Away a bit after 7 with the temp hovering just a bit above 0F. More freezing fog along the Interstate, and when I stopped for second breakfast in Tremonton, it felt like really light snow falling as the moisture just precipitated out of the fog. Weird. It was off putting to be driving along at 80 mph and have the fog drop down and wonder just how much you needed to slow down to be safe. Thankfully no animal sightings this morning – other than the ubiquitous puffed up long tailed magpies doing their thing at the side of the road.
Fog persisted all the way into the urban sprawl along the Wasatch where it just merged into the smog. One of the worst things about this area is the inversions – when they set in for several days on end like this the air gets rank and just won’t clear out. The drive back into the area is normally stunning but was just grey and featureless. Dropped into Salt Lake Roasting for coffee then headed for Alta. Broke out of the haze at the mouth of the canyon, and once above it turned out to be a stunning day.
Once again had lowered my expectations but ended up having a mostly pretty enjoyable day. Did the normal warm up off Sugarloaf and down Rock N Roll, and while snow was firm it was much better than Park City or Sun Valley. Was looking at the now open Devils Castle traverse and thinking it might be time to try a new area. But figured first I’d have a run in Catherine’s. Should have realized it wouldn’t be one one of my better runs in there when I couldn’t even find a bit of flat snow to put skis back on after the short hike. Learnt a new way to get into the second ski while lying on the ground! Traverse was VERY firm and bumpy but finally made it across to my favourite little gully. Got some nice turns in at the top but once down lower it was pretty much just survival skiing. At least the bottom sections had been skied enough to flatten it all out a bit.
After that decided maybe today wasn’t the time to try some new steep off track skiing – maybe next trip. Had an enjoyable run down Ballroom and watched people above skiing the recently opened Baldy Main Chute – looked like nice snow in there but very steep and a really serious hike to get to the top. No Thanks. Then headed for Racecourse Saddle – once again a pretty firm traverse then unfortunately found the main run was groomed and VERY firm. Still, found enough enjoyable terrain to see me out for last day rites here on Friday.
Back down the canyon into the murky air below and checked back in to Studio 6 – where we started two and a half weeks ago. After five one night stands will enjoy the luxury of my final two nights in the one location.
And finally photos are back up to date.