An Early Season Apology

By:  Ben
November 14, 2012

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.

A midfalls dream

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.

Is it winter yet?

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.

This is looking pretty good for frosted grass!

Jim getting his surf on

Fresh powder with a solid base? Can I have a side of bluebird with undercast?

Things are looking mighty alpine…

Jim is also happy to provide the skintrack stoke

It wasn’t all skinning

The view from the top

Kate getting some spring-y turns in on the tail end of the storm

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.

Continue Reading: 1 2 3 Next »

Read about the author:   Ben
Enjoy this TR? Read another: HIKE WEEK! Camel’s Hump Sunset


  1. CatSkiUtah
    wrote on November 14th, 2012 at 2:58 pm  

    Incredible shots of an incredible storm!

  2. christian
    wrote on November 14th, 2012 at 7:27 pm  
  3. Chris P
    wrote on November 14th, 2012 at 9:33 pm  
  4. Noah
    wrote on November 15th, 2012 at 12:53 am  

    Dear Theone,

    Could you please send some of that white, powdery stuff to Colorado? I’ll even pay shipping. Windslab just isn’t nearly as enjoyable.


    • Ben
      wrote on November 15th, 2012 at 12:30 pm  

      It’s not too late! We’ll still take you in if you want to see the light…

  5. bushman
    wrote on November 17th, 2012 at 8:51 am  

    real nice stuff to view over coffee. yeah, don’t ya just luv it when weather buffs like LH underestimate 1-2 ft turns into 50″? Ya gotta have faith, and stamina, to reap the rewards. Thanks for taking the time to film and share this. Brings back memories of a trip in ’85 when Alta celebrated 50 yr bday. Now that UTAH’s loking good, if Ullr would only spread a little luv to VT…

  6. Eli
    wrote on November 28th, 2012 at 11:28 pm  

    Very jealous. Still waiting for any white at all this part of VT.

    Beautiful photos.

Please consider visiting our sponsors.

Leave a Reply

(no login required)

Check for email notifications of new comments (valid email required)        

Stay in touch: Click here to follow us on Twitter. Click here to subscribe for updates to be delivered via RSS. Click here to become a fan on Facebook. Click here to read and share real time weather observations. Learn more over at the account. It's awesome. We promise!