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Snowbird 2014-2015  

post #1 of 162
Thread Starter 
Yesterday started the season at Snowbird, they opened from 1-4 for passholders only. Today was the official opening day, they had Zoomer and Chickadee running. I couldn't get out of work yesterday but manged to leave at noon today and get some early season turns in. So far it is the typical early season Bassackwards to Emma only. It looked like they were blowing snow on lunch run and might have that open soon.

This weekend is looking to put a large change on the snow conditions. Right now the incoming storm is forecasted for a possible 48 inches by Monday night. It's supposed to start nuking with heavy snow tomorrow turning colder with blustery conditions. Just the stuff we need to get a good start on the season!

Here are a couple pics from today:

Much like Christmas inversion season is arriving earlier every year.

I'll be there Saturday and Sunday this weekend, I'll snap a few pics if the conditions permit. I'm crossing my fingers for a tram or Peruvian opening.
post #2 of 162
Thread Starter 
It wasn't very busy first thing this morning, I scored close parking getting there at 8:40. There was a moose on lower Emma first thing in the morning, he managed to make it across before the first skiers of the morning came by. It started snowing about 9:30, the wind picked up and it got quite blustery for about an hour. Then the wind died down and the snow tapered off. The crowds increased and with the one trail/lift the lines got large and it got a bit scary on the trail.

I left at 1:30, drove down to rain on Wasatch boulevard, it's pouring at my house right now. Tomorrow should be good, although it'll probably be packed as every pass holding powder hound will be stuck on the same one trail. I heard a rumor of a tram opening on Tuesday and Peruvian for next weekend.

No blue skies today:

Emma is nice in the morning and then the traffic puts a sheen on by the afternoon:

The lines got large:

It was full on winter for a while:

post #3 of 162
Thread Starter 
Whew, winter arrived with a vengeance, and the places that get over 500 inches per season were apparently caught unawares. I woke up at 6:15 this morning even after drinking wine and cooking till midnight last night. Buddy of mine came over, I made a hearty breakfast and we carpooled up.

We got to entry 1 at 8:00, there we were informed they didn't have the lots plowed and we'd have to park up by the tram plaza. Once we got parked up by the tram plaza we got to watch the guy next to me in a 4x4 Ford F-150 get towed backwards by a Geo Prizm after he'd went too deep into the snow bank.

We walked to the pedestrian bridge and clicked in, I'd made the mistake of leaving my skis in the bed of my truck last night. My skis would not move an inch, I poled all the way down to Zoomer, and it took half a run before they finally started gliding.

We got back down to Zoomer to a rather large line (Alta never opened today, so every LCC skier was at Snowbird.) We made it through most of the line when they announced they needed to do control on Wilbere bowl. They shut down the only lift for two hours, we went from being 20 chairs back from the front to the 8th by the time the lift started spinning. It started snowing pretty hard afterwards, the skiing remained well. Most of the crowds were lapping Bassackwards to Emma, we hit the Bass Highway and lapped Wilbere Ridge and Cat Crew Cutt-off a few times after a troller gave us the go ahead. The 20 inches of the storm so far had settled in nicely, we made smooth meadow skipping turns, not bad for opening weekend.

I asked a lifty about the tram on Tuesday rumor, he neither confirmed nor denied but said he heard the same rumor.

Prizm towage

Monster line while waiting out the lift closure

Deep first weekend pow

Truck at the end of the day

The first weekend the big red snake was in effect

post #4 of 162
Thread Starter 
The tram opened today, but with only Regulator down to Zoomer. Peruvian and Wilbere open on Thursday, I'll be there at opener for that! It doesn't look like much more snow until next week, unfortunately.
post #5 of 162

How much snow did the storm bring?

