Snowbird Secrets: A Guide to Big Mountain Skiing is available for you to enjoy right now.
The weather dude had predicted a storm day for today, but kept pushing the start time back as the system decided to drag it’s feet getting here. The wind was cranking on the ridge tops and it looked like the wind lines should be building, but all the loose snow was still moving and finding a landing spot only in the low spots between the interference patterns. Those South and West exposures were still super crispy and needed to be avoided. Fortunately, the Groomers on the Peruvian side of the hill were providing some sumptuously smooth lines top to bottom. Due to the light, wind and exposures, I avoided a drop into Mineral Basin, though it was calling. Regulator was blown clean, with the corduroy nap the only bit of traction that was available. Over on Gad 2 the trees were beginning to gather the blowing snow, which was filling in the variations. Tomorrow, look for what ever accumulation is delivered by this impulse, though there is no telling how much will be put down. The density should be medium to high, so the cushion will be a nice addition to the pack. With enough cover, those crispy aspects will be mitigated a bit, but a cautious approach to those aspects is advised. The High North is still holding the overall smooth, with the rumble the only issue there. Visibility should be an issue if the precipitation continues through the day. Here is a shot of the peak with the wind clearing the folks off as soon as they can get off of the top. I tried to get the blowing snow, but it had already been taken elsewhere. Here is a shout out to the folks from Philly, who were stoked and ready for the day on the bench in the morning. These folks got all of it, and were spent when I saw them on the very same bench in the afternoon. I know they had a great time. Deja Vu. Peace Out!!
The Sun was shining brightly for the first couple of hours this morning, with a little chill in the air. Those South and West aspects were frozen solid to start things off, so the options were the High North lines or the fresh groomers that had been prepared. Nice lines in Mineral Basin were in the Sun since the time change placed the front side in the dark again. On the Front Side the Groomers had top to bottom velvet smooth, with Lower Primrose Path offering the goods on the lower mountain. The Sun warmed the day and those crunchy exposures softened nicely in the afternoon. High clouds moved in and out over the hill, causing the light on the hill to come and go with the clouds, and that slowed the softening quite a bit. There were some nice wind lines that had developed, and here is a shot of one of the beauties that was calling out for attention. Tomorrow, look for weather to move into the Front and the visibility to be problematic. Having the smooth lines in mind will help keep you moving when the details go away. The wind might have worked some more aspects on the hill, so be looking out for what might have been buffed. Once again, be sure to avoid those South and West faces, as they will not soften at all with the cloud cover and colder temps. Look to the High North for the best storm riding, and of course the grooming can be counted on for consistent lines on both sides of the hill, though Regulator will be fairly crispy as it was this morning. Peace Out!!
The Sun was out in full effect today illuminating the dance floor for the faithful. There was plenty of soft snow still available all over the hill, and the Groomers were offering the rock and roll lines to Lay It Down Like Ligety!! With the good visibility, it was easy to scope out those lines that had been missed in the fog yesterday. That was a full bonus for those who wait for fair weather to get the goods. The hill is fully fat now, with all the drops filled up nicely, however, those pesky approaches, that have been problematic as of late, are still spotty and require a bit of care. West Baldy opened again after the closure, which rewarded the waiting faithful with the big vertical that has been waiting in the wings for a while. That was a welcome development indeed. Tomorrow, look for another Sunny day, though clouds are expected to build up in the afternoon ahead of the next storm. The wind may also play a role in the mix, so if it kicks up be looking for those wind lines to begin to develop with all the loose product to move around. The direct exposures, that were getting at Sun warming, should be avoided in the AM as they will be very crusty and not worth hitting until the softening occurs. It will be a great day on the hill, so be there for the Sun before the storm. Here is a shot of the Czech Connection, Jarda and Anna, who are taking the chops they developed on this hill up to British Columbia. I know they are going to rock it up there. I hope they will come back and visit if we can lure them back with the Promise of the Wasatch. See you for the first Boat. Ciao!!
