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TR RED MOUNTAIN Jan 11-16 2009

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, after looking at the videos posted by Goldmember on his Interior BC trip (great vids, great conditions and great skiing, btw!), I decided to post my own TR of a recent vacation at Red Mountain.

This is my 9th season of skiing, and every year, I've had the chance to take one western mountain trip with my good buddy Luke who introduced me to skiing back in Grad school. We usually ski the Wasatch every other year and try to hit new places on the alternate years-This year we visited Red Mountain for the first time.

Let me start by thanking Dave in Spokane (Ski Merlin) for acting as the middle man to help purchase the locally available RED White and You pass. You know, you take a risk when you send a couple a hundred dollars through the mail to someone you've only met through an on-line forum-But, so far, I've never been burned by this and I've learned that most folks (especially here on EPIC!) are honest, reliable and good! Thanks Dave! Hard to beat 33 dollar a day skiing!

So the Trip-Alas, Between The 11 and the 16th (skiing the 12,13,14,15) we had no fresh snow. However, The conditions were pretty decent. Red is a fantastic hill-it's a conical mountain (granite Peak that is) with skiing on all sides (really helps chase the exposures, which was fundamental to getting the most out of this trip as I will explain).

Granite Mountain had great coverage (which is amazing since by mid December they weren't even open!). The North and east faces (Main face, Slides and Grey Basin) Held lots of deep, soft, cold snow which occupied the bulk of our time the first few days. Due to some unfortunate weather events a few days prior to our visit, much of the south side (except the very top)-the paradise basin side was firm and chunky.

The week was dominated by a pretty significant inversion-the mountain was mostly above the clouds/ fog and in the sun for the whole week. The first two days temps stayed in the low 20's so the Northern Eastern Exposures stayed soft and cold. We spent most of our time shooting down the main face of Granite Peak around the motherlode chair, hitting the 'slides region" and really making the most of the steep trees and chutes around Booty's and Coolers on the otherside of the cliffs. Of note, Coolers and Booty's had been closed due to avalanche danger up until our first day and upon opening gave us a few true untracked runs! The snow to the immediate skiers right of the upper motherlode chair (the steep trees and cliffy-jumpy area below) served up some of the best snow of the week-maintaining the old ski adage about the best snow sometimes being right under your nose.

The following two days saw a sunny temperature spike that warmed the snow on the whole hill, making the whole hill fun, but was followed by a sub 20 degree night that froze the hill taking the Northern/ Eastern exposure stuff out of Play. What saved the last day was that the sun came out again, bright and strong as temps pushed into the 40's-This softened the whole Paradise basin (by about 10:30am) side to a delightful spring like consistency and made areas like the Powder Fields, Jumbo, Han's Run and Ledges just plain awesome (not powder awesome of course-but spring-corn-like awesome!). I also loved the intermediate trees all over the main face of the Paradise basin-just plain fun to ski.

Some general impressions of Red:
1. The 360 degree exposures is a godsend and something to consider when booking a trip! Being able to follow good exposures in every direction saved this trip! Also, I loved that once you got off the Motherlode Chair you were pretty much on-top and everything worth skiing was below you-i.e no significant traverse/ hikes to get the goods. I'm not a wuss, I'm happy to do what's necessary to get into the premium terrain-But I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I was elated that not much was necessary to access the cream!

2. Crowds?? Least crowded place I've ever been too (including places like Solitude and Powder Mountain)-just a flat out pleasant place to ski.

3. Terrain-It's a true experts mountain-lot's of steeps, lot's of trees and lot's of steep trees! It lacks the big, exposed, high-alpine terrain-but it's plenty challenging with a great mixed terrain feels (very much to my liking).

The typical Red experience was something like this, bushwhack through very thick, very steep trees for 20 or so rugged turns, stumble upon a steep-slot opening that served up 20 untracked (or lightly tracked) soft turns, re-enter thick, steep trees, find next slot opening. The Paradise/ Powder Basin sides are more open, but have plenty of great trees, slots, and Jumps.

4. Oh Yeah-Jumps-I've never been anywhere that served up more natural Jumping/ hucking terrain in every direction. Seriously, I had to be careful because more often than not around an unseen tree-filled corner you'd be faced with a ten-footer! Even the intermediate trails are littered with the round boulders that the kids make mince-meat out of-If you jump (and I wish i did more) the natural challenges and opportunities here are awesome!

