Archive for January, 2021

HIGH WINDS

1-14-21

It was a bit nippy this morning with the Sun shining in Mineral Basin, but the very high winds kept the Tram down for the day. The Chairs were the ticket to get the day started, but the winds up high were really nuking, making the ride cold and slow as the chairs were running a bit slow due to the wind up high. The front of the hill was really scoured, and only some aspects in Mineral Basin were gathering some of the transported snow. Mineral Basin closed later in the morning when the wind increased even more. Here is a shot that Tramrat sent from his January Golf Hacienda in Arizona.

When your sitting on a high elevation chair in high winds with cold temps, this shot gives me a bit of warmth just looking at it. Get a hole in one Tramrat!!

While the Groomers were very firm, the wind was depositing some dust on the mat, making the traction a bit better, but slick spots were abundant and a cautious approach to the flats was advised. Tomorrow, look for another fun day of working the Groomed lines on the hill. I will be looking for any residual lines of wind deposited snow for the best off trail offerings. I think Mineral Basin will be offering the largest selection of those smooth lines. Dress for cold again as the Northwest flow is still in effect. IBBY!!!

OVERNIGHT TRACE

1-13-21

It was very warm in the parking lot, with the tell tale signs of some kind of frozen accumulation. That overnight trace, which was no deeper than one millimeter made the groomed runs just an extra bit sweeter to start today’s festivities. Here is a shot of the accumulation on the Plaza chairs.

Just a little bit will do ya!!

Traffic was light, and the visibility was OK, but the details were hard to discern. Thanks to the Grooming Crew for the smooth carpets of AHHHHH. I was working the Peruvian Gulch early on to take advantage of the wide open lines, fun terrain variations, and Lower Who Dunnit, which was offering a roller coaster of fun changes of aspect. Tomorrow, look for some additional accumulation as some more energy will be passing by. Sunny skies may be on tap, so check it out and go for the Sun if it is up and shining.

Leopard Man in his Happy Place

I found out today that my good friend John transitioned from the training fields of Snowbird to do some extensive recon work for us in the Powder Fields in the Great Beyond. John brought smiles, amazing energy, and love to all he encountered. We will all so miss him. Prowl the deep John. Straight Ahead!!!

FILTERED SUN

1-12-21

There was a high cloud deck over the Front this morning, which filtered the Sun, making the visibility interesting, but had enough contrast to make the details stand out. Light traffic in Mineral Basin made for some fast and fun laps on the freshly machine worked lines. After 11AM, the Sun burned through the deck as it moved East, making the visibility come alive as the entire mountain was fully illuminated. The Baldy Chutes were opened today, accessing Alta. The entrance looked really rasty, but it had quite a lot of traffic non the less. Here is a shot of Flyin’ Brian Beck standing at the top considering the gnar.

Now that’s entertainment!!
Mikey M working his way into upper Main Chute at ALTA. There is plenty of cover in the chute, but the entrance is dodgy.

The Groomers were offering the smooth ride, with great consistency that really paid off big when the flat light was keeping things interesting. Later, after Noon, the open lines began to get a bit scraped off, so I was using my best averaging techniques to keep moving through the turns despite the variations. Tomorrow, look for light snow in the AM. Visibility will be interesting, so stay with the Groomed lines and stay close to the trees for reference. The off trail remains difficult, with wide spread interference patterns and rumble.

Jake was playing tourist today and was checking the out of the way lines. Here is looking down the entrance to Hot Foot Gully.

See you for the morning session, and, perhaps, some light Essence to work. Speed Safely!!

STILL COOL

1-11-21

It was a full on sunny day, but the temps were still quite cool, and only warmed up after 1PM as the Sun rose up higher in the sky. The Groomers were offering some really nice corduroy out of the chute, with good traction, smooth surfaces and wide open lines to dial in some high angles.

Another shot from yesterday’s Heavenly display of light and color.

