Thought I'd update Wasatch skier- Now that I've recovered, I'd have to rate yesterday as one of the great Alta pow days. We've had a nice, sustained storm dropping batches of snow over several days. I'd have to look it up to give the numbers. I think Mikebike is lucky, the kind of guy you like to take along on a surf trip... I've had family emergencies all week, so I only got to Alta on Wednesday afternoon (I spent the a.m. at the doc's in my ski clothes being dad). The parking lot was totally full. Only Rustler Ridge and Greely were open, the snow on Greely was wet and mashed potatoes, all cut up and funky- totally tracked out, even the often overlooked stuff. The high traverse had about ten inches of scraped off fluff on top of real boilerplate ice bumps and some telechick seemed real intent on getting familiar with my backside. Nice. The snow off West Rustler was better but had boilerplate underneath. It was stormy and windy, so nothing else was opening. I bagged it early. More snow overnight, and Thursday the backside opened, and I guess Ballroom and the Shoulder too. I missed out, same family stuff. Everybodie's O.K. Did some work.
I got clear on Friday, hoping that Devil's Castle would open up. Parking lot half full. Very cold- I didn't look, but it must have been in the 20's. The snow was outstanding- hit the shoulder for some fluff crud and it wasn't even tracked out. Hiked the backside thinking that a Devil's Castle opening was an hour off- it was foggy, and patrol is pretty cautious. At the top of the ridge I looked over and, lo and behold- marching ants on the castle. The joke was, the backside had all kinds of lines left on the top, even after being open the day before. I mached it over there, hitting a totally clean line from the top to the mid mountain traverse.
The Castle was as good as it gets. I had some '05 Sollie gun labs to play with, serious pow cruisers. Totally clean lines the first four laps- then I had to cross a track or two. The townies were all at work or something, and there were a lot of "visitors" out who didn't know powder ettiqette and when they got worn out from the hike, would start cutting lateral traverses across clean, untracked powder... yikes. In the end, with the townies at work and the tourists slow, tired and confused, it was an amazing day. With at least a foot and a half of blower mid winter pow, maybe more. I never got near bottom, face shots and creamy pow arcs all day long.
I met a grizzled Maggot who broke the tail off his G-4s landing a 40 ft air and a not quite 360 with a rail grab over in Supreme. He landed at an angle, tails first, and found the ice underneath. A good time was had by all...