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Brighton/Solitude, UT, Mar. 12, 2020

PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:22 pm
by Tony Crocker
Eight of us (Tseeb, Lucia, Stephan, Michelle, Charlie and his sister Lisa and nephew Ian) drove from Iron Blosam to Solitude on Thursday. For some it was a way to avoid skiing more than 5 Ikon days at Alta/Snowbird. For others a change of scenery was in order as the week settled into spring mode.

This was the only spotless blue sky day of the week. We started with the steep Diamond Lane packed powder groomer from Powderhorn.

We continued on down to the Eagle chair, where the runs were still frozen granular at 10:30AM. Of course that’s only 9AM sun time with the time change and Utah’s position in the Mountain Time zone.

Based upon another excursion three years ago in spring conditions to Brighton, I was confident that Millicent would have excellent morning skiing, so I persuaded Tseeb and Lucia to go there with me. Some of the others were not on Ikon and could not leave Solitude without paying an upcharge.

Overview of ungroomed Millicent terrain:

The Millicent groomers Main Street, Backbone, Easy Out, Christy’s Bowl were outstanding, packed powder up top and smooth corn lower down. They have interesting dips and rolls and very low traffic so you could really let the skis run. Tseeb and I skied three ungroomed runs. The runs crossing under the lift faced east with soft spring snow. The steeper lines far skier’s right were mostly packed powder but with narrow passages through the rock band in the middle.

At noon I returned to Solitude while Tseeb and Lucia took a break at Molly Green’s Pub. I met the rest of the group and an a long lap through Honeycomb Canyon, which had packed on its groomed run down the middle and the steeper lines out this traverse skier’s left.

Stephan on one of the fall lines off that traverse:

From the Honeycomb exit chair we skied Challenger down to Eagle at 1:30 but it was still more firm than soft snow. We had a short lunch at Roundhouse, and Tseeb and Lucia returned from Brighton by the time we were done.

We took another Honeycomb lap, Tseeb on that.

There are some enticing chutes above but it takes a serious hike to reach them.

At 3PM the Eagle groomers still had several frozen granular spots, not obvious from the view here.

I was very puzzled as surely this was the warmest day of the week. We later found out that it had briefly rained up to 9,000 feet Wednesday night, which we did not notice during the evening revelry at Iron Blosam.

We had time for one run under the Summit lift before it closed at 3:30 and finished up on the Powderhorn groomer just before 4 PM closing.

I skied 8,000 vertical at Brighton and 18,500 at Solitude.