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Utah Trip

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Skied Friday at Alta. The morning was pretty much frozen tranistioning by 1 PM to really sticky stop you in your tracks slush. This a first for me, I didn't go up to the mountain today. Worked out at 24 Hour Fitness in the AM and went to the Golf Show at the Convention Center in Sandy in the PM!  Just didn't think the skiing would be worth the price of a lift ticket.

 

Storm starts tomorrow so we're hoping the conditions greatly improve. Monday should be primo with 16 inches or more being predicted. The guy I'm skiing with said Friday's snow was about as poor as he ever remembers and he spends the whole season out here. The base temp was 55F Friday, and I've skied out in Vail in the spring many days when the temp at the base is this high but the snow up top was still infinitely more skiable. Can't understand why the snow became so much more sticky at the same range of temps Friday at Alta.

post #2 of 15

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by roundturns View Post

 

Skied Friday at Alta. The morning was pretty much frozen tranistioning by 1 PM to really sticky stop you in your tracks slush. This a first for me, I didn't go up to the mountain today. Worked out at 24 Hour Fitness in the AM and went to the Golf Show at the Convention Center in Sandy in the PM!  Just didn't think the skiing would be worth the price of a lift ticket.

 

Storm starts tomorrow so we're hoping the conditions greatly improve. Monday should be primo with 16 inches or more being predicted. The guy I'm skiing with said Friday's snow was about as poor as he ever remembers and he spends the whole season out here. The base temp was 55F Friday, and I've skied out in Vail in the spring many days when the temp at the base is this high but the snow up top was still infinitely more skiable. Can't understand why the snow became so much more sticky at the same range of temps Friday at Alta.

 

because it didnt refreeze, if it refroze it would have been ok.

post #3 of 15

Also don't rule out inversions, I have seen that at Alta many times. 

post #4 of 15

It's really very simple when it is snowing Utah can't be beat but if hasn't snowed in the last 48 hours then the snow conditions in CO will be MUCH better.  Powder days and the day after in UT almost always beat CO but anytime else....CO snow is much better.  This is mostly due to elevation.  Of course all this leaves out the terrain factor which in general it's easy to say UT has CO beat.

post #5 of 15

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post

 

Also don't rule out inversions, I have seen that at Alta many times. 

 

that totallly is why sometimes it doenst refreeze...

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

I skied Alta again last Sunday and it was BULLET PROOF!  It froze up, then the winds that came in before the storm scoured it and polished it down to granite.  We skied for less than 2 hrs and went down to Snowbird and had a Rueben at the General Store Deli . Huge sandwich $6.60!

 

Snowed Sunday night but I didn't ski Monday because people from my company that were coming in for a meeting wanted me to pick them up at the airport and talk further about the customer meeting we were having that PM.

 

I got "skunked" on this trip but can say I have no skied both powder paradises Alta and Fernie when they were at their absolute worst!  For all of you up at Alta now, I'm being told its pretty fabulous with a snowy week ahead.

 

After 40 years of skiing on this trip, I bought a helmet on the trip, so that's probably a good thing. Believe it or not , probably the thing that motivated the purchase was skiing elbow to elbow on the groomers at Alta because everything off the groomed would take a super hero to ski and the little bit that is groomed was very crowded.

 

Met Dave "The Farmer" The guy that skins all the peaks around the area and puts down a series of perfect tracks side by side. He's a friend of my customer I was visiting. Plus he's a Pa. guy originally from Philly. He skis on stuff he got out of Rossi Smash's basement. All retro.

post #7 of 15

Tell me more about Dave the Farmer. Always been fascinated with that guy. I posted an article with pictures of his tracks a few years back. Let me see if I can find the link.

 

Ah, here's one, actually better photos than the one I posted:

http://www.altacam.com/local/dave-van-dame.html

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

Can't really add much regarding the "Farmer" beyond what you posted, Thank you. He was going to come out to dinner with us, but he had a conflict. Then we got split up on the run, we stopped and the guy he was with said, Dave never stops!

 

Talk about an unassuming guy. He told me he was 61. Super fit, wearing stretch pants , skiing on black Daleboot boots and an old pair of Salomon X Mountains . The bindings used run away straps . So he was out there skiing on a hard icy day enjoying himself. I asked him if it was ever warmer than it was on the hill that day(55F) and he said "Yea , all the time in the summer" and laughed.

