Friday, March 29, 2013

opening to closing

Our ski guests headed home on Wednesday, leaving behind a ton of leftovers from our Monday night Fratelli Ristorante dinner and a disconsolate dog who was sad that the source of all the gratuitous people-food snacks had disappeared.  Wednesday afternoon it started snowing and it didn't let up until Sunday after dropping almost three feet of snow in the mountains, including 29" by Saturday morning.  Timing is everything, I guess.

Note the snow in my helmet from a prior wipeout

Little Cottonwood Canyon was closed until 8:15 a.m. for avalanche control.  Figuring there'd be a huge line of cars waiting for the opening, we left a little early and were surprised to not find a huge line of cars; the traffic moved steadily and we got up to Alta with nearly twenty minutes to spare before they started loading the chairs.  There were enough people up there, anxious for the new snow, that we got in the faster-moving singles line, and while we didn't get the first chair, we got up the mountain ahead of the bulk of the crowd.

Hooray for snow!

We headed straight for Supreme and took a first run down Challenger, claiming first tracks there.  On our second ride up, Ski Patrol was just opening the gates into Supreme Bowl so that was our second run, under the chair and into the chutes, then along a short ridgeline that is always fun with new snow.  After that, we played around in Catherine's Area for the rest of the morning.  I got cold around 11:30 a.m. - temperatures were 12F at the base and 2F at the summit, which is a bit chilly for March! - so I went to Alf's early, managing to score a good table for lunch.  H took two more runs in Catherine's, his wide skis eating up the deep stuff, and then joined me.

Working on the spring ice-beard

After lunch we went back to Supreme and just played.  It was spitting snow all day and the light wasn't great, but the snow was and we were a little surprised that there just weren't that many people there, especially after lunch: it seems like folks go home after stuff gets tracked out.  My legs had had enough a little after 3 p.m. and I skied out, heading to GMD.  H skied Supreme until it closed at 3:30 p.m., then moved to Sugarloaf and skied it until it closed at 4 p.m., then moved to Collins and skied it until last chair at 4:30 p.m.

Soft and chunky in Catherine's 

When the chairs stopped turning, we sat in the GMD atrium for a little while, drinking PBRs and watching the big fat flakes fall from the sky.  We haven't had all that many fantastic powder days this season (we're very behind on snow and I'll be surprised if we even hit 400" this year) but this day was definitely one of them.

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