Tuesday, February 3, 2015


We knew we were definitely going skiing on Saturday but the dearth of new snow meant that we weren't chomping at the bit to get up there.  We lingered, therefore, over a lovely breakfast of French toast (made with a splash of rum, as recommended in Joy of Cooking), coffee and bacon.  When we got to Alta just before 10 a.m., the lift mechanics were announcing that the Collins chair would be closed from 10-10:30 a.m. for some maintenance work.  So we jumped on the rope tow to the Albion base area and rode up the mountain on the Sunnyside chair, noticing lots and lots of porcupine tracks in the roped-off gullies below.

Still soft way in at Catherine's Area

From the top of Sunnyside, we skied to the Sugarloaf chair and did a couple of runs there.  The snow was much better than we expected it to be: the Wasatch mountains had gotten a couple of inches midweek and Alta was claiming another couple of inches overnight Friday into Saturday.  Just that little bit of fresh snow on top made a difference, as the conditions were much softer than last weekend.  We moved over to Supreme where things were busy.  The corral stayed pretty full all day and people seemed to be having quite a difficult time in the lift lines: singles riders not understanding when to come out, people dropping their poles and coming out of their skis while on the conveyor belt, people not being able to count to three (the Supreme chair is a TRIPLE - says so right there on the sign), people not listening to the Alta employees running the lift line.  It's a lift line, folks.  It's not that difficult.  We've all stood in them before.

Stunning view from the entrance to Catherine's Area

After lunch - where we observed an amazing ski school instructor (Luke) handling a rambunctious young class with finesse, patience and humor - we gave Catherine's Area a try.  it was amazingly good in there : that +/- four inch refresher did wonders.  We hiked all the way in to our favorite little glade, pausing on the ridge to watch back-country folks scoring freshies and launching themselves off jumps.  We stayed at Supreme for the rest of the afternoon, including another run in Catherine's Area, as low-lying clouds filled the valley and then dissipated as quickly as they had moved in.  We skied until 3:30 p.m.-ish to make up for the late start, and then headed home for delicious and filling homemade potato-cheese soup.

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