Archive for December, 2020



It was a gray morning, with overcast, light snow falling, and a few inches of very light accumulation on the dance floor. I sensed a glimmer of light in Mineral Basin when I hit the peak and ventured down to find fairly good visibility, wide open lines that had been filled with the overnight snowfall, and the pack still holding most of the smooth that I was working yesterday. Here is a shot I got of The East Twin in yesterday’s bright Sun.

Smooth lines were available out in Powder Paradise waiting for those folks willing to trust the Force and work the steep section.

Those long sections of wind packed slab were still offering the smooth, and, with the added accumulation, made those transitions from slab to slab much more seamless. I have been keeping a close eye on the features that remain exposed so that I know where the snow snakes live when they get covered up.

The Chairman of The Board ordered this light breakfast which has only, and exactly 4 hot peppers, because 5 is too many and 3 is not enough.

Tomorrow, look for sunny skies as the weather system moves off. The Groomers will be offering soft tilled lines that should have plenty of traction and sections that will have soft accumulations of snow from today’s snowfall. Most of those smooth lines will still be available, but the high traffic lines are seeing a rapid build up of interference patterns that will keep you turning to maintain the line through the higher amplitude areas. The traverses are still difficult and variable, so use caution along the tight sections. Happy New Year!!



The temps were fairly cold this morning, but the skies were clear and blue, with Mineral Basin bathed in Sun for the opening Bell. The wind had been busy overnight, scouring large swaths of the slopes on all sides of the hill and solidifying the deposited areas to supportable slab. I went looking off trail for the smooth, finding long fingers of dry, dusty, smoothness that were bridged by some very crusty wind blown crud. However, the smooth supportable lines were worth the effort to thread an off trail line.

The High Traverse has not opened as yet. It is still in need of more snow, but those smooth steep lines are tantalizing. Soon.

There was increasing pressure for the lifts, so the lines built up to moderate levels, but seemed to move quickly. The front side of the hill is still well covered, and the machine worked lines are in great shape and have enough tooth to get a fair edge in. I am still working an averaging turn approach to deal more consistently with the variations in texture. The Traverses are still very dodgy, with thread bare sections that will be very challenging. Tomorrow, look for stormy conditions for the day as another impulse is moving in. I will be dressing for cold, and plan on staying close to the known smooth lines for those training laps. Watch your six!!



It was a clear cold morning as the storm went South and did not deliver any real accumulation overnight. There was a solid inch on the ground, but all that product yesterday had been blown into the low areas and the trees, leaving firm conditions on the prepared lines and some crusty feeling lines off trail. With an early push for the Tram, The Morning Crew hit the Peruvian Chair and headed through the Tunnel to get the Baldy Chair. The wind in the Basin had blown the pack off, leaving very variable lines that kept you looking for the long treads of Essence filling the low spots.

Tramrat nearing the light at the end of the Tunnel, where the Sun was bright, the wind was stiff and the lines were fun and fast.

I worked both sides of the front aspects of the hill, finding firm consistency on the prepared lines, but plenty of soft snow on the mat to get a good grip on the surface. Still, I was averaging the turns to deal with the surprise slick tiles that lurked. Tomorrow, look for another day of clear skies before more snow comes back later in the week. With a fresh till, the machine worked lines should be a tad softer for the early risers. I will be headed back into Mineral Basin first thing to get some of the lines I missed today. Coverage continues to get better, but the long traverses are sketchy and need more snow. Use caution when treading those traverses. I will be dressing for cold again, but the temps should be warming up as the day progresses. Keep it tight!!!



It was a storm riding morning, with blowing wind, low visibility, and driving snow that was not piling up as it was driven by the wind. There was fair pressure for the lifts even with the prevailing conditions, but the chairs made short work of the crowd. Mineral Basin was closed, so my foray into the Abyss was thwarted, however, that saved me from having to guess my navigation. Here is a shot of Mikey M in Great Scott on one of the first Trams of the day.

Mikey M sparing no effort to get the goods on a stormy day.

There were few takers for the more remote lines, so you could venture off at your own pace. The guts and low areas were capturing the new snow, but it was difficult to find the long threads of accumulation in the marginal visibility. Here is a shot of Professor Tom getting some of that out of the way goodness.

The lines were much smoother where the wind had worked the pack in the prefrontal accumulation. Those Northern lines were getting the best of the wind.