Mineral Basin was offering the bright Sun on the first Tram, so those wide open prepared lines were fast and dialable. Lewis and Clark was also offering some nice lines, but there are still large areas that are quite dodgy with rumble and static that make those lines interesting. The Front of the hill was offering the top to bottom pace, with low traffic on the lifts, fast turnaround times on the runs, and fairly uncrowded sections to open up the throttle a bit. The pack got a bit slick as the nap was shaved off the corduroy, and I bailed after 1PM to save my knees. Tomorrow, look for more of the same conditions on the hill. Those early Groomers will be offering that carpet like consistency, and the off trail is still stiff and tricky. Dress for that morning chill, and follow the Sun for best visibility. See the Line, BE the Line!!

GOLDEN SUN

1-10-21

I got an early start on the day with an invitation to join the 7 Summit Tour. The Sun was just rising when we got to the peak and it was shining a golden light on the low clouds in the Valley’s, making it feel like Heaven.

Morning light illuminating the Mineral Basin for the early Trams.

The Groomers on all sides of the hill were offering smooth turning on the soft nap of the corduroy. The light on the front of the hill was flat, but some of the details were illuminated by the reflected light coming off Superior. Here is a shot of the Valley before the Sun rose up over the ridge.

The days are getting longer, and the Sun is rising earlier, but the Front of the hill takes a while to light up.

After Noon, the machine worked lines began to scrape off, leaving slick tiles that kept me averaging the turns to even out the variations. Tomorrow, look for another great day on the hill with smooth groomed lines for the morning session, great visibility, and nominal temps to keep the ambient comfort pleasant. The off trail continues to present challenging conditions, with some dry chalk in the low spots, some stiff crud in the areas that have seen less traffic, and lighter traffic. See you there dark and early for the festivities. Watch your Six!!

FLOATY CLOUDS

1-09-21

Clouds were still floating over the peaks, as the Valley was washed in Sunshine most of the day. The floaty clouds moved up and down the Canyon, letting the Sun shine in the higher elevations. That last impulse missed The Front with no real accumulation after the expectations were built up all week. Conditions remain unchanged from yesterday, and the Groomers are still offering the real smooth that you can trust even when those pesky clouds float on in and send the visibility to ZERO ZERO. Here is a shot of my good friend Steve that I took the other day on the peak.

Yesterday on the Peak was amazing. Steve and I spent a few minutes in The Summit enjoying the ambience and remembering the days long ago when we dreamed of such a facility on the peak.

Tomorrow, look for more sunshine, smooth Groomers to make the early corduroy the draw as Mineral Basin has been offering those perfect carpets with very low traffic. The off trail remains difficult, with widespread interference patterns and rumble to keep you focused on the variations as they present themselves. Straight Ahead!!!

SMOOTH CARPETS

1-08-21

The Temps were cold just before the Sun cracked the horizon, but quickly warmed the hill as it rose up. The Groomers were offering amazingly smooth carpets of AHHHHHH on all sides of the hill. A beautiful rework of the line out on Powder Paradise made that shot the Morning Crew choice to get the ball rolling. The Road to Provo opened for the first time of the season, but with the long stretch of time that that area has been out of play, let the resident pack stiffen, slab with the wind, and consolidate, making all the lines I chose very difficult to navigate. I was reduced to some very rudimentary techniques to insure I remained standing in the extremely variable consistency. I quickly returned to the smooth soft machine worked lines that were just right for a sunny Friday.

High contrast morning light made this corduroy mat jump out and call for a shot. You could hear the whirring and zizzing of the transitions even without moving.

After Noon, the traffic and temperature rise made the pack get very slick, which made the traction go away and moving through the turn became important to keep the footing consistent as you passed through the variation. Here is a shot that Jake sent of a Porcupine climbing up to the cover of the Summit tree cover for a lunch time nibble.

Our resident Porcupine working his way toward The Summit to stay clear of the passing Faithful.

