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Snowbird 2014-2015 - Page 2  

post #31 of 162
Originally Posted by BobMc View Post

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 was fortunate enough to ski AltaSnowbird for 10 days from Dec 20 - 30.  We visit annually during Christmas/New Years week but this year was the best that I've personally experienced in 15 years of visiting.  During those 10 days, it snowed 6 feet!!  It was incredible for advanced to expert skiiers.  The only downside was that the avalanche control guys could not keep up with the snow for a couple days.  As a result, Snowbird was completely shut down one day so we want skiing at Alta that day instead.  Road to Provo/Tiger Tail/Bookends never opened during my entire stay, I think because they just couldn't complete the avy control work in that area.


There was also a day with 80+ mph winds at the peak so the tram/Peruvian/Little Cloud lifts were shut down.  It was also unseasonably cold for Utah during much of this time.


But the powder was great and the only limiting factor was your physical conditioning and skiing ability in order to consume the powder which was all over the place.  It was a fantastic week that I'll remember for a long time.

post #32 of 162

Thanks for the view of the non-Hillary Step.  I was wondering how that looks with snow on it.

post #33 of 162
Thread Starter 

It's Passholder Appreciation Days this weekend at Snowbird.  The tram and Gadzoom open at 8:30 for passholders!  (Although it seems they don't discriminate and let anyone on.)  So get there early!


They also have $99 rooms at the Cliff Lodge for passholders, we have a room reserved for Saturday night.

post #34 of 162
Thread Starter 
We got to the tram deck at 8:36 this morning, just in time for second tram. There were 8 people on it, I think it was the least people I have ever been on a tram with. The morning was great, the grooming crew had done a great job. It was a bit firm off the groomers and the light was pretty flat. The two made for pretty tough conditions but there was a bit of softer snow to be found if you looked for it. The crowds were pretty light today, for the most part it was walk on trams and lifts.

It's lightly snowing right now, hopefully they pick up a bit tonight to soften things up a little.

Clouds rolling up the canyon.

View from our room at the Cliff.

post #35 of 162
Thread Starter 
Today was pretty nice, for four inches. There wasn't much wind last night so it was fairly uniformly deposited. The toughest part of today was the visibility, the top third of the hill was pretty socked in. My buddy was moving slow this morning, we checked out of the cliff and parked on the bypass road, then he got sucked in by the free donuts and coffee.

We made it on third tram, most of the tram lapping regulars were on it and were remarking about the visibility. Everyone was all smiles though, it was certainly a lot better than yesterday. The conditions varied about the mountain, some areas had the crunch underneath and skied a bit harshly, others with the original chalk underneath skied remarkably well. With the bad visibility the only crowds were on Gadzoom and Gad 2, those who don't know the mountain quickly figured out those were the lifts where the visibility was the best. If you know the mountain and were ok with skiing by Braille the far reaches were soft and fun once you got low enough to see.

The view out our lodge room, it was obvious it was a bit heavy snow, which was just what we wanted with the low totals.

These two pics show the difference in the visibility. We were right about the line of seeing and not seeing. The first is looking up and you can see the trees disappearing in the fog, I panned as he came by me in the second and you can see fine below.

I did forget to mention my face shots down Eye of the Needle at the end of the day. Unfortunately it was because I was on my stomach sliding. I clicked off my left ski (again, I need to get that looked at) at the steepest spot, then couldn't get clicked back in. After about five minutes of attempts I tossed it down and slid down, with the resultant humiliation.
Edited by BobMc - 1/11/15 at 4:40pm
post #36 of 162
Thread Starter 
I had to work but my buddy staying with us went up today. the skiing was obviously awesome. Mineral, Road to Provo, and Baldy never opened. He left at three and said it was still dumping.

I'm trying to decide whether to work tomorrow morning, but unfortunately the responsible part of me will probably win out.

It snowed a bit today.

post #37 of 162
Thread Starter 
I snuck out of work today at noon, made it up on the hill by 1:30. the visibility was tough, once again. We headed out to Powder Paradise, the snow was soft, the light was tough. The main path down was buttery smooth, no ice patches whatsoever. Baldy was much the same, the only icy patches were in the high traffic areas where trails merge and intersect. The sides and rope lines still have carveable snow.

Hoops and the Rasta Chutes are closed off for the Junior Tour training. The kids were figuring out where to tee off on the myriad of rocks around the area. The Road to Provo was still open to Mark Malu and was serving up the styrofoam carve.

