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TR: Alta/Snowbird (ESA 2006) (pics)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
EpicSki Academy 2006 - Alta/Snowbird

Monday, Jan. 29 - Thursday, Feb. 2, 2006
Location: Alta/Snowbird, Utah

This was my first EpicSki Academy, and what an experience! Got to meet some great folks, and top-notch coaches.
It was good to put faces to names. I fortunately ended up in Bob Barnes's group
and couldn't have asked for more. Kevin, Jeff, Nancy, Janice, and Audrey made for a
great group -- we skied hard, laughed hard, and reveled in the
improvements that Bob wrung out of each of us.

Snowbird: We stayed at Snowbird for all four days. The mountain was definitely
intimidating at first sight. After skiing it for two days, we barely scratched the surface,
although we did find some great lines off the Little Cloud chair, great powder stashes
and steeps (for us!) off Gad 2, and great terrain in Mineral Basin. The one downside was
the almost constant terrific wind at the top of Hidden Peak, making any run down from
the top into Peruvian Gulch a challenge. Visibility was often nil, making for an interesting
exercise in sensory deprivation.

First view of Snowbird from our room:

View of Little Cottonwood Canyon from top of Little Cloud:

Alta: Day 2 started out cloudy as we headed up in the Snowbird tram. We headed down
Mineral Basin (somewhere between High Stakes and Lonesom -- awesome) to catch
the Baldy Express into Alta. Alta was simply heaven! The terrain was out of this world --
so many trails, stashes, and lines to explore. We made runs off Sugarloaf, Collins, and
Wildcat. The trees at Alta were great -- just enough to make some interesting skiing.
My favorite terrain was off the Wildcat chair -- we made many laps off it. Johnson's
Warmup, Punch Bowl, Bear Paw, and Rock Gully were all great. Although, the best
terrain was the one Kevin and I stumbled onto on Day 3 -- Wildcat Bowl -- even after 3 in
the afternoon we were getting fresh tracks in shin to thigh-deep stuff. Bob got us to hike
up from the Wildcat chair to access some untracked powder as well -- and what a first
hiking experience! The view was breathtaking, and the skiing sublime! Alta is now my
favorite ski area -- it just encourages you to find your own line, and your own rhythm.

The superb Wildcat terrain:

Nancy & Kevin on Wildcat:

Our group (B. Barnes, Jeff, Janice, Nancy, Kevin):

Panorama from our hike:

I have been very impressed with the ESA. All the people I met were great, and coaching
was first-class. I skied terrain that I would never have even thought about. On the slopes
I felt more confident and comfortable, and in the daily video analyses, I saw definite
improvements in my skiing. Next year - Aspen/Snowmass!

More pics here.
post #2 of 4
Nice pictures.
post #3 of 4
Gorgeous photography, Faisasy.

Is skier #3 in the group photo wearing leather pants?
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by nolo
Is skier #3 in the group photo wearing leather pants?
Yup -- remember, Bob gave her the banquet award for swearing that the leather was breathable and stretchy.
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