Saturday, January 12, 2008
Seventeen of us went for 4-days of skiing and boarding at Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, and Brighton, while staying in Embassy Suites in Salt Lake City, enjoying cocktail hour, the hot tub, and nearby dining for 5 days. Great powder conditions everywhere, with squeaky dry snow, snowfall on Sunday and Tuesday, and cold temps on Wednesday.
After a pleasant mid-morning jet from Oakland to Salt Lake City, we arrived at the hotel, checked in. About half the crew went across the street for lunch at a sports bar. The rest of the afternoon was spent getting settled in, shopping or whatever. Most of the crew went to dinner at a steak & seafood restaurant a few blocks away.
On Sunday we were shuttled to Alta (and a few went to Snowbird to snowboard). While the morning started out cloudy with light snow flurries, by lunch time we had beautiful sunny skies and great powder left over from the previous two days. It can't get much better than that.
Monday, the whole group went to Solitude for an even more rustic experience. We had an unexpected detour on the way to Solitude, when the trip leader complained that he forgot his goggles, and the bus driver stopped at his house at the base of the canyon to loan him a pair. As the name implies, we never had to wait in line, although most of their vintage chairs were pretty slow.
Honeycomb canyon drew most of the advanced skiers, some even twice, though parts of it were challenging to say the least. Lunch at the Creekside Inn was very relaxing, while some others went to the cafeteria.
The third day was at Snowbird. The weather got rather stormy that day. Many of started out as a group with a tour guide going up the Peruvian lift to the Mineral Basin, but the wind, clouds, and falling snow discouraged us from staying anywhere near the peak. While the snow was great, you could hardly see where you were going. Then as we were about to break for lunch, one of us had a bad fall and tore her ACL. Bummer. The afternoon was spent mostly on the lower slopes to keep out of the winds. There was plenty of powder to be found -- you didn't have to look hard to find it.
The final day at Brighton was the coldest of all. The temperature barely rose above zero (F). It seems like most of us spent more time in the cafeteria warming up than skiing or riding. There were some good runs and good snow, but even with extra layers, the cold really got to you. With an evening flight, we had plenty of time to relax during the happy hour at the hotel. Except for the accident, we had a great time.