Sunday, February 2, 2014

the return of winter

After most of January with scarcely any snowstorms (most of this winter, really; I can count on one hand how many really good snow days we've had), the weather pattern turned and a decent, if too quickly moving, storm rolled in last Thursday.  We were hoping for 18-24" but the storm didn't get held up over the mountains and only dropped 9-12" instead.  Still, at this point we'll take whatever we can get.  And as we drove up Little Cottonwood Canyon road on Saturday morning, it was nice to see snow on the road and traffic carefully making its way up to the resorts.  The clouds had filled back in, however, making the light flat, and it was quite cold: when we got on our first chair, it was 12 F at the base and 2 F at the summit, and it would only end up warming up to 9 F at the summit by the time our day was done.

It's cold up here at the top

Because the storm had come in on Thursday, everything was all tracked out and bumped up.  The snow seemed to be in pretty good shape though.  We did several runs on the Sugarloaf chair before moving over to Supreme.  I was wearing my Rossignols because of the new snow: my legs had felt pretty strong over the last few weeks but that was because we were cruising groomers; once we got off-piste into the chunky powder, my skis kicked my butt.  Catherine's Area was super-fun, soft and deep.  We paused to talk to a group of folks out for a snowshoe with the Wasatch Mountain Club - they were hoping to have a picnic on Catherine's Ridge but it started snowing around noon, so they may not have lingered over their sandwiches.

Ice beard in a snow globe

After lunch, we did a run down Chartreuse Nose/Chartreuse Slot where the bumps were huge and pretty much invisible with the poor visibility.  Needless to say, I did a lot of flailing around and H had to wait for me a lot.  We did a run through the cabins to give my legs a break and then ventured into Cecret Saddle for the first time all season.  Again, I struggled with the visibility - this was turning out to not be my best day ever.  And yet, new snow!

We finished with several runs off the front side and then my legs had had enough.  It was still snowing as we drove down canyon - we would end up with another couple of inches - which always bodes well for the next day's skiing.

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