The snow flurries lingered over the hill all day long, making the visibility marginal from time to time. The off trail was still a bit bouncy, and depending on which exposure you chose, you needed to be ready for the variations. Some of the lines had some wind deposited accumulation, where there was a deep pocket that could produce a face shot if you hit it with some speed. The Groomers were full on fun and carvalicious, making a full throttle assault on the fall line fun and predictable. The High North was still holding the best quality lines, as the smooth is still holding up in these areas. As the day progressed the interference patterns began to rise up in the high traffic areas. The clouds helped keep the product out of the Sun’s rays, so it stayed quite soft well into the afternoon. One of the last sections to open was happening just as I arrived on an exploratory lap. Surprisingly, the Sun was shining out in the Basin as the storm clouds and wind were working the front. Here is a shot of the turns I made out on the far reaches. Also included is a shot of my buddy Revy’s two side by side turns. That is how much time we had to get the goods. I lapped this treasure 3 times before it was discovered. Tomorrow, look for clear skies as the High Pressure moved into the area. The temps should be nice and the hill will be in great shape for the weekend seekers. With the Sun coming out, be sure to hit those direct aspects first because they won’t last long. The bottom layer is still in play, but the medium density product that was delivered has gone a long way to cushioning the ride. I will be taking the day off, so I will see you on Sunday. IBBY!!
With the storm front predicted to move in today, the clouds looked very threatening at times today, and it seemed as if it was about to uncork, but the weather held off until after dark. The Groomers were good to go and offered smooth consistency in the very flat light. Off trail was a bit tricky with the old chop setting up a low amplitude rumble that worked the knees a bit much. The Upper Silverfox section of the hill opened up after the competition set up was cleared off, offering quite smooth lines. This area had been held closed for the past few days, and it was nice to get this area back, so we could get a look at what those athletes accomplished yesterday. What I saw still boggles my mind. The overall smooth is holding up on the hill, with only some of the very high traffic areas building the amplitude. With the addition of the next installment, all the aspects should be looking good, even those South facing shots should be getting soft again. There was little wind today, with the exception of some ridge top streaming, but certainly not enough to establish those consistent wind lines. We will just have to wait to see what develops in the morning. Good cover still is happening wall to wall, and there should be a bit more traffic on the hill with the addition of this installment. It should be a great morning, thought the visibility will be marginal. Here is a shot of Fitz, sporting a very Cosmic hat that I just had to get a picture of. This hat was so beautifully made and Fitz told me that it was a hat from Cique Du Soleil. A bold fashion statement!! See you for the freshness. Stay Frosty!!
It was clear morning with cool temps to start things off. The Groomers were offering perfect corduroy top to bottom as the warmth has yet to get to deep into the pack, so the till work just brings up fresh cold snow. Mineral Basin was calling, as the White Diamonds section got the fresh mow after yesterday’s unseen powder coating made it extra special perfect. I guess there has to be degrees of perfect, though I do not know where such a scale can be found. The last of the left over untrammeled areas opened today, and I chose a gracious Forklift Breakfast instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop. I got the gift of the season there not long ago and it seemed futile to try and get it again. The Freeride World Tour hit the Silverfox section of the mountain today with talent that defies imagination. The runs I saw executed were mind melting in the extreme. At times I could not really tell that what I was seeing was real. You just have to give it to these athletes for far reaching vision and sheer Awesomenicity!!! Tomorrow, it looks as if another system is moving into the area, with precipitation beginning in the late morning. Visibility will be compromised when the front moves through, so get your bearings on the hill before the vis goes South. The high frequency rumble still populates the off trail sections, which will keep you on your toes, but that is the fun of it. Here is a shot of the start at the top of the ridge with the Tram at the Tower. Yum yum, eat it up!!! See you for the next installment. Ciao!!
It was just beginning to snow when First Tram left the dock. The Grooming Crew had prepared some very nice corduroy to start thing off until the heavy stuff arrived. Visibility was at a premium, especially at the top of the hill, but sticking with the trees made the detail stand out. The off trail was quite lumpy and bumpy with those South facing aspects particularly rasty. As the intensity of the new snow increased, the accumulation began to cushion the ride with medium density feel. If you stayed on the prepared surfaces, you could count on smooth consistency, which is very important when you are just guessing. There was not much wind to move the product around, but the continuous accumulation kept things fresh. I took a run in Mineral Basin when I thought there might be some visibility, and found an undiscovered untracked Groomed run that no one could see, so no one worked it. I took the leap of faith when I dropped in, as it could have gone either way, but as the Snow Gods would have it, it was covered with 5 inches of smooth goodness. Nice unexpected treat. Tomorrow, look for a clearer day as this impulse moves out. The Freeride World Tour is running the competition, and you will see runs that will be mind blowing. Check that out when you are on that side of the hill. The early hours will provide the best of the day, as the leftover, unseen lines, will be worth chasing. The hill is in great shape, enjoy the freshies. Here is a shot of the Tour Signage flying on the peak with Superior in the distance. See you there to see the Best throw down. IBBY!!
