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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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The Sun was shining for the first hour this morning before clouds began to move in.  As anticipated, there was some fresh accumulation, and the South wind had prepared the hill with wind lines on many aspects.  The High North seemed to have benefited the most from the wind work, as the first Tram unloaded and the hard driving first wave made Upper Silver Fox look as spectacular as it was.  Yesterday’s installment had been packed out by the wind, making it smooth and predictable every where I went.  The Groomers were offering greatness as well, with wind driven dust covering the corduroy.  That Lower Primrose Path line had been reworked, which offered insanely smooth buffage that made me hurry back for more.  There was a lot of traffic, but after the initial push, the lines were short and turnarounds were a snap.  After Noon, the wind really kicked into high gear, moving more snow to the High North. I was not able to get a good shot of the day, with the clouds and visibility issues, and I missed that short Sun window in the morning, so I am putting up this example of the Art I have been playing with.  Tomorrow, look for the wind lines to be freshened, the Groomers will be seriously dialable, and the traffic should be a lot lighter.  The wind is forecast to still be a big factor as the next Low moves toward the Front, so look for free refills on some aspects.  All the entrances are really filled in, with easy access.  I am now working lines that I have ignored all season, taking advantage of the great cover.  The hill is in great shape and there are so many choices it would take days to hit them all.  See you there for the fun lines in the Fun Zone!!  IBBY!!



There was an early and big push for the goods this morning, but the entire mountain was open for the opening bell.  Though I was on the 3 rd Tram, I was able to get a very nice line by going for the smooth sections I have been working all week.  Medium density Essence coated the surface, which went a long way toward mitigating the rumble that was widespread, however, the well defined lines of interference patterns were reflecting through will full articulation.  Lower down on the hill, I went long, looking for the lines that were hiding in the storm.  I got this pristine shot through the aspens that was delightful and vacant.  I really love to take the time to go far enough to the perimeter to get the fresh lines with no pressure.  The harbor chop built up quickly with the density of the product, so I called it a day early to save my knees from the pounding.   While waiting for my first Tram I met Harry Caston, who is the father of Marcus and Rosie Caston. Both Marcus and Rosie are amazing free riders that push the limits of intense excitement.  I am always amazed at the lines that Marcus bags on a daily basis and it was great to meet the father of such great athletes.    Tomorrow, look for some more accumulation, but I don’t expect too much to be added the dance floor.  Look for the Groomers to be rockin’, with super carvacious quality.  That harbor chop will still be in effect, but perhaps some overnight wind might set up some sweet wind lines.  Those lines have been going off for days now, so I think that might be worth looking at for the morning session.  Traffic will again be high during this holiday weekend, but there is plenty of space to find your soft lines and the lifts were dealing with the pressure in fine fashion.  It is great to have the fresh coating.  Syrup Won’t Stop ‘EM!!



The rain pattered on the skin of The Trailer for most of the night signaling an overnight installment up on the hill.  The 7” of reported accumulation seemed deeper in places as the  wind swirled on the hill.  The faithful were on hand early, with lots of folks following up all morning long.  Those smooth lines were offering the best ride, with lots of options to choose from.  Those off trail sections that were sporting the sharp rumble were still reflecting through the freshness.  Visibility was variable all day long, but there were some bright spots from time to time, with some flurries moving through later in the afternoon.   Here is a shot I took of the fresh flowers that Julia brought to the Forklift.  The flash really made it pop with color on a gray day.Tomorrow, look for a skiff off accumulation overnight, with more accumulation during the day.  The Groomers will be offering dialable goodness that will let  you lay it over like Ligety!!  The off trail will be improving as the traffic works the product into the pack.  Look for those smooth lines that were operative this week for the best ride.  I am still going to be leery of those South and West aspects due to the crusty nature that was living there recently.  Mineral Basin will be the place to start if the crowd pushes the base early.  Of course visibility will be an issue, so factor that into your line choice.  See you there for the fresh cover in the AM.  Peace Out!



