I think tonight might just go down as one of my most favorite times in this town.
My friend Brownie (her name is Kim Brown, but everyone calls her Brownie), has been hiking up Alta with this group of crazy old men every Wednesday. I told her, I’ve never hiked up a mountain before, and would like to try it.
Alta is a SKI only resort (one of only 4 left in the U.S.). It’s a pretty steep place around here and has the reputation for some of the most extreme skiing. At night when the chairlifts are no longer running, they allow people to hike up the mountain, as long as you stay away from the groomers. You don’t necessarily have to be on skis… so I figured this is a good opportunity to snowboard at a place that doesn’t usually allow it.
Brownie and I rented split boards from REI in Salt Lake. A split board is a snowboard that splits apart and is able to be used as cross country skis. Basically, you split it apart to go up the mountain and then fasten it back together to go down.
We got to Alta and began our trek up the mountain. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t to the point where I wasn’t enjoying it. I went up some really steep areas, and at one point my hands were so cold, I could barley switch to my extra pair of mittens and It was snowing really light, wintery, fluffy snow and it was coming down hard. Brownie and I were dealing with a lot other than the fact we were dead tired.
We reached the top at about 10:00- the top was a brick building with a red light. We couldn’t see much, because it was snowing a ton and was pretty dark out. We had head lamps on (like the kind you wear camping) so could see to change our boards from skis into snowboards and also see our path down. From when we started (7:30pm) to when we finished (10:30pm) it snowed about 4 inches, which meant first tracks ALL the way down. We headed down, it was one of the best trips down the mountain I’ve had all season. Brownie said, “I want to marry this snow, I love it so much!” I think I agree. Snow spraying everywhere, a tiny light on my head making all the snowflakes sparkle, the quietness of a resort with no one at it, and best of all, riding down a path it took me over 2 hours to hike. I WILL be doing this again.