Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Day 3 "Disaster"

Took another Wednesday ski morning this week (what better way to spend hump-day?). It definitely started out strong; after getting pissed off by incompetent drivers on the Beltway, I pulled up to the top of Chickadee not long after 8, and was skiing down to the tram (travel mug of coffee in one hand and ski poles in the other) before 8:30. Calling this morning chilly is such a gross underselling, I shall instead use the weather forecast term used for Bozeman this week: it was frigid at the base of Hidden Peak. Fortunately I got to wait for first tram in the warmer-than-air-temp tram building and drink my coffee. It was my first "first tram" at Snowbird and that was a cool milestone, especially hitting it on a nice pow day like it looked like today was going to be.

Taking the tram up we burst through the fog/cloud layer being produced by subzero temps, snow-making, and general Wasatch weather-y-ness, into the brilliant sunshine of a freezing bluebird day at the top and in the Cirque. Wanting to play it safe since I was skiing solo I decided the right-most area of Silverfox was a good warm-up and a perfect place to look for deep powder. Dropping in, I saw a few rocks that had been exposed by the folks who went first thus allowing me to avoid them. My first 10 turns or so were all-time; deep, steep enough, light-as-air, illuminated by the sun peeking over Hidden Peak.

Then things went downhill (forgive the pun); somehow I managed to find every single rock band that had only just been covered by this new snow, thus causing me to scrape, stumble, stutter, and (once or twice) fall my way down to the groomed area. Not the way to start a day. The rest of that run was. . . interesting, what with my bases having just been rock-raped, my edges all wonky, and my 4 degree wax proving to be the wrong choice for the temps I was experiencing. Instead of heading back to the tram line, I went to Gadzoom to try and hit the trees around there. Unfortunately, my skis weren't allowing me to maintain the momentum I needed to get anywhere I wanted, so I called it after 2 runs. Plus my fingers were dying from cold.

Short day, a fair-helping of unpleasantness (including a shattered powder basket; seriously, it was cold enough that my rubbery baskets shattered when I fell). . .

And all totally worth it. The worst day on snow (that you walk away from relatively unscathed) is better than the best day anywhere else, in my not-so-humble opinion. Being able to go into work later, hit up first tram, ski some awesome pow. . . totally worth my achy shoulder and a bit of equipment damage. Sometimes the steeper side is rocky; I guess I just need to learn to pick a better line down it.

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