We rode back up Little Cloud and took a foray into the Cirque. The traverse is in pretty good shape, virtually no rocks until you meet the ridge line. We skied my usual line just before Glen's, it was a bit heavy but maneagable.

The mountain is skiing pretty well, but there are definitely some slick spots in the high traffic areas. It did seem to be a bit more busier than a normal Friday, I'll bet tomorrow won't be walk on trams.

The kids looking for launch spots.

The inversion was working its way up the canyon.

The traffic was building.

1-3 forecasted for tonight, it was snowing softly when we left.
post #38 of 162
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by BobMc View Post

I'll bet tomorrow won't be walk on trams.

I was wrong. Although the road was packed the hill didn't feel crowded. The two inches on the report couldn't roust the powder hounds, it seemed most of the traffic on the mountain were people not from here. We headed into Mineral after riding second tram, Powder Paradise was still serving up the goods. The sun was shining and the wind had done it's work. We reached bottom and decided a lap on ski patrol gulley was in order. The middle of the gulley was perfect, if you ventured onto either side the wind or sun affected snow would toss you around a bit.

They claimed two inches and that was true on a lot of aspects. Some aspects had at least six inches. The wind had blown hard last night, the two inches was deposited in the usual spots that favor wind activity. plus some.

With the holiday crowds brought the holiday laughs. I watched a guy put on his skis on the upper tram deck, he shuffled off the deck like everyone did it that way. It bettered the guy I saw purchasing a ticket st the windows with his skis on last weekend. I don't care if you're a beginner or veteran, watching someone walk across 20 yards of concrete with skis on is rather humorous.

Red tram.

Blue tram.

Our tracks in Ski Patrol Gulley.

The Cirque.

More Cirque.

The road was packed from entry one to entry four, get there early.

post #39 of 162
Thread Starter 
A few pics my buddy took...



Red tram.


post #40 of 162
Just to add a bit to today's report for the Bird. The snow was soft and wintry on the shaded aspects in Mineral Basin, the weather was as warm as a typical Tahoe day, and the mountain is full of fantastic soft bumps. Overall it was great to ski soft snow in the middle of yet another dry Tahoe winter.
post #41 of 162
Windbuffed snow in some places in the bowls made for very nice skiing today. It was fun to poke our way around in steeper glades in Gad2 area as well. Skiing Alta tomorrow...
post #42 of 162
Thread Starter 
No new snow last night but the wind blew a bit. Not quite enough to make things smooth but enough to keep it fresh. There were enough jerseys worn today to field all of the playoff games. The crowds weren't too bad, parking was much more manageable for those that arrived late.

We skied Mineral first thing in the morning, usually I call 11:00 the bewitching hour, aka the time to get out before the lift line gathers steam. Today 10:30 was that time, the bright sunshine back there draws the skiers like moths to the flames. We were able to squeeze in a couple laps on Powder Paradise and a lap on Baldy, which was vacant as always.

We headed back to the frontside and searched out the winter snow, which wasn't hard to find. Basically find something North facing and ski it. We left at 1:00 and went home to watch football. It doesn't look like much snow in the forecast, but there is plenty of base to keep things interesting.

Looking down Powder Paradise on Toad Hill.

Coming down from same spot.

View of the valley from 2nd South.

post #43 of 162
Thread Starter 
Looks like this weekend is going to be fun in the sun. I may bring up the grill on Sunday, hot dogs on the bypass road!

I like reading other people's thoughts and experiences of where I do most of my skiing. Thanks for those that have posted here, I hope anyone will feel free to post their pics and reports from Snowbird.

I'm there every Saturday and Sunday, with the occasional powder day and Friday afternoon. If anyone would like to meet up let me know. I know the area fairly well and don't mind showing people around. I look like the pics, if you see me about the hill say hi.
post #44 of 162
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by BobMc View Post

fun in the sunill

They lied about today. Persistent clouds kept the visibility tough again, it wasn't bad in the morning, then the clouds got denser around noon and fog/clouds enveloped the top of the mountain around one.

The usual spots are still holding up well, although a sheen develops quickly on the high traffic areas. Monday will be two weeks since we've got snow, ouch. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for next week.

My son has a pass at Snowbird and Brighton. It's been hard for me to get him to come with me to Snowbird, he's gone over to the Park side and Brighton scratches that itch much better. Yesterday he told me he'd rather hit a smooth line in the park than carve trenches in powder. I have no idea where I went so wrong!