post #6 of 162
Thread Starter 
I'd say easily three feet. But, we were starting from basically nothing. The look of the mountain changed drastically from Friday to Sunday. The stuff we were skiing in the Wilbere area on Sunday was pretty much unskiable Friday. We're still a ways from the bigger lines being open, it'll take a big storm or two before the Cirque opens.
post #7 of 162
Thread Starter 
Thanksgiving morning was pretty nice at the Bird. My son and I were at Zoomer for line up, which was a pretty small crowd. A lot more terrain is open off of Zoom now, they pulled most of the ropes blocking off the trees, lunch run and everything near it is now open as well. We headed down the Bass Highway to the tram only to find it not running due to issues. Peruvian was stopped as well but there was a small line at it, a lifty told us they were just waiting on ski patrol and then they'd fire it up. Soon afterwards ski patrol showed up and they fired it up for the first time of the season. The snow was pretty nice, smooth wind blown, styrofoam style.

We skied till noon, they had just green lighted the tram on the board as we were leaving.

Nice to be on this side of the mountain again

The lower Cirque is looking nice.

The upper Cirque needs a lot of snow.

The new restaurant imposes itself on the view.

My son changed his mind on wanting to be a lifty when he saw this, lol.

Little early season rock jumping by my son.

Happy Thanksgiving!
post #8 of 162
Great report! Thanks!
post #9 of 162
Thread Starter 

I'll bet Anderson's is the next to open, it looked like they'd just need to run a groomer down the right side and it'd be ready to go.  The Cool Whip looks ready to go as well, it'd be a bit bony around the top of Rock Chute, but the lower part of the Cirque looks to be money.  The grooming crew did a good job with the connector trails, all the cat tracks are open, moving about the mountain is fine.

post #10 of 162
Thread Starter 
I got there early today, now that the Peruvian Gulch is open I can park in my favorite spot again. Rode my first first tram of the season, same group of regulars from last year, lotta familiar faces. Regulator was FIRM first run down, no other option than fast. After a few tram laps I rode Peruvian and saw they were working on Andersons, patrol was stringing rope and marking rocks. They didn't have enough snow to run a groomer down it but they opened it anyways. The snow was surprisingly soft, probably the best snow on the mountain. Its been warm the last couple of days, the snow on the lower part of the mountain was set up pretty heavy in spots. I made the mistake of continuing past the cat track on Chips Face to get back to my truck, character building.

From the tram I got a better look at the Cirque, the upper Cirque has mostly slid at one time or another, it'll take a couple of storms to fill in. The lower Cirque is thin at the top, but filling in nicely, although it looks like a chunk of Glen's had slid at some time. The Tower chutes aren't even close, and it'll be a while before Daltons can be done from the tippy top.

Andersons pre open.

View of the restaurant progress from the top.

Frontside view as I drove home.

Edit. Got stuck on Peruvian for about 10 minutes, they shut it down for a while in the morning. Lift silliness seems to be a pattern so far this season. First Cheetah Man sighting of the season as well, didn't see his vehicle so I'm not sure if he has the faux Cheetah on top this season.
Edited by BobMc - 11/28/14 at 2:38pm
post #11 of 162
Thread Starter 
It's not always rainbows and unicorns, it was pretty crappy today. The winds were kicking, the tram never opened and the snow never softened. It wasn't bad first thing in the morning but the traffic quickly put a shine on the trails. The wind also blew off a lot of pine cones, these filled the troughs of,pretty much any bump line.

Hopefully we pick up a few inches of snow tomorrow. I didn't even stop for any pics today, it was that inspiring.
post #12 of 162

Does he not prefer leopard man?

post #13 of 162
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by ratfink View Post

Does he not prefer leopard man?

I've always referred to him as Cheetah man, everyone I know as well. When you dress up in a costume such as that I kinda think you lose the ability to dictate what people call you.

