Friday 20 February 2015

I love Solitude

Yep, I love Solitude.

It's probably funny to hear someone like me say that.

I seem like an effusive people-person.  But a Meyers-Briggs test once told me I was an introvert, so it must be true.

But I'm not talking about spending time alone here.  That's important, and if it weren't for time spent alone, I'd probably never write.  But here I'm talking about Solitude with a capital S.

This is a story about a ski area.  A place that just stole my heart.  It's perfect.  It's quiet, peaceful, intimate. Go there.  Trust me.  Here's how:  Borrow a very cool 20-year old truck from a brand new friend.  Forget the forecast.  Go alone.  Enter the Wasatch National Forest.  Drive 40 minutes up the stunning Big Cottonwood Canyon.  Step out of your vehicle and ski.

Wasatch National Forest
(I love the old school National Forest signs. They're reminiscent of times gone by and of Yogi Bear)

That's it.


The place still has a chair with no restraint bar (what?! do they still make cars without seatbelts??!)  In spite of that (or because of that?) I feel safe here.  In the way I do at Whitewater (mmm...glory bowl...)  And the old Fortress.  And at Holimont.

Summit Chair at Solitude

I love their lifties.  They crank Bob Marley* and have the raddest shirts.  I would practically die to get one of these.  I offered to buy this one off a liftie's back.  Two different guys actually.  I'm worried that I'm losing my touch.  That's really disconcerting.  I'll console myself by saying that these shirts must be coveted property given how much lifties are generally hurting for beer money...

Powder to the People!

I set out alone then stopped for a Sunshine Burger at lunch.  A group of Swedish guys asked me to join them.   Based on historic snowfall records, they had calculated that statistically they were guaranteed powder in Utah during their 2 week trip.  Sometimes statistics lie.  Therefore, I generally opt for magic and chanting 'ohms' to the snow gods (thank you Sweetgrass Productions).  We basked in the sun and enjoyed ourselves anyway.  There is no bad day in Solitude.  The Swedes all work for Volvo.  I find this hilarious.  Particularly given that the only other Swedish friend I met in my travels works for Ikea.  They skied well, wore bright colours, rode expensive skis and spoke perfect English.

I left fulfilled.

I love Solitude.

*I believe that in lift attendant interviews, a person should be asked what music they will play at the base of the lift.  If they do not respond with one of, 'Bob Marley', or something along the lines of 'Mom-Jean Jams' (thank you Mt Norquay!) please don't hire them.


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  2. I need to share a follow-up to this post. Months after my dream-like experience at Solitude, a Powder to the People hoodie arrived for me in the mail. No return address..but I have a feeling it came from a guy with a 20-year old truck...