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Mountain Collective Tour 2015 Trip Report - Page 2

post #31 of 65
Thread Starter 

Another fine day at Alta with fellow Epic members Lott42 and DanoT.  Beautiful sunshine all day and a little cold in the AM as it was 14 degrees at the base as we loaded our first chair.


Not nearly as busy as yesterday with the one and only time we waited in a liftline about 5 minutes on Sugarloaf just after lunch:cool  Off piste still firm and crunchy as expected and the groomers excepting one (underneath Wildcat bottom) skiied well.  They groomed a fair amount of the steeper terrain all over the mountain which kept things fun and interesting.


Very cool that Michel went up Supreme with us a few times this afternoon and not only skied well but really had fun on some steeper (for her) terrain:cool:)


Expecting low to mid 40's with sunshine at the base of the Cottonwood areas the next two days, so maybe things off piste will soften up enough to make them fun in the afternoon.  I'll be hooking up with New Zealand based Epic member Rojoke as well as DanoT again:cool  Lott42 is returning to SoCal tomorrow and if you ever get a chance to ski with him by all means do.  Great guy and good skierThumbs Up


Again just a few pics from today.



A couple of Lott 42 and DanoT on #9 Express off Supreme




Michel, Lott42 and DanoT at top of Supreme with Devil's Castle in the background


post #32 of 65

Jim, it was nice meeting you, Michele, and Dan. I had a great time hanging out and skiing with you. Hopefully, I can come out to a gathering sometime or maybe possibly meeting other members and just go skiing sometime. I ski Big Bear and Mammoth in Calif mostly.


Until next time, Larry



Thanks for the cool photos too :o)

post #33 of 65
Thread Starter 

We headed up to Brighton today and put our $39.50 lift tickets to good use.  For more info on the ticket deal see this thread.  http://www.epicski.com/t/132782/big-little-cottonwood-for-less-than-40-a-day


We were joined by Epic members DanoT and Rojoke.  We were all treated to a beautiful day of sunshine and excellent snow on the groomers.  Even with a base temp of 43 degrees in the afternoon nothing off piste started to soften until about 2PM.  Coverage off piste isn't great with Alta being better in that regard.  Brighton needs a nice 2 foot dump to bring the off piste stuff back to being decent/good as there are many exposed rocks/shrubs and bare spots.  The groomers offer a little more variety and slightly better snow than at Alta.


We started the day by taking Michel up Majestic to get her set and then Dano, John (Rojoke) and I headed over to Millicent where the sun was shining on everything.  We did 3 laps over there before migrating back to the other side.  The coolest thing was that after our departure Michel decided to head up Snake Creek ON HER OWN and found it suited her:cool  After lunch Michel rode and skied Snake Creek, Crest and Great Western with us and was solid on the blue groomers and most importantly enjoying herself:)  Her confidence is up and she now understands how much more of a mountain she can see and ski by upping her game a little.  I'm so happy for her to finally get to this point:yahoo:


John (Rojoke) is typical of the Epic members I've met which is to say totally cool and fun to hang/ski withThumbs Up  The same group from today will be at Alta tomorrow and the guys will likely drop into Snowbird to see how it's going there.


A few more of my lame pictures from today and I'll post a video of Michel and Dano this weekend when we have a better internet connection in Colorado.



Dano, John (Rojoke) and Michel at the base just before our first chair ride




Michel and John on a groomer off Great Western



Nice scenery pic from top of Great Western



And lastly our international contingent from today representing L to R Dano (Canada), John (New Zealand), Me (U.S.) and Michel (Philippines)Thumbs Up


post #34 of 65

looks like some snow coming to SLC area this weekend! Must needed refresh is finally coming! Are you guys still gonna be there?

post #35 of 65

Congrats to Michel.  Now she'll want to hit the slopes every day.

post #36 of 65

Good for Michel!  All that mileage on these long trips out west are starting to pay off.

post #37 of 65

DANO!!!!  Nice to see you again. 


....and Michel......well, your form looks a little better than @jgiddyup's.  While you're amping up your game, he better amp up his game too or you'll be passing him in no time!! 



post #38 of 65

Scenery looks amazing.


Thanks again for the pass recommendation, buying it means we will add Solitude and/or Brighton to the mix in a month. Very cool to see the pics with that pass!



