It was only last weekend that I was visiting The Chef in his garden, where I was checking out his produce that he grew all Summer. Here is a shot of The Chef holding a beautiful water melon.There were copious amounts of ripe tomatoes on the vine and his garlic was up on strings drying in the Sun. I was looking around at the amazing plants that really love all the coffee grounds he puts in the soil all Winter, as well as the compost that he has going all the time. It is all organic with no pesticides at all. There are two bee hives keeping the plants tended as well. This is one of the many Sunflowers that were standing tall in the Sun that day. I love the way the seeds are arranged in the Golden Section Spiral. Those days were warm and still in the 90’s. Then, just when I was thinking that it was going to keep going like that, we got this Winter Blast that left enough snow up on the higher elevations to draw the faithful up to Alta to get the first turns of the season. Here is a shot of the front moving in to the Salt Lake Valley around 4PM., after a sunny blue sky day. This Wall of Voodoo spawned a tornado that did some real damage a bit further North. I stood on the the deck of the machine and watched the flag blow with the wind out of the South just waiting for it to switch out of the North with the frontal passage. I did not have to wait long, when all chaos broke loose and the precipitation was a deluge!! The temps. dropped 35 Degrees in seconds and in the next 72 hours there was over 3 inches of water dropped in the Valley. Today, Sunday, I took a trip up to the Bird to go to the peak and get a view of the freshness. Here is a shot of the Twins here in sharp contrast to the shots I put up in my last post. This terrain needs a lot of snow to cover the features, so it looks like there was just a dusting, but there had been quite a bit before it settled and began to melt off with the warm ground temps. This shot looking into Mineral Basin shows a better view of how much fell with this blast. This coming week is predicted to be back up in the 80’s, so all this will be gone, but it is fun to see that Winter is not far off. Oktoberfest is still rockin’ at least for the next week or so. Be sure to get up there and join the festivities before the lull going into the Winter Season. It won’t be long now, but I am grabbing every day of warmth that comes my way, because there won’t be many more. Stay Frosty!!
The nights have been cool since Labor Day, which seems to have accelerated the colors changing on the hill. While it is still a fair way from peak, the vibrant colors are really starting pop on the hill. Lower Silver Fox is looking like Persian Rug with all the colors mixing and melding. Here is a shot looking down at Tanner’s Flat from the peak when I was enjoying a perfect day for Oktoberfest. While I was on the peak I was surveying the terrain, looking for the high reefs and grassy areas that will be good to have logged in the back of my mind for the early season. Hereis shot looking down Canyon from the peak. All the scree gets covered and it is amazing that we get to rip these lines when it all gets PHAT. Down on the Plaza, there was a festive crowd enjoying the ambience and libations. I picked up a couple of outer wear items at the Kuhl tent, where they were offering great discounts. This is the time to buy. I also ran into Chris and Patsy, who I have know for over 20 years and I had a great time catching up. Chis and I come from the same York Beach Maine stomping grounds when we were growing up, and we discussedall the folks we knew in common. We did not know each other back in those days, but he knows all the same folks as well as my brother. Small world. Oktoberfest is going on for a good while yet, so be sure to get up there and enjoy the festivities and check out the deals in the shops. It won’t be long now. Speed Safely!!
After a very warm week, the temps plummeted and a real feel of Fall was in the air, with the colors changing up on the hill. While there was an overcast morning, the sky cleared off a bit and made for a great day for the Oktoberfest activities. Connie and I took a Tram to the peak where the festivities were going on as well. We met a very nice couple who were checking out the Mountain Bike Single Track for the first time and were excited about the day. With the cool temps and clear air, I am sure they had a great descent and perhaps might get another lap. I rarely put a picture of myself, but these folks took this shot of Connie and myself, so I thought I would add this to the post to commemorate our fun time at the Bird today. With the changing Fall colors it won’t be long until we are back on the hill sliding in the fresh Essence that is sure to come. While it always seems like a long time to wait for the snow to fall a look at the Twins, with it’s sedimentary layers illustrating the very long span of time that it represents, it will be just a blink on an eye till the first Tram of the season moves up the hill. Soon the Twins will be covered with snow and the hill will take on a whole other complexion. Still, it is fun to look at the terrain and know what it is that we slide over and really never touch the ground. The Oktoberfest crowd was really building as we left at 2:00PM., and the line of cars was wall to wall all the way up the Canyon and beyond. Where they were going to put them all I don’t know, but it is a great event and a great time to get up into the mountains and feel the energy. The festivities will be going off again tomorrow, so get up there for the fun and start early for the best parking. IBBY!!
