Thursday, December 31, 2009


5 great runs:
  1. Westward Ho to Peruvian Gulch. 2 feet of fresh powder in the final drop toward Who Dunnit
  2. Tunnel to Mineral Basin, mostly fresh and deep
  3. Baldy Shoulder Traverse to Alta Baldy Shoulder: One big long amazing pitch with fresh deep powder at the top and bright sun above.
  4. East Greeley. Touched but still great
  5. Gad Chutes. Trees, deep powder and the occasional rock that took off my ski.
Following yesterday's lesson we started the day at Alta and I tried to park the car at Snowbird but it was 100% full. Luckily Rustler Lodge parking still had room. Still Alta was jammed so that's how we ended up taking Wildcat to Westward Ho. Snowbird was equally jammed so we had to pick carefully and we did pretty well! The trip back to Alta rivals some of the best snow I had all last year (5%). After lunch we stopped at Snowbird for a couple runs. On the second run Maripat was run into by a 20 something female skier (see woman too are out of control) who snapped her pole and knocked her over so she smashed her goggles. Made it to the car a little before 4 smug in the knowledge that we had the world figured out.

Wrong. At 1:30 a solo ice climber fell and it required a helicopter to get him off the mountain (lots of broken things) and that required closing to road to give the helicopter a place to land. The road was backed up all the way to Alta but thankfully we were at Snowbird Entry 1 when the road opened at 4:30.

By 5:00 pm we were back in Sandy at 90th & State Motors (9011 S State St, Sandy, UT (801) 255-3377) looking at a 98 Mazda MPV All-Sport 4wd -that we found on craigslist. ___ miles. After zipping around a few icy/snowy parking lots and having (controlled) fun it was clear that this was our car so we proceeded to ignore all the good advice about how to buy a used car. So 4WD Only are not as scary for us anymore! A pretty efficient one hour.

Kids had a great time sledding in the back yard and we watched the ball drop (much easier when it happens at 10pm).

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Alta NEVER after 3pm (say it again!)

Suffice it say that an absolutely incredible day with the Hellbents with over a foot of fresh powder was followed by waiting for traffic to clear with 4 other grumpy people (who rejected my food choice at Goldminers) for 2.5 hours followed by 2.5 more hours in a stream of cars all going 2 mph only to find out in the end that there was really no reason, just some slow driver at some point in the past. Argggg!

Remind me NEVER to leave Alta on a holiday week/Sat/Sun after 3pm (today was 4pm) and really the best option is to park at Snowbird. I do love Supreme but my Alta bias doesn't justify the annoyance of the late day traffic.

I hate lessons you learn the 2nd or 3rd time...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hello Snowbird

We continue our steady effort at starting earlier: from 1:15 to 12:15 and even 11:15 today. Off to MB today with all 5! Best snow we've seen yet. Everyone had a great time. More and more icy spots at Alta but if you climbed you could find some powder (not much).

Found helpful bootfitter person at Albion who told me my left instep pain (navicular) was probably due to collapsing (which is what I have self-diagnosed); so I am working on finding exercises for that.Also recommended adding some support under the medial side of the right heel (and the arch of course). He also said that the problem at the top of my foot was indeed a problem (wish the other guy said that vs. keep trying and the pain will go away).

In a 1/2 day, the helpful people at Alta Ski shop put the Naxo AT bindings on the B4s and moved the Jesters on the Hellbents so they would fit my boots.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Cliffs


Kevin and I found the only 2 feet of powder as we climbed out of path that was leading to a cliff. Great stuff if you are going downhill not up. But good snow could be had, you just had to climb for it. Still working on the get up early and get organized part of ski trips. Lots of hungry folks descended on the Sweet Tomatoes for our Anniversary Dinner - Kids really do change your life...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

First Turns


The strange color is inversion based pollution in SLC.

Great to get back out on the snow. Had my best crash of the year heading down the chute going down Glory Gulch (50) off sugerloaf. Head over heals, landed on the back, flipped over and kept going only to bury a ski in the crust, lose it, and crash again. Quite fun. Would be a great day for the icicle but alas my guide is stuck in CH. Brrr cold! And as you can see it is just as cold (snowy) in SLC which means inversion/pollution in the valley.

Kids had a great time and the short skiing day followed going to airport and getting MP & kids, then the usual getting ready for the 1st day of skiing for the family (despite hours of prep work by Brian). My skis were still set for Brian from last year and had the wrong size and wrong DIN. I spent the first run doing everything I could to keep from going fast or turning (a challenge given the icy conditions). I did learn about forward pressure though...

A short day was all we needed. Snow was icy on groomed stuff, but with some hiking you could find 6 inches or so of soft stuff. And the sun is gone at 4pm this time of year. Brrr...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

No Direct


Sadly, my direct flight from RDU to SLC is gone. But change can be good because now we are more likely to leave later and have less stressful days. We can also leave after school and arrive home earlier than 11pm. So perhaps I can adjust.

Of course today isn't exactly a good example. Admittedly leaving at 9am was a lot less stressful than 5am, but the morning was still rush rush rush and we were still up until midnight with various packing tasks. And in CVG (Cincinnati) we lost 3 of the team (and gained $1800). They got food and hotel stay; Brian and I tried to lose things (almost lost a red backpack, did lose water bottle). Easy cab ride ($50 total), greeted by "low battery" but otherwise everything was fine. Car started immediately and we were off to Spagetti Mamas (boobie prize for bumping) where we downed a lot of food. Quick (is it ever quick?) trip to Walmart for some supplies and everyone (in both states) crashed early in anticipation of a busy day tomorrow.