I finally talked him into going up with me today. Of course I had to listen to him beg to go to their park all day. Most of my day consisted of trying to keep up with him on the way to the park. He doesn't throw down very big yet, but he's becoming much more willing to give anything a go.

The hill felt a little crowded today. Which was surprising because the parking situation didn't seem bad and the lines were minimal. It could be the lack of snow is pushing more people unto the machine worked paths down the mountain.

The Rasta Chutes are still closed for competitions. We took a pass by there to look at the kids today. They were just starting to run the boys skiers age 10-11. We stopped and watched a few of them. The first young lad down was identified as Preston "Piper", the announcer asked for some pronunciation help and then corrected himself to Preston Peifer. Aka, Gordy's son, it was fun to watch him give er to the Rastas, another generation coming up behind us.

The tram coming down from the clouds.

My son partway through a 3.

Cat track air, I missed his grab.

post #45 of 162
Thread Starter 
What a difference a day makes. Whereas yesterday was a bit firm and tough to see today was the opposite. If anyone thinks they have to drive away after flying to Utah to find good snow they don't know where to look.

We rode Peruvian to start the day, Chips to Andersons skied phenomenal, it was styrofoam delight the entire way. The visibility was great, it was nice to see again. Mineral had the only lift lines of the day, like I've said before, it's best to hit that first thing in the morning and get out before the line gets large. Powder Paradise was so good we were tempted to take another run but we wisely got out of dodge.

I was chasing my son to the park yesterday, so I never got a chance to ski the Cirque. We hit it today and found surprisingly soft snow, so soft we hit it up twice, even though the traverse is getting a bit rocky in spots. If you're headed to the Lower Cirque its a lot better to drop a bit low at the first gate on the left after meeting the ridge line. The lower left traverse eventually meets back up on the ridge and let's you ski Glen's or beyond. I thought the snow would be a bit crunchy out there but I was surprised to find soft goodness.

We headed back to the truck around two to grill hot dogs and watched some guy skin up the gut of Superior. We were wondering the wisdom of his foray given the advanced time and sun activity. He reached some rocks in the upper apron and it point released right where he was. He appeared to crap his pants for about a half hour, the Alta town sheriff drove down and watched him as he gingerly made his way down.

Looking down Shireen out the Road to Provo.

Clouds in Mineral Basin.

Soft snow in Palm Springs.

Me in Palm Springs.

Point release on Superior, the guy is still sitting there.

post #46 of 162

nice current conditions report,  thanks

there next weekend  hoping for the best

post #47 of 162

Sounds encouraging. We'll be up next week as well:  Monday - Thursday. Probably ski Alta 3 days and ski Snowbird probably on Wednesday.

post #48 of 162
Had a good time at Snowbird today.  One of my friends doesn't have that much experience at big mountains, so after a few runs in Mineral Basin, I stayed with her on the groomers on the frontside.  Mineral got busy.  Didn't see too many people on the ungroomed over by Regulator.  There were fun places to be found on the frontside up high.  My other friends went off into the trees of Gad2.
post #49 of 162
Thread Starter 
I left work early today and headed up to the hill. It was lightly raining all the way past the White Pine parking lot, it turned to snow just before entry one. I got to the bypass road about 11:45 and had no problem finding a parking spot. I was expecting a lot of crunch and ice, but was surprised to find good snow practically everywhere. The best snow I found was in Hoops, out past the Rasta Chutes. The Rastas have been closed for the junior competition for a while, the snow out there was soft and smooth, perfect hero snow. The clouds were low and visibility was kinda tough.

It's supposed to snow 1-3 inches tonight, I'm hoping for a little bump on that!

I figured visibility would be tough when the clouds were this low.

They were running a bump competition on Lightening Tree Gully, so Blackjack was crowded at times.

post #50 of 162

Thanks for the update! Sounds pretty good.

post #51 of 162
Thread Starter 
I got up,early today and checked the report, they were claiming two inches in 24 hours. We headed up to the hill, it was apparent the visibility would be an issue as the cloud deck in the city was very low. As we drove up the canyon the fog/cloud got denser, it was tough to see and traffic bunched up. We got to the bypass road at 8:40, it was already fairly crowded as the bump competition folks had figured out to park there.

