Archive for January, 2020

HEAVY WEATHER

1-17-20

With heavy weather in the forecast, I got an early start up the Canyon this morning, and still it was a wild ride with the snow dumping insanely, the wind blowing it sideways, and deep darkness to try and make out the road. This installment was high density and was building up fast. When I parked there was 3″ and when I headed down there was over a foot of freshness. The lifts were delayed due to the frantic pace of the snow fall, but I had a great time visiting with folks in the Tram line, sharing the stoke and getting amped for the turns to come. Here is a shot off the Dream Team, who were ready to get into the thick of it.

The Dream Team soaking up the ambience of the energy of the new snow and the Faithful who were primed and ready for fun.

I headed to the Forklift to await the opening. I bailed after the road reopened after control work and got an early start on my day off tomorrow. Tomorrow, look for a lot of great lines wall to wall, as the wind has smoothed all aspects, and that front delivered some smooth frosting that will be really fun in the AM. I expect it to be a bit cold, so dress for the occasion. It is one of those times where you just can’t miss and the conditions will be amazing.

The Summit Crew enjoying a break in the action and getting a recharge to take into the afternoon.

I meant to put this shot up yesterday, but I spaced it out. I had a great time hanging with this crew and exchanging notes on the way the hill was smoothing out. The hill is in prime time, Enjoy!! Syrup Won’t Stop ‘EM!!

WIND SMOOTHING

1-16-20

Extra special primo wind smoothing was performed by Mother Nature, which just amplified the masterful job of smoothing the Cat Crew performed overnight on all sides of the hill. With the wind transporting quite a bit of product, the North faces were picking up the goods and certain sections were fattening up quickly, however, there was a fair bit of punchy pack that was not yet supportable. The Sun was shining, but there were clouds on the horizon as another front is poised to move in. Here is a shot of Flyin’ Brian Beck working the pockets of still soft snow in the overlooked sections.

Brian Beck leaving trails of glory on a nice North West aspect that was offering up the goods.

With the wind working the pack, and the light traffic on the hill, the smooth quality remained high top to bottom, with Lower Primrose Path offering up stellar carpets well into the afternoon. Tomorrow, expect a full on storm riding day with heavy precipitation, wind, and difficult visibility. Dress for cold as the temps are bound to drop with the front passage. Remember the smooth lines from today and work them for the best ride in the variable visibility. The hill is in great shape to get another dose of the Essential substance. IBBY!!!

BLUE BIRD

1-15-20

After a very long cycle that brought an amazing amount of new product to the hill, the Sun finally came out and made it a blue bird day with not a cloud in the sky. The air was cold, the Groomers were offering amazing carpets of AHHHH, and Mineral Basin was soon to be opening. The wind had worked much of the hill the past day or so, leaving many sections wind smoothed, erasing all the rumble and much of the interference patterns were smoothed over. Mineral Basin opened with the Faithful ready to work the sections that were tantalizing in the morning Sun. Here is a shot I took of the bowl before the rope dropped.

With all that wind carrying the goods to this back bowl, who knows how much new is waiting here to sample.

When the rope dropped it did not take long to get worked, but there were consistent, smooth lines on all aspects. It was a bit thick in places and just right in other spots. Here is a shot of Ricky Rev’s line on a North facing aspect.

Getting first tracks is one thing, but getting them with no one around is priceless. Such a great line and some righteous turns put down.

Many of the aspects on the front of the hill were offering untracked lines as well, and there were plenty of low traffic traverses to get your own. Here is a shot of Mark Riley’s line, again, all to himself with no pressure.

Mark Riley getting as sweet line on the front side of the hill and on one around.

The wind had blown a light skiff on top of the Groomed lines on the lower half of Peruvian Gulch, making those carpets an extra special treat. Tomorrow, look for unreal grooming to be available on all sides of the hill. There will be a couple of areas still waiting in the wings, and there is still plenty of soft snow covering some wind smoothed lines on many aspects on the front of the hill. Keep your eyes open for lines you may have been avoiding. Wind will be a feature and the temps will be milder as another system is moving in for the next couple of days. Enjoy the visibility. See the Line, BE the Line!!!

