders, and photographers ready to start the day at 4am with two objectives: ski from the 11,239’ summit of Mount Hood and have fun – having fun being the number one objective. True to tradition, my cardio (or lack thereof) allowed me to bring up the rear. Too many Perdomo cigars and Jameson are to thank for that, and I joined the group on the summit around 8am. Lots of HI-5’s, hugs, photos, and a name ceremony for my Brother and super badass Dave Watson’s new daughter, Amaya Kula Watson, ensued. Within an hour all thirteen of us were ready to drop in and have an amazing ski down Cooper Spur on the northeast face of Mount Hood. Cooper Spur has about 1500 ft. of relief with a fair bit of consequence. Basically it means ‘don’t fall or mom on Mother’s Day will not be happy.’

Getting ready to drop in fully clothed, my brain kept repeating in Shane McConkey’s stupid pitched voice, ‘Do it! Do it Indian guy, just ski it naked.” … “Carlos could you put my pants in your bag?” … and the next thing I knew I was naked and ready to ride. Skiing naked has always been about one simple fact: we enjoy a sport with serious consequences, but we need not take ourselves too seriously. My close friend, hell every skier’s close friend, Shane McConkey is the guy that reminded all of us that no matter how cool or badass you think you are, it doesn’t matter if you’re not having fun. Take your dreams and passions seriously but never take yourself too seriously.

The beauty of the great state of Oregon lies in the fact we were back in the parking lot by 10am drinking Jameson and in Hood River having brunch with the line we just skied as our backdrop at Divots Golf Course by noon.
I have always wondered why I have had such luck in my life with all the great friends I seem to have and continue to gain. Today I realized it’s not luck, but rather the mountains. Friendships are built on years of experiences together which are hard to find as we grow older. The mountains possess a magic that accelerates friendships and bonds that last a lifetime. While I haven’t been privy to the ‘Ring of Fire’ Volcano Tour before today, nor will I be joining moving forward, I can tell you it was pretty awesome reconnecting with old friends and making new friends. Thank you Chris, Jess, and crew!

Asit Rathod