There was a light coating of medium density Essence covering the dance floor this morning as the week began. Most of the interference patterns on the hill have mitigated quite a bit, thought the patterns I saw were round with lines that did not become too angular. Gad 2 looked particularly soft with the North facing tree aspects still holding the cold. Now that we are in March, the Sun is much higher in the sky, making those South aspects very sensitive to the rays. Those aspects got downright gooey this afternoon, thought they still had a smooth consistency. The Lewis and Clark variations offered very nice lines with very little traffic, though some of the underlying vibrations were being felt through the light accumulation. Some of the old wind slab lines are still holding that old smooth despite the additional accumulation, and a round line will give you a break from some of the other sections of high frequency rumble. Tomorrow, look for a storm riding day as the next impulse moves into the Front. Be fully aware of those South aspects that saw all that Sun today, as they will be frozen solid in the morning and are unlikely to thaw at all during the day. If you do venture to these aspects be prepared to be challenged in a significant way. The hill is in great shape for this next installment, and with the exception of those previously mentioned issues, any line you choose should be good to go. Here is a shot of my first Tram ride up with 3 first time visitors who were on their way to a lifetime of future visits I am sure. Pictured here are Moose Man, Benny the Jet, and, out of frame, the illustrious Nerd. It was tight on that first one, so I could not get them all in. Rock it guys. See you in the AM. Peace Out!!
The faithful were, once again, on deck and ready to dance on the creamy and dreamy installment that still had a lot of life left in it. The areas that had been closed yesterday opened as the control work was completed. The snow quality was dense and granular, feeling much like beach sand under foot. Even after it had been tracked out, the Essence maintained a soft consistent feel that begged you to throw a bit more juice into each turn. The overnight wind smoothed many of the high elevation aspects that kept me going back for more. The high traffic jammed the Tram first off, but the chairs were offering quick and easy access with no waiting. I zoomed around visiting the areas that I usually bypass to take advantage of the uncrowded lines. The hill is in great shape all over the dial and you can not make a bad choice at this point, with only the very high traffic entrances offering any real gnar to deal with. Tomorrow, look for some light snow to have fallen overnight, so there should be some freshies for the morning crew. Look to the Groomers for the ultimate in smoothness and carving excellence. What a treat to have perfection a given when you hit the wide open corduroy. Traffic should abate quite a bit, leaving plenty of room to uncork. Got to love when the hill gets like this and you just point and shoot. Here is a shot of the legendary BLISS BROTHER who were gearing up for the day down in the locker room. They were in high spirits and ready to throw down and party. See you there for the morning disco inferno!!! IBBY!!
The Trailer was rocking all night long and I was glad that the extra anchors I installed kept it from experiencing the mishap that happened a couple years ago in the high wind. Up on the hill, another foot covered the dance floor with the big low pressure sending waves of moisture to us as it turns off shore. The wind and warm pattern of this cycle has kept the density very high, with a sugar like consistency that is very spreadable indeed. There were many FB posts saying that this was the best day of the year, so I am glad that the Promise of the Wasatch is being fulfilled. Things were slow to get started, but there were nice lines to chase on the Gad side, and once the Tram opened it was game on. There is a very high concentration of talent on the hill presently with the FWT going on tomorrow and it has been fun seeing the folks getting jiggy with the hill. Be sure to keep all those up hill drops in mind as you pass underneath, as you never know if it is a drive line. Now, any line is the drive line. Tomorrow, look for some residual accumulation to greet the morning crew, the FWT to be going off beginning at 10:30AM, and another day to get the goodness that we have been waiting for. The hill is still holding the smooth over all, but there are still some high amplitude lines to find if you look around. The plus side of that is that they will be soft bumps. It looks like we might get a bit of a break in the weather, so take advantage of this cycle as it unfolds. Here is a shot of some of the spires out in Mineral Basin that were looking particularly clear and pointy. Stay Frosty!!