Thursday, December 10, 2015

thin cover

I mentioned that we need snow, right?  We really, really do and it was quite evident on Sunday when we went up to Alta.  There was no new snow overnight so we didn't rush up there, pulling into the Wildcat base parking lot just before they started loading the chairs at 9:15 a.m.  There was hardly anyone there at that point, although it did get busier as the day went on; I suspect people looked out the window and said, "We'll wait."  Which would have been a good idea weather-wise* because when we started skiing, it was cloudy with very flat light and super-windy.  The only good thing was that it was fairly warm (too warm, really, for the time of year): already in the 30s at the base.

As far as the snow went, the conditions were certainly skiable, especially if you have Eastern experience.  It wasn't bulletproof - the warm temperatures saw to that - but the strong winds blew the top layer of snow off all the trails and when the weather changed, the clouds lifting, and the people started showing up, it got skied off very quickly.

We switched from Collins to Sugarloaf and back again in the morning, trying to find the side with the least wind.  By 11:30, the winds had dropped and the clouds were breaking up.  We went in for a quick lunch at Alf's and then went back out, appreciating the better visibility, if not the trail conditions and the increased skier traffic.  Surprisingly, the trail that held up the best was Sugarbowl, off the top of the Sugarloaf lift.  This section often gets scraped off quickly, due to how high traffic it is.  But on Sunday, the winds were taking all the snow from up higher on the mountain and dropping it into the Sugarbowl area.  I think people thought it was going to be icy but it really wasn't, not even right down the middle.

The rest of the trails were not faring so well, however, and I got bored with skiing the same two trails while dodging people.  We headed down-canyon around 2 p.m., glad as always that we'd gotten out on the boards, but ready for some snow.  Come on, Mother Nature, hook us up!

*  But not snow-wise because it got skied/blown off

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