 

He is retired and part of an elite cadre of skiers that call Alta and LCC home and the greatest place on earth to ski. I thought I loved skiing but can't hold a candle to many of the people I met that truly love skiing.

 

At the risk of alienting those that worship Alta, I concluded its really not for me. That probably says alot about me as a skier to. (none good) It's my impression that the people that really really love Alta love it for its challenging lines , conditions, and more times than not great pwder skiing. They could give a s__t , about having their boots canted, carving a turn on the groomed , etc etc. They just love the challenge the mountain delivers everyday and skiing their won way , taking their own path to the bottom and they earn it with the amount of traversing done to get to where they want to go.

 

 

 

Probably the way skiing is supposed to be.

post #9 of 15

I don't know, I'm not real hardcore and I do give a sh!t about my gear and all the other nuances that go into skiing.  I like Alta because it's so down to earth and unspoiled.  For my dollars, it's one of the most authentic places I can travel to for world-class skiing.  Snowbird is right next door and just as good, but the Alta vibe is what keeps me going just a little bit farther up the canyon.  Part of the experience is lodging on the mountain and tapping into the culture there.  The staff's enthusiasm and outlook is contagious.

 

I will say this, there are some seriously suntan-hided, duct-taped, grizzled old wackos on the mountain.  They are all very friendly and outgoing, but definitely operating on a different level than most people.

post #10 of 15

Roundturns - sorry to hear you encountered less than ideal conditions on your trip this year.  As you know, it can be quite good in Utah during March, but timing is everything.  It sounds like you left on Sunday.  Since then, Alta has received 45" with another 18" - 32" forecast by tomorrow.

 

I can relate to your bit about Alta not being for everyone.  It is definitely a place that has a very wide appeal for many - from beginners to die-hard pow hounds and everyone in between, but it isn't the end-all for all.  As 219 mentioned, Alta doesn't try to be flashy or glitzy - it doesn't have to.  Alta is unique in that it has probably the most diverse group of loyal & dedicated followers - Alta-holics are represented by just about every category of skier (rich, poor, new, old, single, family, beginner, extreme) ... well, 'cept maybe boarders .

 

For me, Alta was the primary reason I moved to Utah.  Over the last 20 years, I would make my annual pilgrimage to SLC to get my fix.  However, since moving here 2 years ago, I have been to Alta a total of 2 times.  The primary factor is that I really hate crowds, especially the frenzy on on the pow days.  I have found that there are many other great resorts in the area that also offer a great experience.  I just had to look.

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

Yea , I missed the snow on this trip . Timing is evrything. I'm glad for everybody there now its being served up big! Just a very bad stretch of weather I hit that corrected itself very quickly.

 

Being from the East, I probably have to admit my favorite skiing are groomed long black runs and black and blue bump runs and that's not what Alta is all about. There is no debate that Alta serves up some super challenging skiing. I was out there in Feb. skiing off the Suprfeme lift with my friend in snow that was mid thigh deep and I was having a very difficult time making linked turns and keeping up. It was humbling to say the least.

 

I have nothing but respect for the skiers that will go down anything in almost any conditions. They are truly all mountain skiers that I concede I can't hang with. More so, I think this type of skiing is probably closer to what "pure" skiing is than anything else. To each his own , that 's what makes the sport so special and for many what makes Alta nirvana for so many. I'm glad its dumping up there now, because it was pure you know what when I was there last week. It essenttially didn't cost me anything to be there as I was out on business. I felt bad for people that booked in advance and were spending their own money. 

post #12 of 15

Hey, I was out there the week before (8th-13th) when we got a couple feet of snow, and I am still drooling at this week's epic conditions.  It's always hard to see it nuking out there when I am thousands of miles away.

post #13 of 15

wow. You met Dave the Farmer? He is legend. I've seen  20 or more perfectly even parrellel tracks up on the high mountainsides across from Alta. Astonishing. And he walks up. Alta is a throwback, for sure. I bet that if you spent enough time out here, you'd fit right in in no time. By all accounts Sunday was the worst day of the year in the Wasatch. Monday was one of the best, and every day seems to get better and deeper. Next year!

post #14 of 15

I've seen the Farmer's handiwork looking west from the Canyon's 9990 lift.  Incredible - I've got a picture of it somewhere, but it was on my Palm Zire 72 and it doesn't do Dave justice.

 

Too bad about the conditions.  It got better in a hurry after you left.

post #15 of 15

Ah, found my picture of Dave the Farmer's handiwork:

 

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