It was a cold morning, with a lot of humidity in the air that cut right through the layers. Still, the Sun was coming up, the air was still, and the snow was great, with some very nice corduroy on which to dial in some turns. The off trail had begun to set up, which took a bit more punch to push through. Here is a great shot that Neil took of the morning Sun hitting the peaks. Traffic was super light, and it was great to make turns without the full court press putting pressure on the limited terrain. I really felt like I could make some turns that I knew I had in me, and that made the runs fun and brisk. At 11:30AM I got the first official Tram of the season with all the folks who had their ear to the rail and were on hand when the turnstile turned on. There was a great vibe on the Tram and everyone was stoked to be getting to the peak for the goods that were waiting on the sides. I took this shot of the Cirque as I was going up. Looking PHAT!!Some high clouds moved in later in the day, making the light a bit flat, but the detail was very good and Regulator was lots of fun. I dialed in turns under the blazing Snow Guns where I found some nice Gun Powder laying long and smooth down the fall line. Gots to love that dry smooth velvet. Tomorrow, look more off the peak runs down Regulator. I think the Peruvian Gulch is some days away. Getting the full 3000′ in one run will put an entirely different pace to the runs. I took a great shot of Gillian, who was visiting The Bird for the first time and I wanted to add it here, but my camera let me down and it did not register. Hope you both had a great time for your visit. I’ll get it next time!! Dress for another cold morning. Stay Frosty!!
Archive for November, 2016
More Exquisite Powder fell overnight that was real righteous Utah Light. There was a fair turnout of the Faithful for the occasion, but the Quad made short work of it and by the time I got back to the bottom, it was walk on easy. This cycle started out a bit dense, but as the accumulation stacked up it became lighter and lighter making the powder as good as it ever gets. Here is a shot I took of the lower section of Puckerbrush that the patrol had come down during their control work. You can see it is just what we have been waiting for. I was lucky to have got this shot during this very brief appearance of the Sun. It is deep and perfect. A few new sections of terrain were opened today, which offered some excellent off trail sliding that was quickly consumed, but the left overs were still soft and fun. It will be good to get these sections worked over to pack out the base and make for more consistent turns. With the brief breaks in the clouds, the light was doing some very cool things with the flurries still hanging in the air. Here is a rainbow type Sun Dog glowing in the mist. I had to scramble to get my camera out fast enough to get this. The firm layer of previous days is all but gone with all the new snow, and the quality held up all day long as the clouds kept the Sun from heating the air. Tomorrow, look for the Tram to open later in the morning, offering Regulator Johnson for the first time of the Season. You know the snow is going to be great up there and there is plenty of it. I was told it will open before Noon. Yes!!!
While standing in the line for the morning’s festivities I got to see additional folks who are back to begin the daily partaking of the goodness. Mr. Cage is one of the greats and gets as much out of the hill as he can every day. Great to see him here in his full retirement mode. It will be full on and pumpin’ all season long. Don’t Skimp On The Groove Sauce!!!
More of the Essence had stacked up overnight, leaving the main run open covered with delightfully fluffulescent product for the morning crew. Very light traffic kept the quality very nice all morning long. I ventured of the packed section of the lower mountain to taste some of the deeper untracked, where I found soft consistent lines that did not reflect the bottom at all. There were some shrubberies sticking up through the new installment, but I just blazed right through them. Snow was falling hard all day with waves of intensity that made the visibility get a bit shaky, but over all the visibility was good. The hard packed layer was still there, but with the new snow, it was really of no consequence. More of the crew showed up today and it was great catching up on all the Summer activities everyone had been doing. It is like a going back to school type of feel. I left early again to get ahead of the road conditions that were deteriorating with the intense snowfall. Luckily, I got fresh new snow tires, which made for a more sure footed drive down in the greasy conditions. Here is a piece of art I did over the Summer when I was going crazy with paint. Tomorrow, look for more snow to have fallen overnight with continuing flurries during the day off and on. The snow is really stacking up and it won’t be long till we get a bit more terrain to ply. It is still snowing hard here at the Trailer as I write this, and the season is off to a fine start, much as I had expected despite the warm fall and dry weather. I knew it was going to turn. And, as The Chef always says, ” Don’t underestimate the Promise Of The Wasatch”. Sage words for one who has been here since before the beginning. Speed Safely!!
