In the wake of last weekend’s epic snowstorm, which left downed power lines, broken branches, piles of leaves and copious amounts of snow from one end of the Wasatch to the other, many of Utah’s residents were left bemoaning the sudden turn from fall to winter. There are others, however, who have been buoyed up with the expectant anticipation of a solid 2012/13 ski season.
After last year’s dismally dry winter, which has since gone down in the record books as one of Utah’s worst, skier’s and boarders alike hope that this early snow fall is a sign of good things to come. With the Cottonwood Canyon’s picking up 40- 50 inches of white love, the resort’s whirled into action to get their mountains open.
Although, Solitude lost out on the highly coveted “first resort to open” award (Brighton opened yesterday to crowds and long season pass lines), it did get three lifts cranking this morning to greet excited powder hounds drooling to click into their bindings and make a few turns for the first time in six months.
Solitude opened with Link, Moonbeam and Apex up and running. Mother Nature provided a good start and Solitude is working it’s magic as well. Eagle Express will be open on Saturday and Sunshine Bowl is looking ripe for the taking. The coverage is great on the open runs, especially Wall Street which is reaping the benefits of newly placed snow machines and impeccable grooming.
On a side note, Solitude wasn’t the only resort spinning it’s wheels this morning. Word on the street was that Lake Tahoe’s Heavenly opened today with rousing excitement. It was reported that skiers were lined up to get on the hill this morning as early as 2:30 am. Completely Insane! I can happily report that was simply not the case at Solitude. In fact, the mere thought of waiting outside of an icy resort in darkness to hop on a lift before anyone else just makes me want to curl up in my bed and forget about it.
And so, with that being stated, as excited as I was to get back on my boards this morning, I would be lying if I said I was first in line and chomping at the bit. In fact, by the time I rolled out of bed, got the chicklets ready (of course I let them play hookie on opening day), stopped for breakfast, picked up a friend, drove up the canyon, grabbed our passes and shot the breeze with a few people, it was probably pushing 10:45 am. I had no worries (as I lolligagged along in true Rachael style) about there being a long wait to pick up our season passes or crowds clamoring to get on the hill. I was confidant that Solitude’s peaceful reputation would remain untarnished even on opening day.
The atmosphere was light and happy, the sun was shining and the weather was perfect. I stepped right back into my “real” world with ease and soaked up the feeling of my ski legs cranking back to life. Solitude was alive and doing what she does best in her tranquil, unassuming way. As much as I love the off season, this is where my heart is and I am grateful, once again, for the opportunity to live, write, ski and breathe the thing that I love most! Not bad for an opening day, not bad at all!