Archive for May, 2021

SUN&FUN

5-16-21

Despite storm warnings for today, the morning provided Sun and fun for the morning crew. Mineral Basin was prime and ready with soft corn conditions right from the first chairs. The front side of the hill was quite firm and some limited tenderizing efforts had been employed, which gave good traction and some nice feeling turns. Out in Mineral Basin, the off trail was providing some nice lines that were fairly smooth and soft enough to make the turning easy and fun. Here is a shot Kyle took of me out on the Bookends.

Fairly smooth lines and soft corn were on tap for the sunny skies that greeted the Faithful who were on their way up the Canyon.

The first hour was a lot of fun, but the Faithful were making their way to the hill and by 11AM the back bowl was seeing some traffic. I worked the front side as it began to break around 10AM and enjoyed some quiet time. No one was riding the Little Cloud chair as Regulator was quite firm and going to take a while to break. Today may have been the last day of the season as the pack is really going fast and some of the critical tight spots might melt off making for some issues. We’ll have to see how the week shakes out. Keep your eyes on the Bird site for updates. Have a good week. Enjoy!!!

FRIDAY CORN

5-14-21

The festivities began at 8AM this morning with Mineral Basin offering ready to go corn goodness with the off trail fully ready and fairly smooth for the first time in a while. Grooming efforts had been performed, but the scope has been cut back as one would expect this late in the season. Melt off is noticeable, but good cover remains on all sides of the hill. On the front side of the hill, the break was beginning around 9 AM with Regulator holding off quite a bit longer. I was looking for the Sun baked sections to provide the first signs of breakage on the North facing aspects. Here is a shot of The Speed Queens, who spent the week in Southern Utah camping and exploring before the temps get too hot.

A great shot of some of the fastest girls on the hill. They will give anyone a real run for their money. Speed safely!!

Tomorrow, look for more corn goodness early, but expect some cloud cover as a Low Pressure is moving South, pumping moisture up into the Front. Tenderizing efforts have been employed on the front of the hill, so where things are firm, look for a couple of passes of fresh till to get an edge and dial in some turns. See you there dark and early for the corn goodness. Remain Standing.

LAST DAY

5-09-21

It was quite cold for this last day of the regular season on the hill. Prepared lines were quite crispy with the very cold temps, but tenderizing efforts had been employed and there was good traction to be found on the main runs. Light traffic made for hit laps on the lifts. Mineral Basin was offering the best morning options, with White Diamonds feeling smooth and fast. Lines off of Lupine Loop were granular and fun with that last face to the lift really a treat. On the front of the hill the tenderized lines were recommended until softening broke. With the cold temps, it was going to take quite a while for that to happen.

Powder Paradise and the East Twin still holding a lot of snow this late in the season.

I bailed after Noon to start the Summer season. I will be posting again when the hill opens next weekend with scaled back lift access, so check with the Bird web site for info on operations. Have a great week, and see you next weekend for continued turning. There is still a lot of snow on the hill, so I expect great conditions to continue. IBBY!!!!

COLD SNAP

5-08-21

The cold front that moved through last night dropped the temps like a stone making for a real cold snap on the hill. That kind of cold went deep into the pack and made the Spring thaw slow down a bit. The skies were clear and the sky was blue, but the pack was bullet proof for the morning session.

Great cover holds on the hill as we end the regular season.

It would take all day for the pack to break, but the best bet was Mineral Basin for the first crack in the freeze. Tomorrow, look for some clouds to be in the mix as another Low Pressure moves in for early in the week. Look for another cold morning and the break to take a while again. I will be dressing for brisk temps. A later start may not be a bad idea. See you there for the last day of the regular season and the wide open prepared lines to start the day. See the Line, BE the Line!!!

BONUS SUN

5-07-21

There was bonus Sun this morning as the forecast overcast was a no show. Mineral Basin was offering perfect corn goodness at the opening bell, with full platform engagement available with each turn. I dialed back the speed and treated the sections as back country to extract as much goodness from each turn as possible. With light traffic, hot laps were going off all morning.

A light turnout for First Tram this morning made for a very relaxed mood as the day began.

The front side of the hill did freeze up and it needed until 10AM to begin to break, with the Gad side of the hill holding firm until Noon, when Regulator and Big Emma finally became soft and dialable. Traffic remained light with no lines on the chairs and wide open runs top to bottom. Tomorrow, look for more Sun after this front moves through tonight. With the drop in temps, expect a harder freeze, with a longer thaw timeline for the morning session. Coverage remains excellent, with only hints of melt off on the mail runs. Traffic will be a bit more brisk with the weekend pressure, but there is plenty of room to play. Lay it over like Ligety!!

HIGH CONTRAST

5-06-21

The sky was Uber blue and the snow was super white making the vista a high contrast delight. The pack was high contrast as well, with already perfect corn in Mineral Basin from the first Tram and fully frozen pack on the front side of the hill. The quality in Mineral Basin felt back country smooth on the prepared lines and hot laps were happening with very light traffic and wide open lines. Lupine Loop was a lot of fun with that last steep pitch offering very nice sugar that invited deep carving turns that made me say AHHHHH! On the front of the hill, it took till 10AM for any kind of break, but once it started it happened fast and became stellar corn goodness top to bottom. The Gad side of the hill waited till Noon to break, but it too offered great quality when it went off.

