oops, sorry about the BIG photo above, 1st time for everything.
>What areas of Alta and the Bird provide the best mild weather conditions?
It is going to be icy as hell in the mornings?
I skied Alta on Thursday, and the Bird on Fri/Sat. I did scrounge a few actual powder turns on a stash in Gad 2 and a few more sweet ones right above Big Emma, but don't expect even that w/o new snow. Snowbird was EXCELLENT both days, Little Cloud bowl skied sweet all day, under road to Provo no sun at all. Stay off looking up to the left, until it loosens up a bit, very steep and nicer looser. I would stay off of Mbasin until after lunch, let the sun work it loose, if you like it steep, it was in great shape for safe steep skiing right under the quad. And the moguls weren't big but just right to swing.
Gad II was awesome all day, and on this trip I explored many nooks and crannies, it is a paradise for the right skis. The sun doesn't hit Gad II hardly at all, don't miss under the lift and STH.
We mistakenly hiked just a bit up Baldy in the am, and skied down in hard yucky loud crud. Stay off Blackjack and that side the same. Hold off on Peruvian until lunch.
Snowbird is a steep skiers paradise. The key is the expert gates and follow the tracks to the right and left. There is NO RUNOUT or cruisers needed at the bird, we just use cruisers to move down a bit and cross over to the next set of tracks to the steeps. 90% of the gates are safe, steep skiing, a few could get you in more trouble than you want,(ex. under Gadzoon), look at gates on way down, check out on lifts on way up. Keep following those tracks off the main run, you don't have to do not bull traverses, just little ones, down the pitch, then do it again, we do that 8 or 10 times per run from the top. Nothing like it. Also, cirque is north facing, we skied Great Scott and next one down and it was sweet, steep and safe. I don't like death slides and stay off the crazy if it's icy. 1st run one was Primrose Path right off the tram, 800 feet of the sweetest moguls, but they'll be big by the time you get there.
I don't think this is spring skiing. It's not that warm yet. We had it warm(but not too warm) all days and blue, but no ice, the moguls were nice and loose all the way down!!! But you're going a week later, they should be bigger and stiffer. But the bird expert terrain is SO HUGE and VAST that it takes alot longer to build up the big hard bumps. Alta was already getting bumped up hard and big on Wildcat/Supreme and other major expert areas, even a hike up Catherines didn't help. We missed High Rustler, but hit another run that was sweet next to it in the trees.
For me the Bird is where it is at. I have so much fun at that place, NEVER a need to repeat a run. Keep exploring. Don't waste time/vert on traversing too much or hiking. Don't waste vertical on a cruiser, if you can go right or left and follow the tracks and ski down all the little hills.
one more thing - I think the snowboarders have seen THEIR DAY. Riding up Little Cloud, I almost never saw a boarder, they have LEFT the party. Wrong tool for the job.(at least with no POW) In skiing all these chutes for 50K vert in two days, I saw none truly skidded out by boarders, which was very common a few years ago. No cross tracks on Little Cloud, made by wimpy boarders who don't belong. Point is, if you point them down, you are welcome to play, if you are going to slide or rut it across, find somewhere else to play. One of only a few places i found true boarder ruts was gate below Gad 2(not the lowest one). Have fun! Check it all out, there is sooo much to find.
Snowbasin on Sunday- Strawberry was warm and cruddy, but I like some of that ungroomed yuck, if it doesn't rattle/chatter, and it was loose early. Had a few more real POW turns on Moonshine bowl below the cliffs. John Paul was in EXCELLENT shape. North side, no sun, very COLD lift. Coldest lift I was on, makes for good snow.
I hit it pretty good the last few SLC trips, so it was OK to ski the soft bumps this trip. Right now it's snowing the lightest POW right here in the Poconos. So i guess this will be my "official" trip report.