Saturday, February 2, 2013

"you can really haul ass on these things"

30+ inches of snow and a new pair of skis for H later, we were back on the hill at Alta to check out the storm's leavings.  The day was mostly sunny, with swirling winds and fast-moving clouds as the tail-end of the storm moved east.  H wore his new skis and I rode my powder skis, knowing full well that there wouldn't really be any "powder" left but hoping that what was there would be soft and deep enough for them.

First of all, H loves his new skis.  They're wider than his AC-4s so they float up on top of anything soft - powder, bumps, crud - which means his legs don't get as fatigued because he doesn't have to push through the snow.  And they're fast - possibly because they don't like to turn as much.  This of course dooms me: he was already way faster than I am on his old skis and now that his legs don't get tired as quickly ... well, he'll just have to wait a little longer for me to catch up now.

Hooray for skiing!

We mostly skied Supreme in the morning (everything was tracked out, even well into Catherine's) but kept an eye on East Greely across the way, watching the line of skiers hiking up the Backside Trail along the ridge and waiting for Ski Patrol to drop the rope into Yellow Trail.  When the rope came down, it was awesome to watch: dozens of skiers dropping in from the ridgetop, grabbing first tracks all the way down to Glory Gulch.  After a while we couldn't stand it any longer taking Sugarloaf chair up and a wind-blasted EBT around to the top of Collins.  H was ready to start hiking up the ridge, which I didn't particularly want to do, knowing how exhausted I would be, but just then Ski Patrol dropped the rope to the Low Entry into Yellow Trail/East Greely.

Views like this everywhere at Alta

As we and dozens of other skiers poured in there, we got a few boos from the ridgeline hikers; our traverse was going to plunder their lines below Yellow Trail.  We didn't much care: we each got some freshies all of our own.  After cruising around the corner, H and I headed for the Glitch and Glatch chutes which were full of soft, chunky snow.  Good stuff.  We headed back to the chair and did it all again.

Catherine's is just the prettiest

In the afternoon, we mostly skied Supreme, enjoying the heck out of Catherine's Area where the coverage was darn good and the snow stayed soft, although wind-driven.  (Note to tourists:  please don't stop on the traverse!  If you need to stop, step off the traverse!  If you need to take a leak, go into the trees!)  We skied until after 3 p.m. - my legs are getting stronger! - and skied out low on West Rustler.  H headed into the trees by Watson Shelter while I cruised through the Race Course where the snow was packed but smooth and creamy.  It was a great day to break in H's new boards and a great day all the way around.

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