It was pretty nice today, it hasn't gotten cold enough lately to have a hard freeze so the snow is still in pretty good shape. I parked down at the Zoom lot, first row. It's still not that busy so even arriving at 8:30 gets you rock star parking. My normal ski partner couldn't go today and my son had to work, I rolled up to the lot next to a friend of a friend I'd taken a run or two before and told him he was my ski partner for the day. We were first chair on Zoomer, (other than the race kids). The grooming crew did a great job, we skied Bassackwards to Emma to the tram, everything was silky smooth. I can't stress enough how much better it is first thing in the morning during the early season. As the hill gets busier the sheen gets smoother, where you could carve you're holding on.

They had the Mineral lift spinning, patrol was poking around checking out the conditions back there, still no word on opening. The Cirque traverse is now open, it's open to Hanging Tree, they have a rope line keeping everyone into Middle Cirque. You can't continue on past where the traverse meets the ridge line. We did one lap out there, the traverse is heinous, complete rock garden. I'd recommend going the high line halfway through and then dropping down to the low line. Once out there the snow was great, we dropped in and skied the chute on the right side. Good coverage and styrofoam snow, it was nice turns all the way down to the bottom of the Cirque.

Blackjack is now open as well, which is nice because some alternative ways down on the lower mountain are needed. It hasn't been cold enough to blow snow so they don't have snow to push around on the cat tracks. One of the highest traffic areas on the hill is the cat track at the bottom of Chips Face, it heads left to another groomer most folks exiting the Peruvian valley ski to get down. It was a complete loose rock shuffle, not hitting rocks wasn't really an option, it was best to point it through them and not hit any big ones.

Early morning valley view.

Lower Cirque from Hanging Tree.

Hanging Tree.

It was a pretty good day.

post #14 of 162
I'm not jealous at all! wink.gif
post #15 of 162
Thread Starter 
Whereas yesterday was a bit overcast today was beautiful. It was clear and colder last night, that allowed them to blow some much needed snow. The cat tracks were a bit better and some other places got some sorely needed coverage. No new terrain opened but it looks like they're getting close to open Gad 2, they've got runs groomed over there and patrol was running rope and boo.

After skiing we drank a bit of wine in the lot and watched some guys speed fly from the top of Superior. They launched from the top, flew down Suicide Chute, glided over the apron and landed next to the road. I wish I would've gotten pics, but we were too amazed at the flying to think of pics.

Blue tram heads down.

Mid and Lower Cirque.

Decent snow off Peruvian.

post #16 of 162

great shots,  thanks for update

there jan31

post #17 of 162
Thread Starter 
They announced Gad 2 is opening Friday, and Mineral opens the following Friday. I may have to skip work for the Mineral opener. It also looks like a bit of snow for this weekend, fingers crossed!
post #18 of 162

Planning to ski snowbird with my wife and 17 and 19 year old sons from 12/26 to 12/31.  Flying in from the east coast.  Have skied Snowbird a number of times over the last few years but never this early in the season.  Unfortunately, this was the only time everyone was off school at the same time.  Getting very concerned about the quantity of snow.  This is a very expensive trip for us and accounts for the bulk of our ski budget for the year.  Considering cancelling the trip.  I would welcome any advice or insight.  THanks

post #19 of 162
Originally Posted by Midwestblues View Post

Planning to ski snowbird with my wife and 17 and 19 year old sons from 12/26 to 12/31.  Flying in from the east coast.  Have skied Snowbird a number of times over the last few years but never this early in the season.  Unfortunately, this was the only time everyone was off school at the same time.  Getting very concerned about the quantity of snow.  This is a very expensive trip for us and accounts for the bulk of our ski budget for the year.  Considering cancelling the trip.  I would welcome any advice or insight.  THanks

Welcome to EpicSki!  Were you planning to rent a car?  Maybe still fly into SLC but cancel your lodging reservations so you can follow the snow.  Grand Targhee isn't that far a drive.  Check out what they had last weekend.


Trip Report


post #20 of 162
Thread Starter 
With Gad 2 opening on Friday and Mineral the next Friday I wouldn't worry about it too much. There is some snow in the forecast for this weekend, and a possibility for some more the middle of next week. To be sure the tide is a bit low, but there is still plenty of fun to be had.