Temps were fairly cold, and dressing for the conditions paid off. I worked both sides of the hill, but found the variability, combined with the visibility, tough to keep the mojo working, so I took an early seating at The Forklift Chair to assess the option. On the way down that last run, we all stopped to pay tribute to all those great folks who have left The Funway. Here is a shot of #1, in his shrine on the hill.

Fitz had been at The Bird since Day One, and we miss him greatly. We remember all the great times we all shared with the folks who have gone on to do the recon work in the next Dimension .

Tomorrow, look for more overnight accumulation, continued cold temps, and reworked Groomers to dial in in the variable visibility. Look for those North facing lines to have gathered the most product from the prevailing winds. The old layer will still be in play, but look to low areas and tree lines where the blowing product has piled up. Every little bit helps and will keep the hill fresh every day. See you there for the early explorations. See the Line, BE the Line!!



It was a cold morning as the overnight storm clouds lifted just in time for the First Tram to hit the peak. There was the usual push for The Tram, so The Morning Crew took the wide open Peruvian Chair up to the Tunnel to get first tracks on that Lewis and Clark section that had ,as yet, not been touched for the Season. The overnight accumulation was fully 4 to 5 inches of light fluff, which made those wind open lines very smooth, with only occasional reverberations of the substrate. With no push for the goods we made several laps there before the line on The Mineral Chair built up.

Beautiful lines were on tap out there on the Lewis and Clark section of the hill, where the exploration sojourn payed off with no pressure and smoothness top to bottom.

High Baldy also opened with this morning’s offerings, delivering smooth lines top to bottom there as well. The lower traverse from The Peruvian Chair is very difficult and should be avoided till we get more snow. The Groomers were amazing as well, with some sections offering that coveted full platform engagement that I seek to find whenever I can. Regulator was offering smooth groomed lines, and the off trail section there was much improved with the recent accumulation, offering a much appreciated series of lines that I have been avoiding, but now delivered the goods top to bottom.

The Road to Provo was slightly delayed for the First Tram, but opened shortly, with smooth carvable consistency that let you dial in the good stuff.

Tomorrow, look for more snow for the festivities, with smooth lines on the Groomers, still fresh lines to be found if you look for them, and lighter traffic. There may also be a bit of overnight accumulation.

A long shot down Canyon with the Sun burning off the residual storm clouds.

We’ll see you there for the smooth cruisin’ and fresh terrain to ply. Don’t Forget To SIZZLE!!



I guess I haven’t been watching the weather closely enough because I never saw today’s light flurries coming. The morning was overcast to start, the light was flat, but the Groomed lines were good to go and consistent and fully trustworthy. Here is a shot that I took the other day when Mineral was obscured, but the Sun was trying to punch through.

Shooting into the Sun, I was unable to see any details in the sky, but I just thought something might show up.

Tomorrow, look for a bit of accumulation overnight, with partly cloudy skies. The Grooming will be offering the best lines in the AM. I will venture into Mineral Basin and get a first hand look at things and report for the next post. More storms are predicted for next week. We’ll have to see how it shakes out. See you there dark and early for the start of a great week on the hill. IBBY!!



It was a clear cold morning, with bright Sun, ultra blue skies, and the opening of Mineral Basin as well as Baby Thunder as a holiday treat. While the morning temps were cool, the strong unfiltered Sun warmed up the air, however, it remained cool enough to preserve the pack. That is a very nice feature of this time of the season. Here are a couple of shots that Jake sent of his recon mission into the Basin for a look see.

From The Landing the coverage back there was looking good, and it is great to see those wide open lines waiting for go time.
This shot testifies to the consistency of the surface quality. A tad breakable perhaps, but certainly carvelicious!

Tomorrow, look for a return to the Mineral Basin, Sunshine to light the way, and great Groomers on all sides of the hill. I will be taking my usual Saturday off to get some details and chores taken care of. For today’s festivities, I made a couple of Quiches for a festive breakfast. My good friend Sully taught me to make these back in the Golden Cliff days. All those cooking assignments come in handy all these years later.

Fully inflated, hot out of the oven, and ready to a Holiday Breakfast. Thanks Sully for the lifetime culinary lessons.

Syrup Won’t Stop ‘EM!!



