The winter festival at Bryce Canyon has become something of a tradition for us, and every year holds something new. We’ve seen both sunshine and a blizzard, gorgeous skiing and dry enough to hike. This year the weather forecast looked pretty bleak for a team of people hoping to got out on nordic skis. As we’d feared, the weather was…not very wintery.
Our drive up to the park was scrubby and dry. In the dark, we were spotting only tiny patches of snow on the south facing slopes of the canyon and wondering aloud whether there’d be any skiing at all. By daylight, we discovered a that the ski trails were sort of groomed, which after days of melty warm sun had frozen solid over night. Undeterred, we geared up, and hit the trails.
Colton and Miara accompanied us this year which meant that when Ben reached his impressive cruising speed, leaving me in the dust, I had some company on the trails as we poked along gliding and stumbling across the crusty snow.
We were all a little rusty, but Ben just about got his 180 spin down. Or not.
The skiing was somewhere between terrible and mediocre, softening more toward the latter as the day warmed. We got in a few hours of slow touring among the trees before the trails turned to complete slush and we headed indoors for the afternoon.
Next up: pottery! The class turned into sort of a crowded circus full of families with kids but once we had our little blocks of clay, we had a nice time sculpting them into bowls.
With soft clay bowls in hand, we headed out to the park to peer over the rim of the canyon as night fell. We never got the cotton candy pink skies we were hoping for but the beautiful canyon itself was beauty enough as we watched the day fade into the clouds.
Poor skiing notwithstanding, the views were worth the trip.