Sunday, January 6, 2013

Finding Solitude in Utah

While I was still living in Colorado, Craig and I made a road trip to Utah to check out the ski resorts and break in our new backcountry ski/snowboard gear. We stayed in Salt Lake City and commuted daily to the mountains, spending most of our time in Little Cotton Wood Canyon and at the Solitude Resort.

Highlights of the trip:
- Staying at a hostel and realizing it's actually a halfway house
- Discovering one of my favorite ski resorts (Solitude)
- Realizing the freedom that backcountry skiing has to offer
- The feeling of being small. Gigantic rock features are layered along the winding canyon roads, and it was almost too big a scene to take in with one glance.
- The realization of how big  we are as humans. While in the mountains, we experienced pristine mountain air and sunny skies. The drive back to Salt Lake City painted a different picture. About halfway down the mountain, a thick smog layer began to block out the sun and prevented us from seeing more than a 1000 feet in front of us. The scratchiness of each breath was further reminder that the air was thick with particulates. Apparently, smog days this bad only occur a few times a year and last around a week or so. It was still enough to move it to a much lower position on my list of places to live.

Despite the smog, I fell in love with the scenery of the state and am still daydreaming about a return trip.

 Craig at Solitude

We try out the backcounty setup in Little Cottonwood Canyon
 Little Cottonwood Canyon

somewhere in Little Cottonwood Canyon

splitting the board in Utah

 splitting the board in Utah

 Horrible inversion layer trapping smog in Salt Lake City