Sunday, March 10, 2013

foggy goggles

A little storm rolled through Friday night, leaving us with 5" of fresh snow to play in Saturday.  That little storm also left behind a lot of its clouds which had gotten stuck on the mountain peaks.  This meant the visibility was, at some times, nil; on the Supreme chairlift in the morning, we could almost (but not quite) see two chairs ahead of us.  I find this very disconcerting to ski in - I like to see where I'm going and what I'm going over - and as a consequence, got a little timid.  I also wore the wrong skis, needing my wider Rossignols for the new snow, and that made me slow(-er) too.  I would end up wearing the right skis in the afternoon, once everything got chunked up, but the morning made me revise my "minimum of 8 inches" rule for the Rossis.

Despite the poor visibility and my poor equipment choices, the snow was fantastic, wind-buffed in some spots but light and fluffy generally speaking.  We spent most of our day on Supreme, of course, hiking many times up into Catherine's Area.  A fair amount of terrain was closed for avalanche control (including the EBT which made it inconvenient to get back to Collins from Supreme/Sugarloaf) and because of the clouds, ski patrol couldn't do much shooting.  That made Catherine's and Supreme Bowl and surrounding chutes the place to be, and we got some really great runs in.  Or, rather, H got some really great runs in, floating through the new snow easily on his new skis while I floundered around on my Volkls.

We did have a funny moment on the Supreme chair when H got carded coming through the gates.  When a season passholder goes through the gates, his or her pass photo pops up on a hand-held device that a Skier Services employee watches, keeping an eye out for pass fraud.  Usually we see the same Skier Services folks over and over again at Supreme but there was a new guy (new to us), Joe, there on Saturday and when H went through, Joe looked at the photo, looked at H and asked if he'd shaved his beard, then asked to see his pass.  When H pulled it out, Joe studied it closely: H is currently sporting his full-on ski season facial hair but when our pass photos were taken this summer, he was clean-shaven.  Apparently Joe believed H that he was the same guy as on the pass since he let him go with no further discussion.  Once on the lift, one of H's chair riders said, "I don't know what that guy was talking about because you've got a world-class beard."  We chuckled about it afterwards because we're getting to the point that Alta employees are recognizing us - Martha, Stef and Anthony from Skier Services, the hot chocolate guys and cashiers at Alf's - but not Joe, apparently!

H and his world-class beard
at Alf's for lunch

The clouds started to lift a little in the afternoon so that the light was merely flat, not fogged in, and we got a couple of glimpses of blue sky as the winds picked up, moving the clouds along.  I was skiing better in the afternoon but by 3:00 p.m. my legs were shot since I had been fighting the deeper snow in the morning.  We packed it in and headed home, feeling hopeful about the sunshine and clear skies forecasted for the next day.

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