You'll be spending time in the mountains with your family, that has to count for something,
post #21 of 162
Thread Starter 
Left work early today, got up there around 2:30. Gad 2 opened today, it's a bit thin over there but what snow there is was pretty soft. We've lost some snow since last weekend, the trails have a bit more stuff poking through. It was a bit glazey as well, you definitely need to use the tongue of the boot.

We're supposed to get 2-4 inches tonight and 2-4 tomorrow, we could really use it.

Grass on Wilbere Ridge.

Even though the tide is low it's still beautiful up here, and fun is to be had.

post #22 of 162
Thread Starter 
Hallelujah! It snowed in the Wasatch! It's been a while since I was this excited about 4 inches.

Passholder appreciation days, free donuts/cocoa/coffee and 8:00 trams!
post #23 of 162
Originally Posted by BobMc View Post

Hallelujah! It snowed in the Wasatch! It's been a while since I was this excited about 4 inches.

Passholder appreciation days, free donuts/cocoa/coffee and 8:00 trams


If we were sitting around after downing a half dozen beers and a couple shots of tequila I'd have a great reply!!!!!! :rolleyes 

post #24 of 162
Thread Starter 
What a difference 4 inches makes! It was actually 8:30 tram, which was a good thing cause I got there a couple minutes after 8:00. Free donuts, early tram, and 4 inches, yes please! There was only about 30-40 people on first tram, it's nice not to have a frenzy at top.

They only had Regulator open at first so we headed down it. The 4 inches was fairly dense so it covered pretty well, the bottom was still in play but it was certainly a much softer ride. Only a few chairs had gotten off Zoom by the time we came by, we had fresh tracks all the way to the bottom of Zoom. We skied right onto the lift at Zoom, rode up and headed over to Gad 2. The trees between Gadzooks and Bananas skied very well, still a bit thin in there but skiable.

Did a lap in the Cirque, the traverse was in much better shape. The low line has good coverage and minimal rocks. Dropping into the Cirque is getting a bit dicier, there's a bit of a cornice and the top section is getting pretty rocky. Went high right off Peruvian and skied Sign Line Gully, it was pretty harsh, hit a lot of stuff.

It's raining at my house right now, the mountains look socked in, I'm hoping tomorrow should be good as well. The report now shows 7 inches.

Winter is back.

Telemarking buddy on Whodunnit.

Edited by BobMc - 12/13/14 at 11:05pm
post #25 of 162
Great reporting as usual. Thanks!
post #26 of 162
Thread Starter 
More smiles, hoots, and hollers than any day this season. The inch of frozen snow on my truck told me this morning the day would be good. The report showed 5 inches overnight, combined with Friday nights snow and yesterday's made for very good conditions today. On most aspects the crunch layer wasn't in play, we found areas of knee deep where the only bottom was the occasional protruding rock or stump.

It looks like some minor snow for the middle of this week and a decent storm next weekend (when I'm leaving to Florida/Caribbean for two weeks, frown.gif)

Didn't take many pics, the riding pleasure was too high to stop, and the vis was pretty tough. It looked like this most of the day.

post #27 of 162

Great stuff. I'd guess a foot of fresh everywhere, more in places where it blew in. Super light, snowed all day, and a lot more skiable terrain open, especially off the tram. Gonna need some base work, but no core shots. The High T is still not open at Alta (nor Mineral Basin at Bird) But apparently Alta was off the hook as well yesterday, Wildcat staying fresh all day. The morning report was 1-3 inches. Liars.

post #28 of 162
Thread Starter 
They opened Mineral today! They were also considerate enough to wait to open it till i could get out of work. I got on the tram just as they pulled the ropes. By the time i got to the top there was still plenty of unmolested snow to be found. The lift line got a bit large, even as a single it took me some time. I spun a lap on the frontside, hooked up with a buddy and headed back to find a minimal line. We skied a few lines in Powder Paradise and also hit up Cham Bowl. Most lines are a bit thin at the drop ins, you're likely to click a rock on occasion. The snow was great, there is a bit of a crunch layer upon dropping in, but that soon turns to creaminess. The snow in Mineral was light enough to carve trenches in.

