When I finished todays tour, I realized it was actually kind of average. At nearly 70 days on the year, I’d be surprised if I’ve had 20 “bad” days. This would mean I’ve had at least 50 days with good, soft turns. Crazy.
Alta had received 13 inches by the time we were in the upper Little Cottonwood Canyon parking lot, and it was still snowing pretty hard. We decided to head back to upper LCC today because the rain snow line with the storm was at 8,000+ feet. This meant our typical options wouldn’t be good today. But thanks to the starting points in upper LCC being at 8200, we were good to go. We followed the skinner up Emma’s and then to our surprise, there was only one person who had skinned over to West bowl, our intended area to ski today.
He had walked way to close to the edges of the GIANT cornices for our comfort, and so we went back down and set our own track below the trees. There were a ton of wind loaded pockets in this upper region, and the snow was pretty reactive, but it was low enough angle that we weren’t too concerned. We got to the top of of West bowl, and the one track up to it had gone further over which meant our group of three was putting first tracks in West bowl. LCC was back to the backcountry today.
The turns in West bowl were soft and easy. We did 3 laps, each one excellent. By the time we were skinning up at the end, the snow had stopped and although still cloudy, it had cleared up a little bit.
The upper skin track back to the top of West bowl had already been filled in from the wind, so we had to re-break trail the final couple hundred feet. It was definitely windy today.
We quickly transitioned at the top, trying to stay out of the intense wind as much as possible.
When we dropped into East bowl, it was better than expected. I thought there would be a hard crust layer underneath the 13+ inches of new snow, but I think it was warm enough when the storm came in that it softens the layer beneath. It was excellent. So good, that I would’ve preferred to have lapped Emma’s rather than West bowl.
It’s a fair bit steeper, and the steeper the slope, the deeper it feels. You can turn harder, leading to more face shots, and just higher speeds in general which is fun.
When we got to the bottom, we had enough stoke from the fun skiing to transition and hit one more lap on Emma’s. I’m glad we did. It was just as good, and the lighting coming down on the second lap with the sun poking through the clouds made it feel like you were in a movie.
So, as good as today was, this winter has been so insane, that it was an average day. I’m liking this average. Can we make it the new normal? #prayforsnow.