The never-winter is over. Pacific storms moved into Utah last week and dropped more than 40 inches of snow in the upper reaches of Little Cottonwood Canyon. The rapid arrival of new snow has turned the backcountry into an avalanche haven. The weak, persistent layer that formed in October is collapsing under the weight of the new, but badly needed, snow. Which means, to quote today’s UAC forecast, “If it is steep, white and smooth – no way.” But the new snow has opened up heretofore inaccesible possibilities.
Steep, white, and smooth are the best kind of ski slopes. But not right now. Instead, mild and treed will have to do. And they do just fine.
After all, skiing is better than not skiing. And I’ve spent enough time this winter not skiing. At long last the drought ended. The snow was punchy, but nevertheless, most welcome. Watching an aging night transform into dawn never grows tiresome. A hearty skin is a most excellent way to start the day.
Welcome back winter. Go ahead and stick around a while.