Sunday, February 21, 2016

Yeti Nine: Beaver Mountain

A back up of cars following behind three snowplows coming out of Sardine Canyon.

The recent warm spell in the Beehive State got me to worrying that some resorts may not stay open much longer. With six resorts still to ski and many Saturdays already booked with Temple celebration practices and performance, Joel and Sarah decided they could skip at least one practice while the skiing was still good. It was time to ski the Beav. I woke the kids at 6:15 hoping to depart by 7:00. That hope was delayed a half hour by Will's falling back to sleep twice (it just isn't his nature to go to bed when told and then to stop reading and turn out his light when told) and by Sarah waking to read an over night e-mail from BYU telling her she had been accepted (yeah) and then wanting to check in with many of her friends to see if they too had been accepted. Snow was still falling in Sardine Canyon, Cache Valley and Logan Canyon, the hold out from an over night storm forecasted to be gone by morning. 

China Row in Logan Canyon.

Beaver Mountain in the distance. Coming and going the canyon was full of lots of pickups pulling large trailers full of snow mobiles. Different strokes for different folks.

The backside of Beaver.

We pulled into the parking lot at 10:05 delighted to see blue skies on the horizon. Little Beaver hill to the left and Beaver Face lift on the right.

Marge Seeholzer (in green) has been selling tickets for as long as I can remember. She and her husband Ted took over management of the resort from Ted's parents--Harry and Luella Seeholzer--who founded Beaver Mountain. It was Harry who introduced my dad John to skiing at the Sinks. Dad was then among the first to ski on Beaver Mountain. One of my first skiing memories is sitting in the "lodge" (which is now the ticket office) and eating a bowl of Luella's homemade chili. 

I learned to first ski on an early rope tow and then on the Little Beaver lift (in the distance)--where my friend and I were given the title "snowplow kings."

The base lodge on the left with the old lodge (cabin)  turned ticket office and ski school on the right.

First run down The Face.

My brother Tom (left) and his wife Shelly (right) joined us for some fun morning runs.

 My famous brother Tom graces the cover of the Trail Map. 

Joel getting up from a fall on South Face.

Tom took a quick video of all of us skiing down through the trees on Schoolhouse--which still had nice patches of untracked powder. Perfect conditions.

The Ridge and Stump (called Stump Hollow in my day) are perennial favorites--especially when groomed in smooth corduroy.

That groomed corduroy became the favorite of a group of men who spent decades skiing together at Beaver. They affectionately became known as the corduroy posse. To honor our dad and his friends his six children installed this commemorative bench and plaque in the lodge to celebrate their lives and love of skiing. Jokester Wayne Rich is the only one left.

John and Norda taught those six kids to ski. They in turn have taught generation three (including my three kids--sitting on the commemorative bench) to ski and even now some in generation four. It is a great legacy.

Many an Emmett has enjoyed sack lunches in this lodge--mostly on the picnic tables in the basement but now in an expanded lodge in the designated sack lunch area on the main floor.

Thanks Beaver for welcoming brown-baggers.

A trip down memory lane for all four of us who enjoyed beginner days on Little Beav.

A few years ago Little Beaver Lift was extended and a magic carpet lift was installed. This makes for a great place to learn to ski.

From Little Beaver we traversed over to Harry's Dream Lift. Our first run from the top of the mountain was down Beaver's Powder--which my friends and I dubbed Mister Toads Wild Ride back in the day when we loved exploring out in the trees. Nothing better that skiing fresh snow down through glades of aspen. Way to go Sarah! We also had a fun powder run through the trees down Sour Grapes off of Marge's Triple lift along the far northern boundary of the area.

Will recovering from a fall.


On Harry's Dream lift. As my dad liked to say: "The family that skis together, stays together."

Looking south down Logan Canyon from the top of Harry's Dream.

Same view from the top of the Face lift.

After a delightful and tiring day of skiing we drove by my parents house (first time seeing it since it was sold last summer) and stopped in Smithfield to see my brother Bill and his wife Lorie (who came up with the idea of the memorial bench). Knowing that the Twin Pine ranch was no longer available as the standard after skiing stop for sodas, bathroom and visiting, they invited us to drop by. Prominently displayed in their home was this sign--a gift from their daughters.

Having skied at many different resorts this year, I have come to realize, that this low-key, smaller-than-most ski resorts is one of the best places in Utah to ski. It has lots of top to bottom runs, few long traverses, easily accessible lifts, plus fun and varied terrain. It is family run and family friendly.

Beaver Mountain plays heavily into the very fiber of the Emmett clan. There are many memories to be written about skiing here over the past 54 years, but I will instead post a few photos to represent those many memories.

First run down Stump Hollow. 1964 (age 7)

  Freckled-face kid on the Face lift.

1969. Racing.

 I won.

 December 2005.

March 2006.

Jake, John, Bill, Tom and Chad Emmett  March 2007

 2007. Grandpa Emmett with Chad, Sarah and Joel.

 Sarah with cousins Katie and McKinley

 Will's first day at Beaver. March 2009. Note the groomed corduroy.

Will following Joel down Little Beaver

I spent many years skiing the greens as my children learned to ski. It is now a great delight to be able to ski the whole mountain--blues and blacks-- with them.

 Many Emmetts. Day after Christmas 2010.

 Day after Christmas 2010. Six children of John and Norda, plus most of their grandchildren.