Friday, February 11, 2011

Visit from Dick and Cosette

We have skied several times in France with Dick Philpot and his wife Cosette Serabjit-Singh. They come out to ski a week at Snowbird every winter. This week they came out a few days early and stayed with us.

As much as I like Snowbird, it amazes me that they ski that resort year after year and don't ever wander around to sample Utah's other fine ski areas. As they say, variety is the spice of life. (In Utah, that can also be applied to wives). Last year we got them to Deer Valley and Park City. This year we added a third, Snowbasin.

Although Snowbasin isn't having a great snow year, the conditions were still nice and it is a lot of fun to just wander all over the mountain, instead of following all the set runs. However, we did have to get a picture and take a run on Dick's namesake: Philpot Ridge.

Snowbasin has several small gondolas, which are very nice for the long runs up. They protect you from the wind and cold, which we will come to quickly.

Dick is a wonderful motivation for staying in shape. He just celebrated his 70th birthday, but still lifts weights, can do more push-ups than most people, and skis everything on the mountain. I hope I am doing the same when I hit 70!

One downside of Snowbasin is the weather at the very top of the mountain, the Strawberry gondola in particular. If the wind is blowing at 10 mph at our house, it will be 20 at the top of Park City, and 40 at the top of the Strawberry lift. Even though we were there on a nice calm day, you still hustle to get down off that ridgeline.

I think this tree leads quite the tough life. Amazing that it is even there.

Even life as a dead tree (pole) is tough. The 6-12 inch plumes on the side of the pole are an accumulation of frost, but even the frost is always being blown. It was quite pretty, but you simply didn't want to stand around and look at it.

Snowbasin has a few wheelbarrows for hauling skis around. However, in Mormon country, I guess a wheelbarrow can easily become a handcart and used for hauling children. At least there is only one child in this one.

Julie, Cosette and Dick, as the snow started to fall. After seven winters out here, you would think I would have learned not to wear very dark goggles on a day it might snow. It was sunny when we left Park City. I guess this is helping me to learn to ski more by feel.

And one last shot of their visit, this time over at Park City. Courchevel (a town and ski resort in France) is a "sister resort" to Park City. As far as I can tell, that only means that we have a run named Courchevel and they have one named Park City (but theirs is much prettier).

The interesting thing is to look at the ski run signs. This one is just over their heads and about six feet across. Now scroll back to the first picture in this post and look at the sign from Snowbasin. What are they expecting? Those signs are 20 feet in the air and 10+ feet across.

There has to be some sort of sign envy thing going on. Perhaps there is a ski saying: "You know what they say about resorts with big signs".

No, probably not.
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