By Happy Painter \ February 23 2008 \ 0 Comments
With a 120-inch mid-mountain base, 412-inch total snowfall to date and 7-inches of pow in the past 24 hours, Solitude Resort was primed for the picking. Driving up Big Cottonwood Canyon, the road was fairly clear as this storm was a tad warmer than other recent storms have been. The sloppy-wet snow in Salt Lake City translated into some well-needed snow in the Wasatch. While it's really only been a little more than a week since the last snowfall, it seems like a month.
In the parking lot, the decision begins... super-fat Black Diamond Zealot skis or only sorta-fat Scott Mission skis? Hmmm... I opt for the Scott Missions with their 90mm waist and shapely profile to not only float in the powder, but also lay down perfect railroad tracks on the groomers. These have a similar profile to the Ski Utah-approved Rossignol Scratch Brigade or Brigade Pro skis.
Though Solitude is well-known for it's hidden powder stashes, the groomers turned out to be impeccable, thus paving the trail back to the lift. Our first ride up Sunrise Chair was completely solo--nobody in sight. We were anxious to hit the Summit lift and see the conditions in Honeycomb Canyon. After one lap in Honeycomb, we decided to maximize our powder time by lapping the Summit Chair.
Our mission turned into one of traversing further and further into the Northeast-facing Evergreen area. A relatively quick traverse into this area pays back in spades as we continued to find untracked stashes weaving in and out of the pines. Evergreen can be steep and tight in spots and the traverse unforgiving, so staying on top of your game is the best option. Luckily, we were typically the only ones on the traverse, so the bumper cars scenario that often characterizes short and sketchy traverses was avoided.
Traverses weed out the weak and reward the diligent and the Traverse into Evergreen is one that not many take, but those who do can enjoy some of the best turns on the mountain. We were rewarded with mostly untracked turns lap-after-lap. That is why I like to call Solitude's Evergreen Area, Everwhite.
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