Snowbird Secrets: A Guide to Big Mountain Skiing is available for you to enjoy right now.
The snow guns were lofting clouds of cold smoke into the sky this morning with a gun over in Alta making it look like there was something burning over there. It was 15 below Zero as first Tram hit the top and the snow was, once again, very slow, feeling very much like you had the safety break on. The guns were turning out a very large amounts of snow in these cold temps and the super atomized clouds that formed deposited an ultra dust hundreds of feet from the gun that felt divine. That finish felt so smooth it had to be appreciated. With the additional new snow, the Groomed runs are mellowing out, leaving evidence of the old ice layer a very rare encounter. Off trail the traffic has been working the lines to the point that most of the features are becoming buried or no issue. The chop has built up a bit off trail, so it will take a bit more attention to deal with the variations. Tomorrow, look for another cold morning, light traffic, ripping opening smoothness, and plenty of room to stretch out and move. Here is a shot of another look into Mineral Basin as it begins to shape up and looking tantalizing. Soon we will be ripping up those full on lines that we now just look at and dream. See you there for the morning session. Stay Frosty.
The storm had moved off, leaving a clear and very cold morning. It was 10 below Zero on the peak and the snow was very slow and grabby even with the appropriate wax. The last few inches of overnight accumulation meant blower turns for the morning crew. The off trail was feeling more like it should, and as it all gets worked the consistency will improve. I ventured in the upper Silver Fox gate and scoped things out. Most of the rock bands are visible, and the open sections have filled in, making that a go moving ahead. Still, if you push the edges and the high points you might catch a hit on the base, so use discernment. The groomers were much nicer, with a consistent feel with minimal hard pan showing through. The snow guns are working hard and passing through the wash can slime your goggles, so shield your lens as you pass and try and keep them clear. In this cold, the guns are really producing a lot of build up, so be careful passing as there may be a whale built up. Tomorrow, look for continued improved conditions, and keep an eye pealed for new terrain opening. Traffic is light after the morning push, so there is plenty of room to stretch out and go. Back to back Trams are makeable but there is no lollygaging if you are pushing for the lap. Dress for cold in the AM. keep your skin covered. I got a bit of frost bite on first run when my covering slipped. Here is a shot my friend Revy sent my way of some cool light effects in the high moisture atmosphere. Stay Frosty!!!
The storm rolled in last night with 4” on the Trailer this morning and not much more up on the hill. The fresh installment of Essence was medium density, which seemed to bond to the hard pack underneath. Low angle aspects seemed favored as the cushion felt luxurious indeed. At 10:30 AM the temps fell and the density became increasingly lighter as the lake effect kicked in. Here is a shot of the lacy flakes of goodness accumulating on my skies during the Forklift Chair repast. It does not get lighter than that. It got progressively deeper as the day progressed and the conditions became special indeed. There was very low traffic with partially filled Trams, so a back to back pace was possible, but required a full push to make each car. I thought I was getting in shape, but the deep snow required a bit more power to motor through, so all your focus was needed. The bottom was still in play, with slick sections still affecting the turns. I was using a longer, deliberate approach to maximize the elasticity of the ski to punch through the variations. Tomorrow, look for additional accumulation, great conditions, much more traffic for the product, and perhaps some Canyon issues. Check the report before heading up. Here is also a shot of the accumulation piling up on the trees in perfect little piles. Get ready for fun and enjoy the return of the Essential Element!! Peace Out
There was a very light turn out for first Tram this morning as is evidenced by this shot of the morning crew minutes before the light went green. The visibility was good, but the South wind was nuking, stripping what loose snow there was on Regulator, and put it on the Peruvian side of the hill where there was an overall consistency to the firmness. The warmer temps. made the ride a bit smoother and it seemed there was much more traction overall than what we experienced the past few days. Only the highest elevation Guns were operating as the temps lower down were too high to make snow. Back to back laps was the order on the day to work up as much endurance going into the approaching storm cycle. It looks juicy as I watch Mr Weather Dude, but I am not going to jinx it by dwelling too much on the amount. Whatever we get of the natural Essence will be a welcome addition to the base. Tomorrow, know that the prepared runs will have the solid base you can trust when it gets covered up. Off trail will be much improved, but the features that now exist above the snow surface will be in play, so be aware and go for the fat guts and avoid the high points. The new snow will go along way to getting more terrain open, so do your best snow dance tonight and we will see you there for some freshness in the AM. Ciao!!
The visibility was marginal for the first couple of hours this morning, as a cloud hung on to the peak. It lifted as the morning progressed giving way to a clearing sky by 11AM. The snow guns had laid down some very smooth cover, so trusting the smooth made the visibility issues a lesson in feel. It is always good to get a wide range of exercises early in the season to work out the Instrument Flight Rules. You just have to stretch out your feelers and trust sometimes. The Gun Powder was consistent top to bottom and dialing in some turn dynamics paid off with solid traction. There were still slick spots in places and many of the rocky pockets had been addressed leaving the prepared runs virtually care free. The clouds returned intermittently later on making the light go flat again, but really did not present much of an issue after the early foggy session. Tomorrow, look for another morning of fresh lines for the early risers, low traffic, and a great time to get the stamina working. I was really feeling my legs during that non stop back to back Tram pace that was going off. You have to be on it to make each Bucket, but it can be done with a minute to spare. There is snow in the forecast, so I have been scoping out my lines. Here is another shot of Mineral showing the coverage there as of yesterday. It needs more, but it is looking pretty close. Get ready for fun and I will see you on first Bucket. Peace Out!!
