Archive for March, 2016



There was an overnight sensation, as additional accumulation was delivered and covered the Dance Floor with a nice 3 to 4 inches of goodness to start out the day.  Visibility was marginal indeed and the Morning Crew took the challenge by diving into Mineral Basin, where we found that White Diamonds had been buffed and covered, but that was just a guess as the pitch could not be seen at all, and only a total commitment to the fall line was going to answer the question. Over on the Lewis and Clark area, the lower angle groomers were sumptuous, but there again, the visibility was an issue.  On the front of the hill, the trees offered a bit more definition, but sticking with the Groomers was where you would find the consistent ride.  The off trail was still soft just about everywhere I checked and the final closure was opened.  The Exotic Trees were sublime, with very deep lines that were truly bottomless and offered full facial treatments top to bottom.  It was so worth the wait.  Here is a great shot of Caitlin, who is a great photographer, getting ready to go up on the hill and get those shots of the deep and creamy.  DSC03709There were a few glimpses Sun pockets illuminating the Cirque a few times, but the clouds moved in again with associated snow fall that made the visibility move toward Zero Zero.  I took that opportunity to go out to the far reaches of Little Cloud in search of lost pockets of goodness and found this rock feature sticking up out of the wind sculpted snow.  Below this was the lineDSC03715I was looking for that had escaped detection in the white out conditions.  That rock has seen untold Winters and seemed quite relaxed there on top of the ridge line.  Tomorrow, look for improving weather and perhaps a bit more accumulation on the Dance Floor for the morning session. All off trail lines are still offering soft cold snow that has yet to be kissed with the Sun, but that will not last long if the Sun is out in force.  Stay out ahead of the rays for the best quality as  the Sun clocks around the dial.  The hill is in great shape and you will find the goods if you look a bit toward the edges.  Stay Frosty!!



A light dusting had been added to the pack, which was much less than I thought would have accumulated based on the weather loop. None the less, the fresh dusting added a welcome feel to the Groomers that were smooth and fun.  Those areas that had not opened yesterday were opened today, with a full court press for the goods that were still fresh and deep.  The cold temps. and lack of Sun preserved the quality on all sides of the hill.  The Sun did try to burn through the high cloud deck, but as new flurries moved in, the visibility got variable as the clouds moved through.  I was sticking with the smooth lines I had dialed in from yesterday, and found deep pockets still available away from the crowd.  As the day wore on, the Groomers became a bit choppy, and my knees were beginning to complain.  Still, the quality was still good wall to wall.   Since the visibility kept me from getting a good shot of the day, I offer this great shot of Christmas 2011 048-1Douglas Thiel, a young hard charger demonstrating some high edge angle, and a full commitment style on Regulator earlier this year.    I love the dynamics of this shot and the momentum it illustrates.   Tomorrow, look for another cold morning with great Groomers for the morning session.  The off trail is still offering soft lines on all sides of the hill.  Some of the old layer is beginning to peak through, but over all that is of no consequence.  There may be some visibility issues if the clouds persist, but we will just have to see.  Take advantage of these Winter conditions before the weather warms up later this week.  IBBY!!



More overnight accumulation brought much lighter Essence to the hill, which was of excellent quality.  While the new installment was not the ultra light, it was a perfect consistency to make the old layer only a hint under foot, and face shots with every turn a real treat. The Faithful were in full attendance for the opening bell, so I worked the lifts and lines that everyone ignores and got some great turns with no pressure at all.  Mineral  Basin opened around 11:00AM, which offered excellent quality as well, as the still air left the big expanses there unaffected at all.  Here is a shot of the Hillary Step area waiting in the wings with the Sun just peaking through the clouds to illuminate the dance floor.  I went all over the hill and there was great snow on all aspectsDSC03708that I tried.  Some sections had very deep pockets that offered some of the deepest runs that I had all year.  Hoots and hollers where echoing all over the hill as the faithful luxuriated in the goods that delivered one of the best days of the season.  Here is a shot of the Snowbird Subaru with a full coating of the Essential Substance.  DSC03707Tomorrow, look for great conditions wall to wall as the cold temps. and the highly filtered sunlight preserved the quality all over the hill.  There are still areas waiting in the wings for tomorrow’s offerings. I think you will be able to go where ever you choose and still find great snow.  The Groomers should be really nice for the morning session, but may get a bit choppy as they get worked.  More unsettled weather can be expected for, at least, the morning hours.  There may be some more overnight accumulation as well, as we get some wrap around impulses as the Low moves East.  What a great beginning to the Spring season.  See you there for the continued excellence of this storm cycle.  Speed Safely!!



