Day 48: Baldy.
The Expected Openings report indicated that ASP would be checking out Baldy this morning, and sure enough, as we waited for the mountain to open we saw several patrollers on the Baldy summit just before a bomb detonated on The Lawn between Little and Main Chutes. Weather was sunny and warm, with base area highs predicted to approach 40. We were having coffee at Baldy Brews when we overheard via Shannon's radio that they had indeed opened Main Chute, Little Chute and Dogleg.
We, however, decided that it would be best to wait a bit. The debris that spilled out of Main Chute was full of thick chunks of snow that would only be better after folks skied it before us. And they had plenty of takers today.
For those who may be unfamiliar, that photo above shows the hiking route to the Baldy summit from Alta. In the middleground is the ticket checkpoint between Alta and Snowbird. The hike begins just to the right of those ticket gates, and heads directly uphill just to the left of the rock bands that separate East Baldy on the right from the southeastern aspect visible above the top terminal of Snowbird's Baldy Express chairlift. People are visible along the entire hike from the beginning to the summit.
By the time we headed up right after lunch we too had a large group, including Kingslug, Bobby Danger, AmyZ, TheOtherAmy, TheOtherAmy's other half, Skidog, Telejon, Malcolm, Devin, Mira, Sima and yours truly. And for once we actually had someone along with some talent behind the camera lens. Corey Kopischke is a professional photographer currently based in both Steamboat Springs and here in Utah. The rest of these photos (except for the last one at dinner) were taken by Corey and used here with his permission. Corey's work may be viewed online at www.coreykopischke.com
By afternoon Main Chute itself was filled with big, soft, fluffy bumps of loose snow that skied in a rhythm like a leaf falling from the sky. They may have been bumps and regular readers know how I feel about moguls, but they were perfect.
We finished up with a late dinner at the Red Iguana 2 in SLC -- this time with a small table of only 14!