Brighton Mountain Resort Opening Day!!!!
by Dave Wall
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6:30 am - My alarm is going off, but I am sleeping though it. 6:45am and my alarm is still going off. 7:15am and I wake up and think to myself, "Oh $%?#!"
Things are a bit hazy. I am struggling this morning due to the sick "kick off to the season" party we had last night. But I am a trooper and am up and going right away. I am late, so that means no shower. I go directly to the gear check:
-Boards: 163 M3 and a Saloman David Benedict with tech nine bindings (good for pre-season riding)
-Ride, Dakine, Converse soft gear
-Protec Spine protector
-Rio Cali MP3 loaded with sick tunes
I've got snacks, my camera, a lunch, Aspirin, and of course a Rockstar energy drink.
I am all geared up and ready for the day. I will be riding solo today, seems none of my friends could get the day off work. It's all right though; it gives me some time to get my pre-season kinks out of my ride. It's Brighton Mountain Resorts Opening day ,October 17, 2005. Brighton is located in Big Cottonwood Canyon not far from Salt Lake City, Utah.
8:15am and I'm cruising up to the canyon in my 1993 Subaru Justy its got a whopping 3 cylinder! HE HE, this is my beat up car that I love to death. Haven't quit given it a name yet, but I am kind of leaning toward Sweet Lou because he's a pip! I hope he gets me up there on less than a quarter tank. No time to fuel up!
CRAP! I have to pick up my friends Rocky and his friend are thumbing rides at the mouth and I can't pass them up. I hope I don't run out of gas, I'm crossing my fingers!
So we are bumping to Atmosphere. He is a way sick underground, well wait- kind of underground rapper. Not like anyone else though. His rhymes are off the CHAIN! Check him out if you get a chance.
Now we are about half way up the canyon There is not as much snow as I think there should be. There is maybe only three to four inches. Hmm. . . I'm am wondering how Brighton's snow is?
8:52am- FINALLY!!! I can see Brighton! Just made it to the parking lot, there are a lot of cars here which probably means the lines are going to be long :(.
Alright, here is the resort from what I can tell right now- Its cold up here. I would guess about eighteen or nineteen degrees. Decent snow around; the parking lot has a good two-inch pack on top of it so you know the sun hasn't been melting much lately. There is no wind but it's cloudy. We have good visibility, but looks like it could potentially be stormy later. Milicent looks decent. I can still see a lot of rocks showing through the snow. I think we are going to have to wait a couple of storms for that side of the mountain (this picture is right after I got there, you can see Mili's face right behind me). Great western peak doesn't look its best either, but I have some faith that a storm or two will fix that one as well. I can see a couple of snowmakers blowing. From what I have heard, they have been blowing for a couple of weeks so I think the runs will be decent.
9:05am- I am ready to roll! We are cruising up to Crest Express, oooh mad line and they are not letting people on yet. What do you know, these are the same lifties as last year. I love these guys. From what they said, the lifts will not be opening until twelve or so and the only things open today are Crest, Majestic and Explorer. No explanation on why, but whatever, I'll just hit Majestic. If you were not around last year, you have not seen the new lift they stuck in. It's a little bigger than Crest's quad seats so you don't have to crunch up as much. Good move on that one Brighton!
The snow looks GREAT! There are not nearly as many rocks sticking up as I thought. Some of the kids I am riding up with work here and they said that Brighton got two feet in the last storm. (Three days or so ago) Everywhere else, even Snowbird, only got about a foot. We are coming up on the park. I forgot the name of it, but it's the one right under the Majestic lift. Wow, the first thing I can see is a sick monstrosity of a box, this is definitely new. Looks like it's a Red Bull creation. The riders seem to be loving it. I am seeing some lip slide to air to 270-tail slide. That kid is good! Just up from that we have a 30-footer Brighton box. Kids are buttering that all up too. Already I am way stoked for the day, I can feel it's going to be good.
Now I'm coming up on the pipe. There's not much here yet, but they have a blower going so it should be built up soon. The fresh blown snow is quite hard so riders are riding up on this ice whale and doing some buttery nose press 360's and such. I am speechless. Right below me is like a 6 foot C box/wall ride. It's not set up yet but already I know that this is going to be a fun one. There is tons of new stuff up here! 25x2.5 foot box, a huge probably 15x10 box raised 6 feet with a handrail on the side that is probably 10 feet from the ground! And that's just to name a few of Brighton's new park additions.
I can still see rocks where they usually put the "Bertha" jump. The face coming off Majestic looks sweet! There is about 7 or so inches of powder. Not too many tracks yet. If I didn't care about my board then I'd hit it.
Sweet! First run of the season! I am jonesin' so hard it's ridiculous. My hands are shaking from anticipation. The snow is softer than I had expected. It makes that crunchy sound that good snow makes and it isn't packing too well. Perfect. I have to just stand here for a moment to enjoy the view, the feeling, the mountains, my music; I have to say a little something to the power that makes all this possible. I would say I gave a good prayer for this first day of the season.
Oh my God, its on, I am flying down toward Crest, the snow is sooooo fast and I have a freshly waxed board. As I am cutting my turns the sun engulfs the mountain. It looks like its starting to clear up. I love cruising the flat parts toward the end of Crest and Majestic, just making some way fast smooth turns taking up the whole run. Yeah, I have the biggest smile on my face. Sooo happy! I'm back to the lift and back to waiting in line again. The lines are not to bad though, maybe five to ten minutes max. For just having one lift open that isn't bad. Everyone is friendly and in high spirits. I think we are all on the same level: Happy.