It was a clear and cold morning as The Faithful were waiting for the first Tram to open for the day. The recent delivery of Product had set up fairly tightly, making the off trail a bit bouncy, with the interference patterns rising quickly in the brisk traffic of the past days. The Groomers were quite firm on both sides of the hill, but there was ample loose dust to maintain traction on the steep sections. I was keeping the pace a bit slower to make the most of the runs and dial in the maximum juice from each turn. Who Dunnit was really fun with the high relief terrain features fully in play. Superior was reflecting some serious Sun back on the North facing aspects, making the detail stand out in the early morning shade. Here is a shot of Superior with a full frontal assault of the Faithful working the freshness.

With this last installment of Essence, Superior was getting worked right up the face. There were some nice turns and lines being scored.

I stopped on the Summit to get a look into Mineral Basin in anticipation of an opening sometime in the near future. The coverage is looking good, with the machine worked lines prepared on the Lewis and Clark area. I am so excited to get back there and get some of those sweet wide open lines.

Lewis and Clark looking nicely covered and offering those wide open terrain canvases.

Tomorrow, look for some warming temps, great Grooming efforts on both sides of the hill, and bright sunshine to light the way. The off trail will still have interference patterns building amplitude in the high traffic areas top to bottom, but there are plenty of good lines to circumvent the gnar. Perhaps traffic might be a bit lighter during the Holiday morning. Enjoy the gifts of the day, delivered for your enjoyment. Stay Frosty!!



A perfect delivery of Essence fell on the hill, with just the right elements of quality that made it the best day of the year so far. The front moved in with a bang yesterday, with heavy, cold, dense accumulation that really stuck to the old layer. As the storm cooled, the density lightened up, and by this morning was offering blower dry dust that put the icing on the cake. Here is a shot of Scott Markewitz on the action side of the camera, getting the goods when one of the traverses opened up.

Scott Markewitz getting the first tracks on this section of the hill all to himself.

The faithful were in full attendance, and fair waits were the norm all around the hill. The temps were quite cold, keeping the product very refrigerated all day long. Here is a shot of Doc getting the first lines of the season in Wilbre Bowl.

Doc, working the sides of the line to get the fresh Essence, which is the best quality of the season.

The depth of this delivery went a long way toward cushioning the ride and mitigating some of the more sever elements of the substrate. Slick spots did crop up in places and some of the high elevations that were exposed to the wind were a bit slabby and wind scoured, but lower down on the hill, the sheltered lines were off the charts perfect. I stopped on the Peak and got this shot of Mineral Basin basking in the morning light and displaying some serious Sun effects in the bowl.

Rainbow circles around the Sun with a pillar of Light in the bowl were a real trip for the morning session.

Tomorrow, look for more great lines to be on tap with some looking around, and amazing carpets of AHHHH on all sides of the hill to keep you dialing it in top to bottom. Still, there may be some slick spot still cropping up here and there in the high traffic areas, so be ready for anything. I expect a cold morning and will be dressing for the condition. Watch for openings as they may occur. There is no telling. Enjoy the new freshness, it is Go Time!! Don’t touch that dial!!!



The winds were nuking this morning, blowing close to 100 MPH in the early hours, putting the Tram on delay with the chairs on hold. The Gad side of the hill opened on time with a big crowd waiting for the opening bell. The Peruvian Chair opened shortly after that, which began to pull the crowd to that chair and spreading the pressure out. The Tram opened around 10 AM, with the winds having backed off a tad, but the peak was really getting hit as we docked. The front was coming fast and you could feel the static in the air on the peak. Here’s a shot of a wall of voodoo coming across the range, heading for the peak.

The prevailing conditions on the hill were about to get interesting as this impulse pushed up the Canyon.

That impulse let loose around 11AM as predicted, bringing very heavy grauple that was piling up quickly. With the visibility going South, I took the opportunity to leave the Canyon before the road got bad. The density of the new product was sure to stick to the old layer, cushioning the old pack, so I am confident the quality was going to improve quickly. Tomorrow, look for new accumulation, prepared lines on both sides of the hill and much improved cover off trail. There was not enough to fill in the high traffic interference patterns, so stick with the side lines for the smoothest lines off trail. I was working some tree lines and found very workable turns where the snow had been pushed up out of the gut. Precipitation will continue into the morning, so dress for weather and cold temps. See you there for the fresh product. Watch your six!!