A new Winter storm was just getting started today, as it is predicted to persist through Wednesday.  With just a trace in the parking lot, and light snow falling, it was a nice surprise to find 4 to 5 inches of fresh up on the higher elevations.  The visibility was very compromised with the fog, snow and blowing wind, so the Morning Crew took the challenge to hit Mineral Basin’s white out conditions just for fun.  There, we found nicely covered lines on the Groomers that felt great underfoot, especially on the low angle aspects.  Over on a Lewis and Clark sojourn, we found variable accumulation that was being affected by the wind.  There were deeper spots, with some stripped areas that made the transitions interesting.  On the front of the hill, the medium density product was not quite sticking to the old layer, but the extra accumulation made the turns more consistent and less wind affected.  Due to the visibility issue, I could not get a good shot of the day, so I took this shot of a beautiful blossom provided by Living Creations and arranged by Julia’s expert hands.   She has such a magical way with flowers.DSC03706Tomorrow, look for significant additional accumulation to have fallen overnight.  It was snowing hard when I left the hill, and it is raining briskly here at the Trailer, so we can look for another storm riding day.  Dress for the weather, as it will be a bit colder than today.  That old layer is still in play over all, but deeper lines are to be found in the guts and tree lines that were catching the wind transported product.  High winds are predicted to be associated with this system, and I expect that there will be interesting variations to the pack, so be prepared for anything.  The hill is in great shape to take this installment, and conditions will become increasingly better as the Essence builds up, just look for the sheltered lines.  Syrup Won’t Stop ‘EM!!



It was a sunny Easter Sunday today, with freshly Groomed lines on all sides of the hill, cold temps., and light traffic for the morning session.  White Diamonds and Lower Silver Dipper offered smooth, steep, perfection that kept me lapping that line along with Lewis and Clark offerings to round out the carving extravaganza in Mineral Basin.  On the front of the hill, sweet buffed lines had been prepared with Anderson’s Hill and Lower Primrose path offering a dry, chalky consistency that was another ground pounding treat.  The Gad Valley also had freshly tilled lines that have been not been turned since the last installment, and felt sumptuous and smooth.   Here is a shot of the Easter Bunny getting ready for the Easter Egg Hunt.  DSC03701High clouds began to move in, making the light go flat, but there were times when enough Sun streamed through to make the details well defined none the less.  Continued cold temps. kept the quality Winter like all day, keeping the pack from deteriorating very much.  Traffic remained light and there was no waiting for the lifts.  I zoomed all around the hill and got a good look at the off trail where there is still a lot of smooth lines all over, however, the interference patterns are building in the high traffic zones.  Here is a shot of a crew from Denver that were really DSC03703throwing down the festive flair.  I could not resist getting a group shot of them.  Tomorrow, look for the predicted weather system to begin moving into the Front for the next couple of days, which promises to bring the goods in significant quantities.  Expect weather and dress for the conditions.  Remember the smooth lines from this week, or stick to the Groomers which will be providing the smooth ride in the marginal visibility that is sure to make things interesting. That last storm we had did add some cushion to that old crusty layer, so additional accumulation should make that old layer fade away with a full return to Winter.  Get ready for the deep, and be on hand for the Storm Riding.  Straight Ahead!!



