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Utah trip Report

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Got into UT Easter evening. Pretty warm but nice to get away from SF for a little while.

Monday morning was starting to snow and we got out early at Alta. The ride up Sugarloaf was quite bitter so we headed for Supreme. Got some great runs in there. Since it was my first day up here this season, we explored some, played with the kids (looked for gulleys and little bump runs) and just took it easy while we acclimated to the altitude.

Tuesday we woke up to an interlodge condition that was lifted around 6:00. It was still snowing lightly as 4 of us were looking forward to going heliskiing.

At 7:30 the sun began to break out an by 8:50 when the van was to pick us up, the skies were blue. Talk about a great day to go Heli Skiing.

We met our guides and had orientation at the Heli port. Learned about how some of the dangers of skiing, how to use our beacons, how the guides worked, etc. Then we went down to the heli pad and learned about loading and unloading the helicopter, Dangers of being around the helicopter, etc.

Then we gathered up our gear and got ready to go for a ride.

What a blast. I tried to get some video of myself but the videographer was struggling with the controls. I'll post what little I got.. I did get some video of the rest of our group.

We got in 5 runs before the weather grounded the chopper so that was a little disappointing but all in all a great experience. As we "debriefed" we found out that about 1-2% of days that the guides get were like the one we had. Basicly the best of days possible. We squeezed a mostly bluebird day between two large storms. The only thing that might have made the day better was lighter snow (less water content) and no threat of another storm. Great skiing with family. Doesn't get much better.

Wednesday, we are Interlodged. not allowed to leave the building. It's almost noon and it looks like we will be here through the rest of the day.

More to follow.

DC
post #2 of 27
Live it up cuz, you hit it just right.
post #3 of 27
Excuse my midwest ignorance, but, I have never heard the term "interlodged" before. Is it really snowing so heavy they won't let you leave the building?
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowpix
Excuse my midwest ignorance, but, I have never heard the term "interlodged" before. Is it really snowing so heavy they won't let you leave the building?
Yes.

http://www.firsttracksonline.com/welcome2.htm
Although controlled, avalanches still vex the plans of skiers today. Slide conditions often lead to the imposition of “Interlodge,” a form of martial law practiced in Alta whereby all people are forbidden to step outside until the avi risk has been controlled and the condition has been lifted.
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
actually overnight we were in a state of "extreme interlodge" meaning we were told to stay away from the windows and that they were firing rounds over the houses.

around 9:00 this morning they downgraded the interlodge to "maximum" meaning we could now stand at the windows and look out. it's now 3:30 and we are still locked in the building. Pictures to follow.

Oh boy. Just started hearing AVA charges going off again.

DC
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
This was the view from our kitchen window around 11:00AM
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post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
And this is my Nephew standing by the window with my Dad. The deck was totally cleared last night around 8:00PM. The picture was taken around 11:00 AM and it's now 4:00. and about 6 inches deeper now.
525x525px-LL-vbattach206.jpg
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
And here's our rental Vehicle (Escape). The driveway and SUV were clear when we parked it last night.
525x525px-LL-vbattach207.jpg
post #9 of 27
this lastest round of storms may set records. PCMR was reporting 18" of new snow last night But there was more a lot more snow then that. I hit the lift early and on my first warm up run on a run that had been groomed there was already boot top powder. The Jupyer lift was on hold so i hit some of the fount side and was up to my waist in Powder. this was the real deal light blower powder. a wind picked up skiers and riders were shoting big rooster tails behind them. On a run down Blueslip Bowl had had so many face shots I got an ice cream head ache. If it's this deep on this side of the Wasatch it most be insane over in the Cottonwood Canyons! They said that Lake effect might kick in today I would have to say that is an understatement. I can fully understand the call for interlodge. It has been snowing off and on all day. near white outs and then a patch of blue. Modest shifting winds covering old tracks. It was such a good day that people were giddy. laughting giggling and loving everone of the billions apon billions of snowflakes that found a home here in Utah.
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
It's not a great video but here's what I got during our Heli trip.
Warning, It's a big download.

