Friday, March 6, 2015

skiing deeper than expected

We haven't been able to figure out why there were so many people at Alta this past weekend - crazy crowds, more than Christmas or February vacation. We did figure that Sunday would be especially busy given the new snow (everyone was so excited for three inches!  woohoo for re-adjusted expectations!) and the clear skies first thing in the morning.  It was slightly warmer than Saturday, especially when the sun was out, and the wind was not really a factor.  We did three runs off Collins to start, one warm-up groomer and then two in the very popular Ballroom, which was actually skiing quite well.  Next was a run on the Backside: I thought the traverse out there was sketchy because the light was flat (the clouds had moved in, eliminating the sun) but around the corner, East Greeley itself was good, deep and soft and fluffy.

Hiking into Catherine's Area, with flurries

We hopped on the Sugarloaf chair, finding that the lifties had moved the singles line to the other side of the corral in an attempt to make the lines work better; this was only marginally successful because it depended on the lifties paying attention to the hoi polloi).  We couldn't stand the crowds, though, so we shifted over to Supreme - and H got cut off about six times as we skied across.  As we had done the day before, we alternated runs in Catherine's Area with flyers again.  There were still lots and lots of people going into Catherine's Area although not so many of them seemed to be stopping on the traverse.  As we skied, ski patrol was bombing the heck out of Devil's Castle and they got it open before lunch.  From the Supreme chair, we could see the long, long line of people traversing into the Castle.  H did one run down Sunset in Catherine's Area without me and reported that it was still hugely bumped up with frozen moguls; as we went further in, it skied better and better.

Hoping to learn from our experience the day before, we skied past 1:00 p.m. before going in for a late lunch - even so, we had to circle for at least fifteen minutes before getting a table.  After lunch, we went in to Devil's Castle - at this point there were just a few other skiers in there with us, including one girl who had the exact same Flylow jacket as mine.  My legs were already fatiguing on the climb in and I found myself in the backseat too much, riding on the tails of my skis, so I didn't ski it very well.  There was a good amount of snow in there, though.  We skied out way skier's right, through the trees, ending up under the Apron.  Not so many people had found their way in there and the snow was really good.  We made our way back to Supreme, doing another Catherine's Area run all the way in, complete with face shots.  That's such a nice section - it's really a shame it isn't longer.

Seems steep here in Devil's Castle

After that, my legs were toast - once my hamstrings start hollering, I know I don't have much longer in me.  We did a couple more flyers on Supreme once Catherine's Area closed at 3 p.m., but then I had to ski out.  The run out through Collins was challenging: the snow was very clumpy although the sun was out again and the visibility was good at least.  H, who is strong and unafraid to ski fast, just went straight through all the clumps and bumps; I am not heavy or strong enough to ski through them without being tossed around, so I had to make lots of turns.  My legs were pretty tired by the time we finished up, which ended up being about a half hour earlier than Saturday.  Another storm is moving into the area for Monday and Tuesday - people are saying this one could bring a lot of snow.  Fingers crossed!

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