Alta, UT 3/31/12


Staff member
Day 55: A stellar spring day

I had feared the worst today. The forecast was for 40 mph sustained winds in the Salt Lake Valley with gusts to 70 mph, so you can imagine what I expected on the ridgelines. I also figured that cloud cover would be thick with the approaching front. I was wrong.

Apparently I wasn't the only one who thought so, either, for Alta was downright deserted today.


We got the wind, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I'd feared, save for one absolute sandblasting while exiting Collins that stung my lip for the next half hour. I felt bad for a guy on the Devil's Castle sidestep who was getting swirled by a snow venturi for a good 15 minutes that was strong enough to drop snow on us riding Sugarloaf.

We got the warmth -- while temperatures in Salt Lake City pushed 80ºF today we had 54 at the base today and 40 on top. The sun, however, made it feel much warmer.





But it never really got mucky thanks to the breeze, except for the last 50 verts.

Of course, things started off today like concrete, enough to send us into Baldy Brews for our morning latté after just one run. By the time we emerged, however, things were already softening nicely on eastern aspects and Backside was ready to go by 10:30. We kept lapping it until lunch, and even scored a few turns of untracked corn by being creative.

After lunch west-facing was ready to go even as the winds blew a thick layer of desert dust over the Salt Lake Valley below. I was skiing with Bobby Danger, AmyZ, Mira and Mike.


We got the finest spring skiing with no one there, so how could one go wrong? We finished up at 3 pm with a LRP (last run protocol) down High Boy.



I thereafter went shopping. Everything in the store is now 40% off at Motherlode and Deep Powder House, all sales final. I scored a The North Face Powder Guide Vest to carry gear instead of a backpack for ~$110, and picked up a Salomon Moto II Alta logo turtleneck for Patricia for ~$30. I also replaced the Alta logo baseball cap that Jake chewed a few weeks back.
AmyZ and Mira took a few more runs after the boys left and did high boy again as our last run. Beautiful :-D
day--51-- went out yellow trail first run this morning to check on early morning softing .. the entirety of back side needed twenty minutes more cooking to be prime -- but everything that faced directly into early morning sun was already prime , example the left side of glitch gully was prime to go . with such a warm evening and the fact that it's gonna be april tommorrow the sun is really beginning to come up in the eastern sky , actually giving backside and yellow trail some time to cook before the area opens for the day . now if it were cloudy and colder during the evening i wouldn't recommend it to anyone who wasn't sure of their ability , while at this point in the morning nothing in collins gulch was even remotely soft . i witnessed a person fall about one hundred feet into a collins face run to the base area and slide on his back down through schuss gully out to the flats . there's no mistaking the sound of nylon accelerating down frozen solid corduroy corn . skied a greely hill on our way to lunch perfect at this time . this also gave us an idea on timing the high-t for west rustler was already in prime when we came out from lunch skied there till quitting time with sweeeeeeeeet corn all afternoon , for that fact we had sweeeeeet corn from the second run on !!!!!!!!