Things – or more precisely, the snow – sure can be desperate these days. Desperate enough that, when offered a chance to sling my skins across the ice in a new locale, I jumped at the chance.
If anything can confuse a couple of SLC fellas heading out for a bit of skiing, it must be trying to answer the question of ‘Where are we?’ when skiing on the unfamiliar east facing side of the Wasatch Back. With limited options for snow coverage, Jason, Mark, and I, dog in tow, looked through options that were more limited than usual. This was a perfect reason to get away from known quantities, and head towards the four inches of snow available at Deer Valley…
After consulting some trail maps, it turns out that we skied at both Deer Valley and at Park City. The two resorts are basically joined at the hip. By skinning up beneath the Empire chair and moving over the ridgeline a ¼ click, we were suddenly at Park City’s double black diamond McConkey’s Bowl. Fearsome stuff, let me tell you. With slope grades approaching 38 degrees for at least nine turns, this is white knuckle skiing at its finest. Well, maybe not, but the crusty conditions definitely added a touch of bland heat to the spice level.
Fortunately, the crust gave way in short order to this other stuff that people sometimes call powder. Yes, it’s true. Powder at a ski area many days after the latest real snowfall. The only unfortunate was that the slope angle quickly returned to about 12°… Tossed in a couple laps to milk the goods before making our way downvalley to SLC. Between here and there, I saw a first: man’s best friend being carried by man on skis. I made sure to get a picture.