Snowbird Secrets: A Guide to Big Mountain Skiing is available for you to enjoy right now.
The hill was overcast this morning as the weather is just beginning to move into the area. A light snow fell on and off and the visibility remained variable. Groomers were offering the best consistency, but the off trail is becoming much more approachable with each additional installment. It is great to have all the new terrain to peruse and ply in advance of more snow. At least we will get a good look at the lines for when the goods are filling the dance floor. Weather forecast is still looking good as I write this, with the clouds beginning to lower in the West. That is a good sign. Here is a shot I took the other day when the sky was ultra Blue with these frosted over branches looking cool in the sharp contrast. I just had to stop and take this shot. Tomorrow, look for weather to be a factor as the system should be well ensconced by tomorrow, with precipitation lasting through Monday. I am expecting this to put a totally new face on the hill and all areas will need to be re scouted for accuracy. I will be going out and about with more confidence now that there will be some much needed frosting to spread around. I will be back with a first hand look tomorrow after my day of rest and watching the Utes work the magic. Go Utes!!!!
The weather had held off today despite the weather forecast, with nice Sunshine lighting up the dance floor. Mineral Basin was delayed a couple of hours for control work, but opened around 11:00 AM for the extra excited folks who showed up to get a taste of the goods back there. The coverage was thin, but the snow quality was excellent, still holding on to the soft fluffy feel that I had hoped to encounter. Reports from the open off trail areas were encouraging, with only a few reports of rock issues. I took the Groomed sections to get a better look for myself, and did wander off the tilled areas to get a sense of the free range. While the coverage is good, I will be sticking close to the main lines until we get more snow. Here is a shot of the greater area to give you an idea of coverage and the pummeling the area took from the faithful who were not shy about hitting it hard. As you can see, with the exception of the close areas, it got worked wall to wall. That is good to get it compacted for the next installment that is still promised to arrive tonight and through the next few days. The hill is in fine shape to take more of the frosting to get it ready for the holiday season. A White Holiday Season. Tomorrow, look for weather to be working into the area, so visibility will be an issue. To avoid the interference patterns in the bad vis, and use the known machine worked areas to give yourself the most consistent ride. I have been sneaking off into the off trail only to find some serious rumble to contend with. As accumulation increases that will be a non issue. Here is a shot of some cool clouds over Timp. way down range. Get there early to avoid the push. There was quite a push this morning, so it will only get more intense. See you Sunday after my day off. Syrup won’t stop ‘ EM!!
Visibility was variable all day long as the clouds moved in and out. Around 10:00AM an impulse of Lake Effect moved up the Canyon, which came in a very intense burst, delivering 3 or so inches of the lightest snow imaginable. Here is a shot of my skis covered with the Essence which accumulated while I was having breakfast at the Forklift Chair. Check out how lacy and delicate it is. Very nice!! Traffic was light and there was no waiting for the Tram, though it was running so consistently that you had to make a real effort to make each car. The off trail looked much better, but the interference patterns are becoming wide spread and tough to get around. Still the spacing is fairly generous, and smooth turns can be had. The new snow made the conditions better as the day progressed and passing patches of Sun made a few runs a bit brighter. Here is a shot of Monte Christo looking like an island in a white fog sea. Just another day in Heaven. Tomorrow, look for the opening of Mineral Basin to be happening. The exact timing, I do not know, but I will be there for it in any case. I think it will be a great time and the Baldy connection to Alta is said to be part of the opening. That will be a great touch for a lot of folks I can think of. More weather is upstream, so only good things can come. Snow could be a feature tomorrow as well, so expect variable visibility throughout the day. The Groomers will be offering the consistent smooth and there is plenty of fast paced lines to keep it interesting. I am very excited for the change on the way. Speed Safely!!
The Sun was in and out all day long, making the visibility an issue from time to time. The light would get so flat that all the details would disappear and it would be just a guessing game. Light traffic made the back to back pace easy to keep, but the time it took to dial in some of the more murky lines made a round trip take a bit longer. When the Sun was out, we stopped to get a look at Mineral Basin as it will be opening very soon. Here is a shot that Mr. Scott took because I left my memory stick in the computer. Doh!! It is still looking very nice back there and I can’t wait to get back there to do some of the recon runs that I love so much. The Groomers were still very firm, but with the colder temps of the day, the Snow Guns were working on both sides of the hill, where some very nice carpets of Gun Powder were fun to dial in.
