Archive for January, 2017

RIPPIN’ LINES

1-17-17

Ripping lines were offered on all sides of the hill, with Mineral Basin offering sunlit corduroy carpets that let you explore your inner Ligety.  On the front side of the hill, Anderson’s Hill and Lower Primrose Path were smooth, dry and chalky, with the shaved chalk building up in the gut that made the ride butter smooth.  Between the lines in Mineral and the front side extravaganza, I just had to do round the world like laps.    While out on a Lewis and Clark exploration, I came across Walter Mc Connell MD., who is still ripping the hill.  He has had the locker next to mine for over 30 years.  It is always a treat to visit with Walter and share his joy and dream.   Off trail, the interference patterns are becoming more widespread as the hill gets worked, with low amplitude rumble making the ride a bit challenging.  The snow quality is stiffening up, but the High North aspect are still holding the cold dry feel and are well worth exploring.  Look for the lines that stay shaded for softness and avoid those due South aspects as they are getting some surface crust.  I got this shot of the moon framed by the old dead wood tree.  Tomorrow, look for increasing clouds as a new cycle begins to move into the Front.  The Groomers will be offering consistently smooth Hydro Velvet carpets that are well worth being there early to experience.  Be sure to look for those additional machine worked lines that have been holding the smooth and are a real rarity, so get them while they are buffed.  As a  parting shot, here is Brian Beck getting the real deal out in the Exotic Trees.  There are still lines to be had with a bit of vision.  See The Line, BE The Line!!!

LIGHT DUSTING

1-16-17

A very light dusting covered The Trailer this morning, and there was a light dusting covering the hill as well.   The corduroy was perfect top to bottom, especially in the bright Sun, which made being above all the inversion clouds extra special.  Here is a shot of the Shmegma still holding tough in the Valley.  IMG_0133The Morning Crew hit Lewis and Clark for multiple laps on the amazing carpets of Hydro Velvet that were un tracked and blissfull.  With no traffic, it made for really fun ripping and fully laid out turns.  On the Front of the hill, Regulator, Mark Malu, and lines on upper Silver Fox were offering dry chalky quality that made return laps a must to get the goods while they were on.  There are still soft lines on the High North aspects that feel great, and with the filled up entrances, makes getting to the goods easy.  Here is a shot of fresh tracks laid down by Tramrat. IMG_0131Tomorrow, look for more great cruising on the freshly prepared Groomers that will still be offering deep pile goodness, especially during the morning session.  Traffic has been brisk, but there are no lift lines anywhere.  I was doing back to back walk on Trams all day long, that made getting those steep buffed lines a real treat.  Sunny weather is still hanging in there, so visibility will be 20/20. The snow quality is still dry and chalky wall to wall as the Sun has not yet begun to morph the product, except in the most direct aspects.  Still, there is plenty to find where ever you choose to drop a line.  Grab hold of these mid Winter days as they slip by all too fast.  IMG_0135In parting, here is a shot of the Pfeifferhorn  looking very 3D in the clear morning air.  Speed Safely!!