SMOOTHING WIND

1-14-20

Nuking winds put the Tram down for the day and began to smooth the mountain in some places and scouring other aspects all day. With a slight delay in opening the chairs, the faithful were in full attendance, but the Quads got them up the hill quickly and working the chairs on the Gad side of the hill kept you ahead of the curve. The Little Cloud chair was really windy and Regulator was taking beating. On the Peruvian side of the hill, the wind lines were beginning to shape up as the wind kept smoothing the surface as fast as you could put a track in it. Here is a shot of The Bruce Tree on my recon run on the fringes looking for the smoothest lines.

On such a rockin’ day I stopped by The Bruce Tree to pay respects to all who have found the music of the mountain and made it their life’s song.

Tomorrow, look for those wind smoothed lines to be found out and about. Where? Wherever the wind direction put it. You can bet a lot of the product was moved to Mineral Basin from my observations. There are areas still to be opened and we’ll have to see how it shakes out. Check the road report for Canyon access in the AM. The weather dude is suggesting a clearer day, but I expect wind to still be part of the equation. I will be dressing for cold in any event and will adjust accordingly. Big thanks to the Ski Patrol for all the hard work they have put in during this cycle. And thanks to all the folks who make the Bird turn every day. Speed Safely!!

REALLY DEEP

1-13-20

As the cycle continues delivering large amounts of Essence on the hill, it is getting really deep. The snow was falling hard and fast as the day began and the Faithful were in full attendance as the festivities began. The main areas opened after mitigation was completed and it was full on blower just about wherever you found a line, pocket, or section top to bottom. Here is a shot of Tomi getting the full effect on the Lower Cirque.

Tomi getting a full facial blast of the goodness and keeping them submerged for maximum full body immersion!!
Brian Beck exiting a powder pocket with full power and trails of glory in his wake!

Here are a couple of shots that Mike and Tomi and Mikey M sent to give you a full visual dose. When the the pack got worked over, the harbor chop rose up and I was looking for the side pockets and deep wind blown lines for the smooth. The wind was up in a big way and there were some wind worked lines that were showing promise, but were quite affected and required a very powerful direct drive approach to punch trough and keep the head of steam going. Tomorrow, look for some wind to have been working the hill overnight, so the wind lines may be the place to look first thing. There are areas still waiting to open in the wings, so keep an eye and ear out for openings. The hill is epic wall to wall, which lets you charge with unmitigated audacity. I expect continued heavy pressure on the hill, so start early. Stay Frosty!!

ALL TIME

1-12-20

The road was closed for control work, so I bagged the day and chilled. Up on the hill, it was all time, with light deep Essence wall to wall and no one able to get to there. From the pictures on social media, it was deep, deep, deep and a day that will be a life time day for many. It is difficult writing about perfection, because, what can you say, it was perfect, so we’ll leave it at that. Here is shot I took the other day when we were having a bit of sunshine. This is Bliss Brother Burke radiating joy on the peak.

Burke, dialing up the stoke on the peak. Getting the most of every moment.

Tomorrow, look for another amazing day of deep powder magic wall to wall, storm conditions continuing all day, and perfect conditions on all aspects. These are the days that we all dream about during the Summer, so you can dial into it and get it all. Check the road reports for morning access. We’ll see you for the festivities!! Straight Ahead!!

FREE REFILLS

1-11-20

The start of precipitation was a bit delayed, with even a Sun window out ahead of the front that came through around 11AM. With big wind and heavy precipitation, it was a free refills type of day for The Faithful who were treated to this rare event. Last night was the first of the Pizza tasting parties at Kazoodi’s, with Mikey M providing a parade of new topping sensations. The pies kept getting better and better. Thanks to Kazoodi and Mikey M for making such an amazing event possible!!

Mikey M putting the first pie of the evening in the oven.
If your in LA., be sure to find one of these locations and try the pie. We were doing some fun research tasting. You’ll love it.

The hill is deep and getting deeper as this cycle is really kicking in big time. There will be significant accumulation tonight and into tomorrow, so expect delays in the road and the hill as this big dump gets under control. These are the days that we talk about in the days leading into a new season, and here is the read deal all lined up and ready to unload. The hill is awesome wall to wall with astounding conditions, big base, and the new Essence will be legendary. Remain Standing!!

