deja vu (update, which is a weird thing, right?)
April 16, 2009
[I’ve updated with Ben dropping the cliff and Mark’s video of Ben’s front flip.]
My third post ever, just over a year ago, was about skiing Scotties Bowl in early April in fantastic conditions.
This was last year:
Well, this morning we skied Scotties in even better conditions, so good we lapped the upper cirque three times. In this economy.
We almost didn’t get to ski it though. We gathered at the Little Cottonwood parking lot at 5:15 instead of 5:30, because the UDOT website said they were bombing the North side of the canyon (for avalanche control work) and were closing the road at 5:45. We wanted to head to the very top of the canyon and hike up Grizzly Gulch where they don’t ever bomb, and maybe ski down into the Catherines Area of Alta, since Alta had closed that half of the mountain, making it perfect for backcountry beaters like us.
But when we got to the Grizzly parking area, the UDOT guys came over and said “Hey, we’re bombing! White Pine only is open. And you’d better hurry, they’re closing the road down.” My guess is they weren’t actually bombing Grizzly, but there was no time to argue.
We raced back down below Snowbird to get to White Pine and Scotties, but the gate was already closed, and guarded by a uniformed posse. Ben jumped out and sweet talked the guy into letting us down to White Pine, where ANOTHER UDOT guy came and yelled at us. “Don’t leave this parking lot while we’re bombing!”
We get it, you don’t want to kill us with your howitzers. Well, maybe you DO want to, but that would look bad on your resumes.
See that lip and cliff to the left of where I’m heading in this picture from last year? Here, I’ll show you. Imagine that I am Ben. Which is a stretch, since Ben is the best skier I’ve ever skied with, and I’m a putz. But work with me here:
This morning, I was below the cliff, having just skied the chute to the right, and had Ben’s camera. I took pictures of Ben dropping the cliff with Ben’s camera, but the chances of getting those pictures from Ben before the Fourth of July are the same as me ever dropping that cliff. So you get this little modified picture instead.
UPDATE: Ben sent me the pictures already. It’s time to walk to Missouri people.
And halfway down:
And, landing it (you may have to trust me):
On the first lap, Ben did a front flip off a cornice on the other side of the trees. Mark has video of that, I think. If he posts it, I’ll link to it.
UPDATE. Here’s the front flip (which he mostly lands, but again, you may have to trust me):
Here’s Mark, dropping in the East side of the cliffs. The snow didn’t suck. 4 feet this week I think, 700 inches this year. That’ll do.
If we end the season with today (we won’t), I’ll be happy. Here I am being happy:
See how happy I am? I’m very happy.