Posted by: wasatchprotocol | December 10, 2009

12.08.2009 – Few new inches at Alta

I bailed on a dawn patrol scheduled to start at 6 AM (and so did my partners) but then Si sent me a text that he was bringing his ski stuff in his car to work and probably going up to ski in the afternoon.  Did I want to join him?  Well, it was seriously cold.  We’ve had several crazy cold fronts come through recently.  High of 15ish F in SLC.  Got up this morning and it was 7 F out on the way to work.  Anyways, I threw my skis in the Subie and went to work undecided, waiting for reports on the snowfall.

Initially we had forecasts of 3-5 overnight, and yeah, we had 3-5 inches down here in the valley when I drove to work.  Forecasts also called for 5-9 inches during the day in the mountains.  That was enough to sell me.  We got into work super early, got some stuff done, and dashed up to Alta around 11-11:30.

There was new snow, but it wasn’t 3-5 plus 5-9 at all.  Probably 5-6 total, with drifts and sheltered terrain features sometimes yielding up to 10-12.  But that was just in a few select spots.  Room for 1 or 2 turns max.

Did I mention it was cold?  Holy shit.  I wore a Buff (http://www.buffwear.com/) around my face (I hate fleece and neoprene facemasks and neckwarmers).  I never wear anything over my face.  The beard which turns into the beard-ice-composite shield usually takes care of it.  Once the temp drops below 10 F things change I guess.

Last thing before we get to the video.  Because of the conditions I felt like I should write the following.  My PMGear “Brockers” continue to rule.  They’re basically the Lhasa Pow skis they first put out last year, but my skis are one of the prototypes before they went into production.  So there are a few differences, mostly slight ones in camber and side cut, but for the most part they’re very similar.  In the video you can see how they are close to flat in camber, have a tapered tip, and have a slight, but noticeable rockered/early rise tip and just a tad  bit of early rise in the tail.  This makes it maybe the most versatile ski I have skied for a significant period of time.  It handles groomers, spring/summer “mountaineering” A.M. ice, slush, creamed corn snow, corn snow, mashed potatoes, heavy pow, light weight pow, and probably nipple deep pow better than any other single pair of skis can.  There are skis that handle one or two of these scenarios better, but not many can handle them all.

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