Are you kidding me…face shots before Thanksgiving? The forecaster’s have all been warning us of a whomper that has been heading our direction but the snow wasn’t supposed to hit until late tonight. Well, while the valleyites spent their day raking up leaves in the blustering wind, no one could have guessed that just a few miles up the canyons the winter storm had arrived early. Although, the winds in Salt Lake were downright treacherous, Solitude was blissfully unaffected by the valley’s gusty mayhem. The morning’s early snowfall may have been a bit reminiscent of the Pacific Northwest but as the day progressed and the temperatures dropped with the formidable low pressure, Utah’s famous fluffy flakes soon turned the slopes into a sugary dream!
How can you not love this place? Solitary ride after solitary ride on Eagle Express produced untracked turns and sheer powder paradise. It’s possible that there are some folks around here who wished that all the piles of people who headed up the canyon first thing in the a.m. had pulled off into Soli’s parking lot. But, as for me and the handful of other boarder’s and skier’s who effortlessly carved untouched fluff we were grateful that Solitude once again lived up to its namesake!
Half way through the day I decided I should probably check in on the boys who had been dropped off earlier for DEVO. It’s possible that my powder heaven wasn’t exactly theirs but, I was happily suprised to find Isaac….hmmm…how should I put this…oh yeah, shredding the gnar! He was skiing as tight as a little four year old…excuse me, his Birthday was yesterday…as tight as a little five year old could, in the onslaught of early season snow. However, as soon as he saw me, he decided to complain about his scratchy coat and obnoxious goggles. I quickly left him to his teachers to finish out the morning.
After a quick lunch with both the grommits I decided to hang out with Noah’s class for a few runs but had so much fun with them I stayed all afternoon. I mean there really is not much to say when your seven year old and his cohorts are catching freshies and slaying it better than most of the adults on the hill. (well, actually, “Rip it up Noah!” comes to mind.) I had to hang…who wouldn’t?
By 2:30 the temperatures had probably dropped about twenty degrees since the first run and everyone was beat. I was getting a little nervous about the drive down as we had seen numerous flashing lights and even a firetruck heading up and down the canyon. After a little help from a shovel and a couple of awesome parking attendants I freed the car, loaded the boys and carefully headed out of the lot.
If any of you were headed down around three, you may have witnessed the same four slide-offs and how can we forget…the 40 minute delay as some nimrod in his tiny front wheel drive was towed back onto the road. Lucky for us we were the first on the scene and got to watch as cop after cop showed up to survey the scene. I am sure it seemed as if something serious was going on but, I am here to tell you (in case you were behind me and couldn’t see) that it was NOTHING! Can I just remind everyone (since I am on the subject), PLEASE check to see if it is snowing before driving your itty bitty AMC Pacer (You know, like the one in Wayne’s World) up into four wheel drive territory. Now, I couldn’t exactly see what make of car it was because every cop within 20 miles was surrounding the scene like it was some kind of homicide investigation but, I swear Wayne and Garth popped into my mind as I caught a glimpse of the retreating car. The hottest part of this little story is that less than a mile down the snow cleared and the roads were barely wet but, the little (whatever it was) car was nowhere to be found. Now, I am not an expert but, since I was the next car down the road (and not a turtle), I am guessing that he pulled off somewhere to hide to let the line of impatient drivers snake their way down. I am sure he waited just long enough before pulling out so that no one would realize he was the lame culprit that held up the traffic all afternoon!
So there it, another day for the books, and the snow is now piling up outside my window. Anyone who is lucky enough to catch some turns the next few days will be greatly rewarded…and who could have guessed…all this before the turkey is even carved!