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November 27, 2005

OK, I lied, The Season Started at Alta

Lake effect snow. What wonderful words. It dumped the last two days and though the storm moved through, the snow did not stop at Alta and Snowbird. The lake effect was in full effect. Alta did not disappoint. It never does. My offseason regimen of sleeping late, eating out, and doing nothing certainly did disappoint.

My day started at 5:30 at my aunt's house in Evanston, Wyoming. Left by six since I expected I-80 to be in worse shape than it was. I was at Alta by 8:15 and parked right up front. I had set up a visit with Tyler who works in the PR department for Alta and took me out for the morning. I left Jake in a half day lesson and hit the slopes with Tyler.

We worked our way around the Sunnyside and Sugarloaf lifts for the first few runs. Tyler and I talked on the lift about how spoiled we were by last year's record snows and some of the areas were roped off because the base still was not well developed. Most of our time was spend debating, "Do we want to chance a rock in what looks like a sick powder stash?" The base was a little lacking before the big dump this week but as it packs down, the next storm will yield Alta-like conditions. The first run, we dropped of a little ledge right by the Sugarloaf lift and I hit a rock and went down like I was shot by a sniper. "MAN DOWN!"

Tyler and I took two runs off of the new Collins lift. Last year, when I was up for Thanksgiving week, it was still not finished, but now the lift accesses close to 2000 feet of vertical with a high speed quad. This was the first real ski day this year so there was a short line (maybe 10 minutes or less), but Tyler works in the PR department. We both sat talking about feeling kind of guilty for using the ski school only line and cutting in front of some folks, as we took the lift up.

We took one run off the front side and took a second off the back into Sugarloaf. The frontside was awesome and had a good two plus feet of powder, but the backside was almost totally untouched. I came over a small drop and hit 15 foot high dip and got too far out over my tips and lost a ski. I MEAN LOST A SKI. Second sniper shot of the day. I sunk almost chest deep in fresh and filled my goggles with ice and snow. I spent the next 1200 ft of vertical skiing alternatingly blind with goggles or crying from the snowfall into my eyes before getting warmed up and the snow cleaned out.

I tried not to whine, but my new Nordica boots were just killing me. Turns out that the boots had a couple of problems. First, they have a set of racing "spoilers" that force your calfs forward. Second, the stock footbeds suck. Third, I have fat ankles. They were putting pressure right on my bones. Being forced too far forward over your tips is not really what you want in deep powder. My stance was horrible and consequently my thighs are still burning.

I picked Jake up from the ski school and we were debating where to eat. I wanted to get the boots fixed ASAP, so we did that during lunch. The Deep Powder House is one of a few Master Boot Fitters in Utah, so I stopped in there. I had new footbeds done and they took the plastic and they have some kind of a press that heats the plastic and stretches it. Scotty at Deep Powder House was able to feel the spots where my ankles were pressing against the liners. Finally, he adjusted the canting. They are literally like new boots. But it kinda killed the day.

It never got over 12 degrees today and snowed all day. Tomorrow, there is more snow coming and that is good news for the rest of the week. I am not sure what my legs are going to feel like tomorrow, but right now, I just want a hot bath and a bottle of tylenol. But what a great start for the season.

Thanks Tyler for making me feel like a local and for the opportunity to spend a day at what is quickly becoming my favorite place to ski. I am going to post more details about Alta and some really good info about the resort on a new page on the site that I am working on. Well, working on once I can stand and walk again. Now I am going to bed.

Posted by Justin at November 27, 2005 06:50 PM

Comments

alright. nice work. i hope you have pictures cause i wanna see this!

Posted by: JP at November 29, 2005 07:42 AM