Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cold One

My eyelashes were freezing. It had to be zero or lower. Add in the wind chill. Brrr. Alta Guard showed 5 degrees at the base this morning.

I really wanted to get up to the mountains and see how the snow is coming along and didn’t really have a chance until this morning. As always the hardest thing about a 4:30 wakeup call is making the feet hit the floor. Setting foot to floor really is the crux. SLC seems too far away on workdays, so Farmington Canyon/Bountiful Peak is usually on tap for midweek jaunts.

The Watcher says he likes to watch the world wake up. After many mornings of starting out with a black sky then seeing the eastern horizon pink up, then the sun creeping over the distant ridgelines, I agree. The mornings are beautiful and a great time to be out. Today was no exception. Beautiful, clear morning. And I didn’t see any mountain lions. Maybe I’m alone on this, but when I’m skinning in the woods by headlamp by myself, I think “What if I see a mountain lion?” I’m terrified of coming upon a cat, or even worse, a cat coming upon me from behind. Irrational? I don’t know. I’ve never seen one but they still haunt me—I know they are out there somewhere. I go through scenarios and what I would do in my head. Then, after scaring myself nice & good, I throw on my earphones and forget about the cougars.

The coverage is coming along nicely. There was a lot of windjacked snow and exposed rocks & bushes, but there are some pockets of really good snow also. The difficult part is avoiding what lies beneath-- toothy rocks and stumps waiting to end your ski season prematurely. I don’t want to have a early end to the season before it even really gets started, so I’m trying to take it easy until we get a bit more snow. Today was mostly an exercise day with a tiny bit (600 ft?) of good turns. Oh, and some R&D for my Regallo wing (NPW) kite.

That kite pulls like a mother! The wind was perfect this morning. I may need an assistant (any volunteers?) to attempt it with the control bar & skis. I just flew it on handles today and had to plant my gluteus in the snow to avoid being pulled down and losing my kite.

I'm going to traverse the ridge all the way to Thurston Peak this winter then ski into Mountain Green. Who's in?

Wind Jack on the leeward side.

I took Trenton to the ski hill for his first time of the year. Big improvement from last year. Pretty soon, he'll be shredding all on his own.

Non-action shot of the kite. Too hard to take one during flight.