An Early Season Apology

By:  Ben
November 14, 2012

Almost two weeks ago, Lionel started buzzing about a potential storm coming our way in the long term. “Too early for details, but I think you’re gonna like it,” he whispered across the echo-y pipes of gchat. A few days passed, I did some more mountain biking, got caught up at work, and tried my best not to think about skiing. Soon, Lionel was back. This time he promised 1-3 feet, if the lake effect bands set up just right. All of a sudden, things started sounding a bit more reasonable, but last Thursday saw us riding mountain bikes in 60 degree heat. Winter still seemed far off.

Then Friday hit. Or, more accurately, Thursday night, as I awoke in the early hours of the morning to loud claps of thunder crashing outside. It hailed for a little bit, then did some ambiguous precip-type thing, but by dawn the mercury had fallen 30 degrees from a few hours earlier and the ground down in the Salt Lake valley was already starting to turn white.

Our first foray of this storm was up to Solitude. The drive up Big Cottonwood canyon was treacherous, with several SUVs doing their best out-of-control-child-on-a-sled impersonations. We made it unscathed though, and after a few obligatory donuts in the parking lot, we settled into the serious business of skinning up hill. Some considerate snowcat driver had laid us a nice corduroy path up the lower mountain, so we didn’t even have to break trail until higher up. We all felt like it was too good to be true, until we got to the top and made our first few turns through over 2 feet of fresh snow. Then we KNEW it was too good.

Carolyn “Sorry for being colorful” Stwertka getting some

Parker figured he might want to get deep too

Oh HAI faceshots. We missed you.

Jeff proving what growing up skiing Cannon can do for you

…but Hanover boys like Tom can get deep too.

We even let tele skiers in on the fun. Just have to make sure the Soul Quotient (Tele Skiers/DSLRs in a touring party) is high enough.

Solitude was in and out of the clouds all day, but the road was dry, and the sun peeking out a little bit by the late afternoon when we started back down the canyon. We had all had amazing days skiing, and knew that we’d be back for more on Sunday, but we figured that we had gotten the best of it.

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Read about the author:   Ben


  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.

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