Tuesday, April 28, 2015

next to last, 2014/2015

Our penultimate day of this ski season could not have been more different than last year's.  The first wave of a two-part spring storm had rolled through Friday night, leaving Alta and Snowbird (the only two Utah ski resorts still open) with about seven inches of heavy, wet, new snow.  When we got up to Alta, the leavings were wet dust on crust: good enough if you were the first person to ski on it but thereafter quickly clumped up and scraped off down to the old stuff below.  There didn't seem to be many people in attendance; the parking lot only ever got two-thirds full at the most, and although the Collins and Sunnyside chairs were running the only ones running, it never felt crowded - unless you were trying to make your way down through Corkscrew, which quickly devolved into a slushy, clumpy mess.

We saw ski patrol hiking up to Baldy Shoulder, where they set off a couple of bombs, but Ballroom didn't open all morning due to the increased avalanche danger.  There was only one groomed trail from the top (Mambo) and evidently the groomers have ceased caring about their work because it was a bumpy, rutted mess.  I found the skiing fairly challenging: the new snow was very heavy and difficulty for me to turn in.  I was bouncing off the clumps like a pinball and because of the cloud cover, the sun never melted the new snow into slush, which I can actually ski.  H didn't have the problems I did, being strong enough to turn and ski through the clumps, but even he remarked that the new snow was really, really heavy.

Scarcely looks like spring

We did one run through the now-closed back half of the resort: down Devil's Elbow to the Supreme cut-off, and out through Sunnyside.  As we made our slow way across the Supreme cut-off, we noticed footprints running right down the center of the trail, following a snowmobile track.  They were moose prints and even though we couldn't tell whether the moose had been hiking up or down, the animal had clearly been following the snowmobile track so as not to have to break trail.  The tracks went past the Supreme lift and Alf's, and we finally lost them somewhere in the middle of Sunnyside.

We kept skiing until 12:30 p.m., at which point I told H that there was no way I was going to be able to ski all day - my legs just couldn't handle the heavy snow.  Since the conditions were not going to get any better, we decided to leave then so as to have lunch at home.  Back down in the valley, H managed to get in a bike ride before the second wave of the storm moved in, drenching the valley with rain (and possibly/probably drowning the seeds I'm trying to start) and - hopefully - leaving more snow (local forecasts called a possible 7-10 inches) for Alta's last-last day of the season.

No comments:

Post a Comment