Sunday, April 8, 2018

Return to Eagle Point

 We had so much fun on our first 2018 excursion to Eagle Point Ski Resort near Beaver, Utah, that we decided to go again. The weather called for more snow. That made me excited to hit the slopes, but worried about road conditions. After the treacherous road conditions on Highway 153 up Beaver Canyon on our first trip, and talking to others who were also really bothered by it, I sent an email to the Beaver County Commissioners notifying them of the problem. I received a response that they were looking into it and contacting the proper authorities.

So I was hoping that was all in place when we woke up the next morning and we had fresh snow! We had a leisurely morning with more swimming in the hotel pool (the kids love to swim!) and started out about 9:15 a.m. to give the plows a little more time. We saw a plow coming our direction by the golf course. 

But as we started up the canyon, we found that it had not been recently plowed. We passed the chain up area, but the lights were not blinking next to the sign that said When Flashing, Four Wheel Drive or Chains Required. The snow wasn't particularly deep, so I wasn't too concerned. Then we got to a corner that had an icy spot and we started careening towards the 15-foot dropoff that fell into the icy creek. While the kids were screaming in the back seat, I turned the steering wheel sharply to avoid the terrifying situation. Praise the Lord, we eventually found traction. Then our truck started sliding towards the 30-foot tall jagged cliff on the other side of the road. Fortunately we managed to avoid it. 

A bit further on, we found a car stopped in the middle of the road, the driver out with chains in his hands. If he had known that chains were required, he wouldn't have had to stop in such a precarious place.

Later I talked to my grown nephew who had gone up to Eagle Point with a friend that day, and he said he had hit an icy spot and nearly slid into the guard rail.

It wasn't safe to turn around, so we kept going up. Fortunately we made it, and the snow was fantastic. Fresh powder on top of other new snow, so we could ski in the woods and not worry about tripping over downed trees. It only took till mid-March! Desert Boy was delighted to be back with his instructor from his first lesson. Meanwhile, Desert Girl and I hit the slopes. And when we went over to the big mountain, the first run she wanted to do was the black diamond she had done before. I told her to make sure she waited for me (I wasn't kidding!). She did awesome. I figured we could probably go about anywhere on the mountain as long as we took breaks. So when we got off the lift the next time, we took a right and headed into country we had never seen before.

This involved finding a tow lift with a frisbee-like disk that you don't sit on, but it goes between your legs and you hold on to a pole and go up the hill. Desert Girl found it really hard to get on. She crashed about five times. But after watching some other people do it, she finally made it. We had a fun run and then she wanted to go back and do it all over again. Way to go, girl!

When we caught up to Desert Boy in the afternoon, he had improved a lot.

It was fun watching him rip the slopes. We found his older cousin who rode with him and made the snowboarding look easy.

We tried some selfies on the lift.

I was in the middle and couldn't get us all at the same time.

On the way back down, the road was much better (but still not plowed a full two lanes wide). I wrote again to the Beaver county commissioners but heard nothing back. I also wrote to the regional UDOT supervisor, and he wrote back that they were looking into conditions. I sure hope they can make some improvements!

Eagle Point had a really crummy winter season, open just 27 days. How can it go on? They posted a letter on their website and Facebook page that said they will indeed be open next year. They'll even have some snow making equipment. So hopefully the highway will be in better shape, because it sounds like Eagle Point will be an even more popular winter destination!

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