Saturday, February 28, 2015

I BUY SOME CAT CRAP and it gets busy at Alta

I have had to use goggles due to frequent snow showers and I had trouble with my glasses misting up. My little tube of French anti mist had run dry so I went into the ski shop to get a replacement. They did not have the French stuff but offered me some cat crap. "CAT CRAP?" I said, yup "Cat Crap"

Even though it was a work day it was clear that lots of locals had taken a snow day and the slopes were full and there were lift queues for the first time for me.

Well the Cat Crap works and the lift lines moved quickly and in a very well mannered fashion. I remembered back to my days skiing in Italy and Italian lift lines. Constructive queueing techniques were required to avoid going backwards in the disorderly pile with no liftie controlling access.

Italians queueing?

Monday, February 23, 2015

More sunny days at Alta

I checked the view from the balcony
and it agreed with the morning weather girl, another sunny day in the mountains.

The view from the tops was just as clear. Dear Valley in the distance and snowmobile tracks in the foreground.

Good skiing on well groomed pistes.

Life is good.

Sunday, February 22, 2015


It has been a week of blue skies and well groomed slopes in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
Up to Friday there were no queues but with a forecast for more snow at the weekend bought out every local pass holder so I took a day off on Saturday and am getting ready to drive up the canyon for another day on the white stuff on Sunday expecting it to be crowded.

I experienced just how good the service is from Alamo my car hire company. My tyre pressure warning light came on. So I pulled off and found a tire just about flat.

I changed the tire despite offers of help from local young men and continued up and went skiing.

Next morning I phoned Alamo and asked which repair shop I should use expecting to hve to pay for a new tire. No problem they said just bring your car back and we will give you another one so I have an even bigger SUV.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


Well it is a bit of a change from the the last time I was here mid Feb. The flower beds are blooming there are buds on the trees and even a little show of cherry blossom in one shopping mall with day time temps. in the mid 60s..

Back in 2013 the daytime temp struggled to get to zero, the flower beds were under a foot of snow and the trees were still bare. I was also clearing snow off the car about one morning in 3.

I don't usually sit by the window but there was a problem with seat allocations and plane types so I found myself by a window and got some stunning shots of the perfectly round con trail that we were flying alongside, the Mississippi delta and the bayous. We had a prolonged sunset as we were chasing the setting sun.

With it being Presidents day weekend i was worried about it being very crowded but so far so good as you can see.

However I am a little bit pissed off as I was getting my confidence back and going for it on a reasonably steep bit when this telemarker came past. Now what is special about this telemarker is he got his Alta blue button this year which means he skis for free. How do you get the button well you just have to prove you are 80 years old.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Salt Lake City here I come. Got through Miami immigration with only an hour wait, to find Customs wanting to inspect my bags and that such inspection can only be carried out by certain officers who were in short supply. Another hour wait for a two minute X ray check.

I was looking to go to Canada this year and ski something called the powder highway. A string of resorts in the Pacific North West. I could not find flights that worked at a reasonable price and lodging would have been costly so I reluctantly booked to go back to SLC.

This has turned out to be a lucky decision as the pineapple express has been in action delivering wet warm storms to the PNW one after another. Most of the lower resorts closer to the coast have had to close due to a lack of snow. This weekend in places it was raining up to 9,000ft.

Alta Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude are all skiing well and as they are all close to SLC life is good.

Monday, February 2, 2015


It is first light, Castenada described it as " THE CRACK BETWEEN THE WORLDS " and I am awake. One of the things that is different out here is the lack of a dawn chorus. Even in urban Stopsley there would be large chorus group singing their little hearts out most mornings.

Out here not so just a few and they are quite muted. But not so this morning. As the rosy fingers of dawn dragged thewselves over the horizon and lit up Elephants Child, there was very loud if not varied birdsong and some other muted rhythmic tapping and scratching. As this was unusual I dragged myself up to check thing out. Several small brown birds were lined up on my solar panels and they were giving it there all as if Simon Cowell was the to be the judge. The scrabbling was coming from Dizzy who was going totally apeshit in his efforts to reach them.

Zipping back and forwards on the stern up on to the dink, running round to get on the bimini but it was all a jump to far for him. The little brown birds ingnored him and carried on singing.

Deciding all was OK I retired back to bed while I waited for the morning net but I was surprised by a sudden cut off in the noise and Dizzy coming below as if rocket propelled.

I had a look in case something had gone wrong to find this fine fellow had taken up residence on my panels.