Tomorrow, look for an unsettled day with marginal visibility as a fast moving impulse brings some snow showers. Dress for wind and colder temps. The Groomers will be offering the smooth consistent lines on all sides of the hill. Stay with the tree lines for the best contrast in the flat light. Remember, the off trail is stiff and very variable, so plan accordingly. I’ll be taking the day off to rest up for the coming week, so enjoy the hill. IBBY!!!

SMOOTH CRUISIN’

1-07-21

The Sun was key this morning, as it lit Mineral Basin first thing and began to warm up the air. The first industrial smoothing of the season was performed on Powder Paradise, with a sweet meandering line that was preparatory for the future treatments. That fresh till was a real treat, which let you dial in that coveted full platform engagement. Lewis and Clark had a line prepared, which was the place to be as the off trail has really set up and is really bouncy and stiff. Here is shot I got of North East facing off of the traverse to The Hillary Step.

This area, which I had my eye on, finally opened while I was occupied on other choices offered really sweet turns for the folks on deck for the drop.

The front of the hill was offering very nice prepared lines that were consistent wall to wall with amazing seam matching. A bit shout out to the Cat Crew for such amazing corduroy. Tomorrow, look for more great groomed lines on all sides of the hill, and, perhaps, some prefrontal wind as another front begins it’s approach for the weekend. The off trail remains stiff, with widespread interference patterns and rumble. I will be looking for some overnight wind transport for the first lines of the day. See you there dark and early for the opening bell. Dial it up, Dial it in!!

FRESH LINES

1-06-21

The Faithful were on deck dark and early this morning in anticipation of the opening of Mineral Basin that was waiting in the wings for today’s festivities. High Baldy was also on tap and there were lots of folks waiting for their favorite line to open. The Groomers were amazing, offering velvet smooth textures that let you dial in the turns that felt effortless and silky. Here are some shots from Mikey M’s tour out to High Baldy where the goods did not disappoint.

Mikey M working the sweet cold frosting out on High Baldy. Perfect!!
Doc, getting his share of this storms perfection with no pressure.
Keith Bates working the section and making it look as good as it was.

The crowd made the jump to Mineral Basin as soon as it opened, which opened up the lifts on the front of the hill and left them walk on fast and fun. Here is a shot of the turns that Neil and Jake scored out on the Baldy Chair before the word got out.

Mineral Basin offering up the sweet surfable lines that this high density storm delivered

Tomorrow, look for another great day, with still some soft lines to find on the hill. The traverses remain difficult and care should be taken on route. I think we’ll get a bit more Sun, so visibility will be 2020. The Groomers will also be offering great lines, but may begin to firm up as they get worked. See you there for more of the good stuff. Syrup Won’t Stop ‘EM!!!

AFTERNOON SUN

1-05-21

The Faithful were in full attendance, dark and early, for this morning’s offering of fresh Essence. The new accumulation was very dense, cold, and dry, making it feel like frosting a cake with a paper knife. It was buoyant and smooth, which was a real treat. I was able to attain full platform engagement turn after turn. The wind was really nuking, taking the Tram out of service after 10:30 AM. The Cirque Traverse opened, where lines that I have been avoiding were filling in nicely. The 3.5″ overnight report seemed a bit low, as there was well over 10″ up high and some of the low hollows and gut had a bit more. Here is a couple of shots from Mikey M that show some of the down the line fun.

Mikey M getting the full facial effect out on Lone Pine. It was very luxurious indeed.
Steve Mayer experiencing full platform engagement with each turn on this line in Wilber Bowl.

Traffic was high, so pressure for the goods was coming from all directions. The snow fall backed off around 11AM and full on sunshine took over for the day. What a treat. As the new accumulation got worked over, the ratchet chop built up quickly with the high density product, which sent me packing. Tomorrow, look for a nice day, with areas that did not open today to open after mitigation efforts are complete. Since the wind was so strong, expect some wind affected surfaces, which may be inconsistent. The Groomers should be off the chart smooth and plush. See you there for the morning fun with new snow, great visibility and fun with friends. Remain Standing!!