The runs are just a blur; I am just doing the "speed daemon" thing right now and just can't get enough of it. The sun is out and the snow is getting really nice. On the way up we are just socializing. I met this way cool guy that was maybe 42 ish. He is up here with his whole family; he even let his kids skip school for the day. That is way cool. He also said he was going to go golfing just because he wanted to get them both in on the same day if he could.
Its like 10:30 now and I just ran into my friend Tim. He is a really good rider and I think I am going to get him to bust it up on the rails for ya'll! Tim's a Brighton rider, we take runs every season, and so you get to see a little Brighton talent. Check out the season style; it is definitely getting steezy! There's tons of matching gear. Plaid is definitely in. Style seems to be way more important than it was last year. Tim has the matching snow camo-gear on. It looks sick.
11:45am- I'm just chilling out now taking pictures and enjoying everything. It is starting to get a little cold though. The sun is playing hide and go seek in the clouds, so we are not seeing it as much now. Tim is taking a break. I should to, I am way thirsty but the ride has me hooked right now. I am just taking some runs with these kids I met by the Red Bull rail, they are cool to chill with.
Crap, Crest is going to open soon. I got to go gas up. I get my snacks, drink a little Rockstar and get hydrated. Crest looks like it's only been open for a few minutes so I am not behind at all. Oh yeah, I am so stoked. This is the run I know by heart. I could seriously ride it with my eyes closed. Basically, all the night boarding I did on this run taught me everything I know. It has a place in my ride for sure.
I have a good view of The Rock Gardens from here. It looks a little bare, but you could probably go back there and scope out your season "must do's" next storm or two. I love that place.
We are coming up on craze cliff, (the one right under the lift almost to the top). It looks so gnarly without snow. Check it out. Oh, I am having so much fun.
So we are unloading. Crap, I am, ahhh. We eat it! Funny stuff. The kid next to me kind of cut in on me really bad and we somehow hooked snowboards. That is the first time I have eaten it off the lift since my first year. I am still laughing. :)
So now I have to do my traditional SPEED RUN! My first year I always had to do a speed run on the first run of the day. Now it's the first of the season run, so I am going to haul ass. Oh my god, I am almost out of control on my 163. This is a big stick and with a fresh wax it is so fast! I'm dodging people right and left as I cut down off the Snow Drift run. I should have cut this a little slower though. I realize they have been blowing snow right here so I have ICE and I am going way too fast. Bouncing over some of the ice humps, I cut over toward the trees to get some snow with grip. It is really intense, I am not sure if I can make it with out a crash. I manage it, barely. I am sure it looks something like the ice scene on Bambie except I'm doing like 50 miles per hour. I am sure it was funny for who ever saw it. Ok, so maybe I should be a little more careful.
Next run I am going right off Thunder Road. My-o-my, the park is closed off. It looks like there is some stuff down there though. It will probably be open soon. There is a little powder to hit in the bottom of the bowl. Pretty good too. I am not hitting any rocks. The snow seems to be a little better with these trees around. The run has little jumps and cool obstacles on the side people built. They are really cool to hit. I am surprised that ski patrol has not taken some of them down. I'm cruising down into the open. There is a little three foot kicker. I was feeling it so I spun a little 360 on it. It was fun.
2:00 pm and the runs are just flying past me, I think I need to slow down a little and enjoy the scenery. It is so beautiful up here and I am so concentrated on going as fast as I can and playing on the obstacles that I don't even notice. I'm just taking this one slow, soaking it all in. I'll tell you man, this is soul therapy. I can't think of anything better than a smooth tour though these mountains the way you can on a board. I mean, really, it's unexplainable to someone who has never known the feeling. It is what keeps us coming back.
3:00 pm- I am so beat, my legs are burning. I can tell I will not be able to walk tomorrow. It's always those first days that get you. You're so excited to get out there but your body isn't quite used to what your about to put it through. So yeah, I am just starting to feel the effects. On top of that, I am starving. I just realized I haven't had any lunch yet. But whatever, I only have an hour of riding left. I can't quit now.
4 runs later- It's last run. Wow, it has been a killer day. Everything is winding down. The sun is starting to hide behind the mountain and everyone has a big smile on their faces. I have to turn off my music. I want to just soak up the last of the day, reminisce on the events and the excellent experience. Yea I was gooood stuff..
I'm at the bottom. People are walking back to their cars like zombies.
Some are limping, some dragging their boards, and some even bloody. We all definitely rode hard that day, I had a 9:00-4:00 and I rode my ass off.
Oh yeah, this feels so good. Pulling my boots and shoulder brace off after a 7-hour day. It's next to the best thing I have ever felt. I do ride my board harder than any one else, anyone else's board, I mean. You know how good riding hard can make your whole day better.
A friend of mine's car was right by mine, so we're just chillin' for a bit ; swapping some good stories from the day. There are so many I had to cut them short because I have a story to write for SkiBumNews.com. They give me a Brighton pass for sharing my sick day with all the riders on the Internet. I think it's the best tradeoff ever.
On the drive home I don't even put on music. My mind is silent. I am happy, and I know I will sleep like a baby tonight.
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