Friday, December 14, 2012

two in a row

As I mentioned, it snowed all day last Saturday and was still snowing when we left the canyon to go home.  It kept on snowing all through the night - hooray! - so that when we went back up Sunday morning, Alta had approximately 11 cumulative storm inches.  It was clearing in the valley, and for a moment it was clear enough that we could stand in the Collins lift line and look across the canyon to see tiny little back-country skiers making the trek up to Supreme Superior.  The clouds moved back in shortly after that and while it didn't snow too much during the day, the light was flat, making it exceedingly difficult to see.  It was quite cold too: 10 F at the base of Collins and a brisk 1 F at the summit (which would later warm right up to 3 F).

Despite the cold (and the fact that it was Sunday), the morning powder-hungry crowds were out: it was as busy as it's been this season to date.  We made our way over to Supreme, of course, which was fairly popular, especially Catherine's, although not so much that we weren't scoring untracked powder on each run.  The crush of people encouraged us to ride the singles line a couple of times, but amazingly the place cleared out by noon and we were back to skiing right onto the lift.  Apparently most people were heading down to the valley to pick up Christmas trees once their favorite runs were chopped up.  We had some great runs in Catherine's (I was wearing my powder skis and was glad of it), including an impressive Superman fall by H, who grazed a snow-covered stump and launched himself out of both skis, landing safely in a chest-deep well of powder.  I missed the actual crash but was there for the aftermath, helping him find and dig out his skis.  It was funny.

We moved over to the Sugarloaf and Collins chairs after lunch, taking some runs on the newly opened East Greeley area.  My legs were fatiguing fast - the conditions were actually better on Saturday during the storm; Sunday's snow was a little sticky and dense, harder to turn in.  I also was having trouble turning because I had my boots a little loose, which did wonders for keeping my toes from freezing in the cold but which made my skis less responsive.

Again, we made it until after 2 p.m. before going back to the truck.  Because there were so many more folks skiing this day, the trip down canyon was quite a bit slower: it took us 50 59 minutes in the "red snake" of descending vehicles, but slow and steady gets you home with no incidents.  Back at the house, we laid our gear out to dry, pleased with the first full weekend of good conditions.  The forecast alluded to more snow heading our way, so hopefully this two-in-a-row will be the first of many.

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