We can always listen to everyone else cry the blues yet find the goods at the Bird!
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- itemSnowbirdtagged by marznc, 11/22/14
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- Snowbird Unofficial GuideLast edited: 11/7/15
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Snowbird 2014-2015 - Page 3
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40 is hardly "very high" at Snowbird's elevation and climate, where the warming effect of the sun isn't the same as at sea level/high humidity. In fact, given that we haven't had much fresh snow this past few weeks, daytime temperatures just above freezing with a little sun plus nightime lows well below freezing have resulted in some very nice conditions in the groomers and preserved softness elsewhere at Alta if you're a little adventurous, and I'd expect Snowbird to be similar.
This doesn't apply to PC areas, which are quite a bit warmer.
Will you have a car? If not, there is a shuttle from Park City for people who want to do a day trip to LCC.
I don't make it up to Park City much, but I know the Cottonwoods are skiing fine. There's a half foot forecasted for Monday into Tuesday, that'll help freshen things up a bit.
Pick an area and ski, have fun in the sun. I told a lifty today, "This is the best June ever, I can't believe the coverage is this good!"
Keep an eye on Snowbasin, though. Its lodges and bathrooms are about as nice as DV's,* the food is great, it stays cooler than any of the PC resorts (this week's forecast looks about the same as Alta/Snowbird), and it's a great mountain.
BTW, this is the NWS Cottonwood Canyons page (resort-specific links are at the bottom of the page) I use most often. Despite the page title it includes forecast links for Snowbasin, PowMow, Park City, Canyons, and some places I don't even know about.
* In case you wonder why I keep mentioning bathrooms, I'm enough of a barbarian that the upgrade from Alta's concrete bathroom floors and old metal stalls is the main thing I appreciate about the upscale places.
It was a bit chillier first thing this morning, the lower snow was a bit crispier after yesterday's warm up. We took a few runs on the frontside and then took a run into Mineral and up Baldy. When we got to the top my buddy badgered me into using an Alta day (Snowbird pass holders get three free days at Alta and Deer Valley.) as the Castle hadn't been open since the wind event. We went grabbed a ticket at the checkpoint and headed down to the base of Sugarloaf. There was a pretty good sized line at Sugarloaf, we waited through it and when at top headed up the short little sidestep to the start of the Castle. We went all the way out and actually found darn good unmolested snow.
Originally we were going to spin a lap on Supreme but the rather large sized line scared us back to Sugarloaf to a decent sized line there as well. I was done with the lines at that point and talked my buddy out of his idea of taking the EBT to Collins and riding that, we headed back to Snowbird and found a minimal line at Mineral.
Took a few more runs, watched some comp lines, hung in the parking lot in the sun while drinking my still there beers.
My beers were still present, and tasty.
I'm coming out to ski Alta/Bird Tues-Thurs; with the upcoming forecast, what are your recommendations for terrain? Did it get so soft that certain aspects will be brutal until softening back up? (on Wed, it looks like)
It looks like the small storm is coming in with fairly warm temps and some decent winds. If so, that should bring heavy enough snow to put a buff on everything. In that case everything should be skiing well. If there is still a bottom find the stuff that is North facing or shaded. Personally I think Powder Paradise and the terrain out Road to Provo/past Mark Malu are two of the most reliable winter snow/wind recipients in the resort. The cirque is usually another can't miss hit, there are a number of different exposures to experiment on, feel around and figure out what is working for that day/time of day. It's kinda like spring, sometimes a run will ski completely different depending on the side of it you are skiing.
Have fun, I wish I didn't have to work or I'd show you around.
seg -- I am staying at the Goldminer's Daughter Lodge until Wednesday. We will probably be skiing Alta -- pm me when you arrive and I can give you some thoughts based on the conditions at the time. Or, you can join us on the snow if you would like -- we'll try not to slow you down:D
The tram only filled up about halfway, not quite a sitting down tram but close to a dancing tram. When we went past the upper tower and the tram did its usual rocking a bit a guy three feet away from me lost his balance and came crashing into me, I grabbed him and kept him from hitting the floor. I couldn't help,myself and died laughing, holidays are good for at least one belly laugh per day.
It's definitely springtime conditions, it was crisp on the frontside of the mountain for most of the morning. Mineral softened up quickest, but the line back there reflected that. My son was with me so we spent a lot of time doing park laps. We did a couple of Cirque laps, the traverse isn't too bad, a leftward option works out much better than the main trade route. The frontside started loosening up around noon, although there was still a lurking sheen here and there.
We never waited in any kind of large line, the tram was walk on all day till we left around 1:00. Nobody was parking on the road and the lots still had spaces here and there. It was surprisingly quiet for what's supposed to be the biggest crowd days of the year.
Where is everyone?
The sun is staring to poke through to the frontside.
My latest favorite pocket treat. I throw almonds, macadamia nuts, oats, craisins, and chocolate chips into a ziplock bag. Shake it all up and throw it into a microwave for 15-30 seconds. When the chocolate melts take it out, keep it in the bag and roll it into a log. Throw it in the fridge and stick it in your pocket the next morning. Delicious.
However, people spread themselves out on the mountain well enough that it didn't really feel like holiday, and most of the speedsters were either clumped together or skilled enough to stay clear of everyone else. Altogether a nice day.
