March 23, 2017

Record Highs

Two weeks with zero snow and to add insult to injury - record high temperatures (valley and mountains). I don't even want to talk about it.

I struggle with the transition from winter to spring. It doesn't make sense because I LOVE SPRING. During the competitive running years of my life I should have embraced the warmer weather, but managed to have mental breakdowns almost every spring. In hindsight I think I thrived in the challenge of training hard through the winter, and would fall apart when that obstacle disappeared. The last few years, as our focus has moved back towards skiing, I've struggled with the transition from cold powder skiing to all-kinds-of-conditions-including-tshirts skiing (even though, as I mentioned above, I really love spring/summer skiing). Anyways - I'm going to try and not have a mental downward spiral in 2018! I've only been saying that since 2012.

We had some nice days out in the mountains last week that kept the mojo from dropping... and its snowing again now (3/23)...

Tuesday March 14

My friend Matt was in Utah for a bike race and his flight back east got cancelled, so Andrea and I got the privilege of taking him up LCC for the first time. The snow conditions were fairly bad (isothermal mush) but it was great weather and always great to take someone out for their Alta vicinity debut...

Thursday March 16

Andrea's parents were in town for the rest of the week. She took them up to Brighton for the day... the first time either of us has skied at Brighton after doing seven thousand Great Western rando laps last winter...

Friday March 17

Snowbird lift day in pretty nice conditions. Following the sun, the snow softened up nicely and it didn't get too slushy.

Fortunately these lines only existed for a few runs in Mineral Basin in the morning.

Scoping the SE face of Superior

Saturday March 18

I was solo this morning and planned on just skiing some mellow S facing laps across from Alta... but the wind kept the slow from completely cooking into slush, so I ended up skiing the SE face of Mt Superior...

March 12, 2017

Opposite ends of the spectrum

A magical minute at Alta on Monday evening

On Monday evening I had to stop and put on an extra down layer while climbing uphill because I was too cold. By Wednesday afternoon it was shorts weather.

The week started off with a foot of fresh snow... nothing unusual for this winter. We skied on Monday after work and then on Tuesday/Wednesday mornings. By Thursday, though, it was just HOT out. It seems like our non-stop winter has finally hit the pause button for a bit - nothing in the long range forecast but you know its coming back at some point. Don't stop believing!

Monday March 6

Dusk Patrol - 4 laps off Emma Ridge. Real nice conditions...

Tuesday March 7

Solo day - didn't have much time so I grabbed the low hanging fruit and skied a few laps in Mill D.

Wednesday March 8

Andrea and I went up to Scottie's Bowl for a couple laps. The snow was wind affected in the open areas, but the sheltered areas closer to the trees were great...

And now for something completely different...

Thursday March 9

It's getting hot in herrrre. Storm tracks are stuck north. Ran in shorts to work. Dreaming of Montana and British Columbia.

Actual conversation on Thursday night while getting ready for bed:

"I don't even remember the last time we went skiing."

"JAKE we skied YESTERDAY morning"

Sunday March 12

Missed skiing yesterday because Andrea had Bioventures and I have an all-day conference. Didn't go out today because the sun didn't come out until 4pm and it was highly unlikely that anything would have softened up. We missed the whole weekend... Andrea - I don't even remember the last time we went skiing! :-)

What is happening?!?!

Alta-Collins Temperature (this is not fake news)...

Salt Lake City forecast...


March 5, 2017

February out, March in

Right on the heels of the best week ever we got another early week storm dropping 2+ feet in the Cottonwoods. Unreal. The latest refresher led to dawn patrols on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. By the weekend the warm temperatures and high winds had done a number on the snow. We went out for a short tour with the intentions of skiing something new on Saturday, then took Sunday off to rest for the next storm. Another 20+ inches in the forecast for tomorrow... we are so spoiled this season.

Tuesday February 28

Solo powder laps in Mill D. Went fast and just skied as much as I could before work. Got in 4 laps of absolute hero snow and took a single photo...

Wednesday March 1

Flagstaff laps with Andrea. Great snow once again but too cold to take many pictures. Cold is good - it keeps the snow soft.

Friday March 3

Solo Scottie's Bowl with soft turns and a rejuvenating sunrise.

Saturday March 4

Finally checked God's Lawnmower off our list. What a name for a ski run / giant avalanche path. Its the obvious one I marked on the first photo below. Snow was alright but the winds were howling and the sun had done damage to anything not facing directly north. A good adventure outing!

Sunday March 5

First day off from skiing on a weekend since Thanksgiving. Super windy and the snowpack needs a fresh coat of white. I actually went running, which has been very uncommon on weekends this season, and that says everything about how relentlessly amazing the skiing has been. 

February 27, 2017

I'm just going to say it - this week was ALL TIME!!!

Wow. It's hard to even know what to say anymore. Another week, another storm that surpassed all expectations. I've thrown around some big remarks about how we are having the best days/weeks/months skiing of our lives, but somehow it keeps getting BETTER. And I'm truly not exaggerating - the guy who just broke the world record for most backcountry skiing in a year said that Thursday was the deepest skiing of his life. If there was ever a credible source, that's it, being that he was on skis for like 330+ days last year!

A storm came in big midweek and dropped 4+ feet of snow in a little over 2 days. We are talking the lighest, blower powder snow you can imagine. Actually lighter and deeper than you can imagine because I've skied a lot of powder days and I had never expereinced anything like this before.

Then the storm backed off, but it stayed really cold, so once the snow settled out a bit, it was downright hero snow over the weekend... capped off with a gorgeous bluebird pow day on Sunday. I skied over 29,000 feet over the weekend because who knows when this is going to happen again?!?! Calling it an Everest Weekend for obvious reasons.

This is a storm!...

When your twitter feed looks like this, its going to be great skiing!...

My favorite...

Thursday February 23

Got up LCC after work in between the road closures (lucky!). We skied 4 laps off Emma Ridge, and maybe made 4 turns. Like nothing we had ever experienced before. Waist deep snow - just point your skis to the road and hope you can carry enough speed. It was downright ridiclious! If you opened your mouth it would fill up with snow!

Friday February 24

Dawn Patrol in Mill D. Still almost too much snow to ski but it had settled out a little bit so you could actually turn. Our fattest skis still felt overmatched. Two Short Swings and then 3 x Tom's Hill. Every turn was a faceshot.

Saturday February 25

Andrea had Bioventures class so we started with another dawn patrol in Mill D - short swing and then 2 x Tom's. She was done at 7:45 and then I headed up Days Fork and skied Day Draw six times. Absolute hero snow. You could just do anything you want - tiny turns, giant turns, bouncy turns... just playful and amazing. Arguably the best skiing of my life. Definitely the biggest - 16.5K!!! And I didn't take a single picture. Andrea took a couple...

Sunday February 26

I challenged Andrea to go for her biggest day ever - she was totally on board after making about two turns and realizing how amazing the snow was. Hero snow again. This time under sunny blue skies. We started from Alta and skied 5 south facing laps (Flagstaff/Emma), then dropped Oingo Boingo into Days, then skied two wide open runs in Main Days, then climbed back out and skied to the car via Toledo Bowl. Just an unreal day... and somehow despite how many people were out, everything was untracked. We ended up skiing about 13K. Andrea is the best!

Its been snowing hard again today (Monday). Whether this season is better than 2010-2011 might be up for debate, but one thing is for certain - I picked the right winter to be done with competitive running for good and for us to take advantage of the nonstop deep powder days!