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.
Today was a classic storm day powder extravaganza. Granted, the visibility was variable, but even out in Mineral Basin you could see enough to really have fun with the options. Snow fell through out the morning, building up rapidly. The Morning Crew spent the morning exploring Lewis and Clark lines that got deeper with each run. Higher density Essence began to cushion the old layer, which became less of a concern as the new snow got deeper. I was even getting full on face shots after the breakfast break. Here is a shot of Mr. Scott and Carving Pete, who were assisting me in sampling the goods with absolutely no pressure. It was like a private resort all day long. I went to visit the West facing aspects to check out the feel after avoiding it for the past while. While it was much improved, the bottom is still in play, but the consistency is improving rapidly, and each run was fun and blastable. I continue to encounter these very interesting examples of ski wear, and here is a shot of Camo Man in full regalia making a very bold fashion statement. It looked like a very functional outfit for such a weather intensive day. Tomorrow, look for overnight accumulation to add to the pack, much improved conditions wall to wall as the new Essence fills the dance floor, and storm conditions throughout the day. You can expect some reflection of the interference pattens to persist for a bit yet, so go for the smooth for the best ride. I hit White Diamonds a number of times this morning just to get as much of that delight as I could. To illustrate the quality that is happening now, I offer this shot of my friend Mike getting the goods out on the border lines. This is an accurate example of how good it is getting. Blower and getting deeper. This was taken yesterday during that Sun window, and it is getting deeper. Check the Canyon report in the AM. for restrictions and bring the Rhino Chasers for full on power blasting. See you there to see how deep it will be. Stay Frosty!!
The hill was graced with a beautiful installment of the most righteous Essence of the season. Though the Bird site quoted 4” of freshness, there seemed to be quite a bit more on many aspects. The faithful turned out in full force for the occasion and they were not disappointed. With such light product, the old layer was fully in play, with the Groomers offering the smoothest lines. I went far and wide today to survey the hill, and was surprised by the overall depth globally. White Diamonds had been buffed before the snow fell, and it offered boot top excellence that carried top to bottom. I went out to the far reaches of the Exotic Trees, where I found great feeling fluff, however the interference patterns there are sporting some high amplitude, though the underlying quality is still holding the cold. On some of the traverses there was some serious glaze poking through that required close attention. Here is a shot I took from way out in Thunder Bowl. I had to take it very slow and easy to negotiate the variations. It was a fun diversion from the usual pattern and made me dig deep into the bag of tricks. Tomorrow, look for some additional accumulation as the patten is still pumping moisture into the area, with snow falling all day long. The Groomers will still be killer, so look for the fresh tilled lines for the smooth feel. The High North continues to provide the cold dry chalk underneath the new product, so look there for consistency. Those West and South facing aspects are quite crunchy, though as we get more cover, those issues should mitigate as we move through this cycle. It is great to have this new accumulation to keep the party going. See you there for the deep fun. Don’t forget to SIZZLE!!
The main energy of this system is going South of us, but we are still in the unsettled pattern that can bring good things. There was no overnight accumulation, but the precipitation began early and lasted all day, though the accumulation was minimal. The Groomers were the best bet as the consistency is still variable, but reports coming back from the hill was touting some excellent lines still to be had on the High North aspects that have been holding the smooth this past week. Visibility issues were an issue as a cloud bank moved in, but with the clouds comes the snow. I did not have a shot banked for today’s post so I will submit this unusual shot Jones Malone sent a while back when we had that very high wind event a few weeks ago. Notice the plasma ball in the middle of the shot. He sent me numerous shots of this without moving the camera and this anomaly moved all over. I thought initially that it was lens flair, but with all those shots it would have been consistent. I think it was a manifestation of the high static charge in the air due to the nuking winds. Tomorrow, look for some overnight accumulation from this impulse that is dusting the Trailer as I write this. Look to the Groomers for the smoothest lines. The off trail will be improving as we get more accumulation, but expect some of the chunk and funk of the old layer to still be a feature. The High North will still be a good call for off trail lines, but I will have to do some recon on those West facing aspects for a read on that. You know going in that the South aspects will still be interesting. It will all depend on the depth we receive as to how much to push the line. See you for the morning festivities. Syrup won’t stop ‘ EM!!