It stayed pretty cloudy today, this kept the snow from loosening up at all, it was pretty crispy in spots. It got foggy at times as clouds moved through, combined this all made visibility pretty tough. All in all it wasn't really a stellar day. I played chef last night and sliced off a flap of skin on my finger, having to put that into a glove all day wasn't too fun. I also woke up with a toothache, it was tough getting out of my warm bed this morning. I'm now wondering if it was worth it, heh.
Clouds moving in.
Clouds in the Cirque. (You can see the tram soon to disappear in them)
Looking down canyon.
i parked in my usual area by 8:30 and made it to the tram by 8:46. There was already a decent line, we ended up on second tram. Mineral and Road to Provo were closed all morning, so we headed out the Cirque. I skied Glen's and my buddy skied Wilbere. I was worried the extra pitch of Wilbere would put you more on the crunch and it turned out I was right. My buddy reported good conditions but a definite bottom. Glen's skied great, very little bottom. We headed up Zoom and went to Gad 2 via Organ Grinder. I went through the gate and hung right and scraped off the pixie dust to a huge rock. This was a refrain for the day, the snow stuck good enough to just cover up rocks and what not but blew out of the way leaving you on them. It was still a much better day than the preceding few weeks, but you had to be careful.
We took a run through Bananas trees and then went through turnaround tree gate into Tiger Tail. That area skied well so we continued on down through the Pearly Gates, there were only a few tracks down so it skied pretty well, although the bumps were a bit crisp underneath when you hit tracked bits. Lapped Zoom/Little Cloud for a bit and made the mistake of going back to the tram around 11:00. It was the longest line I'd seen all year, full mazes around the building and spilling out into the plaza a ways.
Once up top we hit up cheater Baldy, I came in hot on a few crunch bumps and clicked off my left ski again, (time to crank up the din on that one again.). I stayed upright for about ten yards, I look down and my ski is tracking beside me, I went over forwards and watched my ski continue on without me out of sight. it was a treat clicking out of my other ski and walking/sliding down. Luckily I was able to follow its track left in the snow and found it about a hundred yards down snagged by a tree.
After another couple of Cirque laps we were thinking of calling it a day when riding Zoom we see the Road to Provo open. We couldn't turn down a lap there and were rewarded with great snow on one of my favorite pitches. Beers/wine in the parking lot made for a great end to the day.
After not having new snow for a while I didn't stop to take many pics. Here's a pic of the Pearly Gates with few tracks.
The Cirque late in the day.
View from the truck at the end of the day.
Busy day, the new snow brought out everyone in the valley with a pass, and it's tourist season. Lotta cars parked on the road.
It was snowing a bit when we left at three, I'm hoping for a few inches tonight.
I skied next door today. It was a great day of skiing. Well over a foot on the upper half of the mountain. It was a crazy weather day. At time it was sunny and clear, then half hour alter it was storming again light fluffy snow, even at 3pm. The trees skied silky smooth all day long. It is very much skied out, but i found patches of untouched all day long.
We debooted and drove down to Snowbird, arriving at 9:30 and found parking spots on the upper bypass. It was pretty chilly today, I'd sweated into my boots and gloves while doing Patsy, they'd gotten ice cold between the dawdling in Alta's parking lot and the drive down. It wasn't a lot of fun putting them on and heading out. Then we made the mistake of riding Peruvian, the wind was kicking and it was cloudy on the Peruvian side, I was a Popsicle by the time we reached the top. We made a few runs on Zoom and a tram lap, it got pretty busy and I got tired of standing in lines and we called it a day at noon.
Little cloud was closed when we left, not sure if it reopened. We were riding the tram near patrollers and could hear them on the radio talking about a cardiac incident, the doctor was on the tram with us and they got him at the door when we reached the top. Not long afterwards we heard a helicopter come in and leave. Hopefully everything worked out ok.
The snow was still in decent shape today although the groomers were a bit firmer. The mountain has been busy this weekend, a large kids race has probably helped make it that way. The highway was once again packed with cars between all the entrances. While we were taking off our gear at noon we were asked by at least ten carloads of people whether we were leaving. I'm thinking of starting to answer them with, "I wasn't, but for $10 I could be convinced to leave."
Heading up by headlamp.
The billboard looking thing you can see from Alta. (It's a repeater owned by ATT they bounce signals off.)
Skinning up the ridge line.
Me skinning on the ridge, our objective is the peak on the right.
At the top, that's Wolverine Cirque behind my buddy Travis in green.
Me on the first pitch down from the summit.
Me down low.
Pic of a buddy down low.
I had my phone/camera in an inside pocket of my shell, I'd sweated enough that it condensed between my case and the screen when I left it out when we got back to the truck. It condensed right where the camera icon resides, therefore no pics of Snowbird.
There was a BIG difference in the amt of snow that Alta got from this storm. There were many places on upper Alta that got 12" on Saturday. I skied Bird on Sunday and the less fresh was evident.. They got about 8"
I wouldn't worry about coverage, except the usual hopes for fresh snow during your stay. There are rocks showing in many places, but if you want to venture into those areas, you should have the skills to notice and ski around them. Little Cloud wasn't powder skiing, but was so loose that it felt like it. So IMHO all is well in the LCC, it's cold again and there reason to fret if you have a trip planned.
note: I skied Brighton Thurs - and off-piste was completely disgusting!!! Even in the trees it was washboard hard and basically unskiable for fun, but that had to be fixed this weekend.
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