Thursday, January 31, 2013

demo day

We got a little storm that brought us four inches to play in last Saturday.  Alta was not crowded in the least, the snow not being enough to convince most people to come out in the flat light.  The snow was soft, however, with temperatures in the low 30s and it was certainly pleasant enough to ski on. 

H has been researching skis ad nauseam, exhaustively reading gear guides and talking to ski shop employees.  He narrowed the contenders down to three skis to demo out of the Motherlode Powder House in the Goldminer’s Daughter Lodge at Wildcat Base, all fairly similar skis in different widths from a couple of different manufacturers.  Since the ski shop is at the front side of Alta, H decided he’d ski Collins and Sugarloaf until noon so he could change out skis as necessary; I don’t prefer the front side unless there’s tons of snow so the plan was to meet at Alf’s for lunch.

I headed straight for the Supreme chair and started making laps, starting at the East Castle side and working my way back across trail by trail, trying the bumps when I could (the moguls on Challenger were ridiculously big), going into Supreme Bowl and taking the traverse (in much better shape than the last time) across the top of the Bowl into Catherine’s a couple of times.  H found me at the top of the lift a little before noon so we were able to take a run together before lunch.

He had decided almost immediately that he didn’t like the first pair he tried – trouble initiating turns.  He was on that second pair when we met up and thought they were fantastic, but was heading back to the shop after lunch to swap them out for the slightly wider version.  When he found me again, still riding the Supreme chair, he was enjoying the wider skis quite a lot and we hiked into Catherine’s to see if we could find some deeper snow for him to try.  Being 10 mm. wider, this third pair were slightly more difficult to get on edge than the second ones, but they’d float well in powder – if we would ever get some.

We stayed out until 3 p.m., taking his demo skis through bumps and trees and gullies and groomers, trying to see what they could do.  After he returned them and then thought about it some more, H decided that he wanted that third pair – if he really wants to make tight turns, he can always ski on his beloved old Volkl AC-4s.

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