Monday, December 7, 2015

what a difference a week makes

We need snow, that much is perfectly clear.  We are (once again) at a historic low and approximately a foot below last year - and last year was pretty terrible.  There's a storm system looming in our fairly-near future, however, and we're keeping our fingers crossed about that.

In the meantime, there's still some Eastern-style skiing to be done while we wait for snow.  Saturday's weather was so different from what we'd skied in last weekend: sunny, mostly clear, calm and much warmer, with temperatures of 12F at the peak/20F at base when we started, and near 30F at the base and 20F at the peak when we finished.  It was quite nice, actually; I love skiing when temperatures are in the 20s and - amazingly - I seemed to have gotten my outfit right for once.

Sunshine on the Sugarloaf chair

Alta was hosting a Demo Days with mostly local ski companies, including Ramp, Voile and Black Diamond.  It was not at all crowded to start.  We skied four or five runs off Collins, then moved to Sugarloaf and there was hardly anyone there.  Despite the better temperatures, I got cold around 11:30 a.m. (which is what happens when you're just cruising groomers over and over again) and went in, with H joining me after a couple more runs.  There were lots of Alf's workers having lunch together, enjoying the quiet during early season before all hell breaks loose around Christmas.  We enjoyed the quiet too, especially not having to fight anyone for a table in the cafeteria.  After lunch, we did two more runs at Sugarloaf before switching back to Collins.  It was busier there on the front side with everyone demoing skis and we had to take the singles line a couple of times.  The conditions were deteriorating quickly though, with high traffic areas getting pretty skied off, and we called it quits early, leaving a little before 2 p.m.

Early season has its own challenges, with low snow, not much open terrain and too many people on too few trails.  But I like it because you can begin to retrain the muscle memory in your legs, it is not nearly as crowded as it will become, skiing hard pack doesn't bother me because I know how to ski it.  Plus, skiing early season gets us up in the mountains which is the most important part.

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