I sat out Thanksgiving Day so my boyfriend could ski while I watched my four-year-old. Apparently babysitters celebrate TDay too. It was beyond cold so I wasn't complaining. Plus, I'd have Friday to myself while Ryan worked. I charged the boot heaters (Thermic if you must know. The company pretty much dominates the commercial market but there are a few other brands out there), packed the Little Hotties Hand Warmers, spread out my three layers of clothing, the neck gaiter, down mittens and down jacket. Overkill. Where Turkey Day skiers froze like a Butterball in Aisle 9, I overheated like a black dog on a summer day. Hiking to Baldy didn't do anything to help turn down the body temp.
In bounds at Snowbird, the snow was skied up - packed down on the groomers and churned up in the Cirque. But as the Tram crested Tower 3 I spied it- a pristine field of untracked, skier's right of the main Baldy shots. I tapped a guy in red on the shoulder. The patroller told me they called it Ted's Meadow and it's open. So why no tracks? I didn't stop to ponder. At the top of the Baldy traverse another patroller, Virgil, offered to scout with me. Not only do I dislike skiing alone but it scares me to chart unknown, off-piste regions alone and without any other riders in sight.
The traverse is still in need of snow. Had I speed coming around the shoulder my skis would have been toast. Rocks are everywhere. An early morning avalauncher blast had ripped out the first section past the shoulder but it didn't matter. I was on a mission for skier's right. We skied by the rope-line. Â Soft, creamy and smooth in places. Out the gates and another five minutes on the traverse and there it was- a clearing that twinkled under the midmorning sun. "Nice call," validated Virgil. I handed him my camera and asked if he'd squeeze off some shots. I've found myself in a lighthearted banter with an ex-boyfriend who spends his time (and money) in Aspen rather than Utah. We've been trading powder pics and I wanted to let him know I'm winning.
The snow was spongy and light. You floated through it. Hero snow; and it was worth every hiking step and uncertain blink. We high-fived at the bottom and headed for more laps on the Tram. Walk-ons. Seriously- NO ONE was in line. Cars lined LCC road and filled the parking lots so where were the people?? Three days later I still couldn't answer that.
Today was a much different scene. It was blizzarding and Solitude had gotten about 4" but it's not enough yet. The two previously sunny days had deposited a firm, layer underneath the snow that feels like you are riding corrugated cardboard in spots. We brought Sage up and vowed to take turns with her on the Link Lift. Sage has outgrown her 67cm SpongeBob skis and we weren't sure what size she should graduate to. The generous boys in the rental shop hooked me up with a pair of pink 80cm skis to help see.
At what point do you stop wanting to scream and pull your hair out when you're with kids? First, she fell off the lift because the liftie didn't notice he hadn't set her on the seat all the way and she didn't jump up when the chair came around. I had my hands full with the Ski Pal hoop and she slowly slid from my grasp. We were only five feet from the bullwheel. The dude grabbed her and brought her back to the start and I hopped off the lift and joined her. Take two.
On the lift, Sage was hungry and her feet hurt. On the snow, she sang songs, ignored me and cruised merrily back to the lift maze. Back on the lift, more whining and complaining. ARRRGGGHHH. We stashed the Ski Pal at the lift for our third run. She would only need it now on steeper stuff like off Moonbeam. We eagerly shuffled over to Moonbeam- or better I did. Sage decided she was going to have lunch whether Dad was back. I texted to Ryan- "Take her before I lose it." Turns out all she needed was a 1/3-pound cheeseburger. We closed the joint, in a freezing cold blizzard. Note to self, stuff the rugrat all the way from home to the mountain. Snacks are not good enough. Heavy meals are required with this one.
Tomorrow, Sage has preschool and I'll check out the freshies in LCC. Reporting back soon!