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24 January 2011

Utah Skiing, Day 6

This is Day 6, the last day, of my January 2011 Utah Ski Trip.  Previous days are here:
Day 6: Alta
As I mentioned in the post for Day 5, snow was forecast for Thursday night, and lack of school was forecast for Friday.  That was the perfect combination to finish up our trip at snowboard-free Alta, because nowhere else I know of is better with fresh snow.  It turned out to be about a 4-inch snowfall, give or take, which is enough to soften up the turns but not enough to really turn it into a powder day.  I spent most of the day with Phil, Andy, and Dave, and we had a blast goofing around in the snow.

Sadly the light was very flat all day with only fleeting peeks of sun, precluding wide-open bowls and rendering the video kind of gray and depressing.  Despite that minor disappointment, Day 6 was without question my favorite of the trip.  I left Alta that evening satisfied that I had maximized my enjoyment, and yet sad that it had to end.

Is it time for the next trip yet?

I started the day with John and Jerry, and before I broke off to find Phil, Andy, and Dave, I recorded this amusing little video of a fall, followed by a roll, followed by more turns without stopping.  It is actually shot in almost the same spot as First Run Freshies from Day 1.  On Day 6, the right half of the run was groomed and the left half was not.  Trying to simultaneously enjoy the fresh snow on the left side while avoiding the semi-submerged rocks, I found myself entering and exiting the groomed area on each right-side turn.  Catching an edge on the new snow was inevitable.

Immediately after finding Phil and the boys on Supreme, we headed off into a gated area I've only explored a couple of other times.  There is frequently some very good turns in that area, but it is extremely unforgiving, with a variety of trees, rocks, and cliffs to cause trouble.  As I found myself side-slipping for the first and last time of the whole trip, I reflected on whether running off to find Phil was such a great idea after all.

Phil, Andy, Dave, and I spent the afternoon in the tree area on the far right of Alta known as "Wildcat" - named after the chair that accesses it.  We had found variable conditions throughout the late morning, as the clouds hung around causing the light to remain flat.  We reasoned that a tree-heavy area like Wildcat might have better visibility, and it's my favorite area for the afternoon after a fresh snow.  Few of the "casual" skiers venture into it, because the terrain is easy to get lost in, and a miscalculation can result in a lengthy hike back to the lift.  It's also totally ungroomed and definitely not for intermediate skiers.  Perfect.

Raw Video for Day 6
Note: if you only watch one raw video file in my entire 6-day collection, make it the Sunspot to Lunch at Watson's footage.  There is some great Stooges-esque nonsense at about 3:45 that almost made the cut into edited video.  Day 6 just had too much good footage in it and I had to draw the line somewhere.
1: Collins and Sunspot
2: Sugarloaf
3: Devil's Castle scenery shot
4: Gully under Supreme chair
5: Challenger under Supreme
6: Hard Fall past a gate under Supreme
7: Trees under Supreme
8: Sunspot to Lunch at Watson's
9: Collins after Lunch
10: First run on Wildcat
11: Phil's last run on Wildcat
12: My last run... in a cloud
The camera battery ran out during the last run, which is why it cuts out mid-mountain.

(7/24/2011: I have removed the raw video from Google Document storage.  If you would like a copy of a specific video, let me know.) 

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