Heliskiing
post #11 of 27
Dchan, thanks for the video and report. How exciting! although kinda bummer that you are locked inside. Hope you get out soon!!!!!
Mark
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
This afternoon we were greeted with about 30 minutes of sunshine. Not enough to have interlodge lifted. Here's what we were greeted with.
post #13 of 27
Omfg.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchan
This afternoon we were greeted with about 30 minutes of sunshine. Not enough to have interlodge lifted. Here's what we were greeted with.
You can't tell much from the vid, but you can tell quite a bit by what you DON"T see, which is, a lot of snow weighing down the pine boughs.

That means light and dry!
post #15 of 27
is a big storm like this typical for late March or is this just a monster storm?
post #16 of 27
Blizzboy:

Not too unusual. March is the second snowiest month of the year.

DChan:

Looks like flipping up the windshield wippers weren't much help
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powdr
Blizzboy:

Not too unusual. March is the second snowiest month of the year.

DChan:

Looks like flipping up the windshield wippers weren't much help
The first time I skied Utah was in April about 3 winters ago, how does this winter compare to that winter if you remember correctly? I may have to book a last minute trip if I can dig up some extra cash.
post #18 of 27
If you are talking about the 2001-2002 (olympic) season, it was not that good. 2002-2003 downright sucked, but we had some late April storms that made it OK. Last year (2003-2004), we had tons of snow by early March, then we had record warmth all of the rest of March, with an OK April. These were considered drought years. This year is not. The very high snowpack, and continuing storm cycles has me actually worried about massive run off and flooding. All it takes is rapid warming during May and were done for.

Powdr
post #19 of 27
I think this year was a higher snowpack due to all the storms coming through California. 2nd wetest year on record in LA so far and huge snowfall in the Sierras. One thing about Utah is they seem to get the storms that come down from the northwest and also the ones that come through California. Although there wasn't much from the northwest this year, the Cali storms were major.
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thursday:

Interlodge was finally lifted at 8:30 ish. So we began to dig out so we could get to the mountain. A couple of us (brother, brother-in-law, and myself) made it out to the chair by 9:15 and made some new tracks on Sunspot.
After that we made a few more runs in heavier and heavier snow. I've decided 65MM underfoot doesn't work so well unless you can really get on real steep slopes.

After I got my fun runs in I went to catch up with my family and we skied Sugarloaf and Supreme the rest of the day. I got to play with and ski with my neices and nephew. They made some great runs down Extrovert, and Vicky's.

Around 4:00 the family went to ski with my Mom,(Grandma) and I went off to practice some of my own skiing stuff and then skied Westward Ho to get back to the cabin.

Powder in the morning, family in the afternoon and practice in the afternoon. What a great day of skiing.

Video's may follow.
post #21 of 27

Lake Effect

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blizzboy283
is a big storm like this typical for late March or is this just a monster storm?
My understanding of this last dump is that a lot of it was (ready for this Buffalo?) lake effect snow off of the Great Salt Lake. There was still a heavy snow warning in effect for the Wasatch long after most of the precip associated with the front had moved on to Colorado and NM. The air is so dry out there that any moisture available is evaporating all the time especially including the GSL. When it is warmer in the valley and the stuff climbs to 10,000 feet in a cold front out pops the pow. This is one of the reasons powder is so reliable from year to year in the cottonwood canyons.
post #22 of 27
I've decided 65MM underfoot doesn't work so well unless you can really get on real steep slopes.

I had the same problem. I was up there that day, and it was really deep. Actually got stuck on a run(a blue), I literally stopped with snow up to my belly. Never seen anything like that before!
post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powdr
Blizzboy:

Not too unusual. March is the second snowiest month of the year.

DChan:

Looks like flipping up the windshield wippers weren't much help
Sure the wipers were a help. We could find the car! :
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
Nice suprise. Anybody at Alta on Tuesday. March 29th?

Look at your lift ticket. "Welcome Chan Family" That's us!
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchan
Nice suprise. Anybody at Alta on Tuesday. March 29th?

Look at your lift ticket. "Welcome Chan Family" That's us!
How did you get that? Were there a whole bunch of you guys there?
post #26 of 27
To get you name/message call or go by the main Alta office and ask if they can put it on there for you. It's free but the messages are generally gone many months in advance. Call early for next year....

L
post #27 of 27
You missed an opportunity! They could have put the url to epicski on instead. imagine that!
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