The faithful turned out in force for this long awaited installment of fresh Essence. Though the accumulation was 7”, the pressure for the goods was formidable. I made a fast move on Mineral Basin to let the Tram line work itself out, and went after some of the smooth lines I had logged last week. The light density of this installment did little in the way of cushioning the old crusty layer, and the crunch was in play in a big way. The Groomers were very nice until they started to get worked, after which the tiles and piles issues began to be problematic. The lifts dealt with the crowd with swift execution, leaving little or no lines on the front of the hill. Visibility was marginal, though there was plenty of definition to work with and the overcast presented no problems. I did not see a good photo op today, but Neil took this great shot as he passed through the Keyhole on his way back from Alta this morning to make the breakfast session. This is a very unusual perspective of the Canyon that you get only by accessing these remote parts of the hill. Thanks Neil, great shot!! Tomorrow, look for continued pressure for the new product as well as the usual Saturday crowd. The Groomers will be providing the best smooth lines of the day, but there are still smooth lines holding up under the new accumulation. Go with your favorite High North lines for the most consistent feel. More snow is in the forecast, so there will be plenty for all and the hill is in great shape to handle any amount of goodness. I will be taking the day off tomorrow to deal with some issues concerning the Andromeda TRANSMISSIONS. IBBY!!
There was a light dusting beginning to fall as I pulled into the parking lot. By the time First Tram took off it was dumping in earnest and a couple of inches had been deposited on the dance floor to start out the day. The firm conditions of yesterday were just underneath the fresh coat of light density Essence. While it was untracked it provided a nice consistent feel, but as it got worked over the consistency became a bit more variable. Going with the known smooth offered the best results, as well as staying with low angle aspects to mellow the ride. Snow continued through out the day but did not seem to build up too quickly and the consistency issues persisted. I bailed at 1:30 PM to let the faithful work the product into the hill. I saw a couple more examples of a new trend in ski wear on the Tram deck today. Here is a shot of one of the items that caught my eye. Tomorrow, look for continued unsettled weather, a bit more accumulation, and cold to still be an issue to address as you are planning the day. The Groomers will still be offering the best know smooth lines with which to deal with the marginal visibility issues. The big smooth lines that had been set up last week are still holding the smooth and are the place to look for the best off trail conditions with this new addition of new product. Here is another shot of the other suit that was interesting. It will be interesting to see how this trend in ski clothing design pans out. It looks like we are in for some bold developments in the next few years. See you for the freshness in the AM!! IBBY!!
It was a bit warmer this morning but still cold, and dressing for the temps was required. A extra special Grooming effort was applied to the White Diamonds- Lower Sliver Dipper line, which was just beyond fun as it had just the right combination of tooth and buff. Lewis and Clark was being blasted by that cold North wind that was kicking, scouring much of the tenderizing efforts from the South facing lines. On the front side of the hill, there were options that kept the hard charging pace going with dry chalky lines that are still holding up. Though the Sun was shining early in the day, clouds began moving over the hill, flattening the light from time to time. Here is a shot of the West Twin as it hit me coming off the Mineral Express Chair. This view never get’s old. Despite the low snow pack the skiing has been stellar, and I have been hanging with a crack crew this week, trying out some new gear and talking about tuning options. Tomorrow, look for weather to begin moving in for the next few days. The lines that have been holding up the smooth can still be counted on in variable visibility, so have your favorite lines etched in your brain for future reference. Cold will still be a feature moving forward, and dressing for the changes will pay off. Look for the smooth for the best lines of the day. Be sure to start planning your lines now, for when the freshness covers the features. That will come in handy soon. See you for the morning explorations. Peace Out!!