American Fork Twins looking fat and frosty even after these Spring days. Those cold days really helped preserve the pack.

Tomorrow, look for some overcast skies as a front is moving in for the weekend. Temps will be much warmer and there may not be a freeze. Light could be flat, but the prepared lines will provide consistent surfaces, so with the softness it will be good to go. Coverage remains excellent on all sides of the hill with only very sparse indications of bare spots here and there. I expect light traffic again, so you can rack up maximum vertical. Remain Standing!!

COLDER MORNING

5-05-21

It was colder this morning, but Mineral Basin was perfect for the opening bell, offering a corn fest top to bottom thanks to great grooming efforts.

White Diamonds offering smooth carvable lines that felt back country good top to bottom.

Some new lines had been prepared on the lower sections off Lower Silver Dipper that were amazing, which offered full platform engagement with every turn. That combination demanded numerous laps to make the most of such great turning. With light traffic, there were untracked lines of corn that lasted for quite a while. On the front of the hill, the cold temps had solidified the pack in a big way and it was going to take until 11AM for any kind of break and 1PM to get to the sweet zone.

A couple of clouds moved through making for some interesting refractions in the Sunshine.

With the fast break in Mineral, some of the corn lines from yesterday were past prime early and I bailed on the lines to preserve the quality there for tomorrow. Here is a shot Jake sent when he hiked to the top of Sugarloaf Pass.

With the lift closed for the Season, a hike was required to get to this point. The Corn was perfect.

Tomorrow, look for a similar break pattern, with Mineral offering the goods first and a fair wait for the front of the hill. Traffic should be light once again, with wide open lines of which to take advantage. There will be some corn lines, but you will have to work to get to them. Coverage remains excellent, but some bare spots are cropping up on the South facing aspects. Syrup Won’t Stop ‘EM!!!

ANOTHER SKIFF

5-04-21

Another skiff fell on the hill overnight, with just a trace to be seen covering the prepared lines. Mark Malu seemed to have had a micro climate, which gathered about an inch, which made for some very nice turns on top of the very firm corduroy. Out in Mineral Basin, the prepared lines were granular and dialable to begin the day, but the front of the hill was very firm and needed some time to break. With the cold morning temps, that was going to take until 11AM. Gad Valley froze up solidly and was long in the break and had that skiff surface just for fun. Here is a couple of shots that Neil sent along of the corn goodness out in the far reaches of Mineral Basin.

Just a few steps up this approach to the corn goodness awaits those who take the path less traveled.
A combination of nicely prime corn and a light dusting makes this little pitch well worth the effort.

Tomorrow, look for more Spring conditions and fun and fast grooming lines. The off trail is still quite difficult and rasty. A later arrival will ensure a softer start to your day, but the early lines have been fun in Mineral, where the break happens first. There is plenty of cover with no melt off spots. See you there for these last days of the regular season. Stay Frosty!!

LIGHT SKIFF

5-03-21

Colder temps and East winds put a tighter freeze on the pack this morning. Mineral Basin was offering some prepared lines that did have plenty of tooth with that light skiff covering the pack. Some of the sections were offering some sugar feeling turns that helped bleed off the speed gained from the firmer sections. There were residual clouds moving around from the impulse that left the skiff, and the Sun was providing great visibility on the wide open lines. On the front of the hill, very firm sections were very fast but there still was enough tooth to keep the speed in check. Tenderizing efforts on the main runs were in place, which were a nice touch. Here is a shot of one of the slide debris piles in the Canyon that Jake sent along.

This slide debris pile was a sleeper line that came out in that big February siege in the Canyon. Wow!!

Tomorrow, look for more Spring conditions, with the Groomers providing the consistent lines on all sides of the hill. Expect firmness during the early hours before the break, which has been happening around 11AM. Follow the Sun for the earliest break in the mat. Coverage remains excellent on all sides of the hill, with no bare spots or thin sections to deal with. Traffic is light on the hill, so big vertical is easy to rack up. Straight Ahead!

FAST BREAK

5-02-21

It was a warm morning with lingering clouds that quickly gave way to sunny skies after the first hour. The pack did not really freeze and there was soft sugar top to bottom that offered full platform engagement, making the turns feel luxurious. Traffic was fairly light and uphill access was fast with no waiting.

Sully was shaving the crystal nap off the corduroy on Big Emma early in the game. Usually, it takes a long time for this to break.

The temps were balmy on the peak and I was able to drive with the top down with no problem, which was a real treat after this past stretch of cold mornings.

Residual clouds holding on to the peaks when the Sun came out. The Valley is greening up nicely and the greening is beginning the crawl up the Canyon.

Tomorrow, look for some clouds after an impulse moves through overnight. There is some clearing predicted later, so expect some visibility issues. I will be looking for more of those corn lines in the minimal freeze conditions. Mineral Basin will be the first choice for the big mountain smooth laps. IBBY!!