Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Solitude, Indeed

Photo by Brad B
   Brett, Rafael, Brad and I spent Monday and half a day today at the aptly-named Solitude. It's a small resort, and since these are weekdays, we REALLY had zero lift lines, and the slopes to ourselves. And the slopes, as it turned out, were fantastic: wide-open rolling groomers and bowls. It was another bluebird day, and there was a great number of fun and fast blue runs. I even hit a couple of blacks. Learning to carve down the steeps still—it's intimidating, but I'm getting better. I've come a long, long way on this trip.
   Many of the lifts were the old-style ones that whip around at the ends, but fortunately I had gotten over my acute fear of those on day 1 at Park City Mountain Resort. You just have to be ready to get off those things FAST. The first time I rode one, at Breck a couple of years ago, I was riding up with a stranger on skis who didn't move quickly, I got tangled, lost my balance and slipped, and the lift grabbed my right arm and nearly tore it off. Fortunately the operator was vigilant. I wasn't clamoring to get on another one like it, but had no such trouble this time. Progress!
   On Monday we rode like crazy from 9-4:15, then hit the Porcupine for a massive pile of gourmet nachos and beers, before we headed back home. Later, Brad picked me up and gave me a tour of downtown SLC. The coolest part was grabbing a coffee to abate the chill, and walking around the Mormon temple, tabernacle, gardens, conference center, reflecting pool, and statuary. It is a stunning complex, right down to the ornate iron gates surrounding the grounds.
Walker Center tells the weather!!!
   Tuesday morning the Tres Amigos loaded up all our things and headed back to Solitude to ride for a half day. Our only option was a full-day lift ticket, so we rode like mad men to get the most out of it. I really dig the Eagle Ridge to Sunshine Bowl to Grumble run. Super long, rolling groomers with long, flat, FAST stretches in between. I've made peace with speed and we are amigos now. And I have the windburn on the exposed areas of my face to prove it.
   Now we're at the airport hoping to catch our flight from SLC through Denver to KC. All three cities got significant snow last night (all my coworkers seem to be working from home!), so it will be interesting to see if we actually make it tonight as planned. I have to admit, it wouldn't break my heart to be stuck in a ski town for an extra day. Have board, will ride.  :)
   You don't see pictures on these last few posts because, apparently, the cold in Utah was too much for my old iPhone 4s. Said a prayer, steeped it in rice, prayed again, didn't work. So I'll have to get some photos from my friends to add in later.