Exploring the world one word…and one mile…at a time

Business Trip or Business Adventure?

Alta adventures, clockwise from top left: J on the slopes; passing through avalanche gates; summit selfie; M sliding to a stop; cool cloud inversion in the canyon; and handy RFID lift tickets.

Alta Adventures (clockwise from top left): J on the slopes; passing through avalanche gates; summit selfie; M sliding to a stop; a cool cloud inversion in the canyon; and handy RFID lift tickets.

Returning to traditional employment after two and a half years of self-employment and creative sabbatical wasn’t an easy decision, but it was the right one. Believe it or not, despite picking up a challenging job at a new company managing a team of more than 80 employees, I’m sleeping better, I have less anxiety, I’m producing more creatively, and I’m generally happier. That said, I didn’t want to make the change from total time freedom to working on someone else’s schedule without holding on to some of the adventure that came along with the road trips and European tours of these past few years.

After a few weeks of exploring the Sonoran Desert, business took me to Provo, Utah, and I decided to take the adventure (and my lovely wife, J) with me. After a long week of multi-state travel and 10-hour days working through the busy start of the new year, J joined me in Provo so we could venture up into the canyons and mountains of Utah for a little bit of skiing. Despite having grown up skiing in New Hampshire and Maine, neither of us had hit the slopes in the west before. We’d heard a lot about the elevation, powder and terrain of the ski resorts in states like Colorado and Utah, but until today we had never experienced them.

There are multiple world-class resorts in this area, including Park City, but we chose a small resort called Alta (on Mt. Baldy) because it wasn’t too far from Provo, was reported to have the best snow and was known as a traditional ski resort (i.e., no snowboarding allowed). We’d heard that Alta was a bit more challenging than other area mountains and that their “greens” (beginner trails) were more like other resorts’ “blues” (intermediate trails), their “blues” more like “blacks” (difficult trails) and so on. We were confident we could handle the mountain, but we weren’t really sure what to expect.

The mountains within the Wasatch National Forest, including Mt. Baldy, are immense. The trails indeed were steep and covered with fresh powder, and despite the low cloud cover and persistent snow, we had a great day exploring the peaks of Alta and Little Cottonwood Canyon. For us, the biggest differences between skiing in Utah and skiing in the east were the wide open summits and the altitude. Our ears popped as we rode the chairlift, and we crested 10,500 feet at the top of the Sugarloaf quad, which made for a slightly more challenging descent to the bottom. (For reference, the base lodges and parking areas are at about 8,500 feet.) We refueled with hot chocolate halfway up the mountain and rode the lift into the thin summit air several more times before returning to Provo to take on the week. My business trip…and the adventure…continues! -M.

4 responses

  1. Brenda Elwell

    Love this story. So happy that both of you are happy.

    January 12, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    • Thanks! The time off gave us good perspective and is helping us stay more balanced now. Plus, there is so much to explore out here, it’s hard to sit around and do nothing. 🙂

      January 12, 2015 at 12:30 pm

      • Auntie Mo

        You guys Rock where ever to go!…..enjoy your continued adventures…..

        January 12, 2015 at 5:05 pm

  2. Dad

    When i skied Vail years ago the powder skiing was sensational. Now you guys know the feeling too…. i am sure you will do it again before your winter is over. Great story M!

    January 12, 2015 at 12:54 pm

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