The brief morning Sun gave way to clouds moving in fast out of the South.  The stout wind was still transporting the snow to the High North, and the wind lines were really special with a sugary consistency that made them feel delicious.  I was woefully under dressed for the cold peak temp. and biting wind, but I did take the time to get this shot of the clouds moving in.  With the arrival of the clouds, the visibility began to vary greatly, with very flat light obscuring the details.  I was just going with all the lines that I had worked yesterday, but added the Lower Primrose Path line that had got a fresh till top to bottom.  That un tracked corduroy was delightful and very consistent, making any visibility issues irrelevant.  With all the warm afternoon temps. recently, the West and South facing aspect were particularly crispy, but there were many great options to ply, with that transported snow covering the mat with dry dust.  Traffic on the hill was high, but the lift lines were vacant and max vertical was easy to pile up.  Tomorrow, look for snow to have fallen overnight with continued snow during the day.  I am hoping for some medium density to cushion the old layer.  That is what was offered up during the last installment, so I feel confident that the conditions will be great for the Holiday weekend.  Look to the High North for the best underlying pack, and expect those South and West aspects to be a touch interesting.  I will be taking the day off  to rest up for the coming week.  Stay Frosty!!



It was clear, sunny, and quite breezy, as a stout South wind began blowing out ahead of a series of storms setting up to move through during the coming weekend.  The clouds held off until after Noon, when high clouds began to move in and filter the bright Sun that had lit the entire morning session.  The Groomers were offering the goods on all sides of the hill, but Regulator was a bit firm after getting hit by those direct Sun rays yesterday afternoon.  On the front of the hill, the cold dry chalk was still holding strong, resisting any damage by the traffic of the day.  Shaving un tracked corduroy was a real treat, as no one seems to seek out those perfect lines, so it was left to the Morning Crew to work those lines close to the margins.   Here is a shot of El Presidente, who was enjoying the great ambience on the peak.  He was working the same rare lines as I was and was throwing down some serious turns on the steep chalky pitches.  The wind really picked up later in the day, which left only laps through Mineral Basin to get back to the top, where the gusts were 70+ MPH.  That wind was really beginning to move the product around, making those High North and Northeast aspects fill in with sugary consistency.   Tomorrow, look for overcast skies, wind lines on the High North, and maybe a touch of new product as the storm moves in. Dress for storm riding as the temps. will be significantly colder than these last few days.  The hill is in great shape, however, the off trail is still sporting some stout rumble, with some interference patterns built up in the very high traffic areas. Stick with the known smooth lines for the best ride in the marginal visibility.  IBBY!!



It was a simply sizzling day, with amazing groomers on all sides of the hill offering up that ground pounding fun.  The White Diamonds – Lower Silver Dipper combination was smooth dry chalk top to bottom, even after the Sun kissed it yesterday.  There is still enough cold in the snow to keep the carpet fresh and fun.  On the front of the hill, dry chalky lines were still holding up, and a fresh treatment of Lower Chips Face and Lower Lower were back country perfect and steep, steep, steep.  The day warmed up, giving Regulator Johnson some real Spring like corn goodness that kept me lapping that line to get as much of that sorbet feel as I could get.  I met Neil from OZZY and Kiwi Jenny from NZ on the plaza on my way to the Forklift.  I ran into them later on the peak, so I took this great shot of them in front of The Twins. They were having a great time hitting the big smooth buff that I had told them about.  It was really beautiful on the peak and the temps. were balmy, but the front of the hill was holding up the quality all day.  Only those very direct aspects were taking a hit from the Sun. The outdoor patio of The Summit was getting a lot of traffic, so I took this shot of some folks enjoying the great weather  and sipping some suds.  Tomorrow, look for more great Groomers to be on tap, with some of those High North aspects offering some smooth sugar as the pitches get worked.  Most of the off trail is very stiff right now and the rumble is formidable.  Look for those smooth wind lines and fresh corduroy carpets for the best of the morning session.  Traffic is very  light on the hill, so maximum vertical is easy to rack up.  Stay Frosty!!



It was another balmy morning, with just a light breeze, bright Sun, and incredible Grooming available on all sides of the hill.  Mineral Basin was offering the sunny buffed offerings that kept you lapping the chair to get as much as possible.  Another rework of Lone Star was another highlight, as it offered dry chalky smooth that rolled off to the steep lower section.  On the Front of the hill, Lower Primrose Path had been worked with a wider stroke, and that new line was just killer, with that steep fall line push that kept me honest.  Over on Gad 2, All three sections of Gadzooks had been given the smoothing treatment, and I had to pound out some top to bottom Zooks just to tap into that rare falling vibration.  Here is a shot of the upper section in the Sun.  That shot illustrates the smooth runnings that were going off all over the hill. A huge tip of the hat to the Cat Crew for such amazing lines!! The off trail has still got the stiff rumble going on, with only some of the Northeast aspects smoothing with traffic.  Tomorrow, look for more incredible corduroy to dial all over the hill.  That dry chalky feel is happening top to bottom, and despite the warm base temps., the quality is holding tough.  Here is a shot of Wynonna standing next to the sleeping Ice Puppy that camped out on the lounge chair.  The traffic is very light, and high volume vertical is a cake walk to get.  Be sure to hit the sunny side for the first runs, to get that un tracked corduroy goodness.  IBBY!!



