“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” was playing over and over in everyone’s minds last week as the temperatures dropped on Christmas Eve and a large cold front pounded through Utah. The snow started to fall, as if on cue, for the man in red who was traveling through the night delivering gifts and has since continued to pile up. For most of us, the gift of powder was the best present anyone could have wished for. Shoveling was a pleasure and scraping snow and ice off our cars and sidewalks Christmas morning was as sweet as the candy that filled our stockings.
Utah seems (fingers crossed) like it is back to a normal winter cycle after last year’s dry spell with snow truly falling and sticking around. The rocks and stumps are being buried under drifts of white and the possibility of major core shots and wrecked edges are diminishing with each passing day.
Although Christmas this year found Little Miss Sunshine (me) laid up with a nasty cold, I managed to chug a few Red Bulls, drop a few meds and make it up on the hill for some semi-inebriated turns as I couldn’t break a Hodson tradition! This only happening after my boys woke us up that morning at 3:20. I promise you, I am not joking. Someone please explain to me how you get two excited boys back to bed when Santa has come? Runny nose and cough ignored, I finally gave in, after an hour of tears and promises, and plopped myself on our couch, in the dark of night, to see what surprises had been left under the sparkling tree. I would be really full of it if I said I then rallied and made it up to Solitude by 9:00 a.m. but the reality is, well, let’s just say I went back to bed and finally found myself (and the family) on the hill around 1:00 p.m. Hey, better late than never…right?
The mountain was relatively quiet, the sun was momentarily shining, the snow was light as cotton and we filled our three hours with some memorable moments including Isaac’s first turns down Black Forest this season, a secret stash that Noah discovered (which I swear I will never find myself in again) and a stop at the Roundhouse to watch Noah and Isaac, who has recently been nicknamed “The Tanker”, throw back some serious burgers. Noah claims (and will tell anyone who asks) that The Roundhouse has…da-da-da-duh…the juiciest burgers EVER! I am beginning to wonder if it is ever a legit ski day for either of them without a quick, sloppy stop mid-mountain?
So, another Christmas came and went, my sniffles have since abated and yes, I have made it up several times to enjoy the fresh Utah snow all the while the New Years looms ever nearer. With the holiday season, comes the tourists, who must have heard that we maybe had some good snow here, and have spontaneously flocked to our state in droves. In fact, yesterday, my family got the shock of a lifetime when we actually had to circle a few times for a parking spot. After an hour or so of people watching and some casual skiing we decided it might be nicest of us to just share the mountain with those who may not get to ski it as often and returned home.
Of course, there is plenty of mountain to go around and of course there is ample space to spread out but, when you are used to seeing more people skiing with red coats and a white cross on their backs than any other type of skier, I decided, as the gracious Utahn that I am (or spoiled rotten brat), to let the good folks from out of town enjoy our powder for the next few days. In fact, I promise to give you all the space you need but, I do expect to have our mountain back to is solitary self by Wednesday. Sound alright?
Laughs and jokes aside, I truly hope that everyone reading this had a wonderful, peaceful and joyous holiday and that the New Year’s brings much success, happiness and plenty of powder. Go Seahawks!
P.S. Great quote overheard on Challenger (and yes, it was a busy day…for Solitude): “If we were at Deer Valley right now, we would be picking our way down this run through the skiers…glad we came to Solitude!”