Thursday, April 24, 2014

closing day #1

Finally we got a weekend spring skiing day!  Of course, it didn't come about until Closing Day #1, in which Alta is no longer open every day but only F-S-S until Closing Day #2 on May 4th, but still.  When we got up there, the parking lot was still sparsely populated - there were a few souls starting the tailgating early but not many, not yet - but we knew that wouldn't last.

Top o' Sugarloaf selfie

As before, we went over to Sugarloaf, taking our first run past Supreme just for old times' sake.  Then we just skied, run after run, all over that part of the resort, including venturing one last time into Devil's Castle (which was softer and more skiable than we thought it might be).  There were a few clouds but the sky stayed mostly clear; it was pretty warm and we were glad that we'd shed a layer before starting out.  We had lunch on the deck at Alf's; even though the grill was closed (this was the last weekend for Alf's Lodge too) they were cooking burgers outside.

Dude getting ready to hit that jump

There were a number of costumed folks skiing Sugarloaf but we figured the major crazy would be on the front side, so we moved over to Collins.  As we were standing in the corral, we heard some bottle rockets going off from out in Wildcat, and once we were on the chair, we looked over and saw crowds of people clustered around the Punch Bowl.  We skied back down and rode up Wildcat and into the party.  Tons of people festooned the ridges, most wearing costumes and partaking of beverages.  They had built at least six jumps (including one with a tunnel entrance) and a wall; an announcer was MCing the action as skiers came down and launched themselves.

Same dude, inverted

It was awesome.  Everyone was in a good mood, reveling in the sunshine, hucking snowballs at people riding by on the chairlift, cheering and jeering at the competitors.  We saw all kinds of costumes (including a gorilla, a sparkly turkey, two bananas, women in bikini tops, men in bikini tops, lots of 80s gear, girls wearing Alta stickers as pasties, Batman and Robin ...), folks passing around a bong made out of a snowball, lots and lots of PBRs, at least one hibachi.  The ski jumpers looked like total reprobates but they were almost all very, very good skiers - including the two guys who did their run, complete with back flips, totally bare-naked.  They got the loudest cheer from the crowd, in case you were wondering.

Wildcat scene.  Naked skiers not pictured.

We couldn't really top that scene, so after watching for a while longer, we did a few more runs before calling it a day around 3 p.m.  We tried to get a beer on the Goldminer's Daughter deck but they had closed before we got there.  We shrugged, vowed to remember to bring our own next time, and headed down canyon.  Yay spring skiing!

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