Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Just When I Thought I Was Out...

They sucked me back in. Can you believe all this late year dump? Crazy. Tuesday morning Dalt and I met up at 4:30 am. We were skinning up USA bowl by 5:05. About 25 degrees (f). The skinning was effortless, for some reason my heart never really got pumping for the whole ascent. (happy to be back on the dawn patrol I guess)

*sidenote* Mindy emencely dislikes the term Dawn Patrol, so now whenever I want to go I have to say something like "I'm thinking about a morning ski tomorrow". It sucks, I love the term dawn patrol. Kindof like my sister Amy emencely dislikes the words "moist" and "nugget" get over it. *sidenote over*

The first signs of day-light came around 6:50. We started our transition around 7:10. The descent was a game changer for me. The Zealots are from heaven. I love them, they love to float on powder, and we are all edified. Dalt made some perfect figure 8s of my track on the way down. Even the mildly steep tree lines were amazing with that combination of snow and float. It was cool. The sun never really came out so we didn't get any good shots so I'll include some file footage for good form.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Super-Saturday Run and Gun

Well, another super-saturday run and gun style. We slept at Gary and Sue's on Friday night so we could be at the Basin when the lifts opened. Since I have been burning hall passes at an exceptional rate, Mindy got all rights on the day. So Gary, Jed, Reilly, and Mindy set out to conquer the mountain while I had the pleasure of skiing with Talin, Aiden, Elle, and Presley. It was very fun. Elle and Talin used their ski poles for the first time. Elle took right to it. However for Talin the poles were too much of a distraction. Maybe next year. As we were approaching the lift I was sorting out Talin and before I knew it, Aiden (5 yrs) had gone right ahead and jumped on the lift. I was very surprised as I didn't know if he had ever gone alone before. Elle and Presley got on the next chair and were frantically yelling instructions. Aiden took it like a real pro. He never let on if he was alarmed in the least. As it turns out Presley and Aiden are exceptional skiers.

They took us on some bob-sled style runs that were pretty hairy. After about 8 runs on Wild Cat we broke for lunch.

I had to leave the resort around 12:30 to get to a 2:00 rugby game in Sandy. So I took the kids to Sue's (thanks Sue) and changed in the car as I drove south. As for the rugby, well if you can't say anything nice...

We all got home around 7:00 and had a nice dinner with our neighbors, Jim and Ireland. Shout-out to Ammon for all the great rugby photos.

Friday, March 27, 2009

No Friends on a Powder Day

Crazy the snow storms eh? A real beaut of a storm series dumped like 60 inches over 60 hours. Well guess who go the hall pass at the 60th hour? And guess who go a new pair of BD Zealots for his pre-b-day? That's right.

Dalt and I headed to Fletch's cabin around 10:30 pm. The storm was howling the whole way. Originally we were going to do a dawn patrol then hit the resort at 9:00am. However, with the avy danger characterized as "spiking" and "extreme", we reconsidered the DP. The Cabin provided a good night sleep and a breakfast fit for royalty (thanks Fletch). We arrived at Solitude's lower lot at 8:30. The crew included Shorty, Beez, Ben Beez, Micha, Fletch, Dalt, and myself. Unfortunately, LCC road was closed so we got all the hounds from Alta and the Bird mucking us up. Nevertheless, we joined them in gobbling up 27 inches of pow for about 6 runs on the quad. We then moved to the back side of the mountain, and not a minute too soon. As we came down Milk Run off Powderhorn we saw about 15 people waiting in the Summit lift line as the chairs began to move for the first time of the day. I think only about half our crew realized at that moment we were in for something special. The other half figured it out about 5 minutes later. We blazed untracked runs down Summit for about 5 runs until at just the right moment, what could be better...they opened Honeycomb. We hiked the north ridge and had the best run of the year.

Highlights of the day include a couple of bomb-crater style wipe-outs, Shorty always one run ahead or behind, and blasting through white-out rooster tails behind Dalt at super speeds on the new skis. It was great. To my crew, if I ever left you behind or didn't include you in the pictures, I dont have much to say, because as the saying goes...there are no friends on a powder day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Hybrid Season

Due to the crazy early day light savings switch the dawn patrols have been a off for a wee while, maybe in a few weeks.

For the last ten years or so I always hoped for an early winter and an early spring. Early winter for skiing and an early spring for rugby. This year I just want winter to hang around a little longer. I guess that's where the ski in the morning, rugby in the afternoon hybrid day enters.

We got everything ready friday night: boots (x5), skis (x4), edgy-wedgy, harness, baby bjorn, helmets (x3), parkas (x5), bibs (x5), gloves (x8), goggles (x5), base layers (x5), breakfast, snacks... check. Its never easy is it? Mind, Elle, Talin, Ava and I loaded into the car and miraculously made it to Solitude before the lifts opened. We made a 8 runs from 9:00 to 11:00, a good pace considering the party. Ava strapped to my front, Talin dragging Mindy down the hill like he is a Husky in the Iditarod, and Elle making perfect little turns and looking for steep chop. I love my crew.