The Cat Crew has done a very nice job of keeping the main runs consistent and smooth with only very rare pebbles showing up in the mat . I am tempted to bring out the new skis. Tomorrow, look for the Groomers to be offering the best of the day, with the morning corduroy offering fast smooth lines. Weather is beginning to work into the Front, and, if the forecast can be believed, there is some significant snow in store for us in the next while. The Pacific is looking ripe and with some luck it will come charging right through here. Here is a shot of the peak, with the new structure sitting on the precipice . This will be such a cool place when it is up and running. Light traffic will be the feature of the day, so get in the laps before things get busy during this holiday season. See you for wrapping the laps in the AM. Ciao!
The Sun shone all morning long after a forecast of overcast skies. The clouds finally moved in around 1PM. when the lights went out. The groomers were smooth, though very firm, requiring a very deliberate approach to the fall line. I was in full on smooze mode dealing with the early morning flat light that comes with those early Trams. The Sun rose up in the sky to give detail to the dance floor, and you could see the treads of dust that were the place to put your turns. The pressure for the goods has not stopped on the hill, with the shots across the street getting a lot of attention. Here is a shot of the South East facing section of Superior with a lot of fresh tracks from top to bottom. Off Trail, the interference patterns are building up quickly as the traffic is looking for options. The guts are sporting a medium amplitude with a higher frequency rumble further out from the obvious lines. The off trail still provides the remaining vestige of softness, and the underlying base is firm but consistently supportable. Some new lines were offered up today, and while I considered a look at these lines, I deferred to the younger folks to work it in and pack it out. These lines got good reviews, but entry is tricky at best. Tomorrow, look for more firmness to be the order of the day, with, perhaps, some additional weather moving through the Front. Coverage is much better, but firmness will be the major factor. See you for the morning fun session. Syrup won’t stop ‘ EM!!
The air was clear an cold this morning as the first Tram hit the peak. The Sun was coming up, but the light on those first few was dark. The recent installment has been worked into the Groomers which has set up fairly tightly. The off trail was offering some nice lines if you went out looking, and the feel is still consistent and has not become crusty yet. The Cat Tracks are much better now, and moving through the lower Peruvian Gulch is so much improved that I made the majority of my runs today over there. The highlight was the Mid Cirque apron that was just like the living room shag. Just perfect. Here is a shot that Neil sent of Regulator looking steep in the morning light. The additional recent accumulation has really helped the coverage. In the next while more terrain will be opening. Here is a shot of Silver Dipper looking mighty inviting. That is one of my favorite shots on the hill. Top to bottom, hard to beat.Tomorrow, look for some overcast which is coming out ahead of another impulse. The Groomers will be good to go, though those upper sections might be a bit on the firm side. Look for the Gun Powder under the guns for the nice carvy sweetness. This morning offered some stellar deposits of of Silk. Look for those little pockets of buff in the AM. Traffic is light and fast laps will be fun to make. See you for the morning laps. Don’t forget to SZZL!!
The medium density fresh Essence that covered the dance floor today felt like silky frosting under foot. The consistency felt luxurious indeed, though that underlying hard pack was in play, but the new snow started to stick to the old layer. Low angle aspects seemed to feel the best, where the float factor kept you from hitting the hard pack too much. Reports from my friends, who were going further afield, said that the coverage was much improved. I will wait just one more storm to get too excited about getting to far out, but then I am way out there to start with. The traffic was brisk, but the lifts made short work of any lines and a quick pace was easy to keep. It felt great to feel like the turns were getting real. I still did not fully trust the consistency, so I was still averaging the turns to avoid the surprise slick spot sneaking up on me. Here is a shot of the trees flocked with the freshness, making it look more like Winter. It has been quite a while since we have seen them looking so frosty. The Valley still has a lot of overcast moving through out of the North West, so, perhaps, we will see some additional Lake Effect put down some of the ultra light. Tomorrow, look for the Groomers to be a real treat with the new product getting worked into the mat. The off trail will be interesting to check out to see how it is shaking out, but there is no doubt that it will be much more realistic going off the beaten path. Temps will be colder now that the front has moved though, so be sure to dress for the changes. I have been spoiled wearing only a light shell this past while. See you for the morning fun fest. Stay Frosty!!
