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snowbird

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I'm going this weekend to snowbird, and was wondering if any of the bowls will be open like Mineral Basin.  I really hope they are, because I have not been out west much, and my friend has never skied one.

post #2 of 24

Mineral won't be open.  Little Cloud isn't running yet either.  The only way down from the tram into the Gad valley is via Regulator, which is roped on both sides.  Gad 2 is opening on Thursday.  The only part of the Cirque that's open is Silver Fox via the Rat's Nest gate.

 

You'll still have fun, but the whole mountain isn't open yet.  Hopefully we'll get a small shot of snow on Friday and Saturday!

post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobMc View Post
 

Mineral won't be open.  Little Cloud isn't running yet either.  The only way down from the tram into the Gad valley is via Regulator, which is roped on both sides.  Gad 2 is opening on Thursday.  The only part of the Cirque that's open is Silver Fox via the Rat's Nest gate.

 

You'll still have fun, but the whole mountain isn't open yet.  Hopefully we'll get a small shot of snow on Friday and Saturday!

 

Thanks for posting.  I'll be in LCC from 12/14 - 12/24...I'm really hoping this dry weather trend doesn't last as long as it is projected!  Fortunately I'll be at Alta the majority of the trip, and they seem to have more terrain open (e.g. Ballroom, Catherine's).

post #4 of 24
Quote:
Fortunately I'll be at Alta the majority of the trip, and they seem to have more terrain open (e.g. Ballroom, Catherine's). 

Alta skis far better than Snowbird in low tide conditions.   Brighton is second best in that regard, and I wouldn't be skiing anywhere other than those two if I were in Utah now.

post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

Alta skis far better than Snowbird in low tide conditions.   Brighton is second best in that regard, and I wouldn't be skiing anywhere other than those two if I were in Utah now.


Conditions at Alta are great right now (for a 40" base). Every lift is open and we've been skiing powder offpiste for the last week. I think by far the most terrain open in Utah. There are plenty of rocks hiding right under the surface, so you just have to be careful. I've gone through a good amount of ptex on repairs in the home shop the last 2 weeks.

post #6 of 24

what a nightmare, you'll have to go to Alta....

post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Govnor View Post
 

what a nightmare, you'll have to go to Alta....

 

This is indeed a tragedy.

 

post #8 of 24

Lol, you are so right...we often get so caught up in the weather forecast / which resort to ski / lodging choices / etc. that we often miss out on the true beauty of skiing.  

 

I just finished reading Guru Dave Powers' book on Snowbird (http://www.amazon.com/Snowbird-Secrets-Guide-Mountain-Skiing-ebook/dp/B0099STSHA/) and really enjoyed it.  His book helps you take a step back and put everything in perspective.  Regardless of whether it dumps 20" each day or I get dry blue sky days, any day on the slopes beats the heck out of sitting in a conference room laboring away (i.e. what I'm doing right now!).

post #9 of 24

Was in Alta - Snowbird - this past weekend - Dec 6-9th. snowbird - the groomers are skiing well - but not much open - except for upper silver fox.

 

Alta - plenty to ski - especially - on wildcat. hit a couple of rocks here and there. Lost my skis once under collins. Found it after 15 min.

Catherines is open too and skiing well. 

post #10 of 24

Skied Alta this morning after the Ski Utah board meeting (December 11, 2013).

 

It was nice. Very fun. Wish I could have stayed for more laps.

 

It's a good reminder of the differences between the various areas of Utah.

post #11 of 24

Thanks for that condition update on Alta. Will most likely ski there this Sunday. :)

post #12 of 24

We will be in Snowbird starting next Thursday.  I know there is a shot of snow this weekend.  Any local intel as to the weather forecasts for the next 10 days....pattern changes, etc?  NOAA looks pretty bleak for the near future!  Although as stated before just happy to be skiing Altabird in a week....it HAS to be better than NJ/PA skiing lol!

post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by gores95 View Post
 

We will be in Snowbird starting next Thursday.  I know there is a shot of snow this weekend.  Any local intel as to the weather forecasts for the next 10 days....pattern changes, etc?  NOAA looks pretty bleak for the near future!  Although as stated before just happy to be skiing Altabird in a week....it HAS to be better than NJ/PA skiing lol!

Could see a pattern change around the 20th. Should see better clarity in about 2 days or so if that model will strengthen. 

post #14 of 24
Went up this afternoon, it was snowing fairly fat flakes when I left. Little by little more stuff is opening, most of The Gad 2 terrain is open, and there is an open gate into Anderson's. Most of the lower pitches off the Rothman Way are open as well. I rode up with a patroller that claimed Mineral was opening next Saturday, although with a lot of rope and boo.
post #15 of 24

Snowy here in the Northeast today and was encouraged that the long range forecast in the Cottonwoods now picks up on a pattern change around 12/19...the day we arrive!!  Keeping our fingers crossed for at least some snow.

post #16 of 24

Merry Snowbird Christmas!