They've pulled a lot of ropes as well, cirque traverse is now open as far as you want to go. It's pretty beat though, lotta rock at the beginning on the low line. Once you get past the initial crappy spots it isn't too bad. We did the line three shots up from Glen's and it skied well. Bit of rock at top but once you were in it is fine. Softness down to the bottom with no obstacles. They put in the gates on upper Silver Fox (open), and even opened the gate into Rat's Nest.

I'm leaving town tomorrow morning just in time for what appears to be a rather decent storm. I'd bet by the time this storm works it's way through they'll be close to 100% open.

Top of Powder Paradise soon after opening.

Lower part of Powder Paradise.

Looking back up from the lift.

Buddy on Cham Bowl.

post #29 of 162
Thread Starter 
I've been in Florida and the Caribbean for the last two weeks. We did Disney for five days over Christmas and then did a Western Carib over New Years. It started snowing the day after we left and have been pounded over the last two weeks. I had no internet during our cruise, so I sat all day in the airport yesterday reading all the reports of the big Christmas storms, (and huge crowds). I read some threads here with some saying the place was hammered and the groomers were the only thing skiing well. We got home late last night but I rallied up at 7 and rustled my son out of bed.

We made it there a few minutes after first tram and headed up, a buddy called while we were on the deck from the bypass road, so we made a quick run down the Peruvian side on groomers to meet up with him. Holy crap! The grooming crew had done a fine job, smooth as silk, fantastically edgeable snow. When I left two weeks ago there were icy patches about, these were pretty much gone.

After meeting up with our buddy we headed back up and gazed at the lower cirque on the way up, the sun was hitting it and it was apparent that although it hadn't snowed the wind had worked its magic and it was covered with a smooth surface. We headed out the Cirque traverse, it is still a bit rocky in spots but in markedly better shape than my last foray out it. We hit up the line to lookers left of Glen's, it was velvety smooth. It was so good we lapped it four times. We had 5 tram laps in by 11:15.

We headed out the Road to Provo and let my nose smell out the wind sift. Mark Malu has a few chocolate chips but not too bad, we headed down it, traversed over the Rastas and headed out to Hoops. There always seems to be some wind sift out there if you know where to look for it, and I do, wink.gif. We found soft snow about 3-4 inches deep, once again it was so good we hit it up four times.

I skied Mineral the day they opened it but they didn't have the Hillary (non) Step open. So we headed over there and took a look, I for one don't like it. It is now just a fairly flat cat track, the traffic has increased obviously. There were people sitting all over the traverse, bumps in places that are usually smooth. The snow was good though, as usual. After that we took a stroll through Cham Bowl, once again finding soft snow with minimal bumpage. We took a lap up Baldy to see if Ski Patrol Gully was open, (no). The snow over there was pretty wind affected, either stratasurgi or icy smooth.

To end the day we took a Peruvian ride up and headed out cheater Baldy, Mort's Meadow skied nicely, as well as Palm Springs. I thought about dropping into the eye of the needle but I wasn't sure if the choke was wide enough for turns, after 13 lift rides and a lot of steep vertical I wasn't up for a straight line through it.

The mountain is in fine shape, most everything is skiable. There are still sharks here and there and some chocolate chips here and there, but most are easily avoidable. Although, I did catch a rock on the far side of Andersons, peeled a ski and blew up remarkably.

Buddy on Lower Cirque, teleing in the wind sift.

My son at the bottom of Lower Cirque.

Buddy on Cham Bowl.

View looking back at the Hillary (non) Step from the Sunday Saddle. You can see a couple people where the step used to be where the rock meets the snow.

View down Mort's Meadow, above the Eye.

View from Mort's looking at the mid and lower Cirque.

post #30 of 162
Glad to have our reporter back!
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