Sunday, January 6, 2013


We've been in the grips of a nasty inversion for about a week now, since the last storm we had was on 12/28.  We were eager to get out of the valley, even with no new snow, since Alta was going to be blue skies and sunshine on Saturday.  H took his telemark gear, which meant that we split up for skiing so he could practice his tele turns on Sugarloaf's groomers; I took this solo opportunity to work on my own technique since I'd had such a bad time my last time out.

Really no more freshies left

I don't know if it was the gorgeous weather or what, but I had a really good day, taking my time, skiing slowly (to which H said, "How could you possibly ski more slowly?" to which I replied, "I took my time figuring out where exactly I wanted to go, as opposed to trying to keep up with you.").  Under the sun the temperatures warmed to into the 30s, which softened the snow somewhat.  I practiced skiing bumps on Upper Sleepy Hollow and in the Erosion Gullies off the Supreme chair and went into Catherine's via the traverse and also hiking up and in - where I pretty much had the place to myself.  I went around the EBT and skied the backside, where the lower part of East Greeley had nice (not too big), soft(-ish) bumps.

We met up for lunch at Alf's where the nonexistent crowds meant that we (1) didn't have to fight for a table and (2) didn't have to hurry through lunch to give it up to a waiting family.  After lunch, we went out separately again.  Ski patrol had opened East Castle at this point - a very rare occurence! - and people were streaming in there, hiking way, way up and cruising down the untouched snow on its face.  I didn't hike in there but I did venture into the Evergreen area underneath, where the gates had been opened for the first time all year.  The snow there in the trees was stiff but fairly soft and I think I managed to score some first tracks in a spot or two.

You can do worse than blue skies and groomers

I rejoined H at 2:30 p.m. at the base of the Sugarloaf lift.  The groomers had gotten skied off at this point and he was getting a little bored of the same trails over and over.  I'd seen him from the lift once, however, and I think he's getting better at it.  Another lesson would probably help refine his technique and give him some more confidence.  I like to think my Saturday of solo skiing helped me too.  Now we just need some snow to see if it took.

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