Archive for January, 2019

RETURN INVERSION

1-11-19

The Valley was socked in all day long, but the peak held on to some residual clouds for the morning session. Sun was shining through for the first hour, but it all burned off and it was a blue bird day all day long. The Groomers were amazing on all sides of the hill and some interesting new Grooming efforts have provided some serious fun for the early risers. White Diamonds and Lower Silver Dipper got the nod, and it was a full charged rock fest top to bottom Here is a shot from the peak at the wild clouds in the Valley.

The front of the hill was offering very wide open lines with very little traffic, and a freshly worked section on Primrose Path kept me hitting the line Tram after Tram. Back to back Trams were easy to make and not fully loaded, making maximum vert. fun to rack up. I met the Shoreline Conn. Crew on the Peak, and they were stoked and ready to hit the afternoon session that was good to go on all sided of the hill.

Tomorrow, look for another blue bird day with Sun and light winds. The Groomers will be offering amazing snow sport sliding and be looking for additional machine worked lines that may have been prepared. Those early untracked lines of Corduroy are hard to beat. Follow the Sun and enjoy the great cover and wide open lines all over the hill. I will be taking the day off, so dial it in for me. Syrup Won’t Stop ‘EM!!!

SMOOTH CARPETS

1-10-19

There were smooth carpets of corduroy on all sides of the hill, and with the flat light for the morning session, made the guess work no problem. The Morning Crew was working the Lewis and Clark lines that were vacant, buffed, and carvelicious top to bottom. On the front of the hill, the Grooming Crew did an amazing job of working the new product, which let you dial in any radius you chose. Here is a shot of Me that Buzzy Skigrinn took out on Lower Baldy the other day when it opened for the first time after the storm.

While the consistency was good on this pitch, the margin for error was slim. There were some windows of Sun during the day, which made the details stand out nicely. The off trail continues to be stiff, but with traffic, the High North aspects are smoothing out and are offering some very nice wind slab sections that will keep you coming back for more. Tomorrow, look for improving weather, with Sun in the forecast. Mineral Basin will be offering the smooth Hydro Velvet lines that will keep you lapping the sections just to be sure you got it right. Check out those High North aspects for that wind slab, and dial in some back country feeling goodness. Keep you eyes open for some more of the expanded Grooming efforts. See you there for the morning session of ground pounding fun. Dial it up, Dial it in!!

VARIABLE LIGHT

1-09-19

A high cloud deck shrouded the Sun for the morning session. The light was very flat, and while the visibility was good, the details on the slope were very difficult to discern. The Groomers were offering the smooth lines that helped make up for the variable light. The Sun did make an appearance around Noon, though there were periods with some high clouds moving through. I got this shot of Timp. on the early Lewis and Clark sojourns. It is such a huge peak and has been there a very long time.

The Exotic Trees opened without fanfare and the lines went begging. The wind had spared those aspects and it felt soft and deep, however, it did make for a slow motion feeling. Here is a shot of me that Mikey M took on the first lap.

Tomorrow, look for a weak weather system to be moving through. We can expect visibility issues, but the Groomers will provide the solid smooth consistency that will let you dial in your inner Ligety. The off trail is still stiff overall, but the cover is good and you will find many areas filled in with the last installment. Traffic will be light once again and maximum vertical will be easy and fast to rack up. Speed Safely!!

FRESH COATING

1-08-19

The storm had cleared off overnight and the morning was clear and surprisingly warm. That storm delivered a fresh coating of Spackle all over the hill which went a long way toward building the base. The high moisture content made the new installment challenging, as the wind had set up much of the new snow. The far right hand side of Regulator had been blown smooth, with epic wind slab that I have not seen on that pitch in some years. The Road to Provo was very difficult and wind affected. Other aspects held up better and offered consistent, however, stiff turns. Here is a shot of Mineral Basin before the rope drop looking very inviting.