It was a windy day so T and Elle made a fortress out of the Haggis's kit bags and took a little nap, very resourceful. The game didn't go so well as we gave up a try in the final minutes to lose 15-12. We all came home and enjoyed the warm weather in the neighborhood.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Oh Well

Tough to not go skiing on Saturdays. I had a rugby game in Provo so Mindy took the kids to Snowbasin to have a go. She is very capable. Apparently Ava never really made it out of her jammies. As for the rugby... not so good. A tough loss 31-10. Never fun to play, let alone lose to Provo.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rugby in St. George

Fletch and Flandro were at my house by 8:00 pm on Friday night. We had the distinct pleasure of traveling in the VANTASTIC. Near Nephi the VAN started to feel as if it was not getting gas. Much to Fletch's annoyance, the surge didn't bother me too much as I slept from Fillmore to St George. (apparently we barely made it)
We pulled into the Crystal Inn parking lot around 2:00 am, rolled out the sleeping bags and crashed. The Crystal had a beautiful swimming pool and continental breakfast to boot. We dropped the VAN at the mechanic and made it to the rugby field by 10:00 am. We watched a few rugby games, greeted the Haggis as they rolled into town and played a pretty physical match v. St George. It was a very fun game, a lot of running and broken play. In the end we won out 45-5. While we waited for the VAN to get ready we enjoyed a well cooked meal by Hoke at Morgan's brothers house. Fun little George trip.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Daylight Savings Came Too Early

Day light savings came very early this year. This morning it caught me off guard. Our tour started in the dark and ended in the dark. Weird, I might as well have just done the trip from midnight to 3Am. It was cold, around 9 degrees (f) when we got to our premium parking location. We exited Dalt's truck in full stealth and were skinning by 5:20. By most measurements the storm dumped about 24 inches. We took turns breaking trail straight up the guts of USA. Once we were out of the trees the wind was about 30-50 constant pound. It turned the snow into real heavy type powder. It had to be sub-zero at that point. About 300 ft from the summit, I started having trouble with one of my skins so we transitioned in behind a lone little pine. There was no light of day yet. Skiing with head-lights, in a head-wind, on thick deep snow, down an open face with no trees makes depth perception tricky. It was hard to gauge my speed. With the first signs of dawn setting in, we reached the car and cranked the heat.

(Since we didn't get any light, I didn't take any pictures. So I will include shots from the week earlier. btw we met the strangest two South Africans who had been lost for like 28 hours straight)

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Adventures of Cobus and Jaq-Lui

Hello, we are stuuudents traveling through the states. We are fruoom New Doornfontein, Gauteng, SA. As we were touring thru Moawb we ran across nice fellows that told us abouuut The Wasatch. So we drove up and have been touring around The Wasatch for days. We were told that wearing helmets at dawn was a good sign in the Wasatch. We love German food, so where ever we tour we must have Schnitzel. (Cobus is so opinionated about certain things). We are huge Lions fans are are hooping to meet Todd Clever's mother. The snow surface today was quite like the windward side of Kilimanjaro. However our tour was fruitful as we meet two fine blokes from the valley that showed us the way in the deep wiles of The Wasatch.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Full Speed Ahead

Another packed Saturday Ski-day for my crew. I met Dalt at barbecoa at 4:40, we were to Fletch's gate by 4:58, at 5:00 we decided to call. Alarm failure was the claim. Good thing Dalt had distributed the unwritten rules of dawn patrol, (http://straightchuter.com/2009/02/the-unwritten-rules-of-dawn-patrolling/) so upon waking from our call at 5:00, Fletch was only minutes from being ready. Nice recovery. Warm morning, about 25 degrees (f). We got to our undisclosed premium parking location and were skinning by about 5:25. We decided to ascend the east face of USA bowl. The snow condition was about 5 inches of dust on crust. We made good time through the trees and traversed around the mountain under the radio towers. The dust was scoured from the crust on the upper south facing slopes, so we had a little lesson in edge purchase. In the areas were the wind-blown snow was deposited into 1-2 ft drifts was quite challenging as well. We made our transition, snapped and few photos and dropped in. We made some super turns at mach speeds through the untracked open bowl. Felt like flying. About 14oo ft. vert and 1.6 miles one way.

I was home by 8:30, I made some quick breakfast for the sleepy eyes and loaded up the kids and off to rugby practice by 9:15. The kids played on the jungle gym and the Haggis and I had a good run. We were home by 11:15, quick lunch, load up the car and back up Big Cottonwood Canyon to ski at Solitude by 1:00.

The 2 pictures below are taken with the other in the background. Notice the mountain peak on the top center of the photo with my Crew, that is where the other picture was taken from. Vise
versa, notice the slopes of Solitude on the middle left of the top photo.

Mindy, Elle, Talin, Ava and I had a great afternoon skiing. For the most part, I had Ava strapped to my front, Mindy sorted out "I go super-fast" Talin, Elle just floated down the mountain like a princess. Both Elle and Talin are skiing increasingly varied terrain and are both testing the limits. I told them "if you are not wrecking (every once in a while) you are not pushing hard enough." They improved a lot this week. To finish off the day we played some tunes and took in some sun on the deck of the Argenta Pub.

We were home by 4:30, quick bath-time, and made it to a fun dinner at Jess, Monica, Jaden, and Haper Jensen's house in Jeremy by 6:15. We ate, the kids played, I conquered the world of Catan, and we were out by 10:00. Needless to say, we were all wiped out after a day of full-speed-ahead. A man couldn't ask for a more fulfilling day of skiing. This is what it is all about.

Little A

Little A