Temps. were a bit warmer this morning, with a cold breeze blowing, bright Sun shining, and a light turnout for the morning session. Mineral Basin offered a fresh till of the White Diamonds- Lower Silver Dipper combination, which just got better as the Sun played on the aspect. Fresh tills were also found out and about and it was worth the time to drive around and find the goods. After all the high winds the past couple of days, some of the wind lines began to shape up. Here is a shot of a rare appearance of smooth on the Rasta Chutes that called for numerous visits. The high traffic areas are developing a serious case of high amplitude interference pattens all over the hill. It is easy to
get around these areas and find those sections of natural smooth. It is dry chalky and smooth, but the pitch makes you really pay attention. Tomorrow, look for a bit warmer day, with some partly cloudy skies, great Groomers, and even more of those wind lines to start shaping up. Keep your eyes peeled for the goods. Light traffic should still be a feature, so a big vertical accumulation will be an easy pace to keep. Walk on chairs are fun to keep a fast pace as you move from end to end of the area. Serious fun is on hand for the early risers. Don’t forget to SIZZLE!!
these areas and get some of the smooth that is beginning to happen in certain areas.
The morning was cold indeed again this morning and it was a good thing to have dressed for the conditions despite the Sun. Mineral Basin was calling with bright Sun and some nicely prepared Groomers. White Diamonds did not have a fresh till, but it was still smooth with just a dusting of Essence to top off this treat. On the front of the hill, wind lines had begun to be favored by the continued East wind that has been set up for the past few days. Some of the lines have yet to consolidate and are punchy, but you will only find out the hard way by going. Some of the lines are smooth buff, so there is no telling. Just follow your nose. Fast laps are fun to get by taking advantage of the fresh corduroy as it is spread across the entire scope of the hill. Here is a shot of one of the guns that was fouled by the strong East winds. I love the lacy nature of this unusual shot. Tomorrow, look for another fast, fun morning, with cold temps. to start, fresh corduroy in which to put first tracks, and light traffic to give you a vertical extravaganza. The off trail is still soft for the most part, and those wind lines will continue to be worth a look. Expect a bit of bounce off the beaten path, but there is blastable off trail conditions on many aspects. The cold is preserving the quality of the last installment, but that old layer is still in play. Here is a shot that I took in the locker room. This caught my eye with the twisted perspective of straight lines. Hmm, makes one think. IBBY!!
A strange cloud hung over the top of High Baldy today with the East wind blowing hard as the weather system moved South of us. There was a slight delay on the Tram and Mineral Basin to start out the day, so a move to the chairs offered a quick ascent. The temps. were really cold, and with the wind, it seemed that much colder. Here is a shot of that cloud formation as it spilled over into the Gad Valley. All of the freshness had been worked after yesterday’s powder panic, however, nice soft lines were still to be found. The bottom layer was still in play and needed to be addressed to avoid spinning out on a greasy spot. Lower Primrose Path had been given a nice till along with many of the lower mountain drops that felt dry and chalky, though those slick spots made a long deliberate turn a must. Mineral Basin was in high demand, which kept the front of the hill moving quickly as all the pressure was in the back. As the new product gets working into the snow pack, the consistency issues will mitigate as we move into the week. Tomorrow, look for a clear day, but I expect the cold to still be a factor. The Groomers will offer the most consistent ride and the off trail will still be soft though variable. This cold air will keep the quality light and dry, so the melt downs of the last period will not be as much of an issue. Here is a shot of Stephanie Lee who was sporting this very intriguing outfit from Brabar Boutique. It is the Snow Sugar Jacket and looked like a glimps into future of ski fashion. She wears it well and can throw down a real turn to back it up. Look for the Sun and fun in the back for the morning session. Ciao!!
I awoke at 3:33 AM to the report of thunderous rain on the Trailer, signaling a overnight dump up on the hill. The forecast was for a build up during the day, but who is going to complain about a big dose while sleeping. There was a heaping helping of the goods, and by some of the short edits on FB it looked as if there was plenty to be stoked about. Those smooth lines from the past week were offering the most consistent ride, and after my off trail explorations yesterday, even the off trail was offering great conditions. Despite a brief appearance of the Sun during the early hour or so, clouds built up and covered the range all day. As I took the day off to rest up for the next stretch, I went and visited the CHEF, who is on injured reserve after a severe back issue. I took this shot of the bark on the tree outside his back door. The definition was so good I could not resist a study in contrast. Tomorrow, look for some limited overnight accumulation to add to the recent installment, high winds out of the East as the low passed to the South, and outstanding conditions wall to wall. I will be back up on the hill first thing and will have that first hand report for tomorrow. It should still be quite cold and the wind will be a feature for the day. Look for some wind transported lines that might turn out to be free refills if the wind does the thing we love. IBBY!!