June 18, 2019

Winter's Last Stand ROUND TWO

Hallway Couloir in powder on May 18th

When we got a couple good bonus powder days in early May, you figured new snow was over at that point. We transitioned to corn skiing and had a big snowpack, so no matter what the skiing through Memorial Day was going to be pretty good. 

Then things somehow just got crazy again and it snowed almost every day for the week leading up to Memorial Day weekend. The season of spoiled skiers escalated to an unprecedented level.

Monday May 13
Solo slushy runs at Alta. Then took a few days off and waited for the next storm to materialize.

Friday May 17
Post-work "tour" at Alta. About 8-10" of new snow. What a dream, and it was only going to get better...

Saturday May 18
Legit winter skiing in Days Fork and then dropped into the Hallway in a foot of fresh powder. 

Sunday May 19
A couple runs near Devil's Castle, but the sun had gotten to it a bit the afternoon before so the powder turns were a bit more limited.

Wednesday May 22
Another round of new snow and first tracks down Main Chute, followed by a couple more off the Baldy Shoulder and Collins. 

I went back up to ski again AFTER work (doubles!) because it was so great and did several laps in Toledo Bowl and from Cardiff Pass.

Thursday May 23
Another dawn patrol where it was light out before 6am and you didn't need a headlamp. Skied a few laps in Holy Toledo.

Friday May 24
Back to Toledo Bowl and skied 4 laps in 10"+ cold powder on top of all the snow (several feet) that had fallen in the past week. This storm pushed Snowbird over 700" for the season. It was the clincher for me: Greatest. Season. Ever.

At this point I didn't feel like I was done skiing, but it was time to head to the desert for a long weekend, and then I had a conference in Boston, so it would be two weeks before I took the skis out again.

Saturday June 8
Main Chute + Collins. The calendar said summer but we got a couple cold overnight freezes. We dropped into Main well after 12pm and parts were still frozen.

Sunday June 9
Toledo Chute and Toledo Bowl

Saturday June 15
Two-lapper on Suicide Chute, always a fun outing as the season winds down.

Sunday June 16
A couple Brighton laps (really just to get a little skiing on the way to Park City for trail running).

In between skiing we've ramped up hiking, trail running, racket sports, etc. We'll probably ski a few more times for the novelty of it (and as part of a well-balanced multisport summer day) but my heart is into summertime now. 

I can't keep up with this blog, especially as the days get longer and I just want to be outside all of the time. I'm not sure many people really read blogs much these days anymore, anyways. So I'll do another post to wrap up this ski season once it finally wraps up, and then I'm thinking that will be the wrap-up for Wasatch and Beyond as well. I think I'm approaching the decade mark, which seems like a good time to retire it.

May 12, 2019

Spring Slush --> Winter Powder --> Spring Corn

This is the essence of spring skiing :-)

When I last posted we were wrapping up another huge stretch of powder days. Then the Wasatch went through its awkward transition / consolidation phase, and the skiing was just "ok" for a week or two. I know, tough life. We've been so spoiled this year.

And now we are in a super-spoiled stretch of amazing spring corn skiing (not always a guarantee in the Wasatch). We started off May with a legitimate good spring powder day, and since then we've had cold nights and excellent corn skiing.

Since the last post...

Saturday April 20

All I remember from this day is that the snow was mashed potatoes. The Wasatch was in its transition phase.

Saturday April 27

All the snow was bulletproof and I could only ski early in the morning... so we did Brighton laps. Needless to say, no photos needed. 

Sunday April 28

The snow was getting more supportable and we found some good skiing off the north side of Mt Superior and LSB. At this point I was starting to think our luck had run out for consistently great skiing... but the weather gods would soon be kind to us once again...

Wednesday May 1

May Powder Day! 8" overnight. We met Matt and Ryan early so we could get up to Mt Baldy (Alta closed for the season) and get first tracks down Main Chute, which we did (and then a few more laps from the top of Collins). The stoke-meter got cranked back up to 150% during and after this one.

Saturday May 4

One of the great spring days I can remember. Went up to the Pfeifferhorn and skied off the summit on the SW face, which leads into these long and beautiful runs down Dry Creek which go on forever. We were treated to some perfect corn runs back there. The best birthday present I could ask for.

Sunday May 5

Skied around Albion Basin as the sun softened up the different aspects. Now it was really starting to feel like we were on a roll again!

Wednesday May 8

Stormy week and we got a few more inches of cold dry snow. Did a couple laps off Collins after work. This was Day #100 of the season for me, #80 for Andrea.

Friday May 10

Solo after work. Skied Main Chute, Little Chute, and then a wonderful west facing corn run off the High T.

Saturday May 11

Two years ago I went out to Deseret Peak by myself and since then I've been wanting to take Andrea out there. The weather looked perfect and even though the road was closed a couple miles from the snowline, it was time to get out there.

Deseret Peak is home to some of the finest corn skiing in Utah. The couloirs are aesthetic, the setting feels remote, and there are options to ski on every aspect. I absolutely love it.

After walking up the road and transitioning to skins, we got to work. Climbed and skied the East Couloir first (a beauty!), then climbed back up and made our way to the summit. From there we skied 3 corn runs off the South side, then the West Twin Couloir, and climbed back up that one and finished by skiing the East Twin Couloir.

Sunday May 12

Chased corn around Catherine's Pass and Alta. Started with a couple laps in Wolverine Bowl and then off the south side of Mt Wolverine (best run of the day). Then made our way up to the Supreme area and did a few laps there, and then skied East Castle, and then one more bonus lap up Collins (I can't get enough of the west facing runs off the High-T in the afternoon).

Like every month for the past 6 months... May is off to quite a start!