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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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There was just a light dusting on the hill overnight and cold temps. continued to keep the snow nicely refrigerated. The Groomers were offering the best smooth carpets in the marginal visibility and the off trail is still holding that high frequency rumble from all the traffic of last week. The high traffic areas are still holding the high amplitude interference patterns as the wind has not yet filled them in. Here is a fun shot of His Jeffness taking it real easy on one of the very sparse Trams a couple of weeks ago. I have been holding on to this one for just such an occasion as this when I don’t have a fresh shot to post, but it is as real as it gets. Good times. Tomorrow, look for a liberal installment of Essence to have been delivered overnight. I expect it will have the ultra righteous Utah Light quality, as it is still quite cold and that is best for the goods. There will be strong pressure for this installment so plan accordingly. Depending on the moisture content, I expect the bottom to still be in play, so look for the low angle aspects to offer the same bottomless feel we had Friday on those Lewis and Clark laps. The chair option has been paying off in recent days with all the pressure on the Tram, and The Morning Crew has scored some very quick access and excellent lines by working the peripheral edges. Be sure to dress for the cold and expect a storm day as flurries are predicted throughout the day. See you there for the first boat. Watch your six!!



Today was a sleeper powday, as the report did not indicate that much accumulation, so the Faithful did not make a push, leaving the goods to the folks that were on hand for the festivities. Temps. were cold, and the visibility was marginal, but there was a beautiful coating of light Essence that made the morning session something special. Mineral Basin seemed to hold the deepest deposits with the Lewis and Clark sojourn offering low angle, bottomless goodness with absolutely no traffic. We had to lap that area numerous times to take advantage of the untracked lines with zero pressure. I love these type of Powder days, where the goodness is easy and plentiful all day. Here is a shot of Team Concord MA., who were just rolling into the first day of their stay, and were getting the low down on the best approach to the day. It is fun to meet folks from my home town area. Tomorrow, look for more freshness to be on tap with some areas still waiting in the wings after being closed all day. Flurries might be hanging out for the AM. session, but it should be a fairly nice day though the temps. will still be very cold. Be sure to dress for the cold and watch for frost nip. The old crusty layer is still in play, however, it has been mitigated by the additional accumulation. Here is a shot of The Star Cruiser covered with goodness as I left for the day. I will be taking the day off as usual tomorrow, but I will be reporting with intel from my inside sources. Stay Frosty!!



Visibility was tricky this morning as a very cold cloud hung over the peak making the chill factor very biting. Mineral Basin was offering the best visibility, though the details were very hard to discern. The Groomer’s consistency made the variability much more predictable as you could trust the smooth. The dry chalky feel was like a carpet underfoot, and solid traction could be counted on for those laid over moments. On the front of the hill, the trees were offering the best reflected light, which made the details easier to see. Light traffic on the Tram made for easy back to back laps, and there was plenty of room to keep the pace fun and fast. Here is a shot of my friend Robert and his son Gage working the chairlift option yesterday. They got it all top to bottom. Tomorrow, look for some accumulation overnight and continued very cold temps.. The Groomers will be offering the best smooth lines in the variable visibility. The off trail is still holding that low amplitude rumble overall, but there may be some wind smooth lines beginning to show. It will take a bit of looking around to find them. Dress for cold again, and any extra layers you have will help keep you in the comfort zone. I dressed for it this morning, but I could have used an additional layer just to make it toasty. I stopped in at The Summit again today and got this interesting shot of the ceiling fans in the main room refracted by the glass on the second floor. It has that labyrinthian feel to it that makes it seem like a room full of mirrors. See you there for the fresh cover and fast laps. Don’t forget to SIZZLE!!



