Today I imposed an interesting test on myself both physically and mentally. Lovely bride asked me why I like to do stuff like this and it kind of set me aback. I’ll have to ponder that.
Anyway… Today’s run was on Eddie’s High Nowhere, a special area where you can go in to skimo (ski mountaineering) mode inbounds. After lots of side-stepping and traversing you have to boot pack to the top, where you’ll almost always find a cornice as the winds howl in this spot. Today’s boot pack was so windy I couldn’t hold my skis in the typical place over my shoulder. So I crawled with my poles and skis ahead of me.
The top is an amazing spot. Super rugged. No-fall-zone in all directions. The drop from the cornice to the run is about the steepest thing there is at Alta. It’s practically straight down and today that drop was about as wide as a pair of skis. I chose no on that. I didn’t think side-sliding it was possible and I sure as hell wasn’t going to point a ski down it. So I went for the side entrance below the cornice. There was a steep drop there too. Because of the poor visibility I couldn’t tell if there was anything to avoid, bumps, ice, who knows. My mind wouldn’t let me point a ski down that either. So for perhaps the first time ever, I started thinking about how I was going to back out. I’d probably have to reverse boot pack down where I came from.
On the way out I checked the trees to see if I could find another way to enter Eddies, and I managed to find one. I had to traverse a section of trees that is extremely steep. The video can’t convey just how steep it is. Not even close. A fall there would result in a case of human pinball. So I took it slow and eventually found my way in. Once I was in, the skiing was on ice and breakable crust with wind blown dust on top. Did I mention the poor visibility? LOL So you don’t know if you’re going to hit a bump, slide on ice, or stop suddenly. It’s basically defensive skiing at that point.
It felt satisfying to get down Eddie’s today. That’s where my thighs cramped up a few weeks ago, so I had a bit of a mental demon to exercise.
Hilariously, after getting down one of the toughest runs at Alta, I crashed into a tree (yes I know, another tree) off the cat track at the top of Collins, in front of all the people who get off the lift. What a hack I’m sure they were thinking.