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6-26-13

Snowbird Secrets: A Guide to Big Mountain Skiing by Jackson Hogen and Guru Dave Powers
A Guide to Big Mountain Skiing by Jackson
Hogen and Guru Dave Powers


Snowbird Secrets: A Guide to Big Mountain Skiing is available for you to enjoy right now.


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STORM WIND

1-19-18

Pounding South storm winds were pumping hard this morning, placing the Tram on hold. The wind was blowing most of the loose granules off the slope and into the trees, with only the low hollows capturing some of the soft transported accumulation. I worked some of the tree lines to take advantage of the soft sections that were being caught by the shelter. Traffic was light and there were few takers for the morning session. This was the scene in the locker room when I logged in. This system seems to be gathering strength as the front approaches. Now, here at The Trailer, it is snowing hard and that translates to real action up on the hill. The hill is set up nicely for this installment, and we will see marked improvement in the access to the off trail lines that have been a bit dodgy. Tomorrow, look for a storm riding day, with temps. being significantly colder, so dress accordingly. I got away with a light shell for the morning session, but I will be dressing heavily going into these next few days. Stay with the fat guts for the most promising lines, and avoid those high spots that are still holding some of those features in relief. This is an exciting storm cycle that will put the hill in a whole new light wall to wall. Stick with the trees for the best visibility and enjoy the Essence. I will be taking the day off tomorrow, but I will post with input from my deep cover sources. Enjoy the goodness. IBBY!!

WARM DAY

1-18-18

If it is not going to snow, than it might as well Sun, and Sun it did for today’s festivities. The morning was warm, and I was able to drive around the hill with the top down. The Cat Crew did an over the top grooming job on all sides of the the hill, with a deep till that made all the prepared surfaces velvety and deluxe. Even long into the day the prepared lines were holding the goods, with Regulator getting soft and sweet in the 2PM window. After a couple of Lewis and Clark laps, I moved the focus to the Peruvian Gulch where it was brightening with the reflected light from Superior across the Canyon. It was great to get the fine detail that is lacking in flat light. I found all the smooth lines remained consistent all day long, and Big Emma was offering the smooth dust later as well. Here is a shot of an lovely Australian lady, who is an avid reader of the site. It was her first Tram and she was stoked to be getting on the first car of the day. It is so much fun to meet the folks, who come from all over the world that read the site. Tomorrow, look for that predicted weather to begin moving in. I expect South winds, which did not materialize today. There could be cloud cover that will be making the visibility flat and variable. We will have to see how it shakes out, but the precipitation is going to be moving in late in the day. I still will be dressing for warm conditions. Look for great Machine Worked runs on all sides of the hill, which will be offering the consistency that will make the flat light much more manageable. See you there for the morning vertical session. Syrup Won’t Stop ‘EM!!

ANOTHER BEAUTY

1-17-18

I was another beautiful day as the day dawned cool and clear with the Sun warming the air rapidly. Mineral Basin was offering smooth Groomers top to bottom, and the off trail was becoming increasingly variable as the Sun works the pack. The High North aspects were still holding the softest snow and more terrain opened to access the softness on numerous fronts on the hill. Access to some traverses is difficult at best and I was turned back from one approach as I did not want to trash a new pair of skis. On the front of the hill, smooth vacant lines were served up on the Peruvian side of the hill, with sections of Gun Powder to sample under and beyond the Guns. Again, I lapped the Peruvian side of the hill without encountering one person top to bottom. Traffic was so light that Jeff was able to stretch out and take advantage of the luxurious spacious Tram. The day warmed up nicely and I was able to drive around all afternoon with the top down. Tomorrow, look for some clouds to be moving in ahead of the next system that is slowly moving East. Forecasts look encouraging for some good accumulation in the days ahead. Use this time now to be checking out all the features that will be getting covered with the new snow. Look at those high spots, shrubberies, reefs and snags to have them in the back of your mind moving ahead. It should be another warm day, with stout South winds pushing out head of the Front. They had this very cool cat parked on the peak, so I took this shot of the newest thing in Grooming. The hill will be offering more great machine worked lines on all sides of the hill, and I expect traffic to continue to be light. Speed safely!!