It was a clear cold morning, with peak temps. in the very low range, however, the still air and bright Sun made Mineral Basin feel quite balmy. Amazing grooming had been prepared, and some laps on a Lewis and Clark sojourn were rewarded with perfect Hydro Velvet that let you explore your inner Ligety. The off trail was a bit wind affected, and required a very direct approach. On the front side of the hill, the temps. seemed much colder in the shade, and the snow seemed slow with the cold, but the dry chalky feel of the corduroy kept me working those lines till breakfast. The Road to Provo opened with a wide range of conditions depending on what aspect you chose. It seemed the High North and far reaches had the best quality, though the stiff harbor chop on the lower section kept your full attention. I was still working some of those lines that I have been working the last couple of days and got good soft spots. Here is Team Awesome, who were recharging on the peak at The Summit. They are all avid readers of the site and were really loving the clear skies, unlimited visibility, and great snow. Tomorrow, look for more amazing machine worked runs on all sides of the hill. There may be some overcast as some flurries are in the forecast. Dress for cold again, as the temps. are going to be quite brisk with this Northwest flow. The off trail still has widespread rumble, but a long round line helps mitigate some of the static. While up at The Summit, I stopped and took this shot of the staircase that ascends out over the expanse of Mineral Basin. I love the lines and amazing wood work that makes this such a cool feature. See you for the morning shredfest. Dial it up, Dial it in!!



A lighter density Essence covered the well worked hill with coating that was fun and fresh. After yesterday’s heavy traffic, the larger areas had developed significant harbor chop, which made the ride a bit rasty, though the new snow did give it a bit of a cushion. Visibility was marginal and the temps were very cold with wind driving the wind chill into the frostbite zone. Here is a shot of a ‘stash that illustrates the explosive nature of today’s offerings. I have to give this guy props for a formidable mustashe. I was sticking with the lines I left last week that had still smooth surfaces and found pay dirt. Traffic was surprisingly light, with walk on Trams a feature after the crowd got pushed up the hill. The bottom was fully in play, and it payed to keep it tight to deal with the unseen crusty variations, as that old layer was peeking through. Here is a shot of the Morning Crew as we compared notes on the morning’s offerings. Out in Mineral Basin, the overnight wind worked the pack, leaving some areas of variability that were challenging. I opted to stay with the front of the hill to take advantage of the trees for reference points. Here is a shot across the Canyon as a quick opening in the clouds appeared. Tomorrow, look for another cold morning with some flurries continuing, so expect some visibility issues. The Groomers will be offering the best smooth lines and there may be some additional openings of areas that are still waiting… Maybe. The traverses are improving quite a bit, so excursions will be much more inviting. There are still hidden features despite the new product, so stay with the fat lines and avoid those high spots. As a parting shot, here is Team Jacobson, who were winding up a great stay and got it all. They are avid readers of the site and I am glad the got some of the best of the year! See you there for more snow sliding goodness. Straight Ahead!



Serious dumpage occured overnight, delivering a mother lode of Essence for the holiday. Here at The Trailer, there was 10” of fairly high density snow, and higher up on the bench Tramrat logged 20” at his house. Here is a shot of the back porch he sent me this morning. The Canyon was closed early and the Faithful were in line and backed up ready to get up the hill, however, there were some issues with the road shortly after it opened and it closed again. For those who did get up there it was a powder country club feel with deep, blower, all time powder to fully experience. I stayed down here at The Trailer while I waited for a opening which never came. Rave reviews were coming off the hill via Facebood, that gave a full view of how epic it was there today. Tomorrow, look for more accumulation to have fallen overnight, so check the road report for access. Still, traffic should be big for the new installment. Temps. are predicted to be very cold so dress for the weather and expect continued flurries in the AM. There are areas that did not open today waiting in the wings, so there is still plenty of goodness to get if you, like me, missed out on today’s festivities. See you there for the powder extravaganza that is sure to please. Syrup Won’t Stop ‘EM!!



There was big wind this morning as the front begins to move in from the North. The winds kept the Tram in the dock for the morning session, but the chairs and Mineral Basin was open via the tunnel. The wind was scouring the open slopes and it seemed the snow was in the trees. There were lines on the upper mountain that were gathering the available transported snow and were offering some nice velvet lines. I took only a couple of runs as I was dressed too light for the wind, and I went to the Forklift Chair to assess the options. Here is Team Haymarket VA., who were finishing up their stay and are avid readers of the site. They got the goods all last week and were enjoying the ambience of the Forklift. I so enjoy meeting all the folks who read my site and share in the stoke. Last week was great and this week is staged to be another big one as well. Forecasters are enthusiastic and the radar is looking wall to wall now. I bailed on the day to get down the Canyon before the front moved in. Tomorrow, look for a storm day in the first degree. Check the road access in the AM. and expect significant stormage. The hill has been prepped by the wind and is ready for a fresh coat of Essence. This is an exciting weather event and it is going to be all time. Don’t Forget To SIZZLE!!



