Friday, December 28, 2012

Nine and Eleven.

Nine was the number of inches of snow we had in the 24 hours prior to our last day of skiing on this trip.

And eleven is the age our babies will be on December 30. We had a little gathering for them in the mountains, complete with an extended family dinner followed by cake and ice cream with the neighbors.

It was crowded at Squaw but not unreasonably so. Apparently 80% of passholders cannot use their passes this week. This means that the people on the slopes are non-locals or people who are willing to pay full price for lift tickets. While in reality that translates to Amateur Hour, it also means that the lift lines are shorter than have been this week in previous years.

This observation made me think more about the changes at Squaw since KSL has taken over, nearly all of them good. The resort is now run like an efficient, friendly business. I gasped when I saw a bench at the top of a chairlift. One could actually sit down to adjust their boot or helmet before taking off! The mountain is peppered with directional signage and resort employees looking to be helpful by directing confused guests or answering questions. We receive text messages from Squaw on the conditions along the line of: Upper Mountain will open at 10a today due to extra avalanche control measures. The removal of three chairlifts and the installation of Big Blue opened up a large area of terrain for beginners, something Squaw has historically lacked. These are all good things, things that will make the mountain accessible for families and visitors.

My brother and Blondie #2 came over in the morning and Thing 1 and I skied with them. They are pictured here warming up at Starbucks in the Gold Coast Complex. Then we met up with the Calabasas Cousins and did a run together before my brother headed down to swap kids and we lunched at The ARC. I did a few runs with the Calabasas Cousins (and their parents, my SIL and BIL) and then called it a day. One can only handle so much perfect sun, snow and fun. All that powder is tough on the legs.

I am seriously envious of people just on their way to Tahoe. The next three days will be sunny with temps in the twenties -- perfect ski weather and conditions on eight feet of base.

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