As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm in Salt Lake City, UT for the 2012 ocean sciences conference. Today I thought i'd take a break from the morning sessions and ski, getting back in time for one of my lab-mate's poster sessions in the afternoon.
The road to Alta and Snowbird was closed due to an avalanche in the canyon, so I decided to try for Brighton or Solitude. About 3/4 the way there it became clear that the economy Chevy Aveo I rented (Yes, I was too cheap to upgrade) wasn't going to make it up the canyon, the plows were occupied clearing the avalanche, so they weren't plowing our road...
Being a responsible grad student with conference sessions to get to in the afternoon, I only had one choice: get the car stuck off the side of the road, abandon it, hitch-hike up and get some runs in: hoping my problems would solve themselves.
The skiing was amazing! With the bad roads, there were plenty of fresh tracks to be had even though they haven't gotten a tonne of fresh snow. There was some really fun steep terrain and awesome little glades to ski through... i've never skiied anything like it. I Even hit some jumps and some mini drops 🙂
And the story (luckily) ends anti-climatically: I was able to hitch a ride back down, push out the Aveo, and make it back to slc w/ time to spare before my sessions 🙂 Oh, and as I exited the canyon I couldn't help but notice the flashing sign: "Snow Chains Required on ALL vehicles."
Way to be on top of that warning, UDOT...
I can't wait to get back to utah again for some more skiing! A few lessons:
- UTA has a public bus that is probably a lot less stressful (and a lot cheaper) to take to go skiing.
- Check the road conditions before you head out, and have the right vehicle for the job 🙂
- The damage wavier is money well spent for peace of mind when you're abandoning a car on the side of an icy road.