I have a hard time getting out of bed before 6:00 a.m. to ride my bike. The thought of riding after dark, in the cold, is only appealing when there's no viable alternative. So why is it that getting up at 4:30 to start hiking in the dark in the winter with the cold and wind is not a problem at all?
Maybe watching the sunrise over the Wasatch is part of it. Maybe first tracks is another part of it. Oddly enough, conditions in which I would be miserable on the bike, I love on skis. I don't mind foul weather. In fact, I kind of get a high from being out in it.
And evidently I have no shortage of friends who think likewise. This morning we split into two groups, Ben and his crew heading to Grizzly Gulch, the rest of us to Days. In the photo above, Mike is dropping into Days. The Grizzly crew didn't have it quite so good.
Mike disappeared into a cloud of cold smoke. The north-facing descent into Days was great, but the south-facing descent off of Flagstaff had us nervous. Coverage was thin and a bit wind scoured. We were just hoping to avoid rocks. Instead, we enjoyed some of the best turns in shallow snow I have ever experienced. Jamie summed it up best when he said "I thought my legs were going to be sore, but it's my face that hurts from smiling so much."