As for Michel, the step up to a solid blue skier really is the biggest leap, imo. She can now basically go tot the top of any mountain with you and find an easier path down if need be. Just a whole new world!  Have fun and keep the reports (and pics) coming. Best incentive for me to keep jogging, even when it is -- shiver -- 22 here!  ;-)

post #39 of 65

Looks like fun everybody. Unfortunately, I'm back in So. Cal and in the middle of summer weather of 78 degrees. Hopefully, Mammoth will get snow soon so I can get out there again. I'm still only at 8 days skiing. I need about 6 more days to hit my 14 avg(hopefully, 8 more days to set my one year record).



post #40 of 65
Thread Starter 

I had something resembling my previous boring monologues ready for this post, but Michel wanted to try the race course at Alta ON HER OWN:yahoo:




post #41 of 65
That's awesome - nice work Michel!
post #42 of 65
Thread Starter 

Thanks all for the kind words and this is turning out to be a game changer trip for Michel:cool



Now for the boring monologue.  Alta was good today and I again hooked up with Epic members DanoT and Rojoke (John). Didn't venture off piste and had a good time cruising the groomers.  It was warm again with the base temp at 43 degrees as we left the area.  Snow in the forecast for the weekend and it will help as always:)



Michel & I with Devil's and East Castle in the background





John (Rojoke) and DanoT on Challenger off Supreme





Skiing Bears


post #43 of 65

Jim Michel

Great skiing with you guys in the last couple of days

As we didnt get a chance to have a beer in SLC give me a call we you get up to JH

385 xxx yyyy 




Mod note: phone number removed, send via PM

post #44 of 65
Thread Starter 

Utah got some snow today and it was goodThumbs Up  Michel & I were solo today at Brighton and there was nothing in the snow report this morning.  It was raining lightly in SLC as we started our drive this morning and that rain turned into heavy snow as we got about a third of the way up Big Cottonwood:)


Now for one of the scariest moments of my life.  About a mile or two after the rain changed to snow in the canyon the road became snow packed. And about a mile after that we were rounding a moderate corner going roughly 30MPH and the front end began to slide with major understeer as we head straight for an 80ft cliff with no guardrail.  I immediately get off the gas pedal and the front end slowly starts to come around but then the rear end breaks loose.  Suffice it to say the rear end of the car came within a couple feet of going off the cliff as all I could say twice in rapid succession was "oh f*ck oh f*ck.  I corrected with steering and got it straightened out just in time as I wondered if my pants were full.  I have lots of experience driving on snow covered roads and in storms out west and elsewhere and for the life of me can't figure out what I did wrong considering the speed I was traveling and going uphill at the time.  


Then while leaving the snow packed Brighton parking lot I'm going less than 10MPH where I come upon a stop sign.  I brake normally and the antilock kicks in and the car slides about 3FT past where I should have stopped. The car is an AWD Mazda CX5 with M&S all seasons that look pretty new which is what all the other AWD vehicles I've rented out west over the years have had.  The car behaved fine on the snow cover access road to Targhee last week but I have no confidence in it at this point and my travel times if I encounter snow covered roads for the remainder of the trip will increase a good amount.  Be safe out there everyone.


Now back to our day at Brighton:cool  There was about 4 inches of fresh in the parking lot as we arrived and still snowing.  There were two heavy squalls of about 20min duration each and light snow the rest of the day that deposited about two or three inches more while we skied.  Michel is solidly on blues now albeit cautious and while it was more difficult for her with the powder on top of the groomers she overcame and enjoyed herselfThumbs Up


I also saw two people blow out their skis on rocks while I was riding the lifts.  I knew better than to venture into many off piste areas as I had a good view of the coverage from Wed prior to the snow.  Alta has far superior off piste coverage if that helps anyone.


Off to Aspen tomorrow then The Gathering.


Just a few pics from today.



Snowing heavily at the base lodge around 8:45AM



Some fresh tracks



Michel enjoying the fresh snow


post #45 of 65

Good to see they're getting some much needed fresh,  Nothing like that helpless feeling when the car begins to slide.  Be safe.

post #46 of 65
Thread Starter 

Arrived at Snowmass about 3hrs ago after an uneventful drive from SLC to a sky full of snow and it's still snowing.  Winter storm warning still in effect until midnight Monday with the bulk of the snow expected tomorrow afternoon through tomorrow night.  Could see another foot:cool  Also nice to see Snowmass Village looking like a winter wonderland.


Meeting DanoT and a long time friend of his around lunch time tomorrow, so will hit near first chair to get some fresh tracks while the getting's good.  Dan's friend is local, so I might get to some stuff I otherwise wouldn't.  50 cent wings at Zane's Tavern hit the spot and looking forward to the AM.


