1-18-11 by dave

This morning was clear and a bit colder, so I wanted to get the hill to see what was up.  The light was flat on the hill just before the Sun came up, so I took the opportunity to make an early visit to the Planetary Office and commiserate with the crew and assess the situation, before rushing out to what would await.  The early reports were  not encouraging, but we finished our deliberations and made a survey of the hill. The Tram has ice built up on the cables  from the peak to past Tower 4.   The Tram crew was working at knocking it off, but it was a very slow operation, so the Tram will be a wild card.  The Peruvian Chair offered the quickest passage to the upper mountain, where the glaze layer was breaking up under the traffic, revealing some nice sugar just underneath.  The day was looking up.  With very low attendance, back to back chairs were no problem, and I began to look for some wind transported deposits that were placed in the hollows.  These little treasures kept the interest up, while trying to deal with an otherwise challenging day.   Tomorrow will not be a morning to rush up to get the early turns, rather a little wait for some traffic to tenderize the hill would not be an unreasonable option.  You are aware of the pressure to make the opening bell?  Well you get a free- get out of first Tram- pass with no demerits.  I do not know if there is any snow forecast for the next bit, but these conditions will persist for some time.  These conditions sharply contrast the spectacular run of goodness we have had up until now, and expose any bad habits you might have let creep in during these great past times.  I was shwagging all my turns , as my edges are toast, and I don’t want the knee grabbing impact of a sharp edge.  I will get to lay into the turn with confidence in the near future.  In the mean time, I will be taking it easy and continue the training runs to be ready for the next siege, which you know will come.   Keep the faith!!!    Ciao!   Here is a shot of the peak dock covered in ice.  There is someone knocking the rhime  ice off the cables.


6 Responses to “DAY AFTER”

  1. Sam L. says:

    Thanks for the updates – I’m in SLC from Boulder this week hoping to get some of that famous Utah snow I kept hearing about. The one good thing about the current conditions is that now I have something to counter smug Utah skiers with when they mock the traffic on I-70. 😉

    I’ll be checking back in with your site, and hopefully we’ll get enough snow for a good end to the week, and a nice weekend.

  2. Peter says:

    I’ll be on the mountain mid feb. Think the conditions will clear up by then?

  3. dave says:

    I think by mid Feb. this event will have long been a memory, and written into the history book. Similar situations, though rarely this extreme, have occurred in the past only to be followed by a series that buries it all. The slide hazard, however, will persist with such a layer. On the mountain proper, no worries.

  4. UtRider says:

    “Tomorrow will not be a morning to rush up to get the early turns, rather a little wait for some traffic to tenderize the hill would not be an unreasonable option.”

    Played like a cagey veteran – well done! After 3+ weeks of drought I fully understand the need to divert attention. 🙂

    I detoured from my normal commute to sample the new snow at Brighton this morning and while the drive up the canyon was sketchy (no snow plows to be seen + 2 wheel drive vehicles who thought they were exempt from the canyon restrictions = lots of slide offs and delays) the conditions on the hill were excellent. The bottom was in play but there was enough new snow, especially where it had been relocated by the wind, to provide lots of sweet turns. After Monday’s dismal experience I was a bit worried about the future, but now I’m feeling much better about our prospects going forward. It’s always a nice surprise when the actual snowfall exceeds the forecast. And to make the experience even sweeter the mountain was a ghost town – I couldn’t believe how few people were up riding. I was laying down fresh tracks on every run. A gem of a day for sure!

    Hope yours was as good or better than mine. Thanks again for taking the time to maintain this blog – even for us Big Cottonwood riders it’s a wonderful resource to have.

  5. Pete says:


    Great blog. Thanks for the information. We’re debating canceling our trip to SLC this weekend and coming in early March; however, we saw that Snowbird received 11 inches. How were the conditions today? We like to ski the trees. Should we delay our trip?



  6. Sam L. says:

    Snow was good today! I was up at Alta, but the whole area was getting good snow, and the cold temperatures meant it was adhering well. I suspect that this weekend should be good.

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