Friday, April 19, 2013

support your local lifties

The weather forecasters really struggled with our mountain weather this weekend, initially promising 4-8" of snow on Sunday, then backing off to 2-4", then saying no snow but mostly cloudy and unseasonably cold.  Well, they got it half right:  it was a gorgeous bluebird day, with a starting temperature of 22 F and a high of 30 F.  I wore my winter-weight long johns, my winter jacket, my boot covers and my down mittens, and was grateful for every piece of clothing I had on.  The winds were light, at least, and the strong sun warmed us on the chairlifts but never turned the snow to mush.

I'm over there on that lip; view 
across from Triple Bypass

The snow was in fantastic shape too - tons better than the day before.  Since it never warmed up on Saturday, the base wasn't slushy when they groomed it and thus didn't freeze solid overnight.  As an added bonus, Alta got a good three inches of new snow overnight so by the time we got up there on Sunday, the groomers were in great shape: pretty soft and not scraped off.  Off-piste was still a little clattery once our skis cut through the new snow: I got thrown around a lot and didn't attempt more than one or two ungroomed runs; H, being so much stronger than I, fared better and had some good runs in the Keyhole/Glory Hole area and around Chartreuse Slot/Chartreuse Nose.

Looking at Aorta Chute from Triple Bypass

Since this was the last day for the Sugarloaf lift, we skied there all day, only going to the Collins side for lunch at Watson Shelter (since there were no more fries at Alf's).  As we'd done for Supreme's last day, we brought a couple of PBRs for the Sugarloaf lifties and when we dropped them into the donation bucket, Stef from Skier Services gave us a "Woohoo!  You can always count on the B______s to come through!" and the on-duty lifty came up and high-fived us.  It's important to take care of your lifties.

Love the sunshine

It ended up being a fantastic late-season day of skiing.  There was hardly anyone there (until the end of the day when all the weirdos in costumes started showing up to celebrate "last day"); the sun was out; and the snow held up really well, including on Extrovert which I skied a lot.  My legs cried uncle at about 3:30 p.m. and we took our last ride of the season on Sugarloaf.  Wildcat Base was starting to get its crazy on but since the GMD's cafe bar was closed, we didn't stick around for the revelry.  Alta may call this their official last day but we've still got two more weekends, so we're not saying goodbye just yet.

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