The first turns of the season went down on October 21st. I showed up at Solitude with Kristian and Andy on a cold morning after an additional foot had been dropped on top of the 2 feet we had throughout the week. While we were booting up Dibbs, Josh, and Ian also pulled up in the parking lot, I hadn't seen them since the end of last season. High 5's were exchanged. Our original crew hustled and started up the hill.
Preseason hiking can be kind of a slap in the face. I know that I spent a little too much time this summer in the backyard doing 12 ounce curls. And the first couple of hundred vertical feet make that abundantly clear. After a couple of stops we had made it to the mid mountain. There we considered our options. Boot straight up Diamond Lane or take the cat track across the bowl and then up the ridge. We opted for the later. This way was less steep and we walked quickly. Dibbs and crew were already starting to skin up Diamond Lane on their skis. We were just booting up.
Halfway up the hill we found a cute little snow wave and I had Kristian strap in and slash it on his Fish for a picture.
After some more huffing and puffing we ended up at the top of the Powder Horn Lift right behind Dibbs and company. Untracked snow on top of a mostly grassy surface lay beneath us. After a binding fiasco that required a little MacGyvering, we strapped in and hit it. It was good to be back on snow making turns and the snow was surprisingly bottomless. No base damage occured.
On the ride out the masses caught up to us as we must have passed 30 people hiking up. I even saw one guy carrying another guys board up the hill for him. That's just unacceptable. Anyway, as always, the early bird gets the worm.