There was a modest turnout of the Faithful for the opening chair this morning, with snow falling heavily, it added to the 5 or 6” of fresh that had fallen overnight. The only run offered for today’s festivities was soft and smooth for the opening runs, but quickly began to build the harbor chop with the high concentration of traffic. There were no rocks at all, but venturing too far off the beaten path might be problematic. I stayed right were I knew it was going to be consistent. After the first push for the chair, the line evaporated and the crowd got spread out nicely, with walk on chairs a nice feature. The Snow Guns were blasting top to bottom, and the gun wash was predictable with no wonkyness to throw you off. Still, it was best to give them a wide berth in order to keep your goggles clear. I ducked one gun and had to stop to wipe them off, but no issue at all. The Chef had a banner garden this season, and he is still harvesting produce from the ground. This mondo carrot weighed in at over 5 lbs. Now that is a carrot, and like the Chef says, ” you dig big carrots, you get big snow”. The Chef is rarely wrong and has been spot on this entire preseason in his prognostications. If you are coming out and need a place to stay, the Chef’s new Bed and Breakfast Beija Flor is taking reservations for this season at staybeijaflor@ gmail. com. or 801 580 3283. The nightly rates are great and it is just a couple of miles from the mouth of the Canyons and a mile from the freeway exit. See a couple of posts ago for pictures and more insight. I left the hill early to get more done here at the Trailer as I am behind, but not before hitting the Forklift for the traditional after morning session meeting with the TEAM. It is great to see the smiling faces of the great folks who work there and take such good care of us. Here is a great shot of Kelly and Miss “B” sharing the love. I love these two, they make my day. Looks like a whopper dump is on the door step, but I will leave it at that so I don’t jinx it. Don’t forget to SIZZLE!!
I stepped out of the Star Gate late this afternoon after a trip to the other side of the Galaxy to visit the home planet. I missed the opening day of the season, as when I left, things were not looking too promising, but, the Promise Of The Wasatch came through just in time. I lifted this shot by my good friend Hippy G from FB to give you an idea of the coverage. I know he won’t mind, and I did call him for a personal blessing, but no answer. Thanks G!!The inside information I was able to ascertain reported good coverage top to bottom on the main run that was open from the top of the Gad Zoom Chair. The consistency was a bit firm due to the warm temps of recent days and the emphasis on man made snow on the main line. That was a good thing, as it keeps the quality preserved for the next days. The crowd was large as would be expected, but the High Speed Quad moved the faithful up the hill quickly. Access from the Snowbird Center is available on the lower road as well as the shuttle. The coverage is good there as well, with just a few rocks at the Wilbre Ridge corner on the Bass Highway on the return trip. I will be there tomorrow to get a first hand look at the hill and I will have fresh pictures to share. The forecast is looking very promising with snow tomorrow morning and a much more substantial installment coming in Monday=Tuesday. If we get as much as they are predicting, that will go a long way in getting a lot more terrain open in the very near future. See you there in the AM. Take it easy on the one run and dial in some turns. IBBY!!
After having finally been done with my recent tour fighting the Dark Matter Wars, and taking the time to get the Antenna Array dialed in here at the Trailer, I took a trip up to the Bird to see what this last impulse, which just blew through, brought to the hill. Patience is a virtue, so I have been patiently waiting for the season to get started. Up on the hill the fresh coat of Essence is tantalizingly exciting, but it is not nearly enough to get rolling. Here is a shot of the Peruvian Gulch I took from the Hellgate Slide area. While the upper two thirds of the hill look like it is filling in, the lower elevation is still very sparse and in need of quite a bit more cover. It was rather brisk up there even though the Sun was shining brightly, and it made for a better look at the hill than the previous days. The snow makers have the Guns blazing on the Gad side of the hill and you could see the clouds from the blast lofting up in the air. Here is a shot looking up at the lower elevation of the Gad Valley from the Gad parking lot. There is another impulse predicted to come in for Wednesday and Thursday that may help the pack, and, if we are very lucky, will exceed the forecast for accumulation. With a warm Great Salt Lake, anything is possible. There is as yet no definitive opening date, but rest assured, the hill will open as soon as it is possible to do so safely for everyone. Again, patience is a virtue and it will come as we seem to be in the flow, so I am going to go with it. Have a happy holiday with family and friends. Stay Frosty!!
High pressure persists over the Wasatch Front, but a sign in the sky a couple of days ago tells me there are changes soon on the way. In the mean time, this great weather has been a treat with clear skies and very warm temps. It is always warmest before the storm. I am holding my visualizations firmly in my mind because ” So Within, So Without”. Besides as the CHEF always says, ” Remember the Promise Of The Wasatch”, and he has never been wrong. Speaking of the CHEF, he and Silvye have completed the renovation of their new bed and breakfast in the historic home built by Alta Legend Alf Engan, which is just a couple of miles from the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon in Holladay Ut. They are calling it Beija Flor. Here is a shot of the living room which is really a comfortable space. It has an enormous kitchen area that is perfect for after skiing festivities, and with beautifully appointed bedrooms, it will be a great place to recharge for more fun on the hill. They are starting to take reservations for the coming season at email@example.com or by calling 801 580 3283. With Silvye’s international cooking and Dave’s gracious hospitality, I know it going to be a great success. If you are coming out to get the goods, you can’t find a better spot that is so close to all the great areas, as well as excellent restaurants in very close proximity. Get your reservations early, because it is going to fill up fast. Here is a shot of The CHEF’s garden that I took last Summer. While the season rapidly approaches, I am holding on to each day, as once the season begins , it seems like it blows by all too fast. Syrup Won’t Stop ‘EM!!