 

post #17 of 24

Snowbird improved to 50% open with this last storm.  Mineral opened but on a very restricted basis.  Alta is still much more wide open.

post #18 of 24
I'm not sure I'd say "much" more. Mineral, RTP, and the top band of the Cirque are the only parts of the mountain that have a lot of rope or are closed. I'd be willing to bet you'll see a bit more rope and a few more closures at Alta after today. I've got a couple friends that have dual passes that have been skiing at Snowbird with us. I've been seeing a lot more dual passes in line as well, I'd say Snowbird has just about caught up in the terrain race.

Either place you can't really go wrong.
post #19 of 24

Yes, with the snow stability issues I'd suspect Snowbird is being cautious and probably holding back until the magic Dec. 26 date since it's so close.  Yesterday's incident at Alta will reinforce the caution. http://www.firsttracksonline.com/2013/12/23/in-bounds-avalanche-buries-three-at-alta/ .  Both November and December had 1+ week dry spells that created some weak layers in the snow.

post #20 of 24
Every day the ropes get less and less restrictive. Today was a beautiful bluebird day, it was nice being able to see again. They pulled the rope on Cham Bowl this afternoon and we caught fantastic turns on snow not skied for the year. Went back up Mineral, down Regulator and found them pulling the rope leading into lower Mark Malu, once again untouched turns. On the way back to the truck we noticed they pulled the rope on Uncle Alberts down below mid gad, soft turns to end the day. I'd definitely put the terrain percentage higher than 50%. There's still a bit of a glaze on the high traffic areas but the gravel and rocks are pretty much gone on any groomers. The mountain is skiing fantastic and I wouldn't have any qualms about spending vacation time here were I not a local.
post #21 of 24

Reality Check:

 

Skied Snowbird yesterday and would disagree with the open terrain higher than 50% assessment.  It is getting close, but the majority of open terrain still involves combat skiing dodging saplings and rocks. There were some fantastic turns on the Cham Bowl, but it was a serious rock festival getting into the top from almost any location on the ridge.  Likewise with the Peruvian Cirque.  Technically you could ski the bottom 2/3s of the Cirque, but what it took to get there (until they completely closed it by shutting the Rat's Nest Gate about noon) was an extended exercise in traversing rock. Put 6" of snow on it and anyone who had not memorized the route would be in core-shot city trying to get in. Same with upper Silver Fox.  Yes, the Gad 2 chair is open, and there are some sections of great snow, but pretty much everyone of them involves serious rock dodging (or literally climbing over rocks) to get in or out of the good parts.  I do not want to be a buzz-kill Bob, but I think saying "the mountain is skiing fantastic" is a relative statement based on how really crappy it was before the latest storm, which did wonders to improve the skiing. Earlier seasons skiers look at the glass as half full, but in the big picture the Bird needs a lot more snow before the skiing is truly really good.

 

Yes, you will find lots of good turns at Snowbird, but be prepared for "early season conditions" in every sense of the word.  I am not considering taking my "good skis" there until they get considerably more snow, and the forecast is for an extended high with no new for the next 7-10 days.  Their claimed base is still less than 50", and that includes several inches from the new storm that have not consolidated yet, so if you intend to venture anywhere off the groomed runs you'll most likely encounter somewhat suspect conditions.

 

Yes, I'll be skiing there again later this week and expect to get some good turns, but certainly not a mountain with "fantastic skiing."  Just wanted to throw out another first-hand perspective for consideration.

post #22 of 24

I am not at Snowbird, but I have a timeshare week there and know locals who are at Alta/Snowbird at least twice a week.  Last Saturday was the first day this season they even tried Snowbird and they felt "hemmed in" vs. what they had been skiing at Alta.  So I suspect mudfoot speaks the truth.  My rule of thumb is that you need to be watching carefully for rocks with under a 50 inch base and "the mountain is skiing fantastic" days start around 70 inches.

 

The topography that makes me a "SnowbirdDevotee" requires some patience in the early season.

post #23 of 24

Maybe I have a higher tolerance for rocks, :)  When we skied Cham bowl nobody in our group touched a thing.  Today they had a cat working on the Road to Provo, as well as the track out to Powder Paradise.  Patrol had skied a lot of cuts and thrown a lot of charges back in Mineral,looks like they're working pretty hard on it.

 

Tony, I saw two of your local friends skiing Cham Bowl today, Bobby Danger had a smile on his face and didn't look too hemmed in, ;).

post #24 of 24

Bobby Danger usually splits his time quite evenly between Alta and Snowbird.  He's been 90+% at Alta so far this season, which tells me a lot.  I do think starting now he's going to be mixing it up more.

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