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.
The storm system has moved East, leaving only the clouds in the far distance as it moves off. A cool morning to start the day, with great Groomers offering the goods. Mineral Basin, as usual was calling for the morning session, and the Lewis and Clark lines were vacant and rippable. On the front of the hill, the North facing aspects were offering very nice off trail lines, which have been refreshed by the last installment. The Sun was certainly going to be working the exposed aspects and that needs to be factored in to line choices as we go forward. Coverage has been much improved, but those old exposed sections still are lurking, so aim for the fat lines and avoid the high points on the hill. With the Spring days coming back for the next couple of days, I thought I would offer this shot of the Wild Flowers out in Mineral Basin that Jones Malone took last Summer during the peak of the bloom. Tomorrow promises to be another sunny day, so look for the Groomers to get the ball rolling, but forays off trail in search of softness will be rewarded in places. I will have to get a personal look at them and will make a more detailed report for the tomorrow’s post. It looks like some more weather will be developing during the middle of the week, so we may get a bit more. We shall see. See you for the morning laps and ground pounding fun. I hope to be able to drive with the top down. I have not been able to do that for some time now. Straight Ahead!!
The wind was still blowing out of the East and clouds clung to the peak as the first Tram docked this morning. The temps. were still quite cold and, with the stiff wind, I was glad that I dressed for the weather. The Groomers were offering the smooth velvet feel, though the visibility made it a bit tough to see the details. I accidentally drove off the prepared lines and it nearly knocked me over. The off trail was a bit variable, depending on aspect, with the High North offering the best consistency, and when the Sunday Cliffs opened, there was a whole new area to mine. The traffic was back to normal after the past couple of days of heavy pressure, and that opened up the hill and reduced the congestion of some of the choke points. There were a couple of spots that revealed the old layer after having been stripped off by the wind, but it was easy to see the color variance that indicated it’s presence. The wind had not yet begun to build the threads of wind lines, however that feature might show up tomorrow. Here is a shot of three of my dearest friends who have walked the path with me all these years. I have not seen them in some time and it was such a treat to be surrounded by their bright energy. Thanks for sharing the ride ladies!!! Tomorrow, look for improving weather, plenty of left over soft lines all over the hill, and beautifully prepared Groomers to get the day started with high energy ripping. The off trail will still be good to go, and you will find fairly smooth lines all over the hill. Be aware of those crusty spots that have been stripped off by the wind, but as previously noted, they are easy to spot. They are very greasy, so cross them with caution. I will be taking the day off to get ready for next weeks festivities. There will be music on the Plaza, so stay for the fun. Ciao!!
A pounding East wind was the main feature of the day, as the last system moved off to the East, leaving in it’s wake a festival of goodness. One of the largest turnouts of the Faithful I have ever seen showed up for the day’s promise. Once again, the energy was dripping in the bull pen and the stoke factor felt like electricity. Here is a shot of Stevo and Scotty sharing tales of Powder. With the high winds, the snow quality was affected, especially on the East facing aspects, but most lines were still offering cold dry lines, with only some areas stripped off revealing that old crusty layer. The Peruvian Chair was fired up again to help with the demand for the goods, and after the Mineral Basin opened up the pressure moved to that back bowl where the wind had worked the pack. Here is a shot of the Little Cloud Bowl still waiting for the rope drop. I hit the Forklift Chair for the daily breakfast tradition, where we all compared notes on our runs and plans for the after breakfast session. I was not going to venture out to Mineral Basin due to the very high pressure on the lift. Here is a shot of the Carvinator and myself at the table discussing the options. When the traffic got spread out, the lines subsided on the front of the hill, making the lap time much better. While today was not as blower epic as yesterday, the snow quality overall was excellent and did not disappoint. Here is a shot of The Jersey Girl, ripping as usual and getting a massive face shot that illustrates the most excellent conditions that this storm brought. Photo by Lewis Arevalo. This is charging in the first degree and this is not a set up shot!!Tomorrow, look for another fairly cold morning as the cold air lingers just a bit longer, but warming will be happening rapidly during the day. Staying ahead of the Sun will be the order of the day, though the East facing aspects have already been affected. The Groomers will be offering Hydro Velvet perfection for the morning session. The High North will still be offering the cold dry snow, and should hold up well all day. The ambient temps. will be slow to get to these aspects. The interference patterns are very mellow after being ignored during the last freeze thaw cycle. See you there for a great day of Spring Winter snow for another day. Stay Frosty!!
