Friday, February 17, 2012

Snow makes for nice scenery

Two interesting days of skiing with friends.  On Wednesday, we went over to the Canyons to take advantage of their First Tracks program.  This allows you to get out at 7:30, which is an hour and a half before everyone else.  You are guided by a number of Canyons employees and one Olympian.  In our case it was Fuzz Feddersen, a three time Olympic Freestyle Aerial competitor.

It's fun getting out when all the lifts are listed as closed, but you know you have already cruised a bunch of them.
At 9:15 or so, we stopped at the Red Pine Lodge and had our free breakfast.  Then we headed back out to a wonderful mix of clouds, sun and blue skies.
...and an almost ethereal look when skiing down. Julie, Loris and Bill are ahead of me.  You always get to play a lot of catch up when you are the self-proclaimed photographer.
Another day, another journey, this time over to the Snowbird ski resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon.  It's about an hour from our house.
Julie and I drove over to join Dick and Cosette, who we had just skied with in Sun Valley, Jennifer, who we have skied with in France, and Gary and Laura, family of Dick and Cosette.
More cool clouds and steep mountains poking out.  Some ski days seem to beg for me to just bail out of the group and go shoot pictures, but this wasn't to be one of them.
Funky sunlight.  Cool shadows.  Eerie clouds. Textured snow. And all I had was my little compact camera tucked in the sleeve of my jacket.  By the way, that's a great technique. Put your camera's wrist strap on.  Whenever the camera isn't in use, just tuck it up into the sleeve of your jacket, tighten the jacket's velcro around the wrist, and ski off.  The camera is never more than a few seconds away.
My first trip through Snowbird's version of the Chunnel.  The resort has skiing on two sides of a mountain and the weather at the very peak can be quite hairy.  Moving people from one side to the other was limited by the gondola and one lift reaching a small area at the peak.  What to do?  Build a skier tunnel.

It's a couple of hundred feet long and the travel is provided by a moving mat like you see in the beginner ski areas.  You just stand on it and crawl (very slowly) along to the other side.  Apparently, they have also updated the rules and you can now pop off you skis and walk.  If nothing else, it's a novel approach.
Back outside, Julie is showing some excellent form.
And we end with some more scenery.  Just a very pretty day at Snowbird and a great chance to see our friends again.
As always, think snow!

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