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Weekly Newsletter: January 29th - February, 4th, 2024

  • Written by Keith Huster
  •  / 
  • 7 min read
  •  / 
  • Last updated 14 days ago

This week, Keith went on two long outdoor training rides and we finally got a bluebird powder day! 🥳 It was an interesting mix of warm weather and crazy snowstorms.

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Checking out local restaurants 🍣 🍜

This week, we checked out a couple of new (to us) local restaurants. First, had dinner at Mixturas in our hometown of Orem, UT. Mixturas serves "Peruvian Japanese Fusion Food" which sounds like an odd mix but, it works! We ordered a sampling of their various dishes, starting with the Chicken Otoshi Wrap appetizer and a Utah Maki sushi roll. These were both excellent starters.

For our main meal, Keith ordered the Fettuccini Saltado Mixturas and Lindsey had the Udon Soup. Both meals were delicious and each had a slightly smokey flavor which made them unique from similar dishes we have had at other restaurants. All in all, we left very full and completely satisfied.

We also decided to splurge this week and check out a local bakery/donut shop; Chubby Baker. The donuts were, of course, delicious! 😋 We ordered and split a Passionfruit Cream Cheese Donut and a Kit Kat Chocolate Donut. This was a great mix of decadent chocolate and refreshing fruit filling.

Passionfruit Cream Cheese Donut and Kit Kat Chocolate Donut from Chubby Baker
Passionfruit Cream Cheese Donut and Kit Kat Chocolate Donut from Chubby Baker
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Failed attempt to ski 👎 ❌

On Saturday morning, we woke up bright and early, packed up all of our ski gear, and headed towards Snowbird. We left at our usual time, around 7:00 AM MST, and were expecting a little more traffic than normal due to the recent snowstorm. However, upon approaching Little Cottonwood Canyon road, reality quickly set in as we realized that the crowds were MUCH larger than we had anticipated.

It took us nearly an hour to move about 1 mile in nearly stand-still traffic; and we weren't even to the actual canyon road yet. 😩 Eventually, after about 90 minutes, we started our way up the canyon road. About half-way up, we received a notification on the Snowbird app that all free and paid parking spots were full including all of the on-road parking. This wasn't good to hear considering their was literally 3-4 miles of other cars in front of ours. However, there really isn't a good place to turn around mid-mountain so we pushed on to the ski resort.

Upon reaching the resort, we saw a sea of vehicles everywhere we looked. People were parked everywhere, including areas that they were not supposed to park. We also saw several vehicles that had pulled too far off the road and were most likely going to be stuck in the snow, including a Jeep that was tilting precariously off the side of the road. Vehicles were also sliding all over the place due to the heavy road snow.

We looked everywhere that we could but we were unable to find a parking spot. So, we decided to call it and head back down the mountain. On our 7-mile trip back down, we saw a continuous line of vehicles still attempting to reach the resorts. We have never seen this amount of traffic in Little Cottonwood Canyon. It was definitely unexpected and hopefully not a new normal.

Bluebird powder day! ⛷️ 😎

Thankfully, Sunday was a completely different story. We decided to head out about 30 minutes earlier to try to avoid the traffic this time and it worked! We still hit a little slowdown at the mouth of the canyon but we had no issues finding parking once we reached the Snowbird parking areas.

The main Snowbird Center plaza is covered in a fresh coating of fluffy snow
The main Snowbird Center plaza is covered in a fresh coating of fluffy snow

Snowbird had received nearly 2 feet (0.6 meters) of snow in the last two days. Since then, the skies had cleared from the storms which meant that we had an official bluebird powder day! We started our day with a "tram lap" but soon found out that most of the resort area openings were delayed due to avalanche mitigation efforts. So, there was only one main run down from the top which also pushed all of the skiers and boarders to the Gad Valley area of the resort.

We are staging in the tram line at the Snowbird Center
We are staging in the tram line at the Snowbird Center

We made the best of the limited terrain by hitting some steep runs off the Gad 2 lift. We both took a lap down S.T.H. (Steeper Than Hell) and then Keith hit one of his favorite runs, an unnamed route directly under the Gad 2 lift.

We then made our way up to the Little Cloud lift when all of the sudden we found out that they had just opened the Mineral Basin area. Mineral Basin is the amazing, steep, backcountry-esque area of the resort and we were enroute to get some early tracks! It's not often that we get lucky enough to hit some fresh powder in Mineral Basin so we were both stoked to get over there.

The one downside to skiing in Mineral Basin is that there is only one way out of the area; the Mineral Basin lift. So many people wanted a taste of the fresh powder that it took us over an hour to finally reach the lift and make our way back to the frontside of the mountain.

On our way back to the car, Keith decided to check out Barry Barry Steep off the Cirque Traverse. This is a STEEP double-black diamond run. Unfortunately, Keith didn't capture any photos of this run but it was a great way to end the day. We did get a nice shot of the Snowbird tram and a Powderbird helicopter returning from a backcountry ski drop.

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Tour Divide training update 🚵‍♂️ 🌄

The weather early in the week was absolutely beautiful! Temperatures reached 60°F and the roads were nice and dry. So, Keith went on two, long outdoor Tour Divide training rides to take advantage of this weather window.

First he took his typical route from our home in Orem, UT to near the Point of the Mountain in Lehi, UT. This first route consisted of 52.75 miles (85 kilometers) of riding with 1,250 feet (381 meters) of elevation gain. Keith's second ride took him along the same route but this time he continued around the Point of the Mountain until he reached the Pluralsight building in Draper, UT. This second route consisted of 63.2 miles (101.7 kilometers) of riding with 1,555 feet (474 meters) of elevation gain.

All in all, Keith covered 116 miles (187 kilometers) with over 2,800 feet (853 meters) of climbing in a little over 8 hours of riding time.

Upcoming posts and videos 👷‍ 👷‍♀️️

We hope to have some new posts for you later this week. Keith is working on posts from our trip to Las Vegas so stay tuned for those. We have to balance the time spent writing content for this website with the rest of our life commitments (work, fitness, fun, etc.) so please bear with us as we work on these posts.

We hope that you are enjoying our newsletters. What do you think of Keith's Tour Divide training progress so far? Do you think that he is doing enough to prepare for the race or should he ramp it up at this point? Let us know in the comments section below.👇 💬

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