Day 20 Midvale – Alta – SLC – LAX – MEL. 3100 m (60630 total)

What a way to end things …

Lake effect snow finally blew itself out late last night and Alta reporting 18 inch total for the storm. Road closed for avalanche control work till 8.30 but the whole length of the road up the canyon was completely snow free and you would never know it had been hammering down yesterday. Was in the car park by a bit after 9 and greeted by brilliant sunshine and 15 Below temps! First day for the whole trip my feet felt cold and one of those days you do 2 or 3 runs and head inside to get some feeling back. Lots of control work going on all over the mountain and as always some of the explosions sounded like they were about 5 feet away. It was a case of continually checking signboards and listening out for news on what was opening.

Did an early run off Supreme and with both Catherines and Rock n Roll closed did a run on Challenger and it was well named in spots with some preety big old buried bumps, but very nice snow. After first break heard on a patrollers radio that Rock N Roll was getting ready to open, but seeing that Ballromm was already open sent me over to Collins and one of the best 2 runs of the day. Ballroom had already been well tracked – powder does NOT last around here – but was still sensational. One more including a fairly deep extraction, then time for an early traditional christmas lunch – the Baldy Burger of course.

Heading back to Supreme could see Rock N roll was open and already pretty trashed, so headed up the short hike to Catherines for one last run. Sensational stuff – knee to thigh deep light powder. Would have been worth a second trip but the body didn’t have much left. Finally got a run down Rock N Roll which, while quite trashed now was still wonderful.

Had skiied long enough to mean a final visit to Baldy Brews was out of the question so did a pickup at Alta Java and headed off down the canyon. Stopped in an empty supermarket car park near REI to finish packing, change clothes and dump rubbish and got the car back to the airport only a few minutes late. Turned out of course there was no need to rush cos the flight to LA was delayed by an hour – but with a 4 hour buffer shouldn’t be a worry.

Now at LAX where I had to go through security to get a drink!  The bar at departures was closed before 9pm – don’t know if it was a Christmas thing or what.  Anyhow, the bar airside had a nice belgian white on tap and if the silly free wifi here would let me connect to my email or upload some photos I’d be a pretty happy boy – I’ve managed to ski 18 of a possible 19 days had probably the consistently best snow conditions in my life and I’m not contemplating the need for crutches.  Life is sweet.

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