I love unexpected spring powder days. One day everyone is cruising around town on mountain bikes, the next day it’s full blown winter again. Makes no sense at all. The trick however is to get up early and get the powder before the strong spring sunshine turns the “oh so light” Utah powder into good old Pacific Northwest slop.
On a recent spring powder day, this is how it went down…
So I didn’t get on the gondola until 9:25 and was thinking it was done. I’d missed the window and every local had come out of the woodwork to nail this spring powder day. I figured if I headed to Condor I’d still have a chance at getting some left over powder.
From the top of the Gondola we (Tim, buddy Sean, Nick and myself) headed off to Lookout, got off and headed right towards The Drain. I had seen The Drain a week or so before and had thought about nailing it the next powder day since I hadn’t skied it yet this year.The Drain was epic, 4th or 5th person into it. The whole way down I’m thinking to myself, “Man, this is too good to be true. Where is everyone skiing?”
We arrived at Condor and there’s not a soul to be seen. I’m looking around thinking, “Is this open?”
With a shrug of the shoulders and a nod to the lifty in the shack, we hoped on.
There’s not a soul in sight still. Nobody coming down Flume, just a few people standing up there at base of Snow Canyon. As we ride Condor we can’t help but notice that there’s not a single track on Apex.
Confusion is setting in until at the point when we’re about ½ way up Condor we look down to Snow Canyon just in time to hear a huge ROAR and to see the patrol dropping the rope. Following that is a Chinese Downhill towards Condor. We all look at each other and we bust up laughing and cheering as we realize that we’ve just scored better than first chair. We’re like T minus 40th chair. This is a dream.
We arrive at the top and make a quick b-line down Apex. To our left we see that Aplande is done (6-7 tracks from the one chair in front of us that had 4 people and some greedy patrol). The game plan is now set: I’m on a b-line to Thrasher. As I dive in I see that I’m the 2nd person into Thrasher.
It’s bottomless, blower, waist deep, sick, nothing but Utah’s famous light and dry. Over half way down I shoot a glance to my left and up to see my fellow partners in crime as they rob the masses of their deserved first tracks, the ones they so patiently and faithfully waited for while we inadvertently “snuck” on Condor.
So there we were, the 4 of us heading down Boa to the lift again with not a soul in sight, grinning ear to ear. I’m thinking to myself, “I bet those people on the lift right now are looking at us coming down Boa and are thinking to themselves that they didn’t get up early enough for first tracks.” Funny thing is, I didn’t get up early either.
Guess this time the early bird didn’t get the worm…I did!