Something has changed. The air is warmer and the snow is heavier. Has winter turned a corner? Is it starting to ease its grip on the coming spring? Perhaps. Saturday people were skiing in powder that was very nearly too deep. “The deepest day of the year” everyone is saying. I regretfully was unable to partake in the frenzy.
However, I feel like I have been doing laps at a buffet table over the last three weeks. The snow just kept falling and falling. And falling. The upper Cottonwood Canyons received a mind boggling 150 inches in about 12 days. Unbelievable.
There are still a couple of storm systems in the area, but I fear that the powder gorge of March is giving way to the rains of April. And while I am hoping for at least one more day of fresh powder, I am starting to feel the effects of several dawn patrols wearing away at me. And that is all right.
The tunnel vision I have had recently is starting to diminish. The powder craze that drove me out of bed at 4:30AM more times than I care to admit is settling, like the snow itself after a massive storm. And, as I often do in April, I am starting to see in my sleep the far horizons, the endless skies and the red dirt of Moab.
In almost a sudden realization it dawned on me how much I have missed the red stone and dirt and spires and winds of Moab. The White Rim, the slick rock, Fisher Towers, and the ever watchful, still snow covered La Sals all are starting to haunt my dreams.
Perhaps a day of skiing spring corn in the La Sals, followed by slick rock and dust on the bike would emerge as the best of the best of all days? A world without the boundaries of polar opposites and institutional, seasoned recreation.
Is there any other place in the world where one could ski above 10,000 feet in the morning, and ride the low desert canyons in the afternoon?
It’s just one more “to-do” to add to the ever growing list.