With the Peruvian Gulch the only area open for the early morning session, the decision was made, but the Snow Guns were turning out some very nice product top to bottom. It had the feel of smooth Flannel that just said carve. Looking for the smoothest lines covered with the over spray was optimum and stood up for a long time if you kept to the sides. The firmness still is in play but the new additional man made is a bonus. The lowest section of Chips requires a bit more attention as there are few pebbles littered in one small section of the mat, but a controlled line will avoid the features. Off trail has been getting some traffic, which is exposing some of the features. As I said yesterday, it is well to check out the features before we get the new snow next week so you can dial in the lines with confidence. Regulator was closed all morning for some slope detail work, and it was very nice indeed when it opened again, fully illuminated in sun and smooth. Tomorrow, look for some flat light if the high overcast moves in as predicted, smooth lines with some fresh goodness on the machine worked runs, and a light traffic morning, which will be perfect for vertical maximization. Here is a shot of some of the peaks to the South taken from the entry to Mineral Basin when I was checking it out. See you tomorrow for more pre dump recon runs. IBBY!!
While folks are dealing with the shopping frenzy of Black Friday, the smart folks were taking advantage of White Friday by getting the goods that are more important. I tried to post yesterday, but the ZETAS had the sub space channels jammed to keep me from getting the post up. Fortunately, the conditions have remained unchanged. The firmness persists, but that feature keeps the hill from scraping off with the holiday traffic. The cover continues to be solid on the prepared runs, but off trail still needs caution when treading off the beaten path. It is a long season and there are training laps to put in, so that when the goods do begin to dump, all systems will be good to go. Tomorrow, look for another nice day with the morning session affording the best lines of smoothness courtesy of the Cat Crew. Here is a shot of Snow Guns pumping out the Gun Powder on Regulator, keeping it fresh under the guns. Yumm!! See you there for the first boat, as I made it back through the Fractal Portal in one piece. Stay Frosty!!
It was another beautiful, still morning for first Tram, with high energy ready to get some of the silk from the Machines. Peruvian Gulch opened at around 11 AM, which provided an entirely new perspective to the day. The coverage on the main prepared runs was excellent, and the upper mountain had fair coverage off trail, however the wise money will wait until there is a bit more snow to wade out of the Boat. I did dip my toe in the water on a couple of exposures and found a real range of consistency. Most sections have quite a zipper crust on the surface, so use caution. The Lower part of Chips was very firm, but well covered. Tomorrow, look for a bit more traffic for the holiday, but I still suspect the first couple of hours to be casual. Be sure to check out all the lines that are yet to fill in so as to get a good look at the foundation. Those reefs you want to avoid are in full relief, so dial those in so you can charge a line when you already know the placement. Worth taking to time to look around. Here is a shot of the Tram Goddesses, ready to rip it up on first Tram. They showed super human execution on those first morning runs. Nice!!! I will be making the Jump to the Mother Ship for the next couple of days, so while I will still be posting, I will not be on the mountain. I will, however, be getting the inside scoop, so you know the info is fresh. Have a great holiday. Gobble Gobble!!
There was some very nice coverage on Regulator to greet the morning crew who showed up for the relaxed conditions. The base is adding up with the machine made sections getting fuller. I got some very nice untracked turns during those first few runs. When the Sun rose up, illuminating the dance floor, it was much easier to spot the silky lines that extended well below the guns. Nice!! The Peruvian Gulch is going to open in the morning, so that will open up a new set of options to explore. The main lines over there seem well covered, but some of the periferal areas still look like they need a bit more cover. Some of the fat guts look like they will be good to go, but the quality looks very variable with some zipper crust sections that might be interesting to negotiate. That is an exciting addition and will go a long way to spread the traffic out a bit. I am going to work the main sections and just dip my toe in the off trail to see how it feels. The Chef would say, “Never get out of the boat”, but I think a bit of cautious exploration will be well worth the effort. Tomorrow, look for another low traffic morning with fresh Gun Powder to be the order of the day. Those velvet turns are certainly worth the effort. Here is a shot of the Peruvian Gulch from the Plaza. It is looking much better after the snow we have seen recently. See you there early, IBBY!!
It was very low key for this Monday morning, with a light turn out for the first Tram. The early morning run down Regulator was graced with a velvet dusting of fresh Gun Powder that felt luxurious under foot. After an hour the Sun got high enough in the sky to illuminate the dance floor making the lines pop out. I got some very nice untracked turns under the guns as the traffic did not see the lines early on. Bonus!!. The Cat Crew did a very nice job working the recent freshness into the mat, and it made a difference in the over all feel. The consistency held up all day without any chop build up, and with the traffic working the field, it seemed to get better with time. Tomorrow looks to be another Blue Bird day, with fresh machine worked fun for the early risers. Here is a shot of the West Twin with a silver bird tracking the sky unaware of the fun fest 30,000′ below. Well, someone might have been looking down thinking about lost opportunity, or not. Take advantage of the training runs during this early season to be fully ready for the goodness in store. See you on the first Boat. Ciao!!