Last weekend I escaped the cold and wind of Vermont for a quick 3 day trip to Alta, Utah. The snow was deep, but nothing fresh (it hadn’t snowed in 8 days). The silver lining was that this significantly reduced the avalanche risk (if you haven’t been reading, 08 / 09 is shaping up as the worst avalanche season in decades – several people have been killed inbounds at resorts this year). This, combined with temps in the high 30s, meant that a lot of terrain was freshly opened up. My first day there was the first day Baldy Chutes were open this season, which was pretty sweet. The chutes require a 45 minute hike but are well worth it, with 40 degree plus pitch and some pretty serious no-fall zones. Not the craziest thing I’ve ever done (ask co-founder Andy about the Lake Chutes at Breck sometime), but still scary enough to be fun, especially in the soft snow.
Overall it was a great trip, and reminded me how much easier it is to rip out West. My only complaint was that the Apres scene at Alta is somewhat limited, but for that mountain I’ll take it. The one insiders Apres tip of the day for Alta: The bar at the The Rustler Lodge will serve pitchers and plastic cups that you can take down to the heated outdoor pool. Sweet way to spend a couple of hours post crushing Mt. Baldy.
Lastly, word must be getting out about my new role here at Apresski – one of the lifties called me “chief” this weekend. Maybe it was the work gloves I was wearing…
Have fun this weekend if you are going, and let us know how it is out there.