CORDUROY DELIGHT

1-15-17

The sky was clear and the air was cold to start out the day, with the inversion still holding the Valley in the murky clouds.  When I got to the Peak, I had to stop and get my own shot of the IMG_0120inversion layer.  Those shadows really give it some dimension and scale.  All sides of the hill were offering the corduroy delight that had been prepared, and the Mineral Basin offering had the early morning Sun and light traffic to kick of the festivities.  A number of new lower mountain pitches had been given the treatment, with steep, dry, chalky goodness, making those offerings worth a fast lap to get it all.  Lower Primrose Path had the shavings building up in the gut, which pushed the quality into the rare category that the crew will be talking about for the rest of the season.  The High North aspects are still holding some of the soft quality, while other aspects are stiffening up.  All the entrances that have been very sketchy have become much more approachable, and I will now feel  much more confident dropping in on those lines.  Here is a look toward the South with the inversion filling in the low spots and leaving the peaks looking IMG_0124like islands.  There was quite a crowd on hand today, but the lift lines remained short and fast.  Tram laps were easy to make, and it made it that much nicer to get those buffed lines top to bottom.  Tomorrow, look for more incredible Machine Worked lines to be offering sumptuous corduroy for the morning session.  The Sun should be out again above the inversion, making the hill feel like another world.  But of course, it is!!  I attended yet another of Kazoodi’s Pizza extravaganzas last night, where lots of different styles and flavors were offered for the tasting.  IMG_0114Here is some of the gang waiting for the next pie to come out of the oven.  Mikey M, once again, brought the goods from his restaurant, Baron’s in LA., so we could sample some more of the recipes that have been in the family for generations.  Very strong work getting all the ingredients all together and baked off perfectly at high elevation.   In closing, here is a shot of Brian BeckFullSizeRender-10getting the goods yesterday out in the Exotic Trees.  The quality of the snow was all time and there is more in the forecast.  IBBY!!

INVERSION RETURNS

1-14-17

As the last cycle ends, the inversion returns once again to fill the Valley with clouds, leaving the high elevations in the Sun.  Here is a shot that Revy sent to me looking from the peak over the-104Valley heavily blanketed in cloud cover.  I always think  that this is what Lake Bonneville would have looked like 12,000 years or so ago before it drained out to the Sea, leaving the Great Salt Lake the only vestige of that once huge body of water.  I bet there were some great point breaks there back in those days.  I would like to have a time machine and go back and check it out.  The  groomers were offering incredible corduroy for the morning session, with the remaining areas opening with fresh tracks for The Faithful who were on hand for the last of the leftovers. FullSizeRender-9Here is a shot of Mikey M getting a deep line on a High North aspect.  It was very deep and there were no smear moves here to make it look deeper.  It WAS that deep.  More on the way later next week and the inversion will be clearing out.  Tomorrow, look for another Hydro Velvet extravaganza for the morning session, as all the big aspects should get the magic treatment.  The Cat Crew has been doing a splendid job of making those big drops big mountain smooth.  Remember, Snowbird was back country before the Bird was built, so I try to hold that in my mind when I get those steep long pitches smooth and arcable.   My friend Dan Cameron used to tell me of his exploits over on our side of the hill before the Bird, and he was one of the young kids back in those days.  The off trail will continue to stiffen as the time goes by and the interference patterns will be building in the high traffic areas.  Coverage remains excellent with plenty of great sliding on all aspects of the hill.  See you there for the morning session.  Thanks For Sharing The DREAM!!

HEAVENLY INCH

1-13-17

As anticipated, a heavenly inch of fresh Essence covered the dance floor this morning.  There was an early push for the Tram, and I opted to hit the Peruvian Express to get a jump on the traffic.  I was rewarded with un tracked perfection on Chips, Anderson’s Hill, and Lower Primrose Path, which had been buffed smooth and had that perfection that screamed 40”of Zero %!!  With the chair remaining uncluttered, I was able to make a few laps there before anyone caught on in the marginal visibility.  Off trail, the snow had begun to stiffen up, making the ride a bit more challenging to blast through the chop.  I was staying with the smooth lines to take advantage of the perfection, save my knees from a beating, and dial in as much presence as I could for each transition.  The visibility was off and on all day,  but the Sun made some tantalizing appearances at times.  Here is a shot of Boundary Bowl that looks as good as it is.  What a cycle.IMG_0111Mineral Basin opened today and The Faithful were chomping at the bit to get after it.  They were not disappointed with the very deep powder extravaganza that was waiting for them.  Visibility issues made navigating out there a bit tricky, but a stout fall line approach would keep you turning just by feel.  I stopped in to The Summit again today just to absorb the Energy blasting out of the Peak and took this shot of the dimensions of light and reflection coming from the upper floor windows.  This is just a linear moment in a Fractal Field!!IMG_0113Tomorrow, look for clearing skies, perfect carpets of Hydro Velvet top to bottom, more freshies waiting in the wings, and nice temps. to keep the day comfortable.  Coverage on the hill is fully fat, with lines filling in, terrain variations becoming muted, making any line choice good to go.  The hill is in great shape and lots of turns are still waiting to be integrated into your Akashic Wake.  Syrup Won’t Stop ‘EM!!