A morning of epic proportions greeted the Faithful, who were in full attendance for the amazing festivities. While the control work was being done, the energy level was dripping as the anticipation built up. The opening delay sent me to visit the Forklift Chair to await developments, while everyone else was heading for the chairs or staying put in the Tram line. Here is a shot that illustrates the reason for such anticipation. This Essence was piled deep and getting deeper by the minute as the storm showed no signs of letting up, and with the Low Pressure system stalled over the Front, the product kept piling up. The Bird site was reporting 40” by 4PM. Now that is a snow storm. Stellar reviews were coming back from the hill, but when I went to make a Tram after it’s opening, I was greeted by a 4 Tram wait, so I decided to leave it to the folks to enjoy, while I got the Hyper Dimensional Array cleared of snow down at the Trailer. Here is another shot of the Snowbird Subaru Mascot sporting a full indication of the accumulation on the Plaza Deck. This kind of day was a long time coming, and “Best Day of the Season” could be rightly claimed as many folks were, and I would not argue with that assessment. Tomorrow, look for additional accumulation to have fallen, as it is still snowing here at the Trailer, thwarting my best attempts to clear the Array. You can expect Winter conditions, with the old layer just a memory after this much snowfall. Bring your big guns up, as you will need it. Dress for weather, and get ready for face shots. Those ankle shots were last week. This is the real deal. IBBY!
There was a very nice window of Sun out ahead of the storm arrival that gave the Morning Crew the run of the beautifully prepared tenderized lines. Out in Mineral Basin, the wind was stout, and despite the warm temps., made the chill factor feel brisk. The Lewis and Clark section was a delight, with deep sugar lines that called for additional laps. On the front of the hill, the Peruvian Gulch had been treated to the till, where top to bottom goodness was a welcome treat. On the Gad side, a much firmer feel was the result of the much softer conditions yesterday. Here is a shot of the Morning Crew on first Tram that was walk around empty. After the breakfast break, the pack began to break, which offered very nice sorbet lines that screamed to be caressed instead of slashed. The deep goodness was as good as it gets, and the low traffic on the hill made concentrating on the sumptuous feel an added treat. Here is a shot of Lolo, who was ready to join the morning crew for the backside explorations. It is always a treat to have her join the crew for the carvacious laps. You can see how few folks were on the first Boat. I went out to survey the break out on Mark Malu and found dry chalky carving on that North facing aspect that surprised me with the quality. Here is a shot looking back up at that high mountain line that is under appreciated for it’s exceptional terrain qualities. That is one large piece of real estate that has it all. The real wind began to whip up as the clouds moved in around Noon, and the Tram was running on a Tram by Tram basis, so I decided to head for the Trailer to get things tied down. Tomorrow, look for this system to have brought the goods for the morning session. Traffic should be heavy for the new snow, so get there early for the first look at the hill. Be sure to remember the sections that had been melted off and aim for the gut sections for the best coverage. The hill is still in great shape and this new installment will be a welcome addition. Lastly, here is a shot of the Northwest Goddess, who was heading up into the teeth of the maelstrom, but with the impending closing of the Tram, decided to chill and get ready for tomorrow’s Essence. Be sure to check the road report in the AM. for any restrictions. This storm will still be here in the morning, so dress for weather. Syrup won’t stop ‘ EM!!
This morning was a full 10 degrees warmer, with just a light breeze that made the Sun feel that much nicer. Out in Mineral Basin, the Groomers were offering the nicest corduroy that turned into sweet sorbet as the Sun worked the mat. Lewis and Clark offered lap after lap of lay over goodness that gave you all the traction you could ask for. On the front of the hill, tenderizing efforts had been employed that made the top to bottom laps fun and fast. Regulator would take until 12:30 PM to break, after which it became another pitch that was sorbet sweet and tasty. I lapped that run using the Little Cloud chair to stay up high once the sticky factor began to crop up down low. Here is a shot of the Bird Logo sculpted in fresh Essence, which is a fitting medium. Tomorrow, we will be expecting a newly arriving storm system to move in during the day. The passage is predicted to arrive between 1 and 4:00PM, so, perhaps, we might get some Sun first thing in the AM, but I am not counting on it. South winds will be blowing hard ahead of the front, so dress for the conditions. There will be good consistency on the tenderized lines on both sides of the hill, but there maybe some softening as the morning warms.
Those tenderized lines were good to go on the front of the hill before the break, so they will be the place to look if the weather does not cooperate. Here is another shot from the top of the Baldy Chair of the last remaining bit of snow clinging to the rock that has seen countless Winters and stands as a window in time. The icicles are the indications that the Big Return to the Cycle is well underway now, but it must go if it is to return, hopefully with more accumulation next season. This next system is predicted to deliver the goods, so think big and keep the vibrations going for some serious depth. Ciao!!
The front moved through overnight leaving a dusting of light Essence, high winds, and a wind chill that had my fingers numb by the time I got to the top of a Lewis and Clark line. The Sun was out, but it did not warm the air a bit, much like a mid Winter cold air mass. The Groomers had been prepared, and the light dusting was a nice addition to the mat. With the wind such a factor, the snow had been spread around, leaving some areas stripped and other areas covered with a bit of depth, but not very much. After a quick lap in Mineral Basin I checked out the front of the hill, where the dust had filled in some nice lines on the corduroy, but firmness was wall to wall. I took the opportunity to ride the Forklift Chair to let the air warm up a bit, but did not expect much in the way of softening in the pack. Even after an extended breakfast visit, I made a full round of the hill, from one end to the other, only to find there was precious little in the way of softening to be had, so I opted to chill on the Plaza and visit with friends. Some interesting clouds were moving through with the cold North wind, and here is a shot of one of the more interesting clouds. Tomorrow, look for another very firm day, with cold morning temps., sunny skies, and some tenderized Groomers to get the day rolling. It will depend on the warming to determine if much in the way of softening will occur and when, but I cannot give an accurate timeline given today’s scenario. Gad 2 and Mid Gad will be closed for the season as well as Baby Thunder, leaving plenty to work with none the less. Dress for a cold morning, but perhaps we might get a bit more warmth than today. See you for the morning explorations. Don’t forget to SIZZLE!!
