Wednesday, December 5, 2012

"Miserable" skiing

We've had some interesting skiing over the last few days.  Sunday - out of the White Pine parking area of LCC - was warm and windy, but we were able to sniff out some nice turns done somewhat gingerly due to the thin coverage.  That night a ferocious little storm roared into SLC with some rare-for-December lightning, and Monday morn Ash and I went up to the PC ridgeline to kick some of the inevitable cornices that had to have formed in the 85 mph winds the night before and maybe kick off an avy.  The only problem was that:
there were no cornices!

And it was not only pretty stable, it was good skiing on all aspects to boot.  So we barely salvaged the morning by having plenty of nice creamy turns.

Last night was the 2nd of the Wasatch Skimo Citizen's series races.  For Paul and I the drive up the canyon was a nice throwback to our roots in Oregon, hoping that by the time we got out of the car the rain splattering the windshield would change to snow. But like many days in Oregon, it did not.  This did not dissuade the Skimo enthusiasts, however, who charged off into the darkness and the rain with headlamps ablaze (the historical ambient light of Brighton's night skiing wasn't there since they haven't started that yet) to taste the blood  in their mouth due to high altitude overexertion on three climbs and descents.  Andy warned us to ski conservatively due to the lack of light and the plethora of natural obstacles given our lean snowpack, and that proved to be no problem since the saturated snow necessitated some skating just to move in some places.   The party continued in the covered area where Andy gave out the traditional prizes of a little gear and some awesome pies, then we retired to the Porcupine Grill to trade war stories of our hour of dundering around in the rain.  Much thanks to Mike Hales who had to miss out on another rando race but was kind enough to let me use his gear while I await some new skis and bindings coming soon.  As ever, as I warmed up I was stunned at the incredible ease/speed of skinning - and decent ski-ability - that this new age lightweight gear represents. 

Many thanks again to Andy for promoting this series; super fun. And thanks to PowderWhore Noah for bringing his Drooling Moose to spice up the post-race party.   

This morning - despite the UAC's warnings of a "miserable" day out in the mountains (neglecting to mention that a miserable day in the mountains is better than an average day in the office, and/or perhaps as a population control measure) Colin and I actually had fun skiing up high on north/ne facing to celebrate his first wintertime Wed morning late-arrival to work (which I anticipate will enable him to overcome his aversion to less-than-perfect conditions!).  However, a few quick hand pits indicated that our weird weather (wind, big temp swings) are creating a complex "base" - such as it is, at least up high - that will likely prove problematic once the snow guns eventually turn on. 

Moral to the story:  as ever, skiing's always good; if it's raining just convince 40 of your friends to join you in a sloggy slugfest, and if the conditions suck just go anyway.  Good for the consitution. 

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