Monday, February 22, 2016

back at it

We had a wild storm blow through on Thursday - fast-moving, superdark clouds with high winds (106 m.p.h. clocked on Ogden Peak), hail and snow - that knocked down trees and power lines, causing several Utah ski resorts to close for part or all of the day, but that didn't bring a whole lot of new snow.  Powder Mountain got the most (and also most of the winds, I think) with 13'; Park City got eight or so and Alta got 5-6".  Still, every little bit counts - and that's the truth.

Out in Catherine's Area

We knew it would all be skied out, except for anything that was still closed, so H elected to take his telemark equipment up on Saturday.  I raised an eyebrow, knowing how tele skiing thrashes one's legs and also knowing that he hadn't had a whole lot of exercise due to battling that terrible cold.  But he is determined to improve and the only way to do that is to take your tele skis.

Another shot from that ridge in Catherine's Area

Weather-wise, it was pretty mild: mostly cloudy in the morning and clearing in the afternoon, light winds and temperatures ranging from 21-37F.  We started out skiing together (well, technically standing in the singles line together because Alta was quite crowded) but after three runs in the shade on Collins face I was a little chilly.  H wanted to stay on Collins for a while longer so we made plans to meet up for lunch at Alf's.  I went over to Sugarloaf, where the sun shines in the morning, and did one run there.  I had intended to do another since Extrovert had been groomed and looked pretty good, but the crowded Sugarloaf lift line drove me away to Supreme.  It wasn't any less crowded there but the lifties seem to do a better job of managing the hordes.

Looking at Devil's Castle from the Backside

The snow was pretty decent, I thought.  It was all beaten down, of course, but although it was compacted it was still soft and the sun hadn't baked it too badly.  I like skiing those conditions and find it easier to maneuver than super-deep powder.  I did a couple of runs in Catherine's Area - one all the way out to Last Chance and one down Snowshoe Hill - and had a terrific run in the Backside, where even Glitch/Glatch were pretty soft.  The groomers were in good shape too and managed to keep from getting skied off too badly, even with the crowds.

My softshell matches the sky

H and I met back up at the truck at 2:30 p.m.  His legs were wrung out at that point and, to be honest, mine were fatigued as well.  We were at the end of our patience with the lift lines too so it seemed like a good time to head home and rest up for the next day.

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