Saturday, March 8, 2014

Skiing at Brighton

It wasn't our earliest start, but we stayed up latter than usual last night watching the first half of the Dirty Dozen. Plus Sarah has early morning seminary every other day at school so she enjoys being able to sleep past 5:25 AM on Saturdays. The forecast was for sunshine and 55 degrees in the valleys so we set out with less under layers than usual.

Skiing is not a cheap sport. This year in particular we needed new skis for some, new coats for others and helmets for all of us. We also all got season passes at Brighton where family skiing is more affordable than other resorts within driving distance of Springville. We afford skiing because we don't invest in ATVs, motor boats, campers, guns, fishing rods, or season tickets to BYU football. We also choose to make it a priority because I see it as a life time activity that is welcoming to all ages and abilities and because, like my parents, I see it as a great way to enjoy time together with three great kids. As my dad always said: "The family the skis together stays together."

First ride up Crest lift.

 The top of Snake Creek lift, with frost on the sub-alpine firs.

The top of Great Western Express on the far peak. In the foreground are snow making machines and the top of the boarding park.

The Mardi Gras Tree (my name) or the Lingerie Tree (Sarah's name). Every resort seems to have one. As I recall they first started out with Mardi Gras type beads being thrown over the branches of a tree from the chair lift. More recently they have collected an assortment of brightly colored brassieres.

Tantmount run. From the top of Crest we then headed over to Snake Creek lift where we met up with our neighbors the Hodsons. The eight of us ranged from 9 year old Libby and Will to retired grandpa Hodson who often drives down from Logan to ski with his son and two grand kids.

From the top of Snake Creek looking westward down to the resort base and then on to Big Cottonwood Canyon

From the top of Snake Creek there is also a great view down into Heber Valley. Two nieces and a nephew along with their families now call this valley home.

Riding up Great Western. Leading the way are the three Emmett kids and Isaac Hodson. Two weeks ago Joel, Will and I had some fun powder runs off this lift.

From the top of Great Western looking south to magestic Mt Timpanogos.

Looking across Brighton Basin (and ski resort) to the crest of mountains with Little Cottonwood Canyon beyond.

The top of Snowbird's Tram (center top).

Sarah (with Joel and Will in the lead) heading down  the top part of Western Trail. I tried taking some videos of the kds on the next two runs on Great Western, but they didn't turn out that great so when we went in for lunch I ditched my big camera so I could better enjoy skiing.

After our brown bag lunch we all headed over to Milly's . For some reason we all got the adventure bug and so we decided to try some new runs. From the lift it all looked pretty tame and the exposed rocks from the first part of the season seemed mostly covered. We (six of us) first tried Lone Pine--the kids' first double black diamond. It was more challenging that it looked from the lift. Sarah did a spectacular double release with a long slide down the steep slope. Luckily Sarah was in the lead so Dad, Joel and Will were able to help gather up her scattered skis and poles. Other than that it was good practice for the kids at making quick turns and in learning that pole planting makes turning easier. Next up was a traverse out to Scree Slope. We managed the steep slope covered in crud quite well. The one big challenge was navigating one of the several short chutes between the rocky outcrops. The four kids all learned that knowing how to do kick turns would have been a help. But hey, if you can sit on your butt and roll your skis over (Isaac), that works too. Back over to Snake Creek for some fun runs down Thor. I liked bombing the run with its swells, while the kids opted for some fun tree trails between Thor and Sunshine. We also practiced kick turns.

A great day.

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