This morning at Brighton would have been amazing had I only made it up Big Cottonwood Canyon before it closed at 8:15 AM. Here's the first text sent by the Sheriff's Department at 6:30 AM:
Both BCC & LCC will be closed this morning for avalanche control.
Given that Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC) has been closed since Tuesday night, I interpreted this message to mean that both canyons were closed. Previously I had planned to meet a friend at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon (BCC) at 8 AM to carpool up. I forwarded the above text to him and assumed I would stay at the house a bit longer before driving up. At 8:06 AM I received the following text from the Sheriff's Department:
Big Cottonwood will close at 8:15 AM - 9:00 AM for avalanche control
I panicked, quickly packed the car, and took off without eating breakfast to try and get up the canyon before 8:15 AM. Unfortunately I reached the canyon at 8:20 AM which, after hearing on KSL that BCC would close at 8:30 AM, I thought would still be ok. As is often the case, however, the news report was incorrect and the canyon had closed on schedule. I didn't realize this until I came to a stop 3 minutes later. So, for nearly an hour, I sat in my parked car (turned off mind you, unlike many others who kept theirs idling the entire time) thinking of the powder turns I was missing in the Milly Bowl (which never opened yesterday). Not helping my mood were the following texts my friend (who had, when he received my first text about the canyon's being closed, immediately driven up BCC since it was still open at that point) sent:
I got up early, I was going to wait for you but not if it's closing
I'm going to be first in line today
The latest says they are closing bcc from 8:15 to 9:00 so you can still make it up if you hurry
Me: Son of a $!&. I'm screwed
Sorry man, I'm already in the parking lot
Me: I'm stuck in the canyon. Save some pow for me!
I pulled into the Brighton parking lot at 9:31 AM. Looking up at Milly Bowl I could see a lot of tracks, but still plenty of fresh. The session was good, but I had a tough time enjoying it as I knew I'd missed out. Listening to my friend talk about how the first 5 runs were some of the best in his life each time up the chair didn't help my mood. Even now, at 6 PM, I'm still bitter about getting caught by the closure. At least now I'll know better for the future.
Happy 50th day on skis this season to me!
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