Monday, April 14, 2014

And for the year I guess...

Hopefully a better season (snow-wise) next year. In the end I skied 48 times and went out there 6 times. I had a great trip with Eb alone. For spring break I had 2 days with Kevin alone and then the whole family got the best week of the year. I missed one 12 inch "storm" but got pretty much all of the 350 inches of snow we got after the early stuff. So overall a success [mostly due to tons of effort and the excellent work of the weather service and avalanche people].
Still I wouldn't mind if El Nino [50/50 at this point] brings us 700 inches next year.
Now I am watching the water temperature [current 60, brrr!] of Jordon Lake Recreation Area to decide when I can paddleboard/windsurf again... water height data \ NC Lake weather. 80 degrees this weekend so perhaps soon.

Friday, April 4, 2014

That's it for this trip

When we saw that Kevin had 3 games I bought tickets for a Friday return. But all along they said there would be a Fri-Sun storm so I was pretty sure we'd be coming back on Sunday. Thursday night that storm got downgraded to 3-6 inches. Suddenly Friday didn't seem like a great ski day and the reason to stay was fading. So we came up with an alternative plan to get to Snowbird for the 900 chair, ski 'til 1200 and make our 1445 flight.

That's pretty much how it worked out, except the snow was an unknown. We all headed to MB early which was firm but quite skiable (but not off trail of course). At the top we gave the Cirque a try which was actually pretty good (though a little bumpy in the well worn sections). Most of Peruvian was good until you got below Wilbere - then it was groomer time. Second time through the Cirque I discovered a large rock and tumbled down through the powder until I turned around and dug a foot in. Luckily I had two people to retrieve skis and poles. Of course we needed to try it a third time and that one was fun and without incident. Back to the car on north facing slopes and a pretty fun end to day #48 and trip #6 with 9 straight days of skiing. The forecast has no snow for a week. This may sadly be the end of the season. Only my ankle is happy about that.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

End of the storm

As usual for Spring the goal was to get out early before the sun won the battle. Yesterday made me hopeful so I loaded up the car with the new Hellbents and the Solomon boots that work with them.  Luckily, high clouds settled in and guarded the slopes most of the day. Off at MB Kevin and I continued to straight up and down in surprisingly soft snow. We took Silver Fox to Great Scott and got a little trapped in some rocks but both of us found a way out without doing too much damage. The whole crew got together after some miscommunication and explored MB and Peruvian some more. Gotta love those high clouds.

After 1300, my ankles called for a return to bone blown out boots so we headed back to Alta for a ski change and food. I did my best to find something soft off Collins but the best snow of the day was gone (or higher up). Kevin and I ended the day with some runs down Glory Hole, then back to the car. It's been a great storm cycle with 21 inches of snow - and the clouds have done their job well as well.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The day after the best day

A day like yesterday demands you get out the door early. Alas a day like yesterday leaves everyone exhausted. Still by 840 we we were rolling and not that many chairs rolled by full of people before us. At first is looked bleak. The sun was out and strong. At the top of Sugarloaf the entry to Snowbird was closed. Sigh... By the next pass the entry was open and high clouds were hiding some sun. Baldy was tremendous again. Unfortunately the word from yesterday had gotten out, so we took the first MBX ride, skipped getting caught in the line and headed to Great Scott. Most everything was well used up yesterday but the lower Peruvian was in a great shape still. We eventually wound our way back to MB since the line had died down and they were waiting to open bookends.

A lower gate took us where we wanted to go without fighting the line, so we called this a success and broke for lunch. After some food and few runs on Sugarloaf it was time to get back to a now totally empty MB which was in the midst of yet another snow storm. We went straight down the lift and through the chutes above BaldyX over and over. Including a cool trip under the "Danger Cliff" sign. The buzzer rang to get back to Alta so grabbed a few runs down Glory Hole which had filled in nicely and (this time) caught the 1558 chair for a final lift so Kevin and I could get a run down Collins before a final run would take us back to Shadyside via Greeley.

I am a big fan of this storm cycle.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fools

Alta ski patrol pulls the best April Fools joke yet. And a storm provided a nice video on Snowbird's snowcam showing how the totals the two resorts differ. Very nicely done!
Out the door a little late but not many people were ready to brave the white out conditions. Pulled the kids to Snowbird for 6 quick runs down MB. Couldn't see much except the ropeline and the trees, but it didn't matter. Back at Alta everyone needed to dry out and get some more fuel. The wind chased us off Sugarloaf but Supreme was protected. Supreme bowl was racking up the powder so Eb, Kevin and I caught the chute under the lift and some great powder. Another break for them and I headed to Catherine's which had the deepest and softest snow of the year. A couple feet in spots. The sun came out for 30 minutes then the storm restarted even stronger. Horizontal snow and a total white out at the top of Sugarloaf. Second run was even crazier and missed a final run by about 30 seconds.