Thursday, April 29, 2010

Red Baldy

At 8p last night Snowbird had registered 4" of new snow. I tried to call Greg to see if there was a way out of the 4:30 wake-up call as it didn't look like the conditions would be worth it. Ring-ring then busy signal. I exhaled as only a defeated man can and went to bed with my alarm set to 4:25a. I'm so glad I couldn't get a hold of Greg.

Sleep does wierd things to a man. Or rather, lack of sleep. I've woken up at 4:30 too many times this winter to count all with the objective of having a little fun before responsibility sets in for the day. Many excellent midweek powder runs have been scored this way. As an avid skier with a full-time job, what choice do I have? Luckily for me, I married an awesome woman who has me on a long leash and supports such sleep-depraved morning fixes. At least it’s not drugs Honey.

As we rolled higher and higher into the bowels of upper LCC, I was expecting a letdown much like the Hallway Couloir was the week before. I only took one shoe to hit snow while piling out of the car for that to change. No crunch, No sound of rubber on pavement. In fact, I don’t think I heard my foot hit the ground what with all the beautiful white bliss that had fallen from the heavens muffling the sound. Suddenly, I was psyched. Skins on by 5:45, we headed for the top of Red Baldy at the very end of White Pine, 3.5 miles or so and many vertical feet from the trailhead . The firm surface underneath the 6” of new snow allowed for fast travel, and before long we were atop the LCC/American Fork ridgeline with ski tips pointed back down into White Pine.

It’s funny to me how sometimes skiing can be really terrible. With a little bit of new snow, skiing becomes amazing again. Last Thursday I expended a lot of energy getting to and descending one of the worst ski runs of my life—Breakable rotten crust with frozen rollerballs and avy debris mixed in for good measure. By contrast, today (7 days later) was unbelievable. Smooth buttery turns on light powder snow only LCC can produce. And it happened on April 29—several weeks after many Utah resorts closed for the summer.

After having my skin exfoliated at the summit by gusting winds and graupel snow, it was time to have some fun. There were moments of Hellen Keller skiing on the face and Greg closed his eyes for several turns to see if it made a difference. It didn’t. At the lower elevations, visibility improved, and there was still excellent snow. Many great turns were had. This morning embodied the reason I ski—great snow, exercise, and exciting terrain.

Unfortunately, Responsibility only allowed for one long, beautiful run before demanding that I head straight to work. Begrudgingly, I complied.

Red approximates our descent route.





More pictures here.