Husband-and-wife duo from Bend have an incredible month-to-month ski streak – The Bulletin

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Husband-and-wife Steven and Karen Ward, of Bend, have an incredible month-to-month ski streak. Steven has skied each month for the previous 24 years, and Karen has skied each month for the previous 23 years.
Ryan Brennecke/The Bulletin
Steven Ward skis at Mt. Bachelor earlier this month.
Steven Ward snowboarding Mount Bachelor in November.
Steven Ward snowboarding Mount Bachelor in November.
Bend’s Steven Ward on Mount Hood in October 2020, marking his twenty third yr of snowboarding each month. He’s at 24 years and hopes to succeed in 25 years in October 2022.
Karen Ward skis on Mount Hood this previous September.
Steven Ward skis at Mt. Bachelor earlier this month.

Husband-and-wife Steven and Karen Ward, of Bend, have an incredible month-to-month ski streak. Steven has skied each month for the previous 24 years, and Karen has skied each month for the previous 23 years.
Ryan Brennecke/The Bulletin
Steven Ward skis at Mt. Bachelor earlier this month.
Steven Ward snowboarding Mount Bachelor in November.
Steven Ward skis at Mt. Bachelor earlier this month.
October was horrible. They trashed their skis on rocks whereas snowboarding low-angle terrain at Mount Bachelor. November was simpler, as a storm early within the month introduced contemporary snow to the slopes.
December was no drawback, as regular.
The month-to-month ski streak for Bend husband-and-wife Steven and Karen Ward continues, as Steven has now skied each month straight for somewhat greater than 24 years (a complete of 290 months) and Karen has skied each month for greater than 23 years (277 months).
Wintertime is simple to maintain the streak going, however August by means of October typically presents a problem.
Bend’s Steven Ward on Mount Hood in October 2020, marking his twenty third yr of snowboarding each month. He’s at 24 years and hopes to succeed in 25 years in October 2022.
“Mount Hood by means of these summer time months is getting more durable and more durable,” Karen Ward, 54, stated. “You simply can’t ski the place you used to ski. You examine international warming and then you definately go up there and also you see it. You by no means know. Not less than by means of July is often straightforward.”
The streak started in 1997 on Mount Hood, after the Wards moved to Portland from Steamboat Springs, Colorado. They moved to Bend in 1999 and have maintained the streak — principally at Mount Bachelor — by means of household diseases, two pregnancies and a wide range of accidents.
Dependable snow at Bachelor has made it straightforward to maintain the streak going throughout the winter and spring months by way of chairlifts. However throughout the late summer time and fall, when a lot of the mountain snow has melted, the Wards hit the backcountry — climbing, scrambling over rocks and skinning to earn their turns.
Their youngsters — daughter Cassidy, 17, and son Michael, 16 — should not part of the streak, although they’re each avid skiers, in accordance with their mother and father.
“In years previous, we had been in a position to swing loads of these (late summer time) months on Mount Bachelor, however now, we’ve been discovering ourselves going to Mount Hood extra in these months, simply because there is a bit more snow,” stated Steven Ward, 52. “Nevertheless it was fairly bleak up there, too.”
The Wards have a self-imposed 20-turn required minimal for a month-to-month ski to depend.
Steven Ward snowboarding Mount Bachelor in November.
The streak has taken them everywhere in the Cascades, together with South Sister, Center Sister, Mount Hood, Mount Thielsen and Mount McLoughlin in Oregon; Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens in Washington; and Mount Shasta in California. They’ve additionally skied in Idaho and within the Wallowa Mountains of northeast Oregon.
“It’s all the time particular to go as much as Mount Adams and a few of the different volcanoes to get a kind of months in,” Steven stated.
They doc their month-to-month ski journeys with dated images in case anyone questions the validity of the streak.
The Wards acknowledge that different skiers within the West boast longer streaks, however they know of no husband-and-wife duo with a streak that exceeds theirs.
Steven is a gross sales consultant for Henry Schein Medical and Karen a gross sales rep for Altria, and their children are busy with sports activities and actions, so the comfort of Mount Bachelor has been essential lately to maintain their streak going.
Discover your subsequent journey in The Bulletin’s Discover Central Oregon. We provide prime picks for the place to hike, bike, fish, climb or paddle, in addition to the area’s most complete situations report for no matter you need to do. It’s also possible to textual content us your favourite spots to discover.
“It’s been somewhat bit difficult, particularly currently, as a result of I work in medical distributions,” Steven stated. “So within the COVID world, it’s been fairly the experience. It’s loads of work. The work by no means goes away. Somebody all the time wants one thing.”
Steven has persevered by means of mountain biking accidents, together with a damaged shoulder blade in 2011 and damaged ribs in 2013. He figures so long as they’re wholesome sufficient to ski every month, the streak will proceed.
Karen Ward skis on Mount Hood this previous September.
Driving to Mount Hood final yr within the late summer time, the Wards mentioned ending the streak, however in the end, they determined to proceed.
“We’ve considered falling by the wayside, and Karen stated, ‘No we’ve gone this far, you may as effectively go for 25 years,’” Steven recalled.
The yr distinction within the Wards’ streaks stems again to a Mount Hood outing in 1998. Whereas they had been climbing out of a drainage, a rockslide triggered above Karen and a boulder struck her on the again, in accordance with Steven. Although she was not severely damage, she determined to skip the subsequent month’s ski journey. She began again up a few yr later and has not stopped since.
Karen Ward stated a few of the greatest recollections of the streak are heading as much as Mount Hood in late summer time, pondering the snow shall be horrible, solely to seek out preferrred corn-snow situations.
“These are enjoyable moments as a result of it’s not your expectation,” she stated.
She additionally recalled snowboarding at Mount Hood this previous summer time and getting up and away from the smoke from wildfires.
“Getting that contemporary air by means of all of that was fairly superior,” Karen stated.
The Wards ski everywhere in the Northwest throughout the winter, following their son Michael, who ski races for the Mt. Bachelor Sports activities Schooling Basis.
“We go to Crystal Mountain, Spokane, Schweitzer and anyplace he goes,” Karen stated. “It’s all the time enjoyable to take a look at new locations.”
Over the vacations, the Wards are planning to journey to the Powder Freeway within the Canadian Rockies of British Columbia to ski at a number of resorts and in addition go cat snowboarding.
Karen stated they run into buddies and acquaintances on a regular basis who ask if the streak remains to be going. They even point out it of their annual Christmas card that they ship to household and buddies.
Steven is planning to hit 25 years of snowboarding each month in October 2022.
“I simply love snowboarding,” Steven stated. “And I by no means in 1,000,000 years thought that I might be near 25 years. I’m certain there are others who’ve longer streaks. However I doubt there’s a husband-wife duo that has a streak that lengthy.”
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