Tuesday, January 21, 2014

carbon copies

Sunday and Monday were pretty much carbon copies of Saturday: not a single cloud in the sky, fairly warm temperatures, not too crowded.  Both days we got great parking spots and did 2-3 runs on Sugarloaf before abandoning that lift for Supreme.  We skied the groomers several times while waiting for the sun to hit the run-out at the bottom of Catherine's Area, then hiked up and into there 2-3 times, enjoying the snow all the way in there.  On Sunday I fell once, my short skis caught by a big clump of snow in Catherine's, and then somersaulting with the momentum.  On Monday, I fell once in the exact same spot ... and then fell again, on the run-out in a flat spot, as my left ski slithered off the beaten track and got caught in the deeper, stickier snow.  Since it was flat, I flailed around awkwardly for a while before struggling to my feet.  Luckily, no one was around to see me, although I 'fessed up to H back at the lift.  (He could tell from the snow stuck in my helmet anyway.)

In Catherine's Area, pre-fall

After lunch, both days, we headed into Devil's Castle.  It was still great, a little chunky on Sunday but beaten into soft, manageable bumps by Monday.  I skied it really well on Monday; while other skiers were bemoaning the fact that it was "all bumped to hell," the conditions suited me and my short, turnable Volkl skis.

Despite the lack of snow, Alta has managed to get almost all of its terrain open.  Baldy's Main Chute was open Saturday and Sunday (closed Monday); the first third of Devil's Castle was open, as was the periphery of Supreme Bowl (Ski Patrol posted signs recommending that people stay out of the main bowl, but kept it open-); the only thing that remained fully closed was East Castle, per usual.

H in Catherine's Area

Still trying to expand our scope, on Sunday I suggested that we take the mid-traverse on the front side and give Sunspot a try.  It was pretty bad, beaten down and scoured smooth and hard, not even softening in the afternoon sun.  Our last run Sunday was down Stimulation/Johnson's Warm-Up off the Wildcat lift (our first time on Wildcat all season - yikes!).  The snow was holding up okay there, despite the heavy traffic, but since it was the last run of the day, my legs were toast and I didn't enjoy it much.  Monday ended much stronger, calling it quits after three Devil's Castle runs in a row and then a celebratory pitcher of Full Suspension at the Porcupine.

Last time through Devil's Castle

We desperately need snow, both for the skiing as well as for the water supply, but it's tough to be cranky about gorgeous days like we got this long weekend.

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