Friday, January 6, 2017

in the white room

Oh my word - Monday (New Year's Day observed) was an incredible day of skiing!  Alta said they got four inches overnight and predicted a cold day, but it was so much better than that.  Temperatures were 7-19 F all day but seemed warmer until the winds picked up in the afternoon (I must have gotten my layers right for a change, or maybe it was the newer handwarmers).  And the new snow was over my knees with refills all day; it snowed nonstop and an additional nine inches accumulated throughout the day.  As a bonus, we never really stood in any lift lines: I guess the tourists had headed home.

After three runs on Collins - where Fred's Trees were deep and even the "groomers" had a nice fluffy overcoat on them - H and I split up.  He did laps around Collins and Sugarloaf: West Rustler and Chartreuse Nose and a funky Razorback/Cabin Run loop that gave him freshies each time.  I naturally went to Supreme.  My first run down the Erosion Gullies/ropeline/Vicky's wasn't fabulous - the new snow was not quite deep enough to keep from scraping the harder bumps underneath - but my next two runs into Catherine's were.  The first time I just went into the first meadow (So Long?) and then ducked into a gate into the Back Forty trees.  I was the only one in there and the snow was wonderful.  For my next run, I hiked in a bit further, to the second meadow (Sunset?), finding great untracked lines in there.  What was so great about Monday's snow was how light and fluffy it was.  Even though I was wearing my slalom-style Salomons, I wasn't having any trouble making my way through the deep stuff, plus the shorter skis were key for later in the day when the snow got chopped up.

There's a big grin there under that iced-over neck-up

It was busy at lunch - we had to circle several times before pouncing on a table as someone else stood up to go - and we didn't linger, getting back out into the storm fairly quickly.  There were no lift lines whatsoever after lunch and both H and I took advantage, getting face shots in Catherine's, running the gullies, floating through the trees near 3 Bears.  Lots and lots of fun with the snow just piling up all day.

Although it didn't seem that crowded out on the trails, the traffic leaving the canyon was nightmarish.  My legs gave out around 2:30 and we planned to take the 3 p.m. bus down-canyon.  Because the roads were slick above Snowbird, and because of all the traffic merging onto the canyon road out of Snowbird, our 3 p.m. bus didn't pick us up until 4 p.m., and then it took another 2.5 hours to get home.  Once we got below the lowest Snowbird entry, the road was fairly clear and traffic moved steadily - it was just bottlenecked between Alta and the 'Bird.  Still, that hellacious ride dims in comparison to just how awesome the skiing was.  The early season at Alta has been just epic.

No comments:

Post a Comment