Saturday, March 23, 2013

ski guests, day 2: alta

Our Sunday at Alta could not have been more different from our Saturday at the 'Bird: cold, socked in, snowing and extremely windy.  This did not faze our intrepid ski guests in the least; their home mountain in Maine is Sugarloaf which is notorious for being cold, socked in, rock hard and extremely windy.

Windblown in Catherine's Area

H, C, A and I met up with W, M and B at Collins base and took a couple of runs.  The groomers off Collins were hard and wind-blown, so A and I took off to see if the trails on Supreme were any better.  It became clear quickly that was where to ski since the winds seemed to be pushing all of the snow to that side of the resort.  While M and B took some runs on their own, we caught up with H, C and W just before lunch and they showed us what they had found: a soft, fairly deep stash of snow way out in Catherine's Area.  None of the other skiers on the mountain seemed willing to go in that far (given the conditions, it's fair to say that there were hardly any locals skiing) and we had it to ourselves.

At the end of the hike - woohoo!

We rejoined M and B for lunch at Alf's and then afterwards convinced them to hike out to our secret stash.  It was holding up, the winds continuing to drop snow out there, and since Catherine's was where the best turns on the mountain were, that's where we stayed for the afternoon.  It was tiring, doing that hike and traverse over and over again, and at times the visibility got so bad you couldn't see the person just ahead of you.  But we were hunting for soft snow and that's where it was.

C and W in Catherine's Area

A, M, B and I called it quits at about 3:30 p.m., the long hike taking its toll, and we headed back to the Goldminer's Daughter to meet W's wife for apres ski while the other three kept at it until last chair.  The high winds meant that the EBT was closed and we had to take the dang rope tow back. (There might have been some competitive horsing around on the tow.  I admit nothing.)  Once the last lift closed, we hung out in the GMD atrium for a while with some $10 pitchers of PBR.

The apres ski gang at GMD

Since it was St. Patrick's Day, and M and B were moving to a hotel in town, we met them for dinner at the Porcupine, leaving W and his wife to their own devices up at Snowbird.  The Porcupine had Guinness on tap, corned beef and cabbage, green mashed potatoes and Irish stout beef stew on the menu - a very nice end to a blustery March day.

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