Heading up the sidestep to Gunsight
With H having scoped everything out for me on Saturday, I was psyched to ski some stuff that I haven't skied all season. After a couple of warm-up groomers, we headed for Gunsight, taking the High Traverse out to the second of three avalanche control signs above Sunspot, and then side-stepping up to the notch in the ridgeline. The side-step was the best I can remember seeing it; the very top of the chute was another story, molded into huge, deep troughs from prior skiers. I paused for a little bit, uneasy, until H gave me some pointers on how to make the turns. After three or four turns, the chute opened up and it got much easier; the snow was wind-buffed but still soft. When the pitch flattened out, we moved left to Greeley Hill and then out on the run-out to Sunnyside.
Pausing for courage at the top of Gunsight
I needed a groomer to get some feeling back in my legs but after that, we went into the Backside, East Greeley to Glitch/Glatch. We could tell that the snow was on the verge of getting sun-baked but at that point, it was still pretty soft. I could have skied it better on my Rossignols but appreciated my nimble Salomons when we got into Glitch and/or Glatch. Another groomer to take a breather and then it was off into Devil's Castle, for me the first time all season. There was a serious dearth of traverse-etiquette - people shouldering their way past, people stopping - but it didn't matter because the snow was really pretty good. Chunked up, sure, but soft. We went down in the first third and cut across under the Cecret Chutes, heading for the trees in Boulder Basin.
That speck in the middle? Me.
After lunch, H wanted to take another run through the Castle. I knew my legs wouldn't stand for it so I took off for Supreme, with the plan that we would meet each other there around 1 p.m. When we met up, we went into the Apron Bench trees that I had been skiing on Saturday. The area had seen quite a lot of ski traffic in the interim but it was still possible to nap some untracked shots between the trees. Always a good time.
H before heading into the Apron Bench trees
Although Alta had been quite busy throughout the morning, the place really started to clear out 1:30-2:00-ish, as people headed out of the canyon to their various SuperBowl parties. We kept skiing for a bit longer, enjoying the nearly non-existent lift lines, but my legs cried uncle a little before 3 p.m. We headed home then, pausing only to wash the truck before hunkering down for the evening with homemade buffalo wings, a beer or two and the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet (not being pro football fans ourselves).