Monday, March 14, 2011

life elevated in Utah

After five beautiful days in Moab, we headed north to Salt Lake City.  The last five miles of our drive were in a very welcome snow storm.  We arrived Monday night, March 7, and when we woke up on Tuesday the 8th, we were welcomed by 18 inches of snow to enjoy!!!!

Jeff took us on a beautiful backcountry tour in Big Cottonwood Canyon where we would be safe from avalanche danger and be able to enjoy the new powder in some fantastic open glades.  

Below, Jeff and Mike take in the scenery and all the snow...

Nyssa approaching the final ridgeline with all the glory of the Wasatch behind her.  

Here is Nyssa and Rich at the summit.  We skinned to about 8600 feet, which is the highest either of us had ever backcountry skied (that is until we made it to Idaho...). 

Though the temperatures had risen to the low forties in the sunshine, the snow was still incredibly fun and still came up to at least the knee, if not the the chest in places.  Nyssa is enjoying some of her first powder turns here...

Rich dropping knees in some of the deeper stuff...

After our wonderful backcountry introduction to Utah, we figured we had to experience some lift-access skiing as well.  So on Tuesday, March 8th, we headed to Snowbird for a day of lift-service.  Our SLU friend Blake Harris works at Alta and he was able to meet up with us for yet another day of incredible Utah skiing.  Snowbird's Tram takes skiiers and riders to 11,000 ft, which was the highest lift-service skiing Nyssa and I had ever done. 

All in all, Utah was a wonderful place in which to reacclimatize to the United States.  We had a fabulous host, Jeff, who we had met in Mexico and who showed us all there was to enjoy in Moab and Salt Lake.  We were able to do some fantastic rock climbing and incredible skiing, and the whole time we were able to relax because we were back in a country where people have their driver's licenses and obey traffic laws.  We were even able to visit American grocery stores and drink beer that was dark enough that you couldn't see through the pint glass (even if it was only 3.2% by volume)... 


  1. Wow! Great pictures! We are also happy and relieved to have you back in the USSA.
    Love you.

  2. Dear Meg,
    So sorry to disappoint you but Rich wanted to grow the full beard to keep him warm for skiing and also so he could get sick pictures of himself with snow stuck in his beard... so we had to say goodbye to the mustache for now - but I'm sure it will be back soon!
    Love, Nyssa
    P.S. Love you!