Memorial Day 2013 was the last of the resort closing days in Utah. The last day to do some lift served skiing until November. I woke up to beautiful bluebird day with high at Bird in the upper 60′s. It was one of those amazing days in Utah where you could hike, mountain bike, play some golf, go boating, kayaking, cliff jumping, play beach volleyball, take a dip in the pool, drink some beers, or have a BBQ. A full Spring Decathlon of activities, If only there was enough time in one day.
Liz, Matt and I chose to ski/board at Snowbird. We dressed up in proper closing day fashion, choosing to go with a patriotic theme in observance of Memorial Day, as if we really needed an excuse to dress up like idiots. And met up with Conrad, Mike, and a few other friends at the base.
The Bird was packed. And despite long lines for the tram, everyone was in good spirits. We ran into friends and acquaintances everywhere. The three of us joined up with Conrad, Mike and a few other friends as we made our way up the tram.
We spent the day lapping Little Cloud, a much more enjoyable experience now that the lift is a high speed quad. We jumped the Wave and found some fun lines over rocks and dirt spots. We hit some more jumps and skied some bumps. The snow was skiing really well for late May, fast and fun.
A spread eagle for America!
Our posse, growing larger as the day wore on, ended the day with a lap on the Cirque that took us under Tower 3 where an impromptu pond skimming even was taking place. Despite the automatic inclusion of Canyons’ Pond Skim Day in my top five days of each season, I had never before skimmed a real pond on skis. I’d hit a few puddles here and there, but nothing close to a full body of water. With a few beers in me and having just watched Conrad skim the pond successfully, I decided to go for it. I straighlined it past two nervous dudes in jorts, whizzed by two scared girls in bikinis, through a section of bumps, plowed through the sticky snow at the bottom, and straightened up in time to hit the water, skimming across the pond with enough speed that I made it across rather casually. Compared to the sketchiness of the in-run, the skimming part was almost anticlimactic. Still, it was pretty awesome.
My first pond skim, an homage to Washington’s Crossing of the Delaware.
Having enjoyed a great day of summer skiing, followed by a successful pond skim, it was time to celebrate the last day of the season for most of the population. We ditched our gear and gathered around the pond as skiers and boarders spent the next couple of hours trying to skim the pond in all ways imaginable. Skiers, snowboarders, telemarkers, monoskiers, snowlerbladers, men, women, children, old people, a one armed man, a guy with one leg, drunk people, sober people, pros, bros, hipsters, hippies, guys in jerseys, guys in skinny jeans, scantily clad ladies, and even a couple naked dudes all tried their best to make it across the pond. A lot of them did, a lot of them didn’t, a surprising number didn’t even make it to the pond. Snowballs were thrown, shots were taken, beers were drunk, Instragrams were hashtagged. It was a full on party to celebrate the end of another season.
U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
Eventually the party disbanded and moved down to the Tram Deck. The vibe was a little more mellow at the base area, but there was music, beer and burgers on the grill. A costumed dance party even broke out as we were getting ready to head home.
We made it home in time to sneak in a mountain bike ride on the trails behind the house. We didn’t complete the full Spring Decathlon, but we had about as much fun as you can in one day.
Closing Day at Snowbird was definitely one of the top five days of the season. I won’t miss another closing day at Snowbird. Here’s to another great ski season and a new annual tradition for years to come.
2012-2013 Ski Days: 60
- Alta: 4
- Backyard: 4
- Brighton: 6
- Canyons: 26
- Resort Days: 9
- Backcountry: 17
- Manti-La Sal Backcountry: 2
- Park City Mountain Resort: 1
- Powder Mountain: 1
- Snowbasin: 1
- Snowbird: 3
- Solitude: 10
- Squaw Valley: 2