The Sun was shining and the sky was ultra blue this morning, but some interesting lenticular formations formed over the hills on both the East and West ranges. Those formations usually indicate snow in the offing and the Weather Dude is agreeing with the assessment. Stout South winds were blowing hard ahead of the frontal passage adding some dust to the Groomers and filling in some of the low spots on the hill. Here is a shot I took yesterday of Mary Ellen Gulch looking pristine in the afternoon Sun. This was the first sojourn I have taken out that way this season and I found good cover and soft snow all the was around the dial. The Road to Provo opened today to the delight of the Faithful who were on hand for the occasion. The quality out there was still really good, and much of the underlying crunch was muffled with the new cover. The traverses continue to improve as more snow is added and I was able to negotiate every traverse I scouted without much problem, so going far afield is becoming good to go. Here is a great shot of Team Berman, who were wrapping up their present stay. They brought the goods and got all of it. I am so glad they were not disappointed. ” Things are looking good Andrew”!!! Tomorrow, look for a variable weather day with the real stuff coming later in the day. Look for the Groomers to be offering the smooth lines and super soft Hydro Velvet. In variable visibility they will be the place to be. Look for some wind loaded lines to be here and about with the overnight wind working the hill. Kazoodi held yet another of his amazing designer pizza parties last night, and Mikey M, of Barone/s Pizza, was in attendance offering up some very outside of the box combinations. Pictured here, however, is Kazoodi’s own personal Chicago Deep Dish Extravaganza that he made specially for the occasion. We also celebrated Mikey’s son’s birthday who was having the time of his life. Happy Birthday sprout!! See you in the AM for the start of a big cycle. Peace Out!



It was a picture perfect morning, with clear cold skies, fresh Essence waiting in the wings, and perfect carpets on all sides of the hill. Traffic was heavy starting early and working the chairs got around the crowd. Mineral Basin was just amazing, with bright Sun, and perfect powder on all aspects. Lewis and Clark was the sleeper area, as everyone was focused on the Mineral Chair and the open lines went begging. Here is a shot of Mikey M. getting the goods on The Keyhole while the crowd was busy elsewhere. With the blue bird day and perfect snow, this had to be one all time day. While the day warmed up, it did not make the snow manky, and power blasting was easy and smooth. I was sticking to the know smooth lines to avoid interference patterns, as the bottom was becoming more in play as the hill got worked. Still, there was plenty of great soft snow to find. Here is a shot of The Little Cloud area which is waiting in the wings. Tomorrow, look for another great day on the hill. The Road to Provo awaits and the groomers will be shredtastic. The traverses have improved markedly, and I did take a little “look see”, that found good access where it had been iffy until just recently. It is nice to have the hill back to it’s old self. Everything is good to go, enjoy the much improved conditions. Stay Frosty!



With just a dusting on The Trailer this morning, I did not think there would much accumulation with this installment. Today’s surprise accumulation was some of the very deepest Essence of the season, and the quality was blower on all sides of the hill. The wind was working the peak and it was snowing heavily as the day began, which seemed to keep the pack filling with wind transported snow. The bottom was fully in play, but there were some areas that had deep enough accumulation to make the bottom no problem. The interference patterns were very tricky as it was very hard to see the transitions in the very marginal visibility. I went and scouted out a few lines I had only thought about due to the tough approach, but today it was all good to go and full face shots were coming with each turn. The Faithful were in full attendance for the occasion, but there were plenty of chair options to get you up the hill in a hurry. Here is a shot of Buzzy Skigrinn, who pulled into the Forklift caked with the face shot evidence. As the day progressed, the consistency became a bit variable, with the crispy bottom layer becoming more of a factor. I was using long averaging turns to minimize the variations. Tomorrow, look for clearing skies, cold morning temps. and plenty of fresh Essence waiting in the wings. The traverses have been getting much more approachable, but care still needs to be used. I will be looking for the smooth lines that make the variations much easier to negotiate. Those remaining areas will be opening as mitigation efforts are completed. Look for the traffic to be heavy again, so work those chair options to keep you moving up. See the line, BE the line!!