The weather was perfect this weekend for another Oktoberfest celebration at the Bird. I went up on both days to soak up as much of the festive feel as I could. Up on the peak The Summit facility was really going off with music, fun and delightful temps. at 11,000′. Here is the Pizza Makers getting ready to fire up the first pie of the day as well as some struddle that was waiting to go in the oven. The new T Shirt store is a great feature, with the official Snowbird Ski Patrol shirts available. They have all new styles for this season so check it out. Here is Nan, who has the best office view of anyone anywhere. Out on the deck, there was music and a full beer facility all set up. There are very comfortable chairs on which to lounge at high altitude, looking down on the Valley far below. Great people make places great and having so many amazing folks there to make the experience special is a real treat. Down on the Plaza I got this shot of Brittany and Gabriella inviting guests to enjoy lunch at the Forklift Restaurant, that has very nice patio dining. I particularly like the Chicken Pesto Sandwich, which I try to make, but never get it to taste as good as they serve at the Forklift. While it is still Summer, and the temps. in the Valley are still in the 90’s, I can’t help but think of the beach and the waves that break. Here is a shot of one of the cool throwing peaks I took last Winter. Here is another bomb that is breaking fast and hard, but oh so glassy!!While I was walking out for the day, I visited with my friend Kristen, who makes these organic hand made skin products with Hawaiian Lavender as well as other floral products. I tried it out and loved the feel. Check out her booth as you walk through the Gates it is right up front. Be sure to get up to the peak and enjoy the new facility and festivities that are happening there. I will be going up again next week, so say hi if you see me, and be sure to stay for the great music on Chickadee. Stay Frosty!!
This was the first weekend of this year’s Oktoberfest festivities. The Plaza was all set up with all the food stations and beer vendors. Celebrity circle was full of craft tents and more Local Breweries all set up. There was music on Chickadee and all the activities were in full swing. I took a Tram to the peak to check out the Summer time set up of the Summit at Hidden Peak. Here is a shot of Mark, the manager of the Summit, who was giving me the low down on all the offerings available on the peak. I was enjoying looking at all the terrain that we blaze over during the Winter, now looking verdant and lush even after all this hot dry weather we have been having. Here is a shot of the Lewis and Clark area that will be waiting for the first blistering runs when it gets covered. There was a real nip in the air on the peak, which felt great after the triple digit temps. we have beenliving with recently. The old Patrol Shack has been razed and the grade restored. There is a nice stone wall being built along the edge that will hold the snow on the peak. Here is a shot ofTwins with the stone wall creating a visual boarder. It is great to have the Summit complete and fully operational after all the time of construction. This is the first Summer of operation up there and I know it will be a real asset for the resort. I took this shot of Pipeline, framed by the upper portal on the West side of the Summit. With the arrival of Oktoberfest, we are now on the down hill side of time sliding into the Winter Season. It will not be long until the Tram is running up the brand new track cables, bringing the Faithful to the holy grail. It is fun to look down from the peak and imagine the lines and times that are to come in it’s due time. The best training is the inner visualizations that will unfold when the first turn is made. Speed Safely!!
