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January 31, 2010

Outstanding Day at Sunrise

Took a day trip to Sunrise with my cousin Zach that took a whole lot of arm twisting. He finally told me on Thursday that if no one else was going to go that he guessed he would because had already committed but that he didn't really want to drive 250 miles each way in the same day.

We were going to leave around 4AM from my place and he stayed over. Unfortunately, at 1AM were will still up and hanging out and finally against our best judgment figured if we chanced going to sleep, we would oversleep and not end up going so we left then. I made it to Payson before I doubled over exhausted and he slept the entire way in the back seat of the Avy. A quick breakfast at the only restaurant on the planet that doesn't take credit or debit and is cash only, then off the rest of the way there.

I have never seen Sunrise so packed. The parking overflowed all the way down the main road about two miles, almost to the lodge. The base areas were completely packed. And on top of all that, the restaurant/lodge at the top of Apache got a bunch of water damage so there was no real place to stop up there. The food sucked, even by Sunrise standards. But we weren't really there to eat.

Started at around 10 because of the traffic and by 1, I still had not even clicked out of my bindings when we grabbed lunch. By that time we had skied all three mountains for at least a run. The runs that had been being skied a lot were in great shape. The ones that were less accessible or less used were like skiing concrete because the 4' dump from last weekend had been sitting for a week and compacting. Then you add that it was chopped up and it was horrible to ski.

There is a great midmountain lift that goes from halfway up Sunrise Peak to the top and is just off to the right of the midway lodge that had ZERO lift line so we did several laps on it taking Rustler and Superstition. Best skiing of the day was right there. Zach was a hell of a skier ten years ago so by the end of the morning, he was back where he could hang.

About 3, we got to the top of Sunrise and I decided I was going to poach Quakie and have Zach take Arrowhead and meet me at the bottom since he refused to go poaching with me. He made the right choice. Quakie was horrible. It gets direct sun all day and was almost untracked and just nasty. Difficult to ski. Small trees poking up. Bleh!

Bad news is that Arrowhead crosses with a run that goes to Sunrise base where I thought we were going but also goes straight down to the Cyclone base. I waited for Zach, but could not find him and I ended up at Cyclone while he was at Sunrise. Then vice versa. Then waiting and looking. Finally after about 30 minutes of waiting, I had time for one last run.

When we were walking in from the parking in BFE, I met a couple guys from back east and was BSing. One of them was a hard core New Yorker and he was just rolling up to the line at Sunrise as I was about to get on. I climbed over the rope, went to wrong way in line and pushed my way back to get to him and his three buddies. You guys mind if I take the last run with you?

Tony had a softside cooler bag at the top of Sunrise from lunch that he had to bring down and thankfully his buddy John said he would carry it so he could get one last major run in. The two of us took Rustler as hard and as fast as I have ever skied moguls in a late afternoon dim light where you could barely see the contours of the snow just mashing the pedal down. Stop halfway down, catch a little breath, mash some more. It was the best mogul run I have skied. Having someone to push you and make you work. We flew to the base area and were 4 chairs to late to make the last run of the day. I begged. I bribed. Hell, I tried to steal, but no way.

Always end the day with the best run. I wanted to do Lupe if we could get on the last chair, but that was left for another day.

Gave out the URL for the site and hope to get an email so we can trip up there again.

Posted by Justin at January 31, 2010 02:23 PM