Very high thin clouds strained the Sun’s rays for most of the day today, with thicker clouds moving in later in the day. From the Trailer it was a beautiful day, with the horses really enjoying the warm temps. as they romped in the corral. The new little one is so full of life and seems to be showing off for me when I tell him to show me what he can do. Quite a display of youthful energy. I wish I could bottle it. Up on the hill, the Groomers were still the place to be, though those High North aspects were still holding up, and with warming temps. got better as the day progressed. Here is a shot of Boundary Bowl with a pristine accumulation from that last installment. The break went off a bit earlier, offering the sorbet goodness on many of the lines that had been prepared. When the snow hits that perfect stage, I just have to slow down and dig as deep into each turn, as corn goodness is as exciting to my inner senses as the deep powder. It is just a different type of perfect, and perfect is perfect, it is just a matter of degree. Tomorrow, look for a cold front to have moved through overnight, which will drop the temps. for tomorrow’s festivities. The morning could be quite crispy, so look for the tenderized lines for the traction in the early hours. The clouds are predicted to have moved off, so we can expect another sunny day, but the break might be a bit longer into the day. There are great bands on the Plaza Deck in the afternoon, bringing a very festive atmosphere after a day of turning and burning. See you there for the first Boat. IBBY!!
Extensive grooming was the key feature of the day, with the new product having been worked in to the mat. A cool start and bright Sun signaled the beginning of a corduroy shredfest. The quality was as good as it gets, and deep arcs were easy to trust on the Hydro Velvet surfaces. White Diamonds was given an extra special buff, that made each turn a treasure, letting me know that I could still make a turn after all that shwagging that I was doing last week. Here is a shot of Old Reliable looking pristeen with the Sun back lighting this North facing aspect. The cold morning temps. kept the product cooled, so it was very slow to be affected by the Sun, and the front of the hill had a couple of frozen sections as well. Mark Malu was offering stellar dry chalk that kept me going back for more all day. Regulator took a while to break, but was offering the sorbet goodness when it hit the magic time. It was not until after 2:00PM that any sticky spots were detectable on the bottom of the hill. A great band was playing on the Plaza, making the time there festive and fun. Here is a great shot of the Tram Goddesses, who were all together at the same time. This crew is very difficult to keep up with on any day of the week!!! I can tell you first hand! Tomorrow, look for another morning of stellar Grooming all over the hill. The off trail will have seen even more Sun, so expect some Gnar before softening occurs. It should be a bit warmer as well, so the break will be earlier. Look for the Sun out in Mineral Basin for the morning session to make that the place to be while the front warms up. I will be taking the day off to rest up for next week. Don’t forget to SIZZLE!!
The Snow Goddess ALTARIA came through, not a moment too soon, with a fresh delivery of silky Essence. Here is a shot of her, magically shouting the command to affect the morphogenic field which manifests the intent. Thus, the overnight accumulation featured medium density grauple that went a long way toward cushioning the old layer that made the off trail well worth a visit. As anticipated, the Faithful were in attendance for the first of the day, and were called to Mineral Basin by the bright Sun and beautifully covered pack. The front of the hill did not go un noticed, but the energy was fully going toward the Sun. The low angle aspects seemed to offer the best ride, but some of the smoother steep sections that I tried felt good, though the bottom was in play and needed to be addressed. The new product was quickly consumed by the knowledgeable attendees that worked the fields with surgical precision. Lewis and Clark offered a refuge from the pressure, offering lap after lap of low angle fun. On the front of the hill, the Groomers were off the charts smooth and Winter like, with a Hydro Velvet feel that reminded me of a January day. Here is a shot of the Twins with the fresh coating, making the recent warm spell seem distant. By 12:30 PM., the Sun began to affect the pack, making for a heavier feel. Some clouds built in helping to shield the rays of the Sun, but the infrared was punching through none the less. The High North was holding up the best as the ambient temps. remained a bit cool, and that extended the quality nicely. Here is a shot of the Jakester’s line that illustrates the smooth turning that characterized today’s festivities. It was great to have the room to get these turns with no pressure and no hype. Tomorrow, look for the Groomers to be offering extra special smooth quality as the new product gets mixed into the mat. Lighter traffic will also free up the open space. The off trail will still be good, but expect those sections that got saturated by the ambient warmth of the afternoon to be interesting. This installment really gave the hill another shot, that will help greatly going into the weekend. See you there for the morning shred fest. IBBY!!