BTW, getting the Mountain Collective pass set up and activated at both Alta and Snowmass has been a pleasure. It took about 3 minutes at Alta and I'm not kidding when I say 1 minute at Snowmass.  Well done to both areasThumbs Up



A few boring pics from our arrival



Zane's Tavern and you can make out the heavy snow if you look.  Of course it would be better if I just took better pictures:o



Michel on the balcony of our room at the Pokolodi Lodge on the upper level of Snowmass Village about 30ft to the Snowmass Mall and 120yds to the slopes:cool


post #47 of 65

Snowmass skied great today and not very crowded. Mostly ankle deep and some boot top high quality snow that covered things to the point of no noise on a lot of runs.


Later in the day it was a pleasure to have some cut up snow to ski.:D

post #48 of 65
Hey guys and Michele, hope you enjoy Colorado and then Wyoming ☺
post #49 of 65
looks like you guys hit the jackpot in CO! Aspen is reporting 7"
post #50 of 65
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by mfa81 View Post

looks like you guys hit the jackpot in CO! Aspen is reporting 7



Indeed it was a good day:)



As my quote of mfa81 indicates Snowmass was reporting 7in and it seemed to ski about that in places and a little less in other places.  DanoT and I got about 8th chair on Village Express at 8:30AM planning to head over to Sam's Knob for a couple of runs.  Village Express and Sam's Knob are the only lifts that open at 8:30 with the rest opening at 9.  I had told Dano we were going to the top but somehow there was a mix up and Dano got off at the midway station.  I told him to wait there and we were reunited in about 6 minutes.


There were exactly 3 tracks under the liftline and we added the next 6 sets of tracks as we lapped that 3 times:cool  We then went up the Big Burn to find chowder everywhere off the groomed portion and it was good.  We were heading to Powerline Glades but riding the lift with a local he told us the warm temps and lack of snow prior to our arrival had turned that area into large irregular icy bumps that were likely scraped off by that time So we took the advice and did the aforementioned ungroomed areas of the Burn.


Headed to the Elk Camp gondola after that with the intent to head up Elk Camp lift and ski the trees around the lifeline which Garyskr and I found to be great with fresh snow last season.  And BTW, the gondola car that Dano and I loaded at the bottom had been recently baked;)  Upon arriving near the gondola terminus I noticed the Two Creeks lift and remembered from last season with Garyskr that very few people skied over there.  We decided to check it out and money:cool  Two tracks under the liftline which is the best part of that area and we lapped that with fresh tracks 2 of the 3 times we hit it.  I'm assuming the reason few people ski there is because the bottom third is a boring flat runout, but the top 2/3rds while not steep is lots O fun in fresh snowThumbs Up


Headed to lunch after that and then off to Campground lift where we skied the Slot and found lightly tracked on the top half of the run and no one around over there.  The rest of the day was spent in the Sam's Knob/Campground area skiing chowder and crud.  Not super deep but super fun.  The only specter of a liftline we saw all day was the last two times riding Two Creeks we saw probably a 6 to 8 minute line at the Elk Camp lift:cool


The NWS forecast was/is for 12 to 24in from  11Am today through midnight Mon.  It started snowing lightly at around 10:30AM and continued snowing lightly until we called it a day at 2:45PM.  The snow picked up in intensity and continues with that intensity as I type this around 3:30PM.  Previously bare railing in the exposed pool area of our lodge now has 3 inches on it and not a breath of wind right now.  If it keeps up tomorrow could be very good:cool



Now for the days lame pics.



Tracks under Village Express which were mostly ours prior to that lift ride




DanoT in the chowder off of the Big Burn



Tracks many of which are ours under Two Creeks



And lastly we initially were going to have lunch here but after seeing the $17 price for a mac & cheese appetizer and $19 price for a pulled pork sandwich with no sides we balked and bailed:eek


post #51 of 65
Originally Posted by jgiddyup View Post


And lastly we initially were going to have lunch here but after seeing the $17 price for a mac & cheese appetizer and $19 price for a pulled pork sandwich with no sides we balked and bailed:eek



All three of you could probably share the BBQ plate for $30ish.    Or get up early again and then hit Gwynns sit down in High Alpine for breakfast by 10:30.

post #52 of 65
Thread Starter 

Another powder day at Snowmass for Dano and I:)  We hit the Village Express liftline at 8:20AM and snagged 12th chair when the lift opened at 8:30.  The official snow report was 7in new almost all of which fell after the lifts closed yesterday and the report was from 5:50AM. The mountain received another couple inches before the lifts opened.


