Saturday, February 27, 2010
My Favorite Things
i love to ski Solitude. love it. years ago, my introduction to skiing in Utah was at Alta and Snowbird. i was a high school kid on vacation with my family and we were checking out where my brother and i would go to University. 30 minute drive up the canyon to go skiing. yeah; i can go to school here. actually, the first time i saw Alf's High Rustler from the highway with my mom and brother, i remember we turned the car around and went back down to Snowbird, which seemed a little tamer.
i worked at Alta on the ski school in the 90s after taking a ski instructor course through the University of Utah. as the years went on, Alta became more popular and seems to be more crowded everyday. locals tell me that there are still "stashes" of powder, but honestly, they are harder to come by.
i started telemark skiing in the late 90s to give my self a new challenge, access the backcountry (to find those harder to come by powder stashes), impress a boy or two, and partially to piss off my bosses at the ski school. i think i was successful in all aspects.
i've stuck with telemark skiing, but pretty much given up on Alta, sadly. it does not hold the charm that it once had for me. the slow double lifts, cash only for tickets, long lonely hikes to steep unpopulated lines are a thing of the past.
sorry, Alta, but i've moved on. Solitude offers not only stellar in-area terrain, but accessible backcountry as well. i don't think i'm letting out any secrets here. the people who ski it know well enough. the people who are stubborn enough to stay at Alta can have it.
it's probably only a matter of time before Solitude becomes overly populated and skied out as Alta has over the years. but until that day comes, i'm stickin' with it. Solitude. if you only knew.
photo credit: Matt Hart
PS: i should comment that i did ski Alta a couple of weeks ago and had a really great time. but skiing at Alta for me these days is like when you take a photo of a really great time in a really great place, and then you return years later, and it's not the place you remembered. still great, just not the same.