Mon 3 Jan 2011
This past week’s artic temperatures were downright frigid! How the masses of tourists and locals who packed the canyons for the last few days playing is beyond me? I mean if anyone can hang on the mountain in sub zero temps it is me and I was brought to tears. Yep, Thursday’s mad dash to the canyon to get first tracks in the newly fallen stashes of light as air powder ended in a beeline for the car at two. The morning began with a detour from my house off 9400 South due to the line of cars waiting to get up Little Cottonwood Canyon. We made our way over to Highland and up Bengal only to emerge onto Wasatch to cars backed up almost to the 7-11! Are you kidding me??? I guess everyone had the same idea as we did…except they were just headed the wrong direction. Huge dump, no work = PLAYTIME! I was so grateful when I turned right into Big Cottonwood and zoomed up to the top. Yes, the canyon was full but three hour waits? Not a chance! Solitude’s front side was tracked out faster than usual and there was actually a line at Summit Lift but the snow was so fluffy it didn’t matter. Parachute and Here Be Dragons
were amazing and even though we were all freezing, the morning was insane! However, as the hours passed my elation turned to misery and finally I had enough of ice box toes and chattering teeth. With “I am going to die if I don’t get to the car” on my mind I straightshot it from the top of Sunshine Bowl to the bottom and didn’t stop until my skis skidded to a halt beside my ride. Turning was too much work. I huddled in the Volvo with the heat cranking, toes thawing, cheeks stinging and icy tears of pain slowly sliding down my face as Noah and Matt smirked at my discomfort. The holidays were definitely busy and skier numbers were WAY up but the temps were WAY down. I swore off skiing for the next couple of days to enjoy Noah’s Eighth Birthday, family and a little down time.
Because Matt has to get back to the daily grind on Wednesday after a month off from the boating world, we let Noah skip a day of school and headed back up the canyon this morning for one last hurrah with the whole family. I was worried about the cold but as we ascended above the valley haze, the sun broke through with its brilliant light. Crystal blue skies and temperatures hovering just below 30 degrees (yeah) awaited us as we turned into the (thankfully) empty parking lot. Solitude was back to Solitude and my smile returned. After a quick hike out the west face of Honeycomb I was actually WARM! I had to lose my hand warmers and a layer of clothes and with that complete happiness returned. The boys were getting along, no one was whining, the sun was shining, there were still fresh tracks in the trees…I mean what more can a girl ask for? A liftie even told me I had “delightful” children…hmmm, not sure if he was being facetious or not? I mean Isaac did call him Santa Claus about ten times. He probably thought he was an annoying little brat but, I am taking it as a compliment and calling it good.
The news said it should be getting a little warmer (oooh…30 + degrees, a downright heatwave) and most of the skiers are back to work and school so, Solitude is back to being its quiet little, magical self and I am estactic! See you this week on the hill…ALONE!