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Late Season at Snowbird?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'll be in Salt Lake City for  business and thought I would be able to get some late season action next weekend (maybe this Tuesday too). It looks like Snowbird is open with a couple of lifts for another couple of weeks. I'll go as long as it is open, but I was wondering if there were any tips such as when to start a day. 

 

Does the snow start off soft and get softer or is this year more boilerplate in the morning and breaking up a couple of hours later? So should I go for the opening or relax and wait a bit?

 

What terrain should I expect on the two lifts that are open? Little Cloud, Mineral Basin Express, Aerial Tram according to the Snowbird Spring Schedule.  

I assume the tram just takes me up to the other two. I skied Snowbird back in 79 so my memory of it is a little (no make that a lot) hazy. 

 

Any tips for parking / buying tickets so I don't waste any time would also be much appreciated. 

 

I spent the early season getting my boots in order, now I just want to give the Prophet 98's I recently bought a try before giving up for the year. 

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 16

Those 98's should be fine.  Let things warm up and soften first.  I go about 10 AM and follow the sun over into Mineral Basin.  Work your way over to Regulator in the afternoon and see how it goes.  If you haven't skied there since '79 you're in for a treat in Mineral Basin.  Lots of lifts have changed since then too.

 

No real tips on parking since there won't be much trouble finding a spot.  Get as close to the tram base as possible.  Lift ticket deals - no comment, don't know anything special.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

All right SpikeDog! Just what I was looking for. Thanks for the tips!

post #4 of 16

Just got back from 4 days at Snowbird.

 

Snow conditions depend on how cold it is at night (duh!). The last few days/nights were pretty warm, and Mineral Basin (Southish facing) was soft from the beginning, becoming too soft and slushy, for my tastes, by noon.  The Peruvian Gulch side tended to be a little hard in first thing, but didn't take very long to soften up. Regulator typically starts off very hard and softens between 11:00 and 1:00, depending on the day. The area that stays firmest in the afternoon is in the Mark Malu fork area off of Little Cloud.I recommend starting early and following the sun.

 

The Tram accesses the whole mountain and is the only way up from the bottom and the best way to access the Peruvian Gulch side (can also be accessed by skiing down to Mineral from Little Cloud and riding back up), which I think has the best skiing.

 

Parking is available at the lot near the tram if you get there early, like I do. Lift ticket deals include a $329 Spring Pass, and a $42 daily ticket if you show a season pass from somewhere else ($65 otherwise). Tickets are only available at Snowbird Center (tram base).

 

About 80% of terrain is open. High Baldy, Gad II, and lower Gad Valley are closed for season. Some other areas/runs may close for a day or part of a day depending on conditions. Coverage is generally good, but some of the cat tracks such as Path to Paradise and Road to Provo are getting a little thin and rocky.

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

Good info Bill. If I go on Tuesday I won't be getting there till about 11 anyway, so I may just focus on Peruvian Gulch and Regulator. Then save Mineral Basin for Friday when I can get there early. I'll try and have a look at the overnight temps, duh is right,  and modify my plans accordingly.

 

Supposedly next week we are just down to the 3 lifts in my original post. Will I be able to ski Peruvian Gulch to the bottom and take the tram back up? Or would I be better off sticking to Regulator and the Little Cloud lift (staying at a higher elevation? 

 

Thanks for all the insights! We Bills have to stick together. 

post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sidehill View Post

Supposedly next week we are just down to the 3 lifts in my original post. Will I be able to ski Peruvian Gulch to the bottom and take the tram back up? Or would I be better off sticking to Regulator and the Little Cloud lift (staying at a higher elevation? 

 

No problem. These three lifts were all that was open this week, except for Chickadee, which is a very small beginner chair at the bottom.

 

BTW, Snowbird has cut back their late season operations the last few years. It may have been four or five years ago, but I remember Peruvian and Gadzoom being openj well into May. I personally prefer Peruvian to the Tram (gives my old legs more rest.)

post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Miles View Post

 

BTW, Snowbird has cut back their late season operations the last few years. It may have been four or five years ago, but I remember Peruvian and Gadzoom being openj well into May. I personally prefer Peruvian to the Tram (gives my old legs more rest.)

 

Amen to that!  Although the trip through the Bass Hole takes some of that away.

