Sunday, February 19, 2017

slow motion

After a mild week, a storm moved in Friday night, bringing rain to the Salt Lake valley and snow to the mountains.  It wasn't supposed to bring all that much although it was as least to continue into Sunday, and we were in need of a refresher.  By Saturday morning, Alta was reporting around four inches, just enough to get people excited about new snow.  Not that we needed any more excitement around here: being the start of vacation week, there would be plenty of stoke.  Actually, it isn't the stoke so much as the shenanigans.  As the ski resorts get inundated with enthusiastic tourists, it does get a little challenging.  It isn't even the long lift lines, the questions about everything or even the dearth of lift line etiquette, but more the uptick in beginners skiing erratically.  Add to that about four inches of heavy snow that gets clumped up quickly and sends newbies flying - and you have ski runs that are more obstacle courses than anything else.

Temperatures were mild, 23-36F, and it was steadily snowing, which meant that it was wet, dense snow: heavy clumps but creamy where untracked.  H has fully embraced the telemark thing and has improved vastly this season alone, determined now to up his game off-piste and in deeper snow.  I stuck with him (despite our taking the singles lines) and we cruised Collins face and then Sugarloaf all morning.  While H was powering through the soft snow, I was having a less successful day.  Three things were stacked against me: poor visibility, clumpy snow and boots that are too old/packed out/loose.  I can handle two of the three but all three together were throwing me for a loop and I was really struggling.  I had decided to go with my Salomons since I knew the snow would bump up and I'd need to be able to turn quickly between that and the tourists, but I was very slow all day.

Beer at Goldminer's Daughter

Lunch was a zoo and it took a long time to find a table, even though we went in on the early side.  We moved over to Supreme after lunch and H was actively seeking out soft bumps.  He even went into the trees near 3 Bears, which he hasn't really done much on his teles until now; it was a lot of work in the deeper snow but he seemed pleased about it.  My legs cried uncle around 2:30 p.m. and we bailed out then, with just enough time to pound a PBR before catching the 3 p.m. bus down-canyon.  It was still snowing as we left Alta and we crossed our fingers that the storm would stick around a little longer.

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