An Early Season Apology
It’s early Sunday morning and I’m looking at a scene out of a dream. If it wasn’t for the biting ridge top wind sending the single digit air temp into solidly below zero wind chill territory, I’d probably think I AM dreaming. Only in a dream would I be standing here on November 11th, looking down at an untracked slope blanketed by 50″ of fresh powder. I push off, reveling in the moment of transition between standing anticipation and flowing downhill. A moment of transition, then I’m off, my skis accelerating across, through, the snow until I dive into the first turn and the world goes white.
This story properly starts last year, in the year many remember as the winter that never came. In absolute terms we certainly came out ahead of VT with 390″ for the season in UT, but with months of high pressure, record warm temperatures, and persistent deep instabilities that kept us skiing the trees with our tails between our legs, it’s no surprise that many in Utah had difficulty keeping the faith. We still got out and enjoyed whatever Ullr threw at us, and snuck in some amazing days, but at some point we started thinking that it might be time for Ullr to write out a little apology letter. Nothing too fancy, just a few heartfelt gestures to show us skiers that Ullr still cares, that there are still four seasons in the year, that we live in ski country for a reason.
Finally, in late October, we got our wish. A powerful storm system swept into the area, and although it ended up fizzling in the Cottonwoods, Snowbasin and Powder Mountain got 42″ of snow. For five days straight, we forgot all about jobs and obligations and made the hour+ drive north to get our taste of winter.
Finally, the weather warmed again, and we got back to more typical fall fare. I once again traded in the skis for my mountain bike, and relegated skiing powder to dreams and watching ski movies. With a 42″ storm and some real, midseason-esque skiing under our belts, I figured the next taste of winter would probably be some more frosted grass that is simultaneously highly silly, a waste of time, and totally worth it. I was wrong.
Read about the author: Ben