Friday, February 13, 2015

wherefore all the people?

Sunday was so busy.  H and I were shocked by it, actually, and figuring it was one of the busiest weekends of the year.  People apparently like spring skiing conditions, even in February, even with very little snow! (Alta got about an inch of new overnight).  The conditions didn't start out very spring-ish, however: Sunday started out colder than Saturday but it was not windy and there were clear blue skies all day.  It warmed up throughout the day but I planned for that this time, going without either boot warmers or hand warmers, plus dressing way down with spring-weight ski pants and a shell.  I was, of course, chilly for a while in the morning.

Coming out of the bumps below Cecret Lake

As per our new usual, we did four runs at Collins, watching as ski patrol worked to open the Ballroom, Baldy Shoulder and the Main Chute.  We then moved to Sugarloaf which was absolutely packed with people - the singles line was moving slower than the main corral.  They had just opened Devil's Castle so we headed in there with lots of other people, many of whom were completely clueless about how a traverse works; I had to shout out, at one point, "Don't stop on the traverse, please!" and skied around several other people.  The snow was quite good in there since the Castle never gets any sun this time of year; wind-buffed but good skiing.  We couldn't face the crowds at Sugarloaf again so soon so we skied down the bumps under Cecret Lake and headed to Supreme.  It was pretty busy there too but at least the singles line moved quickly.  We did a couple of groomers since everything still pretty firm then headed into Catherine's Area.  The top was fantastic with our favorite spot still deep and seemingly untouched other than by us; the bottom run-out was predictably terrible, not yet softened in the morning sun, with frozen chunks that made our skis skitter.

Skiing the Castle

After lunch, we climbed back into Devil's Castle and I didn't have to yell at anyone on the traverse this time.  We skied out through the trees below the Apron this time, pushing further to skier's right than the last time we were in there, and ended up finding some really excellent tiny stashes of actual deep, soft, untracked snow.  There were just four or five turns' worth at any given stretch, but it was still fun to ski.  We finished out the warm afternoon at Supreme, doing three more runs into Catherine's Area (where I once again had to scold someone stopped on the traverse) and skied out at 3:30 p.m.  We love spring skiing - love the sunshine, the soft conditions, the bright blue skies - but we do not love spring skiing in February.  We're ready for some winter, please.

Snow!  Soft and deep!

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