Sunday, December 15, 2013

back at it

Last weekend, the weekend of the garage party, some arctic air moved into the region, making things really, really cold.  We didn't ski either day that weekend since Alta's temperatures were in the -10 to -4 range; and the cold stuck around, with greater Salt Lake staying in the teens to low 20s for the whole week.  Brrr! and made worse by the fact that it didn't snow at all.  The weather did shift a little bit by this past weekend, however: no snow but slightly warmer temperatures.  On Saturday we were happy to drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Alta to ski, getting out of the inversion and enjoying the sunshine.  It was 10 F at the base when we got there but ended up in the low 20s by the afternoon (and the valley got up above freezing for the first time in a week).

Back at my favorite lift - yay!

We definitely need snow.  The conditions were firm and fast, very eastern.  Coverage is decent, though, and since there weren't many people there, the runs were fine.  Supreme chair had opened last weekend and we spent a lot of time over there.  There were rocks poking through some of the runs (Challenger, I'm talking about you) and we weren't that anxious to go into the trees, given the thin cover.  We did venture into Catherine's Area for the first time: one of the lifties told us that it was "old snow, chunky and grabby, thin in spots and the run-out is no good."  He was absolutely right.  It was beautiful in there and we had the place to ourselves but the grabby snow made turning a battle.  Still, I was glad to get back in there.

Back in Catherine's Area - yay!

Saturday was also International Women's Ski Day.  We rode a chair with the chipper, chirpy regional coordinator for SheJumps, an international organization devoted to getting women involved in the outdoors.  SheJumps had groups skiing (and then getting together for apres ski) at Alta, Snowbird and Solitude - Solitude had 100 women sign up! - and they also organize mountain biking, hiking, ski mountaineering, avalanche education and fly fishing events (and are hoping to start up some Nordic skiing and snowshoeing).  There seem to be chapters all across the country (except for the midwest) but their founders live in SLC and Jackson Hole.  I didn't know anything about this organization but I'm going to check it out and see what activities they've got going on in the area.

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