ode to reed and benson
January 5, 2011
I realize writing up a ski day from Saturday the following Wednesday is a bit lame.
But I also realize that for most of you, you know, since I don’t actually KNOW you, well, you don’t know if I’m actually skiing at all, or if I’m just making this s$%t up.
Anyway. Saturday I hiked and skied. And it was spectacular. In fact, I’m going to call it one of my top five all time ski days, hereafter known as the Reed Benson Tour.
As in, we did all the northeast facing shots (not ALL, but all of the main shots) off of the Reed Benson ridge into Days fork.
We’re enjoying one of the deepest, stable-ist early season snowpacks I’ve ever seen in my decade of touring. Last week we got about 3 feet of snow on top of an already great base.
So, Saturday morning, an entire passel of us met at the Church across from Alta, and headed up to Flagstaff. Passels tend to sort naturally, and this passel was no exception. By the time some of us arrived at the ridge, some others of us had already dropped into Days. Which is as it should be. Because some of us had miles to go before we slept.
From the bottom of Days a portion of the passel went back up and down to the Church, and the rest of us went up to do Main Days, the next shot to the north.
Jamie wore his helmet cam, and posted a video of his Main Days shot to Youtube.
I know, I know, it looks like it’s totally flat. Well, it’s not. You’ll just have to trust me. Helmet cams do funny things to slope angles.
More Main Days:
Oh, except Jon couldn’t stop and went ahead and skied the last pitch to the flats. Jon, hope you enjoyed skinning back up that thing. Ouch.
At the top of Banana Days, we reached the best skiable chutes just as the wasatch powderbird helicopter started dropping groups of skiers on the summit.
Go ahead and ask me, How satisfying was it to drop into Banana Days moments before the heli skiers?
Well, I’ll tell you, I might have joyfully flashed them some hand gestures and said some things I’m not proud of. All of which was drowned out in the helicopter wash. So it’s as if I never did it, right?
But I still meant it. We were in that drainage for an hour, and the entire time, the helicopter was shuttling groups to the top of that ridge. I felt like I was back in Nam.
But enough about me and my flashbacks. Here is Banana Days.
Me, killing time, after I cut the chute and was waiting for Mark to drop:
And Paul, disappearing:
The final skin up to Days Draw was actually really pleasant. Mostly because Paul had forgotten to bring water, so I gave him my full Gatorade bottle and said “okay then, this means you break trail.”
I was only half joking, but Paul is a very serious guy. And he broke trail all the way up. Thus, it was very pleasant.
Jon shot some really sweet video of me dropping into Days Draw.
Okay, I lied, it wasn’t that awesome. But the shot itself was awesome. Here’s the view back at that damned heli, still dropping skiers off on Banana Days:
The view from the top of Days Draw into Cardiff:
Each of the four lines was better than the last. Scads of fresh snow. (What a word, “scads.” It sounds like a word my Mom would use. Well, now I’m my Mom.) No tracks. Four big drops. So, so good.
I’m telling you. If you don’t do this, all I can say is WHY?