Sunday, January 24, 2016

in which we give the day a c

We really weren't sure if we were going to ski when Saturday morning rolled around.  H had been traveling for work and, because of weather-related delays, didn't get home until midnight; when the alarm went off, we both groaned.  The day's forecast wasn't ideal either, with the clouds due to build throughout the day but only a couple of inches of accumulation.  But we peeked out the window and saw that it was mostly clear skies up the canyon and figured well, it certainly couldn't hurt if we went up for just a little while.

It was pretty warm when we got up to Wildcat base (33F) and quite a bit windier than we had anticipated.  As we rode up Collins, we could see the snow swirling and blowing off the top of Baldy.  A patroller we rode with told us that neither the Ballroom nor the EBT would open due to the wind loading the East Baldy cornices.  We did three runs off of Collins and I quickly realized that I shouldn't have skipped the gym on Thursday and Friday as my legs felt heavy and tired.  H was feeling his legs too from the travel and lack of exercise that comes with it.

We switched to Sugarloaf but only one ride up convinced us that it was too exposed: by the afternoon, the lifties weren't allowing single riders to get on the Sugarloaf chairs alone, making them wait until someone else could ride with them to help stabilize the chairs.  Supreme was much better, more protected, but unfortunately everyone else realized that as well.  We did a run through Catherine's Area and although the snow was holding up nicely - skied out and beaten down but still soft - my legs were not and I skied it terribly.  On the next run, we both went down No. 9 Express (which had been groomed of all its ridiculously huge moguls).  H ducked into a gate towards Vicky's; after lunch, I took a lower gate into the adjacent White Squaw Area, coming out by the Elephant's Butt; we both found the snow soft in there but bumped up hugely so that it just wasn't that much fun to ski.

The clouds had been building quickly throughout the morning and just before we went in for lunch, the snow started.  The light got extremely flat after we ate and the winds were not letting up.  We went up Sugarloaf and then immediately back to Supreme.  H did another Catherine's Run and when I met him back at the lift, he said that his legs couldn't take any more of that today.  We kept going a little longer but we were both feeling it and finally called it quits just before 2 p.m.  Skiing out was a pain: not only did we have to ski down through Sunnyside but the rope tow wasn't running as we poled our way across from Albion base to Wildcat base - ugh.  The snow petered out as we drove down the canyon back to the valley, but the upper canyon behind us stayed full of clouds.  Hopefully an early bedtime would have us in good shape for the new inches those clouds would leave overnight.

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