All the areas opened fairly quickly and it did not take long for the Faithful to work the new snow. As it got chopped up, I focused on the Groomers to save my knees from the torsion effects of the high density pack. While there was a strong early showing, the uphill capacity and quick openings spread the crowd out and the lines disappeared.

There was quite a group of folks looking into the Basin and who could blame them with all that untracked waiting in the wings. Tomorrow, look for the Groomers to be offering amazing carpets wall to wall. Mineral Basin will be offering the Sun and wide open lines for the opening bell. The off trail will still be stiff and will require your full attention. Many of the entrances have improved markedly, but tread lightly. These warm temps will be working the pack more than usual, so watch the Sun and work the High North for the best feel. Watch Your SIX!!

HEAVY WEATHER

1-07-19

The weather had the hill in full engagement as the snow fell hard and fast. The Faithful were in full attendance and ready to taste the freshness up on the hill. A delay for control pushed the start back a tad. The Gad side of the hill was the only open area, offering wind swept lines, and medium density accumulation that was smooth and consistent. Here is a shot of Mikey M getting full engagement in the medium out on Tiger Tail.

Mikey M getting pitted in the Exotic Trees.

Up on the upper section of the hill, the wind was working the pack and smooth lines of wind slab were happening, but the visibility was challenging. I did a couple of scouting runs to check the snow quality and left the hill early to let my legs catch up one more day.

I got to share the breakfast table with the Ski Goddesses while we all waited for the festivities to begin. They were fully stoked to get the goods and I know they got all of it. Tomorrow, look for clearing weather, fresh lines to find on all those areas that remained closed today. Expect some wind affected conditions on some aspects, but it will be great no matter where you go. I will get a better look at things with the improving visibility. I am now confident to charge all the lines that I have been putting off. It’s Go Time!!!

FRESH ESSENCE

1-06-19

Fresh Essence covered the hill and the goodness was falling hard and fast as I parked the car. The Faithful were in full attendance waiting for the festivities to begin. Up on the hill, 8 to 10 inches of medium density product cushioned the ride, but the underlying substrate was in full effect, though the depth took some of the impact out of it. I was working the smooth lines I have been memorizing the last while. Here is a shot of Savannah Beck getting the goods out on Baldy.

Savannah Beck getting it all out on Baldy

Visibility was very difficult, but sticking with the trees added contrast and reference points, which helped keep the field in focus. With so much traffic, the harbor chop rose up quickly and I decided to exit the Canyon to get ahead of the crowd. Here is a shot of my good friend Peter, who I have known for 43 years and was a full time member of Team Sizzle back in the very early days.

Tomorrow, look for soft conditions to be happening wall to wall. The Groomers will be offering perfect deep pile shag carpets of AHHHH for the morning session. Those areas that did not open today may open so keep an eye out for the possibilities. Entrances are becoming more negotiable as the features get covered, but it is wise to use caution dropping some of the more highly visited entrances.

The Star Cruiser covered in the fresh Essence

Here is a shot of the Star Cruiser when I went to leave. There was was fully 11” of goodness accumulated there in the time it was parked. It was dumping!!! Straight Ahead!

STORM COMING

1-05-19

There was a high cloud deck filtering the Sun in advance of a coming storm that will take up the next couple of days. The Groomers were offering the best lines of the day, however, those High North aspects have smoothed out with the past wind and traffic, making them well worth the trouble. The clouds became heavier and that filtered sunlight gave way to flat light conditions. Here is a shot of the Roasting Chicken being prepared at The Summit for the hungry crowd.

They look so good and I just love the way the light hits the golden brown skin. Tomorrow, look for a storm riding day with precipitation expected throughout the day. It will be a bit colder, so dress for the weather. I will have to put away my yellow shell and put on the heavy gear. Remember the smooth lines from the last few days so you can get as smooth a ride as possible. Most of the features are covered by that last installment that helped make things much more negotiable. The hill is in perfect shape to take another installment of the Goodness, and conditions will be ready for prime time. See you there for the storm riding fun. Syrup Won’t Stop ‘EM!!

