Saturday, November 23, 2013

2013-2014 opening day at alta

Seven months.  That's how long H has been waiting to get back on skis again.  Over the last month or so we've been edging ever closer, picking up new goggles, getting boots adjusted and skis tuned, getting pictures taken for new season passes, running around the house trying to remember where we'd stashed all the gear when the season ended last spring.  Finally, finally, Alta's opening day arrived: Friday, November 22, 2013, two days after Snowbird and over a week after Brighton and Solitude.

I went to work on Friday.  The mountains have gotten over 75" to date, which has settled to around 30".  That's a good start - but not good enough for me to use a precious vacation day.  H, of course, took the day off.  At 8:30 a.m. I got a text from him: "First in the singles line" with the following photo:

Just minutes before opening

I was a little astounded that he'd be standing in line 45 minutes before the lifts opened; he pointed out that he'd been waiting seven months (as previously noted) and what's another 45 minutes compared to that?  I couldn't argue with him.  It was totally the right move on his part too because not only was he first in the singles line, he ended up on the very first chair to be loaded when they started turning the lift.

View from the first chair on opening day

Scoring the first chair is a big coup for crazy skiers and people get to the mountain extra early just to be first in line.  But Alta is Alta and they're just a little funkier than most places:  the people who had lined up extra early to get the first chair ceded those rights without a fuss when the Alta lifties wanted to put Naomi, a 92 year old woman who has been skiing at Alta since 1965, on the first chair.  Because she was skiing alone, the lifties put the first three singles on the chair with her - which is how H ended up on the first chair on opening day.  He also ended up on Alta's Instagram account/Facebook page, waving at the camera (the second picture is of the folks who would have been first chair except for giving it up to the 92 year old).

The 92 year old has the white helmet 
and pink skis.  92!!

He skied until 12:30 p.m., mostly on Collins and a little on Sugarloaf, until the wind picked up, bringing in clouds and making the light flat.  The skiing was "fair," and about what he expected for the snow we've gotten thus far.  It's cold enough for them to run the snow-guns too, for what it's worth, but a bunch of big ol' natural storms is what we really need.  Because after seven months, we're really ready to ski.

No comments:

Post a Comment