Upon arrival at the top we went far skiers left into Bearclaw and fresh tracks were found.  All the other skiers apparently went to base of Sam's Knob lift as we continued down Campground and had first tracks there:cool  We arrived at the Campground at 8:50 as the only ones there and the two very pleasant lift guys informed us of the 10 minute wait as the lift doesn't open until 9.  They finished getting the snow off the chairs and let us load at 8:56Thumbs Up


We lapped Campground 6 times encountering fresh or very lightly tracked snow on every run with boot top to knee high powder everywhere.  We hit every available run and line that we could see and there was almost nobody else over there.  We didn't start with any particular strategy of where to ski, but after seeing very few people skiing where we were it made sense to stay there and mine the snow.  It was a very good decision.


Met Michel at Elk Camp for lunch and the food while very ski area pricey was very goodThumbs Up  I do not embellish when I say that the macaroni and cheese may be the best I've ever had.


After lunch Dano and I went up Elk Camp lift and decided to do the hike to Longshot.  After a mildly tiring hike we encountered a 3.5 mile run of nothing but soft crud.  This snow reminded me of how much I love and suck at this sport.  Struggled mightily at times where as the fresh or near fresh powder was a breeze relatively speaking.


Great day skiing and and love this place.  It's fun



Lame pics to follow



Village Express liftline at 8:20



Dano getting some on our first run of the day



Bushwacking was good



First tracks


Finishing the hike



A long run full of crud with some minor stashes of powder



Went to the top and we were done:cool


post #53 of 65

It was an awesome day and I am totally beat as the third day of powder skiing at Snowmass for me was the best.


Saturday=6" new


Monday=8-10" new


It is safe to say that Aspen has fully recovered from the freeze-thaw spring conditions. There is great coverage and it is pretty much turn anywhere conditions.

post #54 of 65

Great for you guys! Scheduling a trip in advance and hitting a storm cycle is all you can hope for on a ski trip! :-) Have fun making pow turns!

post #55 of 65

I've been following your coverage of this Dream Trip since the beginning. By now, I feel like I know you and Michel! Just wanted to thank you for all of it. It's great for starting day dreaming sessions at the office, and it's making me more determined to get "good" at skiing.


I was in Aspen in late January and thought the snow was great. Seeing your pics and descriptions of "powder" makes me something beyond jealous.


Looking forward to meeting you guys at the Gathering,



post #56 of 65
Originally Posted by kasuncion View Post


I was in Aspen in late January and thought the snow was great. Seeing your pics and descriptions of "powder" makes me something beyond jealous.


Wife is pissed since we canceled the trip to Aspen because of 14" in the last 45 days before this big storm! ;-) Glad at least some folks here made the right call!

post #57 of 65
Thread Starter 

Thanks again for the kind words all and yes timing is everything on ski trips.


I was in the shower this morning when Dano called saying that he was completely spent from yesterday and was going to head to Jackson.  I understood how he felt and being more tired than I've ever been on a ski trip, we decided to take the day off.


So we headed into Aspen to goof off for the afternoon.  Took the gondola up to the top and had lunch at the Sun Deck:cool  Amazing views to say the least and the food much better than most on mountain offerings.  Michel recommends the Shrimp Stir Fry Noodles which are cooked on order and not sitting there in a warmer all dayThumbs Up


One of the things we found by riding the gondola is that there is terrain for slightly timid intermediates up top available from two lifts.  Nothing at the bottom for that type skier, so a gondola download would be required which is just fine.  Steep hill and I'm sure lots of fun for upper intermediate through expert skiers.


Pics from the day in Aspen below.



Michel at gondola base


Michel at Ajax Tavern deck which is part of The Little Nell I believe?


Michel at the top


Michel with Highland Bowl in the background followed by me with same




A bird getting a free lunch on the deck:D



Michel on fire


And lastly gondola car at the top


Edited by jgiddyup - 2/24/15 at 5:54pm
post #58 of 65
Dano, say it ain't so!
You missed the two best hills!

Take Michel out Highlands tomorrow, it's locals day and parking is free. They'd give her a free hotdog at the Deep T, but I bet she'd like Cloud 9 a lot more.
post #59 of 65
What's up with this goofing around cr@p!?! You should have been packing that snow for Jackson.
post #60 of 65
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Dano, say it ain't so!
You missed the two best hills!

Take Michel out Highlands tomorrow, it's locals day and parking is free. They'd give her a free hotdog at the Deep T, but I bet she'd like Cloud 9 a lot more.



Originally Posted by SKI-3PO View Post

What's up with this goofing around cr@p!?! You should have been packing that snow for Jackson.


And there's the rub.  So easy to boot up and short walk to the lift from here or do same and get on bus both ways.  My mind says bus but Michel's mind says Elk Camp gondola:confused

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