BIG BLUE

1-10-20

A big blue sky and bright Sun welcomed the Faithful to an amazing day that movies and magazine photos are made of. A bonus accumulation of Lake Effect snow turned a 3” prediction into 12″ of light Essence that did not disappoint. After a slight delay, the Peruvian Gulch opened with blower powder that had the air filled with hoots and hollars that echoed off the walls. Here is a shot of Mikey M getting the goods under the White Cliffs.

Mikey M fully slotted and getting ready for the full face shot.

Mineral Basin opened around 12:30PM with wall to wall ultra deep. It was just a matter of choosing which line to take. The wind had affected certain aspects and the one I chose was thick, but a straight fall line power blast approach worked best. Here is a shot of the goods on the Chamonix Chutes.

Doc, getting a perfect line when Mineral Basin opened.

Harbor chop really cropped up after 1 PM, so I bailed to save my knees and start my day off early. Tomorrow, look for another storm to be moving in for the next few days. Look for the Groomers to be offering the smooth as the off trail was still feeling that old substrate, but with wind and more accumulation the ride should be smoothing out with time. Look for some wind worked lines early before the accumulation takes over for smoothness.

Standing on the top of the world as the high peaks appear out of the clouds.

There were some great views as the Canyon was filled with low clouds that seemed like heaven. Have a safe, fun day, and I’ll see you Sunday. IBBY!!

LIGHT DENSITY

1-09-20

Light density Essence covered the dance floor this morning that was real treat for the Faithful, who showed up on time and ready for fun. With the light density, the underlying substrate was still in play, but a direct approach made the variations a bit more negotiable. Mineral Basin opened around 10:30AM, which offered much deeper accumulation as the wind moved the product to those aspects. Here is a shot of Mikey M getting in deep on Baldy when it opened.

Mikey M getting in deep with some areas holding much deeper pockets.

The Groomers had the smooth ride, and that Anderson’s Hill-Lower Primrose line was over the top, with that new accumulation covering a perfect grooming job. Regulator was a bit slick as the wind had moved a lot of product to the East facing aspects. The Crew stopped for the Forklift Recon. meeting and compared notes on the morning. Here is a shot of the stellar presentation that Buzzy Skigrin received for his breakfast.

Chef Sebactain really brought game to a simple fruit plate. This plate stopped the presses.

Tomorrow, look for improving visibility, soft snow wall to wall, and perfect machine worked lines to explore your inner Ligety. The will be some areas that will be waiting in the wings, so keep your eyes and ears sharp for opening. There also may be some residual accumulation as the impulse moves off.

Tram Rat is on the links for the month of January. We are holding down the fort while he’s working on his game.

A big shout out to Tram Rat, who took this month off to get the Sun, fun and long shots in the Arizona climate. The Crew misses you. Stay Frosty!!

LIGHT TRAFFIC

1-08-20

Traffic was very light today, with walk on Trams all morning long. The expected front took a while to get rolling, but there was a nice accumulation on the Dance Floor to start that made the groomers extra special top to bottom. I worked the Peruvian Gulch to begin, taking advantage of the visual references and reflections in the difficult visibility. By 11 AM., the heavy stuff moved in and was snowing at an inches per hour pace that made the accumulation get deeper by the run and an, almost, free refills situation. The off trail was improving with the accumulation, but the underlying rumble was still in play, and with the visibility issues, made it difficult. I stayed with the prepared lines to maximize the vertical and give my knees a break at the same time. Here is a long shot of Steve F taking advantage of the deepening lines.

Steve F getting the goods and taking full advantage of the free refills.

I avoided Mineral Basin all day to avoid the very marginal visibility back there and stayed with the front of the hill. Here is a shot of Mikey M getting the fresh line yesterday in the side country.

Mikey M getting perfect January Powder on the other side of the ridge yesterday. A wonderland of goodness.
Brian Beck taking his turns out in Shady Acres yesterday. This is the prime time for perfect powder in the back.

Tomorrow, look for more accumulation on the hill as it is snowing briskly here at The Trailer as I write this. Traffic may be a bit more brisk and there may be some morning Canyon restrictions, so check and see before you go. The hill is in great shape with only the very high traffic choke points still holding some features. I think the old layer will begin to fade as the accumulation cushions the ride. This is just the beginning of a big week of continuous impulses lined up and taking aim on the Wasatch. Remain Standing!!!