Archive for December, 2019

HIGH CLOUDS

12-18-19

There was a red sky this morning as the Sun started coming up over the ridge line, while a thin high altitude cloud deck shrouded the Sun. While there was sunshine of the dance floor, the light in the shadows was very flat, making the details a bit fuzzy at times. The Groomers were really sweet, with fresh corduroy wall to wall and some really amazing Gun Powder accumulated down slope from the snow guns. I slowed way down to dial in some of that perfect velvet medium that felt just right. Here is a shot of Superior all tracked out from some heavy traffic. There are some very aggressive lines coming off the peak.

Heavy traffic getting the goods on Superior. Even with this much snow it still looks a big boney up there.

I stayed with the groomers all day, taking advantage of the walk on, back to back Trams to keep my stamina training on track. The off trail is still offering some soft lines, though that underlying rumble is wide spread and requires a straight at it approach. Tomorrow, look for another great day on the hill, with wide open groomers on both sides of the hill. Visibility should be much better as the clouds move off; we’ll see. The traverses and chokes are getting worked now, so expect thin spots and perhaps some rock pockets in places. Watch for Black Ice in the lower Canyon in the Morning. Don’t touch that dial!!

SUNNY&COLD

12-17-19

It was a clear cold morning with the peak temps well down toward Zero. There was light wind and the snow was a bit grabby with the cold. The Groomers were perfect on both sides of the hill, which let you dial in your inner Ligety. Light traffic to kick off the day let you do hot laps if you kept the Tram pace. Off trail was still difficult, though High Baldy looked like it was offering some good lines up on the higher elevations, but the lower section still looked stiff and bouncy. I did go off the beaten path and found the pack to have consolidated a bit and was more consistent, but I headed back to the smooth cruisers to continue stamina training and save my knees from the strain of the off trail rumble. I stopped up to The Summit to absorb the vibes that resonate there. Here is a shot of Elizabeth, who takes her commitment to excellence very seriously.

Elizabeth is the master of the perfect pizza at high altitude. Getting a perfect crust is not easy at any altitude.
Here is Vinnie just as he pulled this beauty out of the pizza oven for the hungry crowd.

As the Sun rose up higher in the sky, the temps warmed up quite a bit and the snow guns were being shut down. Earlier, the gun powder that had been deposited down slope was silky sweet and demanded a down shift in pace and a deeper carve quotient for each turn to extract as much goodness as possible.

Another look into Mineral Basin as we wait the first opening of the season. It is looking very fat and tasty indeed.

Here is a shot of Mineral Basin as we scoped out the possibilities when it finally opens. Tomorrow, look for awesome grooming efforts to be offered on both sides of the hill. The off trail will continue to be good, but there is a low amplitude rumble that is wide spread and requires a deliberate approach. See you there for these early season days where the snow stays good all day long no matter the aspect. Stay Frosty!!

LAKE EFFECT

12-16-19

4 to 8″ of uber light Fluffulescence was delivered overnight, covering the dance floor. Very cold temps came with the Northwesterly flow, making the new snow quite squeaky and slow. That pack that was left over from yesterday had set up with stiffness that felt like bumps underneath the new Essence. I looked very far afield to find some smooth lines, but still ran into some formidable rumble that made my knees scream. I headed back to the groomers, which were offering smooth, dry, chalky lines that let you dial in your inner Ligety. There were clouds moving in all day and the snow guns were working full on with the cold temps. Here is a couple of shots of the big guns on Regulator cranking out the goodness that was silky and consistent.

A long shot of the two Regulator stationary placements cranking out the goods.
Up close and personal with the heavy duty snow guns on Regulator pushing maximum output that was soft, smooth and carvalicious.

The Groomers remained fairly consistent as the day went on and the Tram line was back to back wide open once the push was spread out. Tomorrow, look for more amazing groomers to offer the perfect Carpets Of AHHHHHH on both sides of the hill. The off trail will still be offering soft snow, but that underlying variable substrate will be fully in effect. Temps are predicted to be much colder, so dress for cold and cover exposed skin. Also, watch for black ice in the lower Canyon in the AM. See you there for the shred fest. Syrup Won’t Stop ‘EM!!

