A Guide to Big Mountain Skiing by JacksonHogen and Guru Dave Powers
Snowbird Secrets: A Guide to Big Mountain Skiing is available for you to enjoy right now.
It was 40 Degrees on the peak as the first Tram docked for the morning session. I had dressed for the occasion, with just a light shell and driving with the top down right from the word GO!! Mineral Basin was offering fresh Groomers, with White Diamonds the featured new line for today. Here is a shot I took when I got to the bottom of the drop to chronicle the event. A quick Lewis and Clark lap was a treat with some nicely placed wind buff to top off the dream. On the front of the hill, a new and exciting drop had been nicely worked out on the Road to Provo, featuring some excellent wind buff deposited in the gut of this big vertical extravaganza. I had to make numerous takes there, before it got discovered, to get as much of the exquisite line that had not been done this season. What a nice touch for the day. Those High North wind lines were still to be had with not much traffic there to chop it up. That was a keeper all day long. With the super warm temps, the snow really began to deteriorate on the direct aspects, with Regulator getting down right pasty after Noon. The North exposures were still holding the cold, but all those shot that saw the Sun were taking it straight on. Tomorrow, look for some clouds and weather to have moved into the area. All those aspects that got soft today are going to be very crisp indeed. Remember your smooth lines from today, trust the Groomers to be consistent, and stay off those very gnarly lines that got cooked today. Here is a shot of Toad Hill framed by the Mineral Basin Express. I just had to take this one. Dress for weather. Speed Safely!!!
With an early first Tram departure the day was off to a great start. Mineral Basin was bathed in bright Sun, making the fresh corduroy fly by as there was nothing to slow the flow. Once again, there were clouds filling the lower Valleys, which always makes me feel like it is heaven. Here is a shot of Timp. to the South looking massive. What tectonic forces lifted that hill one can only wonder. Needless to say, it has been there for a very long time. On the front of the hill, cold dry chalk Groomers had been prepared, with a couple extra special first tills of the season to enjoy, as well as the stand by drops that were truly unbeatable. Regulator was offering great turns from the first bell, but it helped to let the Sun come up and shine some light on the situation. Off trail, there is still good snow to be found, especially on the aspects that see little Sun. The wind lines were also a nice feature if you took the time to traverse to access them. Tomorrow, look for more fast fun to be found on all sides of the hill. Those wind lines will still be holding up as they were not getting much attention and will remains buffed. Watch those South faces that saw the Sun as they will continue to be crunchy and difficult with not much in the way of softening. The conditions are really good even though it has been a while since we had some freshness, but look for the perfect lines where they live and it will be as good as any day for freshness. See you for the early morning fast fest. Stay Frosty!!!
I spent the entire day in the Twilight Zone as I rested up from last week’s full on shred fest. Up on the hill, the clouds had covered the Sun and the light was flat. Some fast moving flurries moved through from time to time. The early morning Groomers were the place to be, with the consistency factor making up for much of the loss of detail. Conditions remain the same as we saw all week, with that dry chalky feel on the North faces and that off trail rumble still wide spread off the beaten path. Tomorrow, look for the Sun to return as this cloud deck is predicted to move off and high pressure to move in again. The Groomers will be offering the smooth surfaces that will let you fly with unmitigated audacity. Look for the those early morning carpets bathed in the Sun out in Mineral Basin. Be sure, at some point, to visit the Forklift Chair where these friendly faces will greet you and get you energized for more dancing in the Vortex. I will be there dark and early for the festivities which will get me back on the pace after lollygagging on the couch trying to give the legs a rest. See you for the hard driving morning session. IBBY!!