INVERTED WARMTH

1-04-19

Another beautiful day dawned with continued inverted warmth that graced the peak with a temp of a balmy 25 degrees and wall to wall Groomers to start the festivities. Mineral Basin was fully illuminated with Sun and the sky was ultra blue and not a cloud to be seen. As anticipated, the South facing aspects did absorb quite a bit of that direct solar radiation and was a bit on the crispy side. The Groomers, however, were offering the corduroy goodness that made making Lewis and Clark laps fun, fast, and vacant. Here is a shot of Buzzy Skigrinn standing at the pass just on this side of the Alta border.

The front of the hill was offering a decidedly firmer feel, but there was plenty of loose snow to gain traction, though I had to float a few of the obvious slick spots to keep the flow going in the right direction. Here is a shot of The Sanctuary Ski Club who were assembled on the peak getting ready to uncork the stoke in Mineral Basin.

Again, the warmth worked the South facing aspects, so you can expect some additional crispiness on those lines. The Groomers will still be offering the carpets on all sides of the hill, but the front side of the hill will still be quite a bit firmer. There is weather in the forecast, and I expect a bit of cloud cover for tomorrow. The precipitation should hold off for most of the day. I will be taking the day off, so dial it in for me. IBBY!!

CRYSTAL CLEAR

1-03-19

It was a cool morning, with temps on the peak very much warmer than the Plaza. Mineral Basin was offering amazing carpets of AHHHH, with quality that let you explore your inner Ligety. Traffic was very light and lifts were walk on fast. I was taking advantage of the pace to move around the mountain form one side to the other. Here is a shot that Jake sent of the Sun shining on the windows of The Summit.

The off trail is getting better and better as the pack consolidates, with the High North aspects offering dry chalky wind slab that is very consistent and trustworthy. Some of the due South aspects did begin to absorb some of the solar energy and they might be a tad crispy in the AM, but I expect any machine worked lines to still be holding the cold. Here is a shot of Wynonna, the birthday girl, moving through the Time Tunnel. No wonder she never ages.

Tomorrow, look for another great day on the hill, with great groomers to dial in. Those untracked corduroy lines are hard to beat. Traffic should be light again, so you can rack up some serious vertical. Go out and check out some of those smooth off trail lines that are looking good to you. Looks like some weather coming in the next few days, so check you lines now so you know where the features are located. Dial it up, Dial it in!!

WIDE OPEN

1-02-19

The hill was wide open today as the the traffic was very light and the Groomers were wall to wall perfect. With an inversion beginning to build in, the peak was 15 Degrees warmer than the Plaza as the Tram parked in the dock. Mineral Basin was offering amazing carpets of AHHHHHH, with exciting new Industrial Smoothing efforts given to White Diamonds for the first time of the season. As the pack there was getting the first fresh till, the quality was just perfect Hydro Velvet top to bottom. The front of the hill was offering great lines, but that bright Sun back there was hard to beat, and the warmer temps were certainly inviting. Here is a shot of Regulator looking wide open and ready for a fun. Thanks to Neil for taking that and sending it along. With light traffic keeping the lifts back to back empty, the quality of the pack remained smooth and silky all day long. The off trail is still holding some soft areas, with the High North aspects offering the best lines. The pack is becoming firm again as the new snow gets worked, but the over all consistency is worth looking off the beaten path for some interesting variations. Here is a shot of Team Smarty from NY and Conn., who were heading out on the hill to extract as much juice as they could with such wide open lines. They are avid readers of the site and it was so much fun to see them again. Tomorrow, look for more fun to be had, with the Groomers, warming temps, and light traffic making it seem like a private resort. Mineral Basin will be offering the early Sun and those sweet buffed lines will be untracked for the early risers. Perfect is perfect wherever you find it, and you will find it in the AM. See you there for the fun and Sun fest. Straight Ahead!!