That impulse that looked so promising on the radar loop last night did not deliver the goods as they promised, but the Northwesterly flow is keeping the temps pretty chilly.  The clear morning was offering clear visibility, great Groomers that had been refreshed by yesterday’s accumulation, and the cold temps. helped preserve the quality.  Clouds began to build during the late morning and were intermittent all afternoon with cold temps hugging the high elevations.  There were festivities on the Plaza, making for a fun atmosphere and it was great to have nice weather.   Here is a shot of two key members of the Safety Patrol down in the ready room giving me the 411 on the early morning conditions. DSC03698Tomorrow, look for another nice day, though I expect a cold morning, so dress for the chill.  The Groomers will still be offering nice smooth lines with plenty of traction to make those high edge angle turns.  The High North will be offering the best off trail options, as the dry cold is still resident in the underlying pack.  There is more weather expected for next week, so there may be some wind associated with the coming system. DSC02977 Here is a piece of art I did not long ago that I add here for a little color and texture.  Hi Willa!!   IBBY



There was just a trace from overnight in the parking lot as I arrived, but up on the hill a bit more than and inch of freshness covered the hill top to bottom.  As First Tram left the dock, significant snow fall began to pile up the goods all morning long.  The temps. were quite cold, with a stout wind pushing the wind chill even lower.  With Mineral Basin delayed for a bit, the Morning Crew hit the smooth Groomers on the front of the hill, with Anderson’s Hill and Lower Primrose Path offering untracked butter smooth lines that kept me going back for more.  Low traffic made the back to back pace great to get the most out of the vacant lines.  When Mineral Basin did open, those untracked Groomers were great as well, but the visibility back there was marginal.  Jen Comerford joined the Morning Crew for the morning session.  She had just come from the East Coast, where she was sailing high performance boats, to join the full Winter conditions here on the hill.  This girl seriously rips the hill non stop top to bottom, and was exhibiting some nice high edge angle turns that were very fun to watch.  DSC03696Hard driving snow continued during the entire daily Forklift Debrief, where we compared notes from all reaches of the hill, and planned the afternoon attack.  The off trail was very tricky, with that old crusty layer poking through the new accumulation, requiring some very deliberate turns to make the variations more realistic.  Some fast moving clear spots let some windows of Sun reveal the hill and the smooth goods up high.  Here is a shot of Thunder Bowl looking tempting in the Sun window.  DSC03699Tomorrow, look for additional accumulation to have fallen as a storm front comes though overnight and into tomorrow’s festivities.   The Groomers will still be offering the smoothest lines for the morning session, but the off trail will still be variable.  The new accumulation will be cushioning the ride, but the cold temps. may bring some lighter density Essence that may not mitigate the old layer as much as a higher density product.  I will be taking tomorrow off to work on the Antenna Array that was knocked a bit askew from the high winds of earlier this week.  Stay Frosty!!



The day dawned bright, sunny and cold with fresh areas still waiting in the wings.  With Powder Paradise held up for control work, the morning crew worked the buffed lines on Lupine Loop that were Winter cold and dry.  A tour of Lewis and Clark offered tantalizing lines that had not been touched yesterday, however, those off trail lines had been worked heavily by the wind and they were nice, but needed full attention to deal with some of the grabby characteristics.   Here is a shot of the Sunday Cliffs waiting in the wings and getting control work done. BOOOM!DSC03695It looks stellar, but those high winds overnight were promising to make those lines a bit of a challenge, and since they were smooth, you just had to go.  On the front of the hill, the Groomers were soft, dry and chalky top to bottom, making deep arcing turns solid and predictable.  The off trail was a bit stiff as this storm provided some medium density product that demanded full attention as well.  The cold morning held up as clouds moved in around Noon, keeping the Sun from warming the air very much, and it also kept the Sun from working the direct aspects.  The Road to Provo opened to a full court press, but the wind affected snow pack made it too deceivingly tricky.  Some areas had been stripped clean by the wind, making those sections slick indeed. DSC03694 I stopped into the Summit for a short break and found Megan, the Summit manger getting ready for the lunch rush.  She keeps the place running smoothly.  I stopped by the PIZZA station for a Slab of ZZA, where they make a thin crust pie, baked in a stone oven, that is hard to beat, let alone at 11,000′. DSC03693 I love this facility and spent some time in there yesterday watching the storm pound the peak in the warm comfort of the big glass room.   Tomorrow, look for some overnight flurries to have delivered a light coating on the hill.  There is more weather moving in later in the day, with more accumulation forecast for this impulse.  The light will be flat, but visibility should be good.  Look for the Groomers to be still offering smooth dry chalk on all sided of the hill.  The off trail will still be stiff and interesting, but it is workable though variable.  See you there for the morning session.   Speed Safely!!



