Return to Middle Earth ….
And so starts the final week. Figured being Boxing Day and sunny and no fresh it would be both busy and ordinary at Alta. Almost had a do nothing day and spent the morning agonizing over weather predictions and hatching ridiculous plots to go on mad powder chases, but after much stuffing around ended up driving down to Provo then to Sundance. Had thrown all gear in the car but getting late in the day when I got there so decided a quick ski around what they had open on the nordic trails was the go. Only 6 km groomed but that’s a lot at the moment around here – Soldier Hollow has 2! Like all good cross country ski areas, skiing starts with a long uphill. Some sections had been manually rebuilt and often pretty scratchy, but where it was good it was very very good, and of course the payback for consistent climbing was a pretty good downhill run to finish.
So little snow they didn’t have their signs out and it took me some consultation with the trail map to convince myself that I had returned to Middle Earth, one of my favourite trails on last visit here in 2007. Quite an enjoyable ski but was cooling rapidly approaching 4 pm so back down to Provo Canyon then took the scenic route home. Complete with a solitary deer watching from just above the road.
The afternoon weather updates drove me crazy – there are multiple waves of moisture finally due to start breaking through the persistent high pressure but they’re going to have little or no impact on Utah. And the planned last few days in Southern Utah aren’t looking all that promising. So did a partial pack up in anticipation of chucking in the Salt Lake stay tomorrow morning.