Friday, February 24, 2017

wrapping up the weekend, alta-style

We expected crowds for Presidents' Day, with the weekend's new snow and the holiday.  The bus was as crowded as it's been all season and we had to stand in the middle of the bus, holding our skis (I've developed a ranking of where I prefer to ride the bus: sitting in a seat at the front; then standing at the front/middle; then sitting in the back; and lastly, standing at the back).  When we got up to Alta, it was warm with partly clear skies; flurries were expected but the light was not yet flat.

There were the usual tourist lift line shenanigans - skier services was desperately trying not to roll their eyes as they, for the umpteenth time, explained to tourists how to get through the gates - but out on the hill, ski patrol got Ballroom and Backside open, which spread the people out.  We did a couple of warm up runs on Collins first, then went straight to Supreme.  Catherine's Area had been so good on Sunday that we wanted to get in there in the morning before things got too tracked out.  We did thee runs in Catherine's, including freshies down Last Chance.  The snow was quite deep there, but also a little stiffer because of the wind.  H struggled a little bit to get his tele skis around on his turns so I jumped out there and got first tracks.

Looks deep in there, doesn't it?

Happily, there were not that many people venturing much further than the first meadow in Catherine's.  We went further on our next two runs, finding some faces deep and soft.  The last pitch before the run-out back to the lift was great - soft but wind-buffed - and both H and I skied it well.

Devil's Castle, Baldy and Collins pass

Lunchtime was pretty busy and we ended up sharing a table with some other folks; we also saw our neighbor who we run into occasionally up at Alf's.  We took a ride up Sugarloaf after lunch but with the swarms of people, we scurried back to Supreme after a run down Razorback (big soft bumps).  At this point, the clouds moving in and light getting flatter quickly.  Before lunch, ski patrol had been actively shooting East Castle (we had seen some slides from the chairlift), and they had gotten Rock N' Roll opened.  At this point, skiers had trampled it but the last pitch had some nice soft bumps which killed my legs.  H, however, was still actively seeking out moguls even this late in the day, proving that his tele legs were getting much stronger.

We skied until around 2:45, then downed a quick PBR before a calm and uncrowded bus ride down the canyon.  We had planned ahead and dinner was all ready to go: homemade chili, cornbread and scratch brownies.  That, plus a glass of wine, made for a very nice way to wrap up the weekend.

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