 

The last few years have seen less snow, hence the late season pinching off sooner.  There were a couple of big snow years  where the amount of snow left in mid May was just plain stupid. 

post #8 of 16

Tuesday tomorrow or Tuesday of next week (the 14th)?

 

Big difference because this is the last week of weekday skiing. Just weekends after this Friday. 

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Tomorrow and Friday.
Tomorrow looks like rain so who knows.
Tomorrow will be a short day anyway so I'll take what i get and be happy. Thanks again for all the advice.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
I took what I could get. What i got was a great day of skiing, albeit challenging and physical. No rain on the mountain, a bit of snow. Mineral Basin was pretty grabby by the time I got there just after noon. They closed it later, about 2. Tried chips run, a bit better, but I took a right turn near the bottom and had a bit of hiking. So I delayered LOL. Spent the rest of the day, just a couple of rides up little cloud and down regulator. Good snow and steep enough to keep my speed.

Legs gave out, getting old, so i headed down and found the best snow of my day on a green run at the bottom of the mountain, lower Emma. Perfect sugar / corn. Sweet way to end the day.

I'm going back Friday, starting earlier. At open if its a warm night again. Thanks for all the comments above. They pretty well played out exactly as advertised!
Bill
post #11 of 16

So how'd you like the Prophet 98's?  What were you on before?  Glad to hear you got some good turns in.

post #12 of 16

Friday early should be good.  Path to paradise side will soften first, then work your way around to the Baldy side.  Around noon you pop over and hit Reg and the Cirque.

Watch the tram.  Sometimes they wait till it fills up and that can take 1/2 hour, so you might need to add in a LC lap for timing purposes.

 

Hiking Pipeline can be fun if it's still firm early.

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
I was on some old Salomon x-screams. But i am comparing them to some Kendos i demoed 2 months ago. Conditions were so different and variable turn to turn I havn't fully formed my opinion. When I worked them they were great. I felt it was hard to stay out of the back seat, I was going to explore that in an instruction thread. It was probably lack of a good wax job accentuating the grabbing snow. But i wonder if I should change mounting position. Or just need a lot more mountain time smile.gif yeah, that's the ticket!
post #14 of 16

Great report on your ski day at the Bird!  Thanks.

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Your welcome, here's more. Got on the tram at 9:30 today. Mineral Basin was great. Did a couple laps there on Path to / Juniors Powder Paradise. The Prophet 98's worked great with better snow and me getting my hands forward. Tried one frontside run on Mark Malu Fork but it had not softened yet. The road to provo cat track to get there was the scariest run of the day, rock hard courderoy, speed control was tough. Nearing the lift a boarder was being attended by ski patrol. Awake, but in the trees. Icy courderory there too. Stopped for a bit, patrol didn't look like he wanted help.

Back at MB after a couple runs a lift buddy on telemark said the ungroomed area (I think it was Ritchies run) was nicely soft so followed him there and had a great couple of runs. Got hot so stripped off the under layers in the mountain top hut. Took chip's and primrose path to the base to give the clothes to my wife. Primrose was soo nice but never got back there. Back on the tram at 11 (I was the last one on both times, so lucky).

Things went a bit bad then. Thought the front side had softened, didn't pay proper attention to location. With fresh legs tried the ungroomed area left of Regulator. Still hard and very rough, had a spectacular fall. Just a little ice rash on my side. My loose ski was keeping up with my slide but stopped just before I gathered my wits and arrested my own slide. A kindly skiier brought my pole from the point of impact and asked after my health. Getting back to groomed regulator ok, I still didn't have it together and had another nice long slide on my back, but didn't lose any eqipment. LOL More in a bit.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Skiied well from there. Back at the top of little cloud, saw that path to paradise was closed ostensibly for avalanche danger. There were a few small slides visible so maybe the sign was right. Path to provo was nicely soft by then. The moguls looked like fun for those who tried but I was gunshy and tiring. Had a couple nice runs on the mm fork and then regulator and the nearby ungroomed thanks to another lift tip that it WAS softening. Legs about done then so made my way to the bottom about 12:30 - 1, happy to have experienced some great spring conditions.

Thanks again for all the advice. I didn't follow it perfectly but it was invaluable to understanding what was going on.
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