COLD DAY

12-15-19

It was a cold day on the hill as the storm began to move out of the area. The Peruvian Gulch was open from the top and I took advantage of the opening option to get the Upper Cirque for the first time of the season. This installment was fairly dense with around a 12% density, that felt amazing when it was untracked, but set up quickly. This will be a perfect addition to that pack as it will consolidate and fill in the hill a lot more wall to wall. Continued mitigation went on in those areas that were closed, but I left for the day before any of those sections might have opened.

The Silver Surfer making it to The Summit after chasing this storm to Utah after hitting the big swell in the Islands.

The Silver Surfer was stoked to be on the peak and getting the goods on all sides of the hill. Visibility became a bit dodgy as some clouds moved into the Canyon and made areas of the hill foggy. Tomorrow, look for amazing groomed lines, as this product is perfect material to machine work and will offer velvet Carpets Of AHHHHH on all sides of the hill. Keep and eye out for more area openings. Traffic should be much lighter on the hill, so you can dial up as much Vertical as you would like. All the traverses are in very good shape, but still be cautious of some areas that might get worked off by the wind. The big steep entrances are improving as well, though I had to be really careful on the Upper Cirque where it was still thin on the first pitch. Dress for more cold, and get ready to rock. Jimmy Mac Is Back!!!!

BIG WIND

12-14-19

Another installment of Essence was delivered overnight as the storm cycle continues. The rain was pelting the skin of The Trailer all night, which lulled me back into a deep sleep. The temps. dropped and the wind was nuking, making the high elevations a difficult place to be and a quick exit of the ridge lines was required. Snow quality was excellent, with the more sheltered lines offering creamy and dreamy consistency and the pack is very smooth with all the wind. Here is a shot of that Sun Dog that was so bright the other day. Tram Rat took this of us looking into Mineral Basin that morning.

A cosmic portal opened as we looked into the future, when Mineral Basin opens. This Sun Dog really did not lie!!

Tomorrow, look for areas that had remained closed today to, perhaps, be opening as mitigation efforts are completed. The temps dropped markedly, so dress for cold and stay covered up. All the old chop has been covered and the wind will have kept what was worked today smoothed out for the morning session. The hill is in amazing shape and I haven’t hit any rocks at all since we opened. I expect solid traffic for the day, so get up early, but check the road report for up to date access info. IBBY!!

HEAVY DELIVERY

12-13-19

The rain thundered on the skin of The Trailer all night long with a fury, telegraphing a heavy delivery up on the hill. Traffic up the Canyon was light to start out early, but with a delayed opening on the hill, the faithful were lining up at Gad Zoom to await the opening. The Tram opened around 10:15AM with the Peruvian side of the hill opening around 11:30AM. The new installment was quite heavy and wind affected, which made a direct power approach the way to keep it moving. I was looking for the outside lines that seemed to be getting ignored. Here is a great shot of a future little shredder that was suiting up for the afternoon session.

This little shredder was still thinking about getting suited up for the day. She would be all smiles in a few minutes.

Tomorrow, expect more accumulation overnight, plenty of wide open lines that will be ready after mitigation has been completed, and fair pressure for the goods. There will be an early morning Canyon closure for control work, so check the road report for current access. The hill is in great shape and the lines are really filling in. Still, there are high traffic lines that are, as usual, getting scraped down to the ground, so expect that going over some of the choke points. I’ll be taking the day off tomorrow to rest up for the week. Speed Safely!!

CYCLE BEGINS

12-12-19

A big cycle began today as the storm impulses started to accumulate on the hill today. Visibility was very marginal, but the wind was smoothing the pack and the groomers were smooth and had a nice accumulation of 2” to make the ride extra smooth and creamy. Here is a shot that Mikey M sent today from an undisclosed location. There were plenty of blastable lines to dial in these types of face shots.

Mikey M dialing in the soft lines and getting the full effect of the day.

Both sides of the hill were great and the low angle lines on the West side of the hill were offering amazing quality with no traffic at all. I got to ride up the Tram with Junior Bounous and his son Steve, which was a real treat. He was telling me tales of the days before Snowbird and the personalities who were working the Snowbird acreage long before lifts. Priceless.

Junior Bounous on the Tram and ready to begin the season with soft snow and smooth lines.

