Monday, November 23, 2009

November Skiing, 11-23-09, Twin Lakes Pass

Rallied with my wife Traci and our friend Alex Romashko (sans mustachios) up into the Alta area for a look around after a great weekend storm.

Monday, Monday....we awoke and enjoyed one of our normal family breakfast meals of oatmeal w/ apples, cinnamon, raisins, honey, and lots of butter. Alex made the trek to be part of the breakfast crew while we ate with Junah our son. We enjoyed the morning hype before a backcountry jaunt and sipped on Argentine Yerba Mate. Alex promoted his new camera equipment and we were eager to put it to work to videolog our endeavors and for shameless promotion of the ICELANTIC skis we rock day to day.

Next, we rallied Junah to one of his favorite grandparents lairs because of the pre-season rocky-ness that we were sure to encounter up there. We want Junah to be with us as much as possible and we even plan on backcountry touring with him in the pack soon, but today he played at grandpa Brents and grandma Kristies.

Feeling like children ourselves before a Christmas present wrapper shredding fest, we hurried up to the Grizzly Gulch area just North of Albion Basin, Alta to inspect the newly fallen snow.
Alta ski resort had listed their resort as unaccessible to uphill skiers this day in hopes of retaining the newly fallen snow for their Thanksgiving holiday opening. We didn't mind heading up into country that is normally associated with Solitude - our favorite resort. Let the Altaqaedans have theirs.

Once arriving at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon we experienced the joy associated with being friends of skiers whom have the same itinerary as ourselves on such a day. Two of Traci's good friends - Cody and Seth - were just returning from a skin up into the Twin Lakes Pass area at the top of Grizzly Gulch. Perfect! We now had a skinner to follow so we thanked Cody and Seth (Cody was sporting a wicked cool mustachio himself) and then we were off to get our share.
Ummm....Cody and Seth both claimed that there were copious amounts of sharks and knee twisting, angry natural formations just waiting under and on top of the snow. Fearlessly ready to eat up happy snow lovers so our ROCK GARDEN sixth sense skillz were put to the test this day. Later we would have our own experiences with the aformentioned compositions of ROCK.

Skinning up into Grizzly looked heinous to say the least. Rocks, Rocks, and more Rocks reared their ugly heads as we scoped out the natural drainage to make our way up to the pass. After finding our way to a non-skinnable section of the drainage we removed our skis and started some slippery boot packing to get out of the drainage. It was running with water and we wanted to avoid wetting our skins and gear so we made our way back up to the pole line trail and placed our skis happily back on our feet. Soon we were gliding along to the pass with only minimal occurences of rock filled encounters.

Monday, November 16, 2009

November Skiing 11-16-09, Alta Preseason Skinning

Today was the first day of skiing with my wife Traci. Our Wasatch Wonderland is lacking for early season snow and our ski senses are overloaded with anticipation of riding the deep snow in heaps. Today we needed to make some turns so we moseyed up to Alta and made a twilight jaunt up to the Collins Quad mid mountain station. It was nice to unglue the skins and tromp up the hose blown snow, sans lifts while enjoying the fading days sun.
Wanting to get make turns on the choppy and icy surface for practice and balance, we secured our rigs to our boots and shralped the man made wonder beneath our feet.
There was chatter and the air screamed with ski clatter but our hearts embraced gravity's pull as we welcomed the first of many days to follow making our way up into the Wasatch Winter Wonderland.
Thanks Traci!