Saturday, February 8, 2014

return of the snow

My brother decided to come out to see us for a ski weekend and, having bought a non-refundable ticket, spent the winter texting me about how bad our snow was - until about ten days ago, when the forecast models got decidedly snowy for the weekend.  Predicted snow totals were all over the place - 12"-36", 40"-50" - but one thing was clear: the snow was going to start on Thursday night and keep dumping until Monday.  At this point, we were just hoping for enough to make it soft; anything further would be gravy.

We got up to Alta right around first chair time Friday morning.  It was much busier than we expected, but we shouldn't have been surprised since folks have been snow-starved this season.  It was chilly, with highs in the low 20s, overcast and with gusty winds.  It was supposed to snow all day and it did, a little, but it certainly didn't stack up much.  The mountain only reported only a few underwhelming inches overnight but once we got our skis on the snow, there weren't many complaints.

We went straight to Sugarloaf from Collins, doing laps down Chartreuse Nose and Extrovert.  Not all the rocks were covered, but it was getting closer.  It was evident from Run #1 that I was going to be chasing the boys all day: both H and my brother are good skiers and my brother seemed determined to make the most of his few Utah ski days.  At 10:20 a.m., we met up with a couple of my brother's friends who were in town on a ski vacation themselves.  We moved over to Catherine's Area and did lots of runs in there because it was quite good.  It was also quite busy because much of Alta was closed due to the snow/winds: with the Ballroom, Devil's Castle and East Greeley all roped off, Catherine's was the best option for off-piste skiing.  Still, even with the higher-than-normal traffic, we managed to find good snow and fresh tracks.

Waiting in the corral for our first chair ride

After lunch, we thought we'd give the front side a try.  We went back to Collins and headed out on the High T[raverse].  Sean and Lindsey took off like they didn't care about their skis but the rest of us did, picking our way across the very rocky bits.  The group quickly outdistanced me (H and my brother ended up wrapping around the end of the ridge and coming down through Eagles Nest/North Rustler) and I finally got off the terrible traverse and made my way down Santa Claus Alley or Jitterbug.  When we met back up at the lift, we all decided to go back to Supreme and Catherine's.

We finished out the afternoon there, skiing out once the Supreme lift closed at 3:30 p.m.  We said goodbye to my brother's friends and made our way home, pleased with the day's skiing and hopeful for much more snow for the rest of the weekend.  We managed to rally enough to go out for garlic burgers at the Cottonbottom before collapsing in front of the t.v. to watch some Olympics.  We stayed awake until 10 p.m.  It remains to be seen if we can duplicate that after more ski days.

No comments:

Post a Comment