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Worst weather forecast ever, (but best snow!),

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Back about 3 years ago I took my first 4 day ski trip to Salt Lake City area for skiing. Had 3 good ski days and on the 4th and final ski day B4 our flight back east,(on a Sunday), we decided to hit Alta again. High mountain weather forecast was for "cloudy, with occasional snow flurries". We got our boots on and took first chair up to a few lonely snow flakes, and a little sadness that the trip should conclude like this. Well, within a half hour it was snowing so hard, (DRY powder), that you could not even see the trees by the lifts!! At 10:30 AM ALTA announced that the access road would be closing for "AVALANCHE CONTROL" at 11:30AM for an indeterminant period of time. By this time 18-20" of fluff had fallen and it was snowing harder than ever! Brothers in law, brothers and friends were indistinguishable in the the snow blast in that our faces were covered with snow! but what a whoot!! Just point your skis in the general direction of "down the hill" and just go!! Float float and float some more! New lines? Oh yeah..no hint of previous tracks as most sane folks had left the mountain due to the "AVALANCHE CONTROL warning!!" My brothers and friends all left that morning, leaving only my cousin, a Park City, Utah resident, to ski the day out with me. The access road eventally opened up after a while, but there was almost no one on the mountain! Visibilty was nil, but I've never had more fun taking run after run in this kind of fluff. by the time they shut down the lifts and dragged my cousin and me off the hill Alta had notched up about 40" of snow from 9AM till 4PM!!! I missed my flight back east that evening and had to get up at 4 AM next morning from my cousin's house in Park City to catch my flight. I hope this happens many more times in the future!!! Anyone else have some kind of similar story??
post #2 of 5
Welcome to EpicSki, PEC32! Sounds like quite a day.
post #3 of 5
Great trip report. My favorite days are when it's dumping snow, and the slopes are deserted.

I watch the Sierra storm warnings and drive up when the worst is about to hit. When I-80 is closed, I know it's going to be a great day. I'll take the back roads that never seem to close (glad to have a Jeep) and get first tracks all day long.

Here's a report with photos from last December at Sugar Bowl, CA . The sun actually came out, so you can actually see something in the photos.
post #4 of 5
I WISH!!!!
post #5 of 5
I got a powder story that began a few years ago in the spring.
My brother lives in a ski town in France and during this one
particular year the Alps had gotten a lot of snow during the winter and now that it was spring we hoped we could do some touring. The area had gotten so much snow that an avalanche
had come down 500 yards from my brother's apartment late one
evening destroying a number of newer buildings and killing close
to 20 people. I met one guy who survived in his basement apartment until he was rescued!
When we first arrived in the mountains we drove up to the avalanche sight, and saw quite a mess. Smashed cars and pieces of houses sticking out of the hugh pile of snow. I saw pictures from earlier that winter showing 20ft snowbanks everywhere, and people shoveling off their roofs to keep them from collapsing. We wondered if we had come to late in the year for snow?
The first day was sunny, so we toured on the glacier, skiing down over 8000 vertical feet to a town below. A great first day. Then in the evening it started to snow.
The next five days was in a fog because it never stopped snowing, we couldn't see much of anything. It proceeded to snow like mad, by the end of the week we had gotten over 14 ft at the top of the valley! If you have ever skied in Europe you know that this kind of weather is dangerous, in fact during those five of six days we heard about someone getting hurt or dying every evening. This one kid from Mexico fell off a 120 ft cliff, but there was so much snow that he only hurt his wrist!
There was an electric feeling in the air because all the locals were excited about the hugh snowfall. We were skiing tree lines that hadn't been skiable for over a decade. Everyday was an invincible choking powder day, superman snow!
We hated leaving but we left secure in the knowledge that we had hit the Alps at the right time!
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