It seems that hurtling uncontrollably down the slope, flipping over, landing face upwards with legs and arms at 45 degrees from the body, skis facing uphill, poles down, is not officially a fall. No skis were lost, so it only counts as a spill. So I spilled, then.
Ski Utah, the body promoting the sport in the state, and boasting, with much justification ‘The Greatest Snow on Earth’, issues daily snow condition updates. Yesterday, with upwards of 16 inches, the website pronounced a Monster Dump. Workers all over the state were calling in sick and queuing at the lifts to make first tracks. We’re on holiday, so we had a leisurely breakfast and made second tracks.
The mountains were covered in pure Champagne powder. For non-skiers, powder is the ultimate ski surface, fine, soft and fluffy and providing you can stay upright, you can burst through snowbanks throwing snow everywhere, looking massively impressive and a way-gnarly dude, providing, as I said, you can stay upright. If you should happen to fall, the good news is, being soft and fluffy, no-one really gets hurt. The bad news is, it’s so soft and fluffy you can’t get up, well not without a lot of help. And yes, I am speaking from personal experience, but as I said, no skis were lost, so I didn’t fall, I spilled.
We’ve come a long way to enjoy these kind of conditions, so driving another hour to Powder Mountain was a mere trip around the block, comparatively speaking. Powder Mountain, which is north Utah, nearly in Idaho, has some stonking snow, much of it back country. The resorts make it very clear that if you wish to head for the back country, you are doing something risky, and rather dangerous, so they set up little gates, and if you go through those, well, on our own head be it. We did, and entered Powder Country, oh my goodness, it was fantastic, skiing through and avoiding the trees and ending up on the roadside where, along with the others who’d gone through the gate, we were picked up by a shuttle bus. Everyone was grinning, it was a great day.