Freshness finally arrived as rain pelted the Trailer all night long and continued throughout the day. Up on the hill only 5” was reported with an inch accumulation during the day. That was enough to soften the ride, and make the faithful smile. The visibility was an issue, but staying close to the trees was the way to keep yourself located. I took the day off as usual to rest up for the coming week. Here is a shot I took yesterday when the Sun was still out. It made this wind blown section of slab look like an interesting sculpture. Tomorrow, look for some additional accumulation overnight, though not much is expected. The Groomers will be much fresher and soft, which my knees will really appreciate. Remember that Gad 2 is now open and that area will be offering some very nice lines with the new snow. It is another Customer Appreciation Day tomorrow, so be sure to get there early for the early Trams, doughnuts, coffee, and hot chocolate for everyone. This is a very nice touch for the early morning start. This new snow will go a long way to improving the conditions on the hill, and will enable some more exploration off the Groomers. I will keep you posted on what I find. Be sure to avoid those obvious high points and tight sections. See you there for the goodies in the AM. Ciao!
The wind backed off for today even though there were forecasts of higher winds than yesterday. The Sun made an appearance until 1:00PM when a cloud deck began to come in and turn the lights out. Gad 2 was offering the best snow on the hill with that dry chalky feel that only natural snow can provide. Traffic was light and it was easy to lap that Bananas run before the folks started discovering the goods. Early, after all the wind of yesterday, Regulator was providing a Sonic Jiggle Bath for your feet as all the cushion was gone, and my feet were vibrating when I got to the bottom. It would have to wait until it softened later in the day with the extra warm temps. for the traction to improve. The Peruvian side of the hill was offering some of the transported dust from the Gad side of the hill and that was a treat to feel that traction in each turn. The lower part of Chips should be avoided by taking the road around to the Wilbre Chair to bypass the gnar. Once again the light was interesting over the Valley, and even though I put up a similar shot a few days ago, I could not help but pull this shot of the Bingham Mine in tight. It such an interesting contrast of nature and excavation, light and dark, Earth and Sky. Tomorrow, look for the storm front to have moved into the area and weather to be the order of the day. Be sure to dress for the weather and be sure you remember that the off trail features will be covered. Go where it is fat and avoid the high points. Coverage is good overall, but, with the new cover, it would not be hard to tag a snag or two. This new snow will be a welcome addition and the conditions will be significantly better, so be there for the freshness. IBBY!!
The wind was high this morning, knocking my car around as I drove up the Canyon. The Tram was down due to the wind, the sky was overcast, but there were options. The Peruvian Chair was fired up, providing access to Peruvian Gulch, so that got me out on the hill. I was sticking with the Groomers, with the off trail a bit difficult given the flat light. I made an early visit to the Forklift Chair to assess the options, and after a nice repast with the other members of the crew, I headed back out to find that Gad 2 had been opened early for the folks who were on hand. What a treat that was, with Bananas offering fresh Grooming using totally natural snow. Here is a shot of Whiskey as we got off the top of the Gad 2 chair and got ready to hit the fresh lines. It is great to get some new terrain to ply. I did 4 fast laps there until it got too congested. The Tram opened just before Noon, getting the top to bottom laps into gear. Regulator was blown clean, and though groomed, it did not have any extra traction, making that descent tricky indeed. Tomorrow, look for the Gad 2 area to be offering some new lines to checkout as well as more off trail areas. The Bananas Trees looked fairly filled in, but other sections looked thin. You can get a sense of things during your ride up the chair. The Groomers are well covered and fun. The wind will be nuking again, so be prepared for variations on the day. Snow is in the forecast, but who can say how much. Here is a shot of Ms. Dallas who, coincidentally, was from Dallas, had just rolled into town and was getting her very first Tram ever. I was really stoked for her and I know she had a good time. See you for the Gad 2 laps in the AM. Ciao!!