Monday, February 29, 2016

going local

For the first time since we moved out here, H and I skied with someone local.  We've skied with friends before but they've all been folks visiting from back east.  On Saturday we met up with Darren, one of H's coworkers, his eleven year old son, Wade, and his uncle, Larry.  We spotted them as we drove into the parking lot and then chatted briefly with Darren from the singles line while Wade and Larry got their tickets.  H and I did laps on Collins for over an hour, trying to hook up with them; although we saw them several times from the lift, the timing was never right.  At 10:30 a.m. I moved over to Supreme, with the plan to meet H for lunch at Alf's a little before noon.  We were having balmy, spring-like temperatures under bright sunshine, which meant that even though it was busy, everyone was happy, even standing in the lift lines.  With no recent snow, it was my kind of conditions: skied out but still soft, generally speaking.  It was a little bit crusty in the morning in the areas that had gotten baked in the sun Friday afternoon; off-piste was not great before lunch but the groomers were in good shape and skiing fast.

We were supposed to get a small storm but
all we got was this funky cloud over Superior

At lunch, H reported that he'd met up with Darren, Wade and Larry skiing at Sugarloaf.  He'd done a couple of runs with them and they were planning to go to Supreme after lunch, so we'd meet them there.  After lunch, I went directly into Devil's Castle - H did not, being on his tele skis - and found it in pretty good shape since it doesn't get direct sun this time of year.  After my run there, I went back to Supreme and after a run or two, we connected with our friends.

Darren said that it had probably been 20 years since he'd skied at Alta.  He has a young family and they don't get to go skiing very often, although he and W had had some good days at Solitude this season.  I led him and Wade on a Catherine's Area run: down the rope line on So Long, then turning left through the trees.  The last pitch before the run-out, which had been crusty right after lunch, was fantastic by then: sun-softened into smooth corn-snow bumps.  On our next run, we all went into the highest gate under East Castle and played around in the trees there, coming out among the cabins above Cecret lift.  Wade really liked it in there, and H was managing well enough on his tele skis, so we did a couple more runs in that area until Supreme closed at 3:30.  Our group moved to Sugarloaf and did a fast flyer that everyone liked, then scooted around the EBT to Collins.  Wade, Darren, Larry and I did a run through the Ballroom while H, whose legs feeling the tele fatigue at this point, opted for a straight shot down to Wildcat base.  At the base, H and I said goodbye.  It was just past 4 p.m. and we were ready to quit, but as we walked back to the truck, young Wade was dragging Darren and Larry back onto the lift for one more run.  Ah, youth!  

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