We are in the middle of Deep Summer,with the heat pushing the upper levels. Time is moving like the LCC creek running at full volume in the Spring time, so I have been paying close attention to each day. When it gets this hot, I look back to the Mid Winter and the Angel Fire in the very cold atmosphere. Here, in the Deep Summer, the Chef’s vegetable garden is going full blast. I got this shot of one of his cabbages that was just geometrically stunning, with a lot going on in a small area. It has that full fractal element going on that is hypnotizing to me. Here is a great shot of THE CHEF, who tends this garden with such dedication. The Cool Air Concerts have been great all Summer, with Steve Kimock playing a stellar show that was a total surprise to have him be the Headliner. Here is a Bill Hughes shot, up close and personal. What a treat!!While visiting the Summit at Hidden Peek, I was hanging on the new East facing porch and took these two shots of Mineral Basin. It is such a vast area and if fun to anticipate the possibilities. Here, looking a bit closer, you get a sense of what we glide on so happily. Great terrain to push the imagings. I stop and try and hold these images going back into the Winter, which is not far away at all if you think about it. Another great person has left the planet suddenly, hiking in the hills he loved. I have never known anyone who packed more life into life, and radiated happiness. He will be missed. Here is a great shot of Rick Gardener hosting one of his great concerts at his cabin up in Big Cottonwood. I was really enjoying the new Peak facility, which has added a whole new PEAK experience. The old Patrol Shack was razed the other day, and now the vista will be unobstructed. My friend Neil got this shot when it was a done deal. Quite a difference indeed. It will be a whole new experience when you get off the Tram. New line possibilities will open up for sure. Now we enter the down hill slide into the new Season, which is fast approaching. The Dark Matter Wars continue, but are really a cakewalk with the proper perspective. Remember, Syrup Won’t Stop ‘EM!!
Summer begins with the solstice, and the Bird’s Summer Season began with the Brew Fest and opening of the Tram. I took advantage of a brief respite from the Dark Matter Wars to get to the peak and reconnect with the vibrations that burst from that vortex. Here is a shot of the Twins with the last of last season’s snow still holding tough on the High North exposures. The work on the Tram is complete and it is running as smooth as silk. The new cables are looking shiny and new, and it is an amazing feat to have the new threads set and ready for the next 45 years. The Summit at Hidden Peak was open as well, but I spent my time soaking up the vistas that were offered by a Kodachrome day. Down at the base, the plaza was packed, with a great BBQ going on, and out in the upper circle all the Brewing Companies each had tents. There were arts and crafts tents with some lots of things to check out. Sin City Soul was rocking the circle with great R&B. They are all excellent players and they played very interesting songs with very funky grooves. The bass player is an old friend of mine who grew up in the same town back in Mass. that I came from and settled in Heber. I rarely get a chance to catch this band and it was a special treat to be front and center to get the full effect. It is great to have such a great place to escape the heat so close to home during the Summer. It is like a staycation like no other. There are lots of great events planned for the Summer as well as the ongoing activities that are happening every day. All the attractions are up and running, so everyday is a great day to get a way and enjoy the beauty that is in our back yard. Tomorrow I return to my post where I am engaged in transmuting the Dark Matter into Puissant Energy with which new creations can be brought into being. It seems like bailing against the tide sometimes, but there is solace in KNOWING!! Stay Frosty!!
SEASON WRAP UP
After several weeks of full on encounters in the Dark Matter Wars, which are on going, I was able to reflect on the season that just wrapped up. Having a near normal snowfall made the vibe much more electric with each accumulation of the Essential Substance. There were few instances where the faithful were not totally on top of the installments, and that made for some alternative approaches to the deep days. While the deep days were indeed exquisite, the perfection of the pack during the storm lulls were also exquisite as well. This shot of perfect corduroyexemplifies the amazing quality that was served up day after day. You just had to know where to look and be able to appreciate perfection in all it’s different iterations. One of the other elements I remember was the amazing light effects of the Sun and Sky that you have to stop and GROK when you see them. These atmospheric treats always seem to indicate that one shouldreflect on where one is and what a singularly special moment in TIME that is being shown to Being. There is another atmospheric effect that is very illusive and is only visible in very rareconditions that you have to be right there when they happen. The Portal opens and you must step through to get the full effect of the Moment. Time spent up on the hill is TIME well spent. There are other amazing instances that are revealed to the early risers, where you have to ask you self; How does that happen?. Here is one of those sights that are