It was a beautiful morning, with warmer temps. and only a fair breeze on the upper elevations.   The White Diamonds – Lower Silver Dipper line was buffed, making that line a real steep treat for the Morning Crew.  Lone Star was also given the industrial smoothing for the first time of the season.  Few were hitting that line and I was able to get a couple of un tracked corduroy runs there.  Here is a shot of White Diamonds during my first run.  This is a very steep shot, but it still looks like Big Emma from this angle.  None the less, the faithful were getting after it there and leaving trenches in the buffed surface.  On the front of the hill, smooth lines had been prepared top to bottom, with some wind deposited dust just to make it that much more silky.  I had to pound out a few extra laps on both sides of the hill to dial in as much of that baffage as I could.  Here is a shot of Boundary Bowl getting some nice lines in the fresh Essence that was waiting for those who wanted to hike to get the goods, and good it was!!  Tomorrow, look for more great Grooming to be on tap on all sides of the hill.  That rain layer is beginning to reflect through on the lower elevations of the hill, but there is ample traction to keep the turns consistent.  The High North is still holding cold shaded goodness, and some of the more worked sections are responding to the traffic by getting even smoother.  Got to love that development.  I had the pleasure of meeting the Tar Heels of Chapel Hill NC. on the Plaza this afternoon.  They are avid readers of the site and were having a great day on the hill.  I told them to stay with the smooth and that they did.  I know they had a great time getting the dry dust that was just waiting to be dialed in.   Be there early for the best corduroy, just waiting for you to shave off the nap.  Speed Safely!!



The weather was clear and cold to start the day, with Mineral Basin offering fresh tracks out on Powder Paradise, and later when the Sunday Cliffs opened.  The micro climate that was happening there during the storm, made the quality of the Essence absolutely spectacular, with blower depth and cold smoke trailing in  your wake.  There was a push for the early Trams, but getting out back bought you a quick turnaround to the goods that were standing up in the cold air.  Later in the morning, the Exotic Trees were happening, with more delightful Essence deep in the trees that held up for quite a while.  I stopped in to the Gad 2 Patrol Shack to inquire about the density profile and got this shot of Margie and Frankie soaking up the glorious morning rays.These two are an amazing team, and you know you are in good hands when they are around.  Thanks for the 411 on the density profile Margie!!  On the front of the hill, the off trail was variable, with some stiff rumble, but there were wind affected lines that felt sugar smooth and tasty, sending me back for seconds.  The Groomers were also stellar, with only a hint of that rain event echoing from time to time.  With the clear cold skies, the peaks stood out in super 3D.  Here is a long shot down the Canyon, capturing the amazing quality of this past installment.  Tomorrow, look for more great turns all over the hill.  The morning temps. may be cool once again, and the Groomers and wind lines will be offering more delightful consistency.  If you use a bit more deliberate turn approach, you can mitigate some of the chop that has built up off trail.  The interference patterns will be rebuilding as the traffic works the hill, but there is plenty of big mountain smooth to dial in some ripping turns.  The hill is once again in great shape and that brief rain event is just a footnote in the season.  Don’t Forget To SIZZLE!!



The rain pounded the skin of the Trailer all night long with a cacophonous din that signaled big dumpage up on the hill.  There was a very early and heavy push for the goods, backing the Canyon up clear to Big Cottonwood.   The mountain got partially open with the 9 AM bell, but sections would have to wait until control work was complete.  The new installment was medium density, with the steep high elevation aspects having slid, with the low angle sections holding the full depth.  With the crowd on hand, none of the fresh openings lasted very long.  Still, it was great to have that much added cover to give the hill a fresh surface for the coming week.  This is a shot of the Bingham Mine that I took yesterday as it emerged from the cloud cover.  It is great to still have the clear air filling the Valley.  Tomorrow, look for a sunny day with moderate temps., fresh lines still waiting in the wings, and Groomers that will be deep shag smooth. The traffic should still be fairly heavy, but using the Quads to avoid the Tram line is a good call and will get you where you want to go quickly.  With the medium density product, the off trail will be piling up quickly, so expect some harbor chop conditions in the high traffic areas.  See you there for the Sun and Fun.  Syrup Won’t Stop ‘EM!!