5. Slow lifts (yeah, baby), Happy employees, friendly folks, reasonable prices-can't say a bad word about the laid back, easy going feel!

REd Mountain-I'll be back, conditions were fair, but I'd love to get it when it's Epic!

Here are two short Videos-I don't take lot's of Pictures and stuff-I always mean to, but I hate stopping. This is some of the more open off-piste terrain at red-but look around to the sides and such you'll get the image.

These are taken in what Red Locals will recognize as either the 1st or Second Slide (between the Main face and Grey basin)

http://www.vimeo.com/2861325

http://www.vimeo.com/2861163

Whew-Long TR, Red Rocks.

Liam
post #2 of 11
You are welcome for passes. I know what you mean about sending $$$. I bought the passes and mailed them before your check cleared


Your trip report mirrors many of my experiences at Red. It is a tremendous mountain when the conditions are good. It has friendly people who are willing to show visitors around. Rossland is a pretty quiet town, but is fun.

I should have gotten off my duff and driven up when you were there.
post #3 of 11
Way to go Liam. It's nice to see someone able to make the best out of non-optimal conditions. Red sounds like a great place.
JF
post #4 of 11
Nice work. I'm not sure if those slopes are quite 45 degrees, but they sure look like fun!
post #5 of 11

Red

Liam, glad you had a good time. Dave is a great guy and one really great skier, Red can be good and bad. Glad you had a great time every time I go it rains.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPowHound View Post
Nice work. I'm not sure if those slopes are quite 45 degrees, but they sure look like fun!
You're right, They're not-at least not where they're videoed. If you look back at the start of the first video the uphill portion we skied to get in to those sections were quite a bit steeper than where we actual ran a camera.

And, Yes, It was fun!
post #7 of 11

RED

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMerlin View Post
You are welcome for passes. I know what you mean about sending $$$. I bought the passes and mailed them before your check cleared


Your trip report mirrors many of my experiences at Red. It is a tremendous mountain when the conditions are good. It has friendly people who are willing to show visitors around. Rossland is a pretty quiet town, but is fun.

I should have gotten off my duff and driven up when you were there.

Hijack. Dave you gonna ski this FRI?
post #8 of 11
Cool report Liam

I love Red. The folks there are great. I just got back from Jackson last night but always enjoy reading about a great trip to Red. I don't want to hijack your report but now that you've been there, maybe you can appreciate my little video trip report if you hadn't seen it already.

It wasn't really made for public consumption and has some boring parts, but you might recall some of the sights:

http://www.vimeo.com/2561074

Here's to one of my top 5 favorite places to ski
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carvemeister View Post
Cool report Liam

I love Red. The folks there are great. I just got back from Jackson last night but always enjoy reading about a great trip to Red. I don't want to hijack your report but now that you've been there, maybe you can appreciate my little video trip report if you hadn't seen it already.

It wasn't really made for public consumption and has some boring parts, but you might recall some of the sights:

http://www.vimeo.com/2561074

Here's to one of my top 5 favorite places to ski
That's a very fun video-you guys caught some of the good stuff, huh??

Man, those trees are everywhere at Red-Red-thanks for sharing the video-it's a good expo of what red is all about!

Liam
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by carvemeister View Post
Cool report Liam

I love Red. The folks there are great. I just got back from Jackson last night but always enjoy reading about a great trip to Red. I don't want to hijack your report but now that you've been there, maybe you can appreciate my little video trip report if you hadn't seen it already.

It wasn't really made for public consumption and has some boring parts, but you might recall some of the sights:

http://www.vimeo.com/2561074

Here's to one of my top 5 favorite places to ski
Ha! I love your screen-name there: "Arkem Orparkem". Classic!

Liam, looks like you had some fun there, even without new snow for awhile. One thing that gets your attention is the pitch on Granite. It's pretty much steep just about anywhere you go. Hit it after a storm and it can be killer! Thanks for the TR.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam View Post
That's a very fun video-you guys caught some of the good stuff, huh??

Man, those trees are everywhere at Red-Red-thanks for sharing the video-it's a good expo of what red is all about!

Liam
10-4. Glad you could appreciate our inept skiing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldMember View Post
Ha! I love your screen-name there: "Arkem Orparkem". Classic!
10-4!
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