Tue 15 Mar 2011
The weather is playing havoc on my ski psyche right now. One minute it is snowing, then it is raining and then of course the sunshine comes out and melts everything away. I guess we are in Utah and Spring is a crazy thing here! The last week or so has been a plethora of all things skiing just three different seasons rolled into one.
Day one, I was shoveling copious amounts of snow off my driveway so, I could get myself up to Solitude while the snow was still fresh and untracked. While I just assumed everyone else was shoveling so they could get to work or school, it never crossed my mind that were all thinking the same thing. Duh! Guess everyone had the same idea as me. Was it a Tuesday or a holiday weekend? By the looks of things President’s Weekend had extended into March.
Little Cottonwood was shut down for avi control and the cars were lined up. Even Big was a little backed up. I believe there were more business calls being made in the Summit line than there were fatty’s and bright orange powder cords (yeah, some people actually had those…hehe). Skipping out on the real world was worth it though (most of you would know)….well, as long as you made it before eleven and before the sun started working its black magic on the deep Utah snow. Whew, that was a workout! My legs were actually wasted by the time I waltzed into Noah’s second grade classroom an half hour late (classroom helper) so, I could get my little self up to Solitude to ski the goods. I guess that’s just the way life goes for a ski mom, doesn’t it?
A day or two later the sun rose bright and early calling my name to head back up the canyons. This time Noah and his buddy Carter joined me for a toasty day on the slopes. As much as I love the cold and feathery powder, a little warm sunshine never hurt anybody. Solitude always attracts the chillers. You know, the guys who are always at the end of the Moonbeam lot sitting in their lawn chairs, kicking back with a brewsky or two, catching rays and maybe just maybe a run if they are lucky. When the weather is mild these guys come out in full force. If you are really in the loop, you know most of these dudes go by the nickname FOGs (funny old guys). I love em! They make me feel right at home and they have staked Solitude as their territory back probably before I even knew what skiing was! Well, somedays you just want to be a FOG (funny old girl) so, a few runs into it we decided it was time to go chill at Sunshine grill and get some burgers (in my case a veggie burger) and soak up the scenery. There are very few days in the season where you actually feel like you can shed your coat, kick up your boots and hang mid mountain to work on your tan. Friday was one of those beautiful, warm spring days that makes you just want to chill, relax and take it easy. What a gorgeous place to have lunch and the burgers weren’t too shabby either!
All those slackers who had skipped out on whatever they were supposed to be doing were non existent again (well, except for the FOGs) and Solitude was back to being Solitude. No one in sight, uhhh, except for the patrol reminding the little guys to check their speed at the slow signs. Naughty, Naughty!
The terrain park was in tip top shape and the immaculately manicured groomers were buttery soft and super carvable. Sometimes, chill days are just what the doctor ordered and they always make spring and the impending warm weather bearable.
However, some days, things just don’t seem to come together and Saturday was one of those days. The sun had warmed the snow up enough that off trail it had become knee popper heavy and the flat light made the rest of the mountain seem a little treacherous. Sometimes, you just know that if you keep it up you may just end up in the first aid clinic with the patrol (who would have a field day if I happened to end up in there on a toboggan). Well, the skies couldn’t get it together and either could I. After looking like a gaper in Honeycomb (see, I can admit these things…sometimes) and watching the patrol load up a few other unlucky skiers, I decided to bail. I know, I know…wussbag! At 1:30 I snaked Isaac and Noah from DEVO and headed down the canyon…in a snowstorm…then rain…then sunshine. Erghhh, spring has arrived! Spring snowstorms and sunshine I can hang with, flat light and drizzle…not so much. As long as the snow is falling or the sun is shining, spring skiing is alive and well up in the canyons and I am there. Overcast? I don’t know, I’ll probably be sitting at the computer writing about skiing instead of doing it.