It was a bit warmer, with a bit more wind this morning as the Sun popped out after a cloud deck had moved off for the first Tram session. Mineral Basin had had some exquisite lines of Grooming on tap that had been covered with some perfect wind deposited silk. I had to lap that bit of goodness until it was discovered by the faithful as they began to arrive. Some fast flurries moved in and out of the top of the mountain, but not before dropping a trace of Essence that decidedly made a difference in the feel. The Sun came back out again, but moved in and out all day as some clouds moved through. The front of the hill had some freshly tilled lines that were off the charts buffed with the wind that was working things out of the North. It is nice to get both the machine worked lines with the added goodness of some wind buffed dust. Nice touch. Fast laps were easy to make with no waiting for the lifts. Here is a shot of Trechzilla, who is our very own local Carvesaurus Rex, resting in his layer after leaving his lacerations on the fresh corduroy out in Mineral Basin. Be sure to keep you eyes sharp for your very own sighting of this MYTH. Tomorrow, look for some partly cloudy skies, moderate temps, excellent Grooming lines on all sides of the hill, and a bit more traffic than we have seen this week. The High North continues to provide some very nice wind lines, so look there for those more adventurous runs. With some wind overnight, be looking for some fresh new lines to appear. Keep an eye out for the tell tale signs of the smooth buffed. Here is a shot of some nice snow sculpting by nature, framing a still life of last Summer’s greenery. I will be taking tomorrow off to recoup for next week. This past week has been a big vertical party. Stay Frosty!!
It was slightly warmer this morning and the wind had backed off a bit. The Groomers were dry and chalky, especially on that early morning Mineral Basin presentation. I had to do a number of laps out there just to make sure. I did not dress warmer, but the added warmth of the Sun kept me right on the edge. The front of the hill was offering firm dry chalk that was a special treat on one day old line on lower Primrose Path, that had a bit of static to deal with, but offered smooth wind polished chalk lines that kept drawing me back for more. It makes you work for each turn, but that is what we came for is the rare lines that are a different form of perfect. Here is a random shot I took today that just seemed to have a far away feel. It is just one of those points of view you get when you just stop and look around. Tomorrow, look for another nice morning of hard driving lines on dry chalk and sweet corduroy. There has been some improvement in the wind lines out on some High North facing aspects that have some wind deposited dust covering them. You kind of have to link lines together, but it makes it much more interesting. Still, be watching those aspects that took a lot of Sun, as they will be crispy and demanding. There are many great lines to get without pushing the Gnar too hard. Traffic should still be light, so plenty of vertical is easy to accumulate on back to back Trams. See you for the high velocity fun fest in the AM. Speed Safely!!
This morning was clear and cold with a peak temp. of 9 Degrees and stiff wind blowing up slope. Mineral Basin was bathed in light, but the cold air and wind did little to warm the feel. The Groomers were very nice, but they are getting quite firm overall, with some of the rime layer beginning to show through. Even though that happened some time ago, the wind and ski traffic is beginning to work it’s way back down to that layer in select places, though there are some wind lines building here and there. Still, the pace is fast and fun with the front side of the hill still holding the cold as it has stayed out of the low angle Sun. Dry chalky lines can be found on the High North aspects, but a test traverse well into the far reaches of a West facing Lewis and Clark lap sent me traversing directly back to the Groomer to escape some treacherous breakable slab that has developed as the pack morphs. Interference patterns are building in the high traffic areas, with some sections offering some high amplitude. Here is a shot of a section that was being worked as I watched, thinking I was glad my knees did not have to deal with the vibrations. The lighting helps to define the intensity of this line. Adjacent to this line was a freshly buffed line of wind slab you could arc on with unbridled enthusiasm. Tomorrow, look for continued cold temps., so be sure to dress for the morning cold. I will be putting on my other coat as well as the insulated pants. You won’t recognize me. Freshly worked Groomers will be on tap, and you can bet on smooth consistency. Give Regulator a bit of time in the AM to soften and get worked a bit before hitting it. Look for those steep machine worked areas on the lower front of the hill for some more excellent big mountain smooth. For those who really love the interference patterns, there are plenty of lines to work all over the hill. For myself, I will be looking for the smooth and the steep for the fix I need. Here is a shot of Leopard Man sporting the most advanced development in Hydration Packs. He better hope it does not start flying when he is in motion. Fly fast Leopard Man, say hydrated. Peace Out!!
