Sunday, December 23, 2007

Kicking off the ski season at Grand Targhee

I just did four days in Grand Targhee. It's a ski resort just on the Wyoming side of the Idaho/Wyoming border that has the most reliable early-season snow according to My brother found the web site a while ago, and if all of it's information is as good as this was, it belongs in every skier's bookmarks. Targhee already had five feet of snow when we got there, and it continued to snow gently for most of the trip. In observance of Murphy's Law, a pretty big storm hit on the last day we skied, and there was about a foot of new snow taunting us on our way home.

The terrain at Grand Targhee is fairly moderate. Which isn't to say that it's not steep - it just doesn't that wide a selection of chutes and gullies. There was a cliff band that would probably offer some really great lines later in the season, and a couple gully runs that didn't have quite as much snow as I would have liked. However, there was also a lot of fun gladed skiing, so I got my darting around between things fix. And the snow quality was awesome. Dry, light powder. It was good on the first three days, which were lift-served, but our fourth and last day we got to ride a snowcat in an area that the resort hasn't made lift-served yet. I've laid some fresh tracks, but this was run after run of fresh tracks. In-bounds powder skiing usually consists of traversing to somewhere out of the way along some scraped-out, roller-covered mess, followed by a couple of powder turns, followed by another traverse back to the base of the lift. This was a little bit of skiing on a snowcat road, many linked powder turns, and another short traverse on another snowcat road. Emphasis on the many linked powder turns. All the advantages of hike-to terrain, with nowhere near as much hiking.

Yesterday and today see me installed at Sugarbowl, and with new boots. I didn't get to ski yesterday because of work, but I did today. Which brings my days for the season to five.

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