DEEP DAY

1-12-17

A fair amount of snow fell overnight and the wind had abated, so today’s offering was deep and delightful.  The Cirque Traverse was offering the early lines into Peruvian Gulch, but the Gad side lines were also deep and blower.  This has to be one of the deeper days of the season.  As more of the mountain opened, the traffic got spread out and pressure for the lifts evaporated.  I think the Essence on the Gad side was a bit lighter than the Peruvian side, but still it was a day that magazine articles are written about.  Here is a shot of Cory, who was ripping heavily!!IMG_0108We had a great time talking about the terrain options and how much the mountain changed in just a few days.   Most lines are smooth on the hill, so a full fall line approach will be rewarded . Tomorrow, look for a dusting overnight, with prepared Hydro Velvet to be insanely soft.  I am looking forward to some smooth cruising from the word go.  This is a hard post to write, as everything is good to go, so I have to just leave it at that.  Conditions are excellent wall to wall, the hill is in great shape, and there is still more waiting in the wings.  Stay Frosty!!

STILL SNOWING

1-11-17

Another blast of precipitation early this morning made the Canyon very greasy and began to lay down more stellar product all over the hill.  The frantic rate of snow fall made for another delayed start to the day, but Wilbre Chair was open, with fresh lines for the folks who chose that option.  The Morning Crew hit the Forklift Chair to get a jump on breakfast and be ready of the opening of the Tram, which did open access to Regulator for the Day.  The high winds were, once again, providing free refills with the new snow fall and the overnight accumulation.  Lap after lap was  an un tracked bonanza, with no pressure and exquisite quality.  It really did not matter that more terrain did not open, as those wide open wind swept areas were full on rockin’.  While  waiting for the hoped for on time opening, I got to meet Rick and Morty from Wichita, who were starting the first day of a western tour of ski areas.  They were starting here and this was anIMG_0104auspicious beginning to an exciting day and trip.  It is gonna get deep guys.   Gad 2 was offering excellent lines in the trees, as the pack gets fat and the terrain variations get mellower.  I took a couple laps there just to experience the silence and be in the trees.   I spent a few minutes on the Peak at The Summit having a hot chocolate and met Traveling Best, who were here for the firstIMG_0107time at Snowbird and were excited to be safe warm and comfy in the Summit with the storm raging all around.  I am sure they found that line of wind buffed I told them about and will be coming back for more.  It was really fun to meet them and share their stoke.  Here is a shot looking out the window at The Mineral Express as the storm howled out side.  IMG_0106Tomorrow, look for another day of storm riding as yet another impulse is setting it’s sites on the Wasatch Front.  Check the road report in the AM for restrictions, but try to get up early before the heavy stuff moves in.  The hill is in great shape, and will be offering stunning quality where ever you point your self.  I have been dialing in some of the roundest turns of the season with this phenomenal Essence.  See The Line, BE The Line!!

