Tuesday, December 1, 2015

seems like winter may have arrived

Saturday arrived, bringing a couple of inches of snow in the valley and cold temperatures.  H and I both opted to learn from our outfitting mistakes from the day before, this time donning down jackets with hoods and heavier base layers.  As we drove up Little Cottonwood Canyon, we wondered what the crowds would be like, guessing that it might be quite busy and with lots of kids (because Saturday) but then again it might not (because of the weather).

When we pulled into the parking lot at Wildcat base, there was hardly anyone there, and we didn't get a surge of skiers at 10:30 a.m., like we've seen other days so far this year.  As we stood in the lift line, waiting for Collins to open, we both pulled our hoods over our helmets: it was cold (11F at the base and 5F at the top) and lightly snowing.  Hardly any wind, however, and that was a big plus.  We rode Collins for the first part of the morning, taking Mambo and Main Street down again and again under the snow guns, which was a little treacherous in the flat light.  The inch of snow Alta had gotten overnight really worked wonders as we skied on the best conditions (read: least scratchy) of the year so far.

Trying to stay warm (and succeeding 
somewhat better than the day before)

At 10:30 a.m., they opened the Sugarloaf lift.  Skiers surged over there and we did too, eager to mix things up a little bit.  The snow guns were running there too, near the chairlift in a couple of places which made for a cold ride.  The snow was holding up well there too and we did laps on Devil's Elbow for the rest of the day, taking a break for lunch (and to thaw our frozen feet) at Alf's.  Alf's is not fully open yet - just beverages, soups/chili, salads and snacks - but we were glad to get back there to say hello to the familiar faces behind the line, back again for another season.

That's H and me, on Alta's website as one of
their Pictures of the Day!  Photo credit: John Shafer

I couldn't stand the frozen fingers and toes any longer than 2:00 p.m. and we skied out, taking the EBT from the top of Sugarloaf lift around to the top of Collins lift for the first time this season.  Although these little snowstorms bring an inch here, three inches there, it sure would be nice to get a bunch of storms that just dump a bunch of snow: even with the expanded terrain that the Sugarloaf lift being open has brought, we're getting sick of skiing groomers in order to preserve our ski bases.

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