Thursday, March 31, 2016

the vagaries of spring

We gave Sunday a B-.  The weather was schizophrenic, running from partly sunny to high, thin clouds to overcast with flurries to sunny to overcast in rapid succession.  This made it difficult to figure out layers-wise and although I changed my jacket mid-morning, I never felt like I really got it right.  There wasn't any new snow (although a big storm is heading our way for Monday/Tuesday/early Wednesday) so the conditions were quite fast in the morning; the mix of sun and clouds meant that while things softened a little in the afternoon, it didn't get too heavy or slushy.  And there seemed to be an awful lot of cluelessness: H remarked that around 11:00 a.m., it seemed like everyone out on the slopes had no idea how to ski.  Or load the lifts, frankly: I experienced a double not understanding that they were supposed to let a single ride with them on Supreme, and on Sugarloaf, I watched as two of the four people trying to load the chair in front of me fell right off.

The skiing was okay, better when the sun was out and then challenging when the light got flat as it got overcast.  I played around off-piste a little bit (and had one pretty good run through Catherine's Area in the afternoon), but stuck mainly to the groomers since the conditions were variable.  H went to one of the Alta ski shops and rented a pair of telemark skis, just to try out something different.  His tele skis are 98 cm underfoot, which means they are better in deeper snow and not the best for hardpack.  He ended up with a pair of K2s that were 90 cm underfoot.  He didn't love them but could tell that they were better skis for the conditions we were in.  I hope he will be able to pick up a new pair of tele skis like that because he's really progressed.  The right equipment could make all the difference.

We met up at the truck around 3 p.m., his legs thrashed, my patience worn out and both of us ready to head home.  But not before a tailgate beer, of course.  The end of the ski season is in sight (Closing Day is April 17, and then they'll be open just for the following weekend) and it behooves us to toast it whenever possible.

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