MORE REFILLS

1-10-17

The snow pack continues to build, as there was 5 or 6 inches of fresh frosting covering the hill.  The cold, high density frosting was the perfect addition to cover the light crust that had been deposited by that recent rime event a couple of days ago, but it is only and echo and did not really affect the quality.  The wind was whipping again today, which was transporting the goods around the hill and laying down some awesome lines that refilled all day long.  I kept lapping some of the old standbys, and was treated to un tracked lines with each visit.  Visibility was variable, however, there was plenty of detail to make line choice easy.  I still can’t get over how epic those wind lines were feeling, like “Frosting A Cake With A Paper Knife”  FZ.  img_0100Dr Pepper made his annual appearance this morning and he was really excited to get going on the fresh installment that had been delivered.  It is always great to see him here for the Season.     With the high density product, I thought the Harbor Chop was going to build, but the snow remained soft and totally blastable on all of the runs I took top to bottom.  Only the lower Cat Tracks got that linoleum feel, and that was only at the very bottom of the hill.  I met Cookie, who was with the Soddy Daisy Ski Club of Chattanooga, on one of my Zoom rides.  He was having a great time and had been here for several days.  We pointed him in the right direction for the best conditions.  Here, Tramrat is photo bombing the shot.  img_0101Tomorrow, look for another storm riding day, as the Storm Warnings are scrolling across the TV screen.  Impressive accumulation predictions are widespread and you know we are going to get our share. The warnings extend through Thursday, so we are in for more great snow.  Dress for the weather, as today, though the temps seemed mild, the chairs were very brisk.  The hill is in great shape and whatever line you choose these days will be good to go.  Speed Safely!!

 

WILD WEATHER

1-09-17

The rain in the Valley finally turned to snow around the 7000′ level as I drove up the Canyon, with the wind pounding the Star Cruiser all the way up. The lifts were on hold as the wind and precipitation caused a delay.  The Morning Crew made the move to ride the Forklift Chair to wait for developments  and assess the options.  Here is a shot of the crew deep in analysis.img_0099With the wind still pounding, and the temp. on the freezing threshold, we all decided to call it a day and try again tomorrow.  Up on the hill, the lifts on the Gad side of the hill began to open around 10:45AM, with the new fallen frosting offering spreadable turns.  A front moved through the Valley around 2:00PM, delivering even more product to the hill with the associated wind.  It was an interesting day for sure.  Julia, from Living Creations, had delivered fresh table arrangements yesterday, so I found another explosion of color and form just waiting to be captured.  img_0095Tomorrow, look for more accumulation that will have fallen overnight as another impulse is on the radar.  The weather will continue to be unsettled, with more accumulation to be delivered in the next day or two.  The hill is in great shape, with the smooth lines on all aspects after all this snow and low traffic.  Dress for storm riding, and while today’s temps were on the mild side, it will still be blustery, so dress for fun.  See you in the AM. and we will try it again, and you know it is going to be great.  IBBY!!

WIND WORKS

1-08-17

There was freezing rain down here in the Valley, with cars off the road as I made my way to the mouth of the canyon.  The precipitation turned to snow at 7000′, and while the temps. were slightly above freezing at the Center, the snow fall continued all day.   The wind was whipping, and the 5 or so inches of high density frosting was being blown smooth and filled all the low areas.   The quality was exquisite, as the cushion of the product made the ride whisper smooth and every turn was effortless.  I was working the wind lines in conjunction with the Groomers to take advantage of the big drops that had been prepared overnight.  Both sides of the hill were offering great lines, with the North facing aspects in Mineral Basin benefiting from the wind direction.  Where ever you went you could find amazing goodness and there were smiles all around.  Traffic was nominal for a powder event, and the up hill capacity made for short to non existent lift lines.   img_0094I was fortunate to meet Hitomi, who was on hand for the morning freshness.  She reads this report every day and was so happy to be on the hill for such great conditions.  I know she had a great day, as she was stoked beyond measure.  Tomorrow, look for more weather as the storm warnings are scrolling across the TV screen as I write this.  There should be overnight accumulation, with more expected during the day.  The wind will continue to work the hill, so look for some exceptional smoothness wall to wall.  It is so fun to have little to no rumble anywhere.  It is a lot easier on my knees.  We are still in the Zone of the Jet Stream, so more is on the way.  There should be free refills all day tomorrow as there were today.  You have to love days when it is always un tracked.  As Joe Man the Snow Man says ” Don’t Skimp On The Groove Sauce”!!