Today was the day many folks were waiting for and they showed up in force for the occasion.  After yesterday’s storm event, and the overnight additional accumulation, the hill was primed with very deep Essence that met the expectations of all who where on hand.  High winds overnight did affect the higher elevations, making for some slabby characteristics, but the sheltered and lower elevations were just blower deep and, with few exceptions, mitigated the old crusty layer nicely.  I met Bill and Cory Taylor of Lake Oswego Oregon, who were stoked to get a taste of the creamy goodness up on the hill.  I know they got it in spades when the opening bell sounded.  After last week’s Spring like temps. and snow pack it was great to see the return of WinterDSC03690like conditions that felt more like late January than late March.  Here is a shot of the Snowbird Subaru with the deep coating after two days of accumulation that said awesome.  DSC03691Sections of the hill opened as control work was completed and the crowd wasted no time getting to the big lines that were deep and blastable.  Later in the day Mineral Basin opened, and though I had left the hill by then, you had to know it was going off and offering the great lines I was getting yesterday.  Wall to wall, the hill was hitting all the notes, however, as the pack got worked, it began to pile up into harbor chop, but just a bit of finesse mitigated the variations.  Tomorrow, look for the snow to still be holding the quality, as the cold temps. kept the pack soft. The morning should be quite cold, but the Sun will be affecting the pack as the day warms up, so work the aspects ahead of the Sun for the best quality.  There may be a few spots where the old layer will be peaking through the goods, so expect the unexpected.  Still, the High North and West facing aspects should hold up all day long.  Don’t Forget To SIZZLE!!



The rain pelted the Trailer all night long with an insistent patter.  That signaled that the hill was getting a fresh coating of goodness.  There was only a couple of inches on the parking lot when I parked, but up on the hill there was fully 5 to 8” of high density Essence that was just what was needed to adhere to the old crusty layer and prepare the pack for the addition of the snow to come.  High winds out of the Southwest were pounding the hill, making the visibility a real issue.  The Morning Crew made the decision to do a Lewis and Clark exploratory by way of Lone Star, which had been Groomed yesterday.  That call was rewarded with a smooth top to bottom line covered with delightful frosting, though each turn just had to be felt as the visibility was Zero Zero.  The low angle lines of Lewis and Clark offered a nicely cushioned ride over that old crusty layer.  The wind switched direction to the Northwest, and the snow intensity really started pounding as the Front moved through, with the fresh accumulation getting deeper by the minute.  Here is a shot of Buzz Skigrin, who was sampling the continuous face shots as they fell  DSC03689 from the sky. The front of the hill was getting deeper as well, but the higher traffic there made the vacant lines of Mineral Basin much more appealing.  It was a great day of free refills as the snow intensity and high winds kept filling in the tracks as fast as they got worked.   Tomorrow, look for additional accumulation to have fallen overnight as the impulses continue to move through with the unsettled air mass.  The old layer will be much less in play as the depth increases, but do expect some of the gnar to be felt from time to time, especially where the interference patterns were well established.  Look for the smooth lines for the best ride.  There may be road restrictions in the AM., so check the road report. Pressure for the goods will be a given, so expect full attendance.  See you there for the fresh Essence which should be blower with the colder temps.  Speed Safely!!