sublime in concept and execution. The completion of the Summit at Hidden Peak was an amazing addition to the ambience of the Snowbird experience that was long in the making and made such a big difference to the season. The folks who work up at these elevations worked very hard to make the experience seamless and exciting. The food was a really big part of the experience as well and the presentation was far beyond what one would expect at 11,000 feet. To make all this happen took a huge effort of folks who arrived early and made it all happen as if by magic. I spent quite a bit of time in the big room during the raging storms, where before I had to make a hasty retreat off the peak to escape the maelstrom. Now I can just sit quietly and contemplate where I am and what is going on around me. Of course, we come for the powder and we got it in amazing installments that delivered those treasured moments where TIME stops when one is enveloped in the Essence. This is my friend Mike getting some of the first deep deposits in South Chute early in the Season. This shot shows how much and how early the conditions came to life. This is what it is all about. But, without the efforts of a lot of very dedicated people, access to this kind of terrain would not be happening as it does on a daily basis. The folks who show up in the wee hours of the morning to begin preparations for the day make the operation of the hill seamless. Thanks to the Patrol, who work so hard to get the hill ready for each day and are there to keep us safe all day. Thanks to all the lift service folks who keep the machinery running like a Swiss watch. Thanks to all of the food service folks who have provided the warmth of home when we need to recharge for more charging. And finally, to the folks who left the Planet and our lives this Season. Let this image of “Number 1” be symbolic of all those who meant so much to all of us that live and breath this place. They all will live in our hearts as we continue on Living The Dream. I am fully engaged in the Dark Matter Wars and am working my way back to yet another Season that is rapidly approaching. I hope you all have a great Summer and will be ready and refreshed for yet another encounter with the Essence in TIME. I will be posting from time to time all Summer to keep you posted on the Summer festivities, so check back from time to time. Remember: Syrup Won’t Stop ‘EM!!
Another delightful festival of corn goodness greeted the folks who showed up for the beautiful morning. I made bee line for the lower Bassakward line to get the fresh tracks that waited there. It was absolutely perfect deep sugar, that just felt exquisite with each deeply dialed in turn. Higher up on the hill, the break was already happening, with the groomed lines offering sorbet quality. I could not help but compare the conditions to some of the great back country corn I have had in the past. Here is a shot of Pipeline Bowl, with the Rasta Chutes looking fun and tasty. With the warm temps of the last couple of days, some of the lines that would usually be avoided have been attracting a lot of attention, as they are steep, direct, and quickly accessible. Here is a shot of the high amplitude interference patterns along the Little Cloud Sign Line looking formidable indeed. I liked the early morning Sun on the faces of this feature. The conditions held up the nice quality until around Noon, when it became a bit too thick for my knees. I left the hill to the capable folks who were working every aspect of the available terrain. Tomorrow, the snow is still holding up at the very bottom, and ski on access to the chair is no problem thanks to the fine snow farming efforts of the Cat Crew. The weather promises to cooperate for the last day. Conditions should be best for the first 3 hours or so, but the fun lasts all day. See you for the morning session. See the Line, Be the Line!!
It was a beautiful morning, with the snow just hitting perfect right off the bat. Only Regulator needed an hour or so to get prime. I worked a couple laps down low to get that Lower Bassakwards line that is always perfect and buffed, and this morning was no exception. Up high, Mark Malu was also offering a sorbet feel and I was dialing back the roll to extract as much juice from each turn I could. It had that back country quality that made me imagining I was out in the high reaches of White Pine. Here is a shot of the Dead End Chute looking super PHAT!The off trail was soft and workable, though the Rasta Chutes seemed a bit punchable, so I just stayed down lower and hit Hoopies just to check out the exposure. Up on the top of the Little Cloud Chair, the view was incredible and friends were streaming by as I took it all in. Here is a shot of Team Turville, with Toad Hill out in Mineral Basin as a back drop. They were so stoked to be up here for the great conditions. Some folks are shooting a movie, so there are some tantalizing features being built, but they are not for local consumption. Here is a shot of two guys putting the touches on a landing zone for a huge off the lip move. I forget what the Movie they are making is called, but there should be some very big moves on these features. We’ll just have to see. Tomorrow, look for more great conditions, but we will have to see what the weather will offer for the morning session. There is still plenty of snow to get to the bottom, with some creative snow farming being performed by the Cat Crew. See you there for the opening bell. Straight Ahead!!