Paddling the Sandy with your children is easy, safe and fun.

Like a lot of hard-core winter sports enthusiasts, I tend to have a hard time when the snow melts. Especially after an especially fine powder season like 2016-17. It can be painful when that waist-deep snow melts down into slush. Except those H2O molecules you’ve been riding aren’t really gone.

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Sandy Ridge was built for mountain bikers by mountain bikers. Photos by Leslie Kehmeier, courtesy of BLM

In the damp, shady forest on the western side of Mount Hood, there’s a magical system of trails so perfect it’s almost like it emerged fully formed out of a mountain biker’s dream.

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Zach Carbo, super stoked to be flying down Brevent in the Alps.

Editor’s Note: You won’t catch me speed-flying any time soon. But I can certainly see the allure of climbing to the top of a huge mountain, jumping off the top, and flying down into the valley with a pair of skis underfoot just in case you see some fresh snow to hit. That’s what Zach Carbo does, on Mt. Hood, in Alaska, and as of last spring, in the Alps. I sat down with Zach the other day to learn more about his trip to Chamonix, where you can ride a gondola up to 12 and a half thousand feet and fly the high country all day long. I asked Zach to tell me about one of his best flights, and he insisted on two:

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Jarod Cogswell in Chamonix: "I chose this image because it was the best day I had ever experienced in the mountains."

Editor's Note: Local climber, boarder and fitness pro Jarod Cogswell got to achieve a lifelong goal this spring when he traveled to Chamonix, France to experience the Alps. The trip was a life changer, as he explains in comments recorded  in sync with the video he created on the plane ride home.

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The Hood River Kiteboarding Scene has exploded over the past decade. Photos by Grant Myrdal

In the wee hours of November 7, 2006, Mother Nature threw a tantrum on Mount Hood.

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Beauty and terror on top of Oregon. Photos by Jason Murray

Editor's Note: This Mount Hood adventure took place in May of 2016, but it stands as relevant for any spring season on Mount Hood, where thousands of people climb to the top and ski and snowboard down every year, with all the joy and pleasure and occasional terror that accompanies a climb to and descent from 11,11,249 feet above sea level.

Would you climb a mountain with Donald Trump? Me neither... but I did climb Mount Hood with a Donald Trump impersonator, with winds gusting 50 miles an hour in exactly the wrong direction.

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Gliding to the finish after the ups and downs of Randonee racing.

Editor's Note: The Ramshead Randonee is a fledgling event on Mount Hood that is exhausting, exhilarating and a little bit insane: a race up steep slopes normally accessed by chairlift, and then straight down, rewarding fitness, courage and strategy. It is also a fundraiser for the Northwest Avalanche Center, a worthy organization that does a fine job of reporting on alpine conditions for the mountain community. Mt. Hood freeride coach, ski mountaineer and entrepreneur Ben McKinley competed in the 2016 Ramshead Randonee at Mt. Hood Meadows, and he files this report:

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Covered in ice in a whiteout, awaiting rescue.

Editor’s Note: Like a lot of Mt. Hood aficionados, I consider Asit Rathod a mentor. So I was more than slightly surprised to receive a Twitter message from KGW News Friday, March 11, asking me to verify that the climber being rescued on Mt. Hood was Asit Rathod. I had just posted a news flash about an unidentified climber stuck on the mountain without proper gear. It never occurred to me that this climber might be a friend, much less Asit.

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This patroller is having WAY too much fun. Pics by Grant Myrdal

A year ago Grant Myrdal was suffering from snow withdrawals. This year his voice is hoarse from all the powder whoops, shooting skiers and snowboarders shredding the powder with great joy.

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A huge avalanche rips down the north side of Mount Hood. Photo by Walter Burkhardt

If you’ve never seen a large avalanche rip off the top of a highly prominent peak and sweep three thousand vertical feet onto a glacier below, I highly recommend you check one out. Preferably from a safe distance.

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