As we geared up the sun appeared and the fog lifted, we headed down to the plaza and made first tram. Vis was still a bit tough at the top, we headed out the Road to Provo and put the first tracks down Hoops. The entire area was covered with a smooth snow the consistency of frosting. Just thick enough to allow high speed turns on bump free surfaces. We ran multiple laps through the area before the clouds completely burned off and the masses could see the goods to be had. We moved on to Gad 2 and found the same track free surfaces around the backside. A journey to the Cirque followed, the traverse was in very decent shape, fewer than normal rocks. We hit up lower Cirque, it was a bit crusty for the first couple turns than turned creamy for the rest of the way down.

Next we went against my better judgement and rode the tram up and dropped into Mineral via Powder Paradise. We found great snow there and of course the line at the Mineral lift I figured we'd see. As long as we were waiting anyways we took a lap on Baldy. It was a bit crusty under the new snow over there. We rode the Mineral lift up and decided a stroll up Baldy was in order. The top portion was money, steep soft smoothness, it got a bit crusty towards the bottom above the Eye of the Needle.

The westerly and southerly facing slopes are crusty, the crunch layer was easily felt. Most all other aspects were skiing very well, The good visibility stayed till about 1:30, then a lingering cloud moved into the area and it fogged up a bit again. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and clear, visibility shouldn't be an issue.

Buddy on Hoops.

Riding up Little Cloud.

Buddy on Cirque.

Me on Cirque.

Hiking up High Baldy.

Sea of clouds back in Mineral.

Sea of clouds coming up the canyon, visibility is about to get tough again.

post #52 of 162


post #53 of 162

I can confirm that big line at Mineral Basin this morning.  The Collins lift at Alta got shut down for ~1/2 hour, so I headed over the top to Mineral Basin.  There seemed to be a herd making the same trip - seemed like a good idea at the time since sunshine was in short supply all week.  Freshies all over the Lupine area; everywhere else was pretty cut up by 10 AM.


Ran into some fellow Epic skiers this week at Alta and Snowbird -JohnL, Ski3PO, and Garyskr.

post #54 of 162
Thread Starter 
I got up early and once again checked the report, they showed another inch overnight. The wind blew last night but I'm not so sure on the inch claim. We fueled up at McDonalds on the way and made it to the hill by 8:30. It was a bit brisk this morning even though the sun was shining bright and the sky was blue. We made first tram and headed out Powder Paradise. I stopped at the top to give @marznc a call and arranged a place to meet up.

We did a couple laps on Baldy and waited at the top. Once Marz and Bill showed up we headed down with a plan to ride Mineral and take a lap on Powder Paradise. Once we hit the bottom that plan was scratched as the line was rather large and growing quickly. We waited through the line and headed out on the frontside to places I knew we'd find winter snow. After a lap on Little Cloud we lost my normal skiing buddies and I asked a Bill and Marz if they'd ever been out to the Cirque and if they felt strong today, lol.

They both seemed eager so we headed out the Cirque Traverse, it was a bit rocky today but not too bad. They both had no trouble with the traverse, we avoided most of the ridge line with the lower left option. We skied my normal line just before Glen's, the snow was still decent, no crunch layer to be felt. Marz was styling it, it looked like she was feeling confident from her recent lessons. We took her friend Bill up the tram for a few runs afterwards, and then had a few runs ourselves before heading back to watch football at 2:00.

The mountain was a bit stiffer than yesterday, there was more ice to be found. The lower mountain in particular stayed rather crunchy up to when we left. The usual northerly facing or perpetually shady spots are still skiing well. It looks like a rather decent storm should be hitting mid-week this week.

The sun has been shining, in the interest of customer satisfaction Snowbird has been putting out the industrial sized jugs of complimentary sunscreen.

Marz and Bill at the top of the Cirque.

Bill on the Cirque.

Marz on the Cirque.

Lower Cirque.

Death Chute and Elevator Chute, still pretty thin.

The kids on Lightening Tree Hill, bump competition.

post #55 of 162
Thread Starter 
It's not Snowbird, but since it's right next door I thought I'd post it...

My company from Michigan went up Patsey Marley with a couple of my buddies this morning before the sun rose. He snapped a pretty good pic of Alta as the sun came up.

post #56 of 162



Thanks for this thread. Just came across it. Missed you by a week or so last Spring; was part of the Grump party in early April.


Waasup with some of the new clearings in some of the woods off Gad 2? Beetle infestation? (Not sure if this has been discussed elsewhere.)

post #57 of 162
Thread Starter 
I'm sure I was there when you were here, I just didn't post much here at that time. Last year I didn't miss any Saturday's or Sunday's all year until the very end of the season in May. It's interesting seeing the people like myself that are there every weekend, I'd estimate a crowd of about 50-75 people that I see there every weekend day. It really becomes apparent when you ride the tram, all the same coats/helmets/skis/stickers every day. Funny thing is when I sneak in a weekday I see about half of that crowd on those days as well.