WIDE OPEN

1-16-18

With amazingly low traffic, today was wide open on the hill. The morning was warm, sunny, and that weather looks like it will hold off another day yet. Mineral Basin was offering some very nice quality machine work, with Powder Paradise open and smooth top to bottom on the prepared line. Off trail there was some variable sections, and I was able to check out some nice lines that I have been only looking at up till now. I moved over to the Peruvian side of the hill, finding solitary lines that felt smooth and velvety, especially under the Guns that were pumping out the dust. I was able to dig in deep on those special deposits, go back and do it all over again, as there was just no one there. After Noon, I went over and looked a bit more closely at Lewis and Clark to get a better sense of where the features were for later reference. Here is a shot of the Bird Feeder that keeps those beautiful high mountain birds happy with plenty of seeds. Tomorrow, look for another day of Sun on the hill as the next weather system continues to gather in the West. Amazing machine worked lines will be offering velvet lines on all sides of the hill. I expect traffic to be very light once again, and it will be fun to take advantage of the private resort feel. Those Mineral Basin lines will be offering the Sunshine lines with Lewis and Clark offering great terrain variations top to bottom, keeping the interest level high. See you there for the ground pounding fun. Lay It Over Like Ligety!!

MINERAL BASIN

1-15-18

It was a perfect morning for Mineral Basin to open for the season. The Sun was bright, the temps were balmy and most of the available terrain offered some very nice turning after so many days waiting for the goods. I opted to start with a tour of The Lewis and Clark area, which offered low traffic, empty lines of variable cushion, and very good cover over most of the area. There were sections that were obviously thin, which were given away by some grass stalks sticking up through the pack. I was staying with the fat guts, that offered very solid cover with the best consistency, as they seemed to have dodged the wind. I kept going back to the same lines time after time, while the crowd was working the area off the Path to Paradise. With the Basin open, traffic on the Tram really fell off, making back to back laps fun and fast, with both sides of the hill offering great Groomers that had sweet corduroy to dial in. Interestingly, as traffic worked the lines, the shaved off dust seemed to pile up becoming delightful deposits of goodness even later in the day. That was a bonus for sure. Here is a shot of 4 key people that make the Summit the amazing place that it is. On the left is Tina, who leads the Ski Patrol keeping the hill safe and ready for fun. George is the Executive Chef who makes the cuisine so memorable. Elizabeth serves up the best Pizza, that is worth the trip to the peak just to get, and Mark, who it the manager of the Summit. It takes a great team to keep all the plates spinning and they do such a great job. Tomorrow, look for more great lines to be available out in Mineral Basin, with the Groomers dry, chalky, and smooth. The off trail got a bit chopped up today, but I think it will still be offering soft lines especially after the variations got chopped up by the traffic. The front side of the hill will be offering good lines as well, but the Sun out in the Basin will be hard to beat for the morning session. Here is a parting shot of the Hillary Step area still waiting in the wings. There may be some hints of changes in the weather as the High Pressure begins to move off to the East. Don’t forget to SIZZLE!!

CORDUROY GOODNESS

1-14-18

Corduroy goodness was the highlight of today’s offerings, as the Cat Crew prepared some nice lines of hydrovelvet. The dry chalky feel reminded me of some of the back country wind slab of yesteryear. With the snow guns blazing all night long, and the still air, there were some amazing stretches of delightful dust that made those prepared lines just off the chart buffed. I slowed down in those sections to extract as much juice as I could from each turn. When the Sun rose up over the ridge, Regulator offered those dry chalky lines that seemed to get better as the shaved dust of the traffic built up on the steep section. Again, there were amazing offerings on both sides of the hill. There are quality lines on some of the off trail offerings, but access is dodgy and interesting. I am still holding off those entrances till we get more snow since I broke out my new Dynastar Legend 96’s. Here is a shot I took of the Tram and the Tram cables glowing as it came up on Tower 4. Tomorrow, look for more great morning laps on carpets of velvet. I think the guns may be working again with the cold night, so I expect some additional Gun Powder lines to be there for the early risers. Traffic should be light even though the Holiday is here, as the line was very fast moving this morning. I will be looking for additional access that, perhaps, might be in the offing, but I am not holding my breath. With smooth lines and low morning traffic, it will be fun to get a jump start on the week. It looks like there may be a bit of weather coming during the week, so we can look forward to some more soft snow. Straight Ahead!

SUNNY & BRIGHT

1-13-18

There were some interesting lenticular formations over the mountains this morning with the Sun shining brightly. The day warmed up quickly, becoming well above average, so one could slide with the top down. The soft snow was a welcome addition, and it added a real feel of velvet to the machine worked lines. After all the welcome weather of the past few days, it was nice to see the Sun and get a closer look at what is going on off trail. I was not on the hill today, and with the season beginning as it has, I have been reflecting on my first season ’76-’77 ” Year of the Drought. This season, sparse as it has been, is worlds better on this date today as it was during that year. I offer this vintage shot from that year of Team SIZZLE on the peak. Top, from left to right, Chuck ” The Wiley One” Wiley, Dan “The Man” Knoop, Kurt Kruetzberg, Mat” The Splat” Peltier, Me, George “Cool Whip” Laurent and Gerry Burke. Down in front from the left is Chuck “Gramps” Graham, and Mark “Jonsey” Jones. Yes, that is the legendary Cool Whip of the Cool Whip Traverse fame. He was a very fit guy and could do non stops, top to bottom, the hard way, all day long. That traverse was a favorite line for him and it was George that would cut it whenever he got the chance. Good times, and Team SIZZLE is still alive, well, and working the hill daily, though the team is much expanded including everyone these days. Nice to have the world on board. Tomorrow, look for more High Pressure warmth and Sunshine. Groomers should be excellent once again. Be looking closely at those off trail lines for rising features as the traffic works the hill. See you all there dark and early for another SIZZLING day!!. Stay Frosty!!