The snowfall really kicked in around 1PM, when I left to get ahead of the road conditions. Tomorrow, look for overnight accumulation, a fair push for the goods, and an amazing storm riding day. Be sure to dress for cold as the temps were falling rapidly.

Team Adventure riding up for the very first time and were ready for an amazing time on the hill.

Here is a shot of Team Adventure who were stoked to be on the Tram and have a lot of fresh snow to discover. It is so much fun to share the stoke. See you there for the opening bell. Watch Your Six!!

FLAT LIGHT

12-11-19

High clouds shrouded the Sun today, making the light very flat with the details a bit obscure. The Groomers were really nice once again, with some gun powder strung down the hill that was worth throwing on the binders to dial in as much of that silky goodness as possible. Gad 2, and, later, Road To Provo opened with rave reviews from both areas. I was sticking with the smooth lines while I continue to work on stamina building. The off trail sections that have been worked for the past few days are setting up quite a bit and require a full blast approach or a more measured line to deal with the variations. Here is a shot of Paxton, who was manning the Pizza Oven in The Summit today.

The oven is hot and ready for a fresh pie to go in for the hungry lunch rush. Best pie in the world at 11,000′!!

Tomorrow, look for the first of a long few days of strormage to begin the next installment of Essence on the hill. The weather models are looking formidable, so expect a day of storm riding. Dress for wind and weather, and expect those smooth lines to still be holding the consistency when visibility goes away. If the precipitation comes in fast and hard, the off trail will be shaping up quickly and will be worth checking out. Stay with the trees for the best reference indicators. See you there for the start of something big! Think DEEP thoughts!!!

PERFECT CARPETS

12-10-19

There were perfect Carpets of Ahhhhh on both sides of the hill to start out the day. The Grooming Crew did an amazing job smoothing this new material that was as perfect as it gets. One could charge the carpets with unmitigated audacity , which put you in the NOW moment. More sections of the hill opened today, offering great cold lines that have been kept refrigerated and out of the Sun. Here is a shot that Mikey M sent of the look down upper West Baldy.

First opening of Upper West Baldy of the season. Mikey M got the goods. That is looking fat.

Traffic was light and back to back Trams were easy to get. The Groomers also had some righteous Gun Powder stretched down the hill from the guns, that was as good as it gets. Sweet, Sweet, Sweet. I stopped and got a look into Mineral Basin which is beautifully illuminated and smooth.

Mineral Basin looking almost ready for prime time. One more installment and it will be in the Zone.

Tomorrow, look for more amazing groomers, soft snow on some of those Northwest and Northeast aspects, that really seemed to be holding the quality. There is weather in the forecast in the next while, so we’ll have to see how the visibility plays out.

Sara and Cassidy welcoming the Morning Crew in for the daily recon meeting. What a treat is the awesome energy they share each day.

I expect light traffic once again, so get there to work up the stamina level. IBBY!!

SKY LIGHTS

12-09-19

There was a solid turn out for the goods this morning. The hill had been dusted with a couple of inches of additional grauple, and with the overnight wind work, the upper mountain was smooth consistent and really excellent on any aspect you chose. I worked that Upper Primrose Path section I did yesterday, which was still holding up with smooth, soft, perfection that was a real treat this early in the season. Both sides of the hill were offering great blastable lines that lived up to the weather hype. Here is a shot of Mikey M getting a righteous face shot on the Eddie Mo traverse, which was avoiding detection for most of the day.

Mikey M. getting all of this perfect response of the pack to the turn he was dialing in. It was like that most of the day.

After the morning session, the Sun began to burn through the clouds, making for some spectacular lights in the sky. It was pretty trippy, with rainbows and sun dogs all around the Sun. Here is a shot I took on the peak with some very interesting optical anomalies.

Cosmic lights in the sky made the afternoon session a thing of beauty. This effect kept changing with the movement of the clouds over the peak.

Tomorrow, look for more excellent off trail lines, though it is beginning to stiffen a touch with such high moisture content. The Groomers will be offering amazing Carpets Of AHHHHH on both sides of the hill. The Grooming Crew and Snow Making Crew have been doing a great job of building the base in all those places it counts. Look for some sections of Gun Powder for the morning session as there should be numerous silky lines of freshness under the guns. See you there for the smooth carpets and wide open lines. Dial it up, Dial it IN!!!