I had hoped to drive with the top down today, but it was surprisingly cold in the AM, and though it warmed up a bit in the afternoon, it remained cold all day. White Diamonds was given a fresh till as well as Lower Silver Dipper, making that lap one for the books. Perfectly carvacious corduroy was wall to wall and you could do no wrong. On the front of the hill, Anderson’s Hill and Lower Primrose Path once again was given the brush. That shot stayed great all day long and seemed to get better as the day progressed with dry dust filling the gut. Off trail, the worked sections are getting better with traffic, with the only exception being the really heavy traffic lines. Dry chalky consistency can be found on all High North aspects as well lower down on the hill as the temps have remained cooler than the Sun would indicate. Here is a shot I took on a Lewis and Clark lap. Check out how the clouds began to build in the afternoon. Timp. is a huge mountain and I would love to ski it some day. Just over the ridge in the fore ground is where they will be going next in the next few years. I can’t wait. Tomorrow, look for another day of really fast lines on the beautifully prepared Groomers. You can not argue with perfect. I have been working on layin’ it down like Ligety when I get to lay into the carpet. It is so much fun to feel the G’s. There are wind lines here and there from the past couple of days, so keep your eyes open for some of the off trail goods. It is Nature’s Grooming after all, and who can not like that. Don’t forget to SIZZLE!!
Variable visibility was the main issue today, however the Groomers were smooth and consistent, which was a bonus when you where guessing where the hill was going. Lower on the hill the visibility improved, but the flat light made the details hard to discern. The big steep Groomers on the Peruvian side of the hill kept the stoke going by providing wind buffed excellence. The Free Ride Comp was going off today with some very talented kids working the upper Silver Fox area. I did not venture into Mineral Basin today to avoid white out that was going on out there from time to time. I was concentrating of the smooth dry chalky lines I love. Some sunshine tried to make an appearance, but it seemed to close out with more fog. These conditions do help your inner sense of motion, which comes back to help when you can actually see. Here is another shot of that white wave from yesterday from a different angle. It is really throwing out, looking like a tow in type wave. Here is yet another perspective, which looks like you are paddling out and are caught inside the Impact Zone. Too late to duck dive this one, you will have to take it on the head!!Tomorrow, look for clearing weather, a bit of a dusting from the overnight precipitation, and excellent Groomers in which to place some serious lacerations. Off trail continues to be a bit rough, but there are still some soft snow lines to be found on the High North aspects. Mineral Basin will be great in the Morning if the visibility cooperates. There is very little traffic there for the first hour. See you for the first Tram and the fast fun. Ciao!!
It was a clear cold morning with bright sunshine and building wind to greet the fairly light turnout for the morning festivities. Mineral Basin was offering stellar Groomers that begged for deep carving turns top to bottom. Laps out on some Lewis and Clark lines kept the stoke high as there were very few folks making their way there. The front side of the hill offered the dry chalky lines on the big steep drops which were accented with dry dust covering the corduroy. The wind continued to build, which started to fill in the low spots in between the interference patterns, making them much more approachable. Traffic built up as the morning moved to Noon, but the lift capacity was keeping up with the demand. At the top of the Baldy Chair this beautiful throwing peak was captivating and I had to stop and get some shots of it. Tomorrow, look for more exceptional Groomers to be offering the goods, with the off trail still offering some soft snow in places that have not seen too much Sun. Be aware of those aspects that caught a lot of direct Sun as they will be crusty and difficult in the morning. Look to the High North for the dry chalk that is still holding tough. The upper section of Silver Fox is closed for an event, so that will be closed off, but the adjacent lines are still very nice indeed. Interference patterns continue to build in the very high traffic areas that do not get worked, but the cadence seems to be even and open in most cases. I expect it to be a bit brisk again, so dress for cooler temps. I was glad I had the extra gear on today, even though I wanted to drive with the top down. See you for the morning fun fest. Peace Out!!
Today dawned a sunny Saturday contrary to the weather dude’s forecast. That was a treat for those who made it up to the hill today. 2” of freshness graced the dance floor to freshen up the ride for the faithful who showed up for today’s festivities. The Groomers were offering the smoothest lines on the hill, but there were a couple of wind lines to be found on the High North. I was off the hill today to rest up for the coming week and get recharged. Here is a shot of the last light on Hell Gate as it fell one afternoon as I was leaving the hill. The light in the Canyon does some amazing things if you happen to be there for that perfect moment. Tomorrow, look for another day of great sliding on the hill, with stellar Groomers on all sides of the hill, and dry chalky lines on the front of the hill. Off trail is still very nice and worth the time to poke around to find what is going on, but there is that rumble that is wide spread, which will make you have to suck up the vibrations. Also be sure to check out those fresh steep Groomed runs that have been worked on the hill, as they are back country perfect. That steep dry chalk is hard to beat. I will be there for the opening bell, so see you then. Don’t forget to SIZZLE!!