WIND WORKING

1-12-18

The wind was working the hill wall to wall this morning, but it was massaging the pack instead of stripping it off. Though there was an early push for the Tram, the line went away as soon as the faithful got spread out on the hill. I was looking for the lines a bit outside the obvious and found a few spots that offered sweetness that is as good as it gets. I also went well off trail and looked around, finding some fun lines, but real care was needed on some of the traverses that are still very thin and have some features that can stop one cold if not anticipated. A word to the wise!!. As the wind kept working the pack, there were free refills that kept getting better each time I went back for more. The Groomers were offering very nice consistency, with that light wind transported dust adding a perfectly non machine worked feel. Think perfect wind buffed slab!! Here is a shot of Chris Thiel taken in the far distant past -Circa 1978 out on Restaurant Roll. The years come and go and there is much to come this season. Looking back at those early years brings back the memories, and more of the same great memories are being made every day. Tomorrow, look for more great Grooming on both sides of the hill. Look for some of those wind lines early for the smooth buff. Traffic will be a bit more brisk, but I expect smooth flow. Check out some of those off trail lines, but use your Spidey sense as you tread lightly. I will be taking the day off, so enjoy the fresh cover. IBBY!!

VARIABLE VISIBILITY

1-11-18

A lot of wind overnight changed the complexion of the hill wall to wall. The West aspects got stripped off a bit, leaving those fat lines of yesterday a bit thin going into the day. There was still plenty of traction and the wind did provide some smoothing, but those ripping into the fat lines from yesterday were caught dealing with some tight lines today. When the Peruvian side of the hill opened after Noon, the pack was fairly wind affected, however, the turns seemed to be fairly easy to work. I thought they would have been grabby, but most of the off trail was good and much of the gnar had been covered. I ventured off the beaten path, looking around for beta, and was pleasantly surprised by how much improved the conditions were from just a few days ago. Here is a shot of The Powder Hound, who flew in just ahead of the storm and was stoked to be getting the goods today. Early in the morning, the visibility was quite variable as clouds moved through the higher elevations, but the smooth surfaces helped mitigate the issue for the most part. Sun did manage to make some breakthroughs, shedding some nice Sun light on the dance floor. I met The South Florida Deep Powder Snow Blowers, who were here for the first time and excited to encounter the hill. I know they had maximum fun as I ran into them later in the day and they were all very stoked. Nice!! I so enjoy meeting folks who are new the the area and see how excited they are to meet the hill. Tomorrow, look for great grooming to be offered on both sides of the hill. The new product will be tilled into the mat, making for some exquisite corduroy. The off trail will still be offering soft snow, however, expect the interference patterns to rebuild quickly. I will be dressing for a moderated temps. and medium winds. Here is a parting shot of the Bingham Mine across the Valley with the snow highlighting the grade variants. It is nice to see the air so clear. See you there for the morning corduroy extravaganza. Peace OUT!

SPACKLE COAT

1-10-18

It was raining hard here at The Trailer as I left for the hill and the rain did not turn to snow until the 7000′ level. With high winds and dumping snow at the base it was a good sign to start the day. The Faithful were in full attendance in anticipation or the fresh goods. The new snow was very dense, but cold, making this installment a perfect Spackle layer to fill in all the low spots covering much of the extraneous features that have been lurking. The wind was nuking top to bottom, and the higher elevations were getting blown smooth to a wind buffed perfection. It was a real treat to be able to dial in a righteous turn with solid traction and power to burn. As the pack got worked over lower on the hill, the harbor chop began to build, but a slow, round approach mitigated the variations nicely. This was the perfect accumulation to really get the pack going in the right direction. Here is a shot of Joddy from Cape Cod who is here for his 15th season. We were both stoked to have got the day stowed away and were enjoying the moments of deceleration. Tomorrow, look for a cold windy day. We can look forward to the opening of areas that were closed today. Look for those Northeast aspects to have accumulated a lot of the snow that blew in all day today. All those interference patterns should be well covered, and the hard pack surfaces should be just a footnote on the season now. Look for those smoothed wind lines that should be easy to find and there may be some additional accumulation tonight. See you there for the morning offerings. As Joe Man The Snow Man says,”Don’t skip on the groove sauce”!!