It was the same thing at Solitude, a core group of about 50 people you'd see every day. It's an interesting group of people you find that are there every day, they are what makes any ski resort special. I love standing in line for the tram seeing all the familiar faces, everyone smiling, knowing they'll soon be atop the hill to once again reaffirm why they come there every day possible.

Anyways, I haven't noticed much tree thinning. I'd imagine any trees that are missing were probably taken down by wind. Kicking winds and heavy snow seem to combine together about once a season to take down trees here and there and change things up a bit.

Mt. Superior with a full moon over it this morning.

post #58 of 162
Thread Starter 
Whew, windy... With company in town I left work early and headed up to the hill with my buddy from Michigan. The winds were kicking in the valley and when we pulled off the highway onto Wasatch blvd by the winds coming off the gravel pit it was pretty much assured the tram would be down. We got to the hill about 11:30 and parked down by Zoom just in case the winds would be a lift closing issue.

We geared up and headed up Zoom and were happy to see that although the tram and everything in Mineral was shut down Little Cloud and Peruvian were running. The wind was hammering the ridge lines, at the top of Little Cloud the wind was trying to push us into Mineral. You had to keep a tight grip on your poles. While riding the lift it became pretty apparent where the good lines were. If you ever find yourself skiing scoured hardback on a high wind day take a minute and look around, all that snow blowing about is going somewhere. Use a bit of common sense and figure out where it is not only going but staying.

We harvested the tongues of wind sift off Little Cloud until they closed the lift. The wind must've became a bit too brisk for lift operations, at the same time Peruvian closed down as well. I was glad we'd parked down at Zoom, people on the by-pass were in for a walk at the end of the day. Once Little Cloud closed down we headed over to Gad 2 and encountered a stiff line but the same good wind deposited snow. We rode to the bottom of Zoom and encountered a rather large line, after waiting through it we decided the standing in line v skiing ratio was too high and called it a day. We took a ride through Eddie Moe bowl as a last run, encountering very nice wind buff.

The wind is supposed to be kicking tomorrow as well, with 1-3 inches possible. The Freeride tour is here this week, I think they took today off as a weather day. Hopefully the weather cooperates tomorrow, if so I may chill at the bottom of Baldy and watch the show for a bit. This will push the finals off till Sunday, if it's sunny I may carry my big camera/lens and see if I can get some decent pics of them throwing down.

The wind blowing dust off the gravel pit.

Nice soft wind sift in Hoops, the tongues of wind sift were still sitting on winter snow.

Eddie Moe Bowl held the goods late in the afternoon.

Myself in Eddie Moe Bowl.

post #59 of 162
Thread Starter 
Today the forecast was for more high winds and 1-3 inches of snow. We made plans to meet our buddies at the cat crossover near Zoom in case a repeat of yesterday happened and the bypass road was a walk to get back to the car. The winds were pretty brisk in the valley all night, I figured it would be a cloudy windy tough to see day. We got to entry 1 at 8:30 and the wind wasn't too bad. We geared up and headed down to line up at Zoom and saw that Peruvian was running and the tram was pending.

The winds were pretty much non existent for the day and the predicted snow never materialized, sun, warm temperatures and blue skies were the order of the day. We skied pretty much everywhere, the north facing or shadowed snow is still holding well. The lower mountain had true spring like conditions, by the end of the day things had softened up nicely.

The only downer of the day was returning back to the truck after skiing and finding the two Uinta Babas I'd placed in the snow bank in front of our truck gone. If you see two beers in front of someone's vehicle it doesn't mean they're fair game. Seriously bad skiing karma, I'm hoping whomever took them doesn't get any powder days for the rest of the season.

It was cloudy on the way to the hill, and then the sun seemed to break through and shined on Snowbird.

A look at Wilbere Bowl area while riding Zoom, everything in there was skiing well today.

Buddy in lower Wilbere Bowl.

My son going for the grab over some rocks in Eddie Moe.

Sunny shot of tele buddy in Eddie Moe.

Teleing near the bottom of WB.

Myself in lower Wilbere.

The two holes where my beers were, they would've been tasty...

post #60 of 162
Not cool about the beers.

That sunny shot could win a major award!
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