It’s been a long warm end to the summer in Utah. We haven’t seen much rain and it remained in the 80s well into October. But the switch was hit, and winter has arrived. Yesterday, Sunday, the first storm of the season continued to rage well into the evening. We hiked to Thirds via Gunsight around 2pm while the wind and snow persisted. A loaded mini-ridge started fracturing so we 1-at-a-timed it across and still set off a small slide that moved at least 100 feet down slope. We weren’t feeling great about things at this point but there wasn’t a ton of snow and it was fracturing only ~4 inches deep so we felt OK enough to ski down the main slope along the skier’s right trees that we always ski. Nate dropped first and 4 turns in about the entire Thirds proper face broke and slid, pulling Nate over some rocks, he was able to stay on his feet and arrest right above the choke as the slide continued further down Thirds and over those small cliffs. With what just happened we chose to bail on High Boy and take Greeley home so as not to press our luck.
Today was a new day. Skies cleared and the snow looked pristine. A lot of tracks from yesterday were filled in either by late day snow or wind. Lone Pine and Stonecrusher looked untouched so we set a skin track weaving through the two. Both runs skied smooth soft and relatively fast for October. Usually I’m a bit apprehensive on the first storm of the season due to rock danger but it really didn’t feel at all dangerous today. I don’t believe either of us hit a single rock the whole way from top to bottom.
There’s more snow in the immediate forecast and Alta is already blowing man-made snow so things are all-a-sudden coming together!