While my friend went back to her car to retrieve a face mask, I took the opportunity to explore a run in tree powder.
I rode up the lift with an amazing guy.
We chatted about resort secrets, the spectacular day, and Utah skiing wisdom. He shared that he had to choose a day to come to the mountain and he had forfeited a warm spring day (last week) to the fresh powder day we were experiencing. He also shared that he had saved this day for Alta.
My heart felt a connection to this guy as it was becoming evident that his high elevation preferences were soundly based. It turns out that he lives in Odgen and could have gone to Snowbasin or Powder Mountain. The decision was very difficult and his reasoning understood when he shared a Powder Mountain advertising slogan, "Powder Mountain: Just The Same." Close competiton, especially on a powder day. Total comprehension.
Riding UTA was how he arrived, wearing an old coat, tattered hat, and gloves with the stuffing spilling out. I marveled at his dedication to make the trip and he asked, "How much do you think I got this outfit for?" Without missing a beat he answered his own question, "Thirty bucks at DI and Savers, but I feel kinda bad that the gloves are wearing out. I really like them." I suggested that he wrap duct tape around the parts that are wearing out because every truely wise winter wizard knows that you can ruin a wonderful mountain experience by disgarding a loved item and replacing it with something new. He excitedly replied, "That'd be great and it would match the color." Once again, my heart felt a connection with a person uncaring about the flashy clothes and all about the experience.
Rented skis, boots and poles were a necessity for him and he knowingly mentioned that 69 years of experience had taught him the importance of a good boot. Another heart throb. No helmet protected his head and he mentioned that his hat and hood were good enough. Agreed.
The lift ride was over, conversation ended, and we headed different directions, me alone through the trees, him soloing the groomer on Albion. I love the people who properly love my mountains.