or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Ratings For Expert Gates At Snowbird
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Ratings For Expert Gates At Snowbird

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

This is a follow up to my post in this thread...

 

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/97403/skiing-ut-first-time-any-insider-tips#post_1266072

 

First off, I've searched the term Snowbird over and over again on this site, and I think I've read pretty much everything there is to read. That said, I don't think I've seen anything regarding my post below...  

 

It's clear from what I've observed at the resort, and what I've read, not all expert gates are created equal.  An out of towner who's not an "expert", but definitely "advanced" could have a lot of fun if they knew which gates were "safe".  But, without a local to show them the ropes, they might shy away from all the gates, so that they don't get too far over their head... thus leaving them bored to tears touring around Bassackwards and the likes looking for more obvious lines (does this sound familiar to anyone?).

 

In the effort to get some more content on here... and stir up some debate, I was wondering if it'd be possible for "those with the knowledge" to come up with a rating system of sorts for the expert gates at Snowbird.  This info could be gathered in the form of a sticky or wiki.  

 

I'm proposing five levels...1 to 5.  1 being "pretty tame" and 5 being "you fall you die".  Maybe this info could be also be used by the resort one day, with them posting the ratings at the entries.

 

 

Thanks for reading!!!!

post #2 of 29
There's enough challenge in bounds for any level of skier. For ob, do you have avi gear and know how to use it? Do you know the terrain and traps it may pose? Do you have avi training? And do you have a partner?

If the answer to any of these is no, then either stay ib or get a guide.
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

There's enough challenge in bounds for any level of skier. For ob, do you have avi gear and know how to use it? Do you know the terrain and traps it may pose? Do you have avi training? And do you have a partner?

If the answer to any of these is no, then either stay ib or get a guide.


I'm not talking about out of bounds skiing... I'm talking about in bounds avi-controlled skiing marked by experts only gates.

post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post

This is a follow up to my post in this thread...

 

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/97403/skiing-ut-first-time-any-insider-tips#post_1266072

 

 

First off, I've searched the term Snowbird over and over again on this site, and I think I've read pretty much everything there is to read. That said, I don't think I've seen anything regarding my post below...  

 

It's clear from what I've observed at the resort, and what I've read, not all expert gates are created equal.  An out of towner who's not an "expert", but definitely "advanced" could have a lot of fun if they knew which gates were "safe".  But, without a local to show them the ropes, they might shy away from all the gates, so that they don't get too far over their head... thus leaving them bored to tears touring around Bassackwards and the likes looking for more obvious lines (does this sound familiar to anyone?).

 

In the effort to get some more content on here... and stir up some debate, I was wondering if it'd be possible for "those with the knowledge" to come up with a rating system of sorts for the expert gates at Snowbird.  This info could be gathered in the form of a sticky or wiki.  

 

I'm proposing five levels...1 to 5.  1 being "pretty tame" and 5 being "you fall you die".  Maybe this info could be also be used by the resort one day, with them posting the ratings at the entries.

 

 

Thanks for reading!!!!


the issue alot of gates have various route though that vary from barely blue to you could get hurt pretty bad. With that said to try to explain every possible route would be next to impossible. As long you dont duck the cliff line ropes you should be pretty good. The cliff line ropes though sometime have some great no cliff jumping skiing behind them and yes you are allowed to duck cliff line ropes at the bird, but you can not under any circumstance duck an AVY rope.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

There's enough challenge in bounds for any level of skier. For ob, do you have avi gear and know how to use it? Do you know the terrain and traps it may pose? Do you have avi training? And do you have a partner?

If the answer to any of these is no, then either stay ib or get a guide.


he isnt talking out of bounds, these are inbounds avy gates that are all marked double black but they are all arent truly double black. They sometimes are open, sometimes closed.

 

Another mind bending thing about snowbird is some ropes are duckable ropes. quite literally the cliff line ropes are to keep the 'other" people out. Oh do I love the elitism that breeds.

 

If you have enough money I know a great guide.......

post #5 of 29

Black forest is an example of a very mellow area that still has some sections of sketch but with basic route finding (stay out of the gully, duh) is fun for most intermediates.

 

There really is no substitute for local knowledge so hooking up with a local skier is really a great use of forums like Epic. Another good way to learn would be to take an off piste oriented lesson.

 

I think most of the trees off GAD2 is going to be doable for an advanced skier.

 

Poking around and finding stuff is also a huge part of the fun. If you run into something scary traverse out.


Edited by tromano - 11/9/10 at 8:05pm
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post


the issue alot of gates have various route though that vary from barely blue to you could get hurt pretty bad. With that said to try to explain every possible route would be next to impossible. As long you dont duck the cliff line ropes you should be pretty good. The cliff line ropes though sometime have some great no cliff jumping skiing behind them and yes you are allowed to duck cliff line ropes at the bird, but you can not under any circumstance duck an AVY rope.
 



As I said in the other thread, some gates are trouble all over.  The especially dangerous areas are those ones with potential trouble that you don't spot until you're head is bouncing down 200ft of granite.  Other gates are reasonable with readily apparent hazards, and mainly safe sailing all the way down.  There certainly is some relativity, and someone from out of town could use this info on gates that cannot be scouted from the lifts.

post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

Black forest is an example of a very mellow area that still has some sections of sketch but with basic route finding (stay out of the gully, duh) is fun for most intermediates.

 

There really is no substitute for local knowledge so hooking up with a local skier is really a great use of forums like Epic. Another good way to learn would be to take an off piste oriented lesson. 

 

I think most of the trees off GAD2 is going to be doable for an advanced skier.

 

Poking around and finding stuff is also a huge part of the fun.



This is exactly the info I was after when I started this thread.  FWIW, I remember passing up some trees off GAD2 just in case.  

post #8 of 29

 

I think that most of the lines off the cirque and in mineral basin are fairly wide open and pretty obvious where to go and what the terrain is like. Snowbird is not like Alta where you are poking around trying to find a little draw or whatever.

 

The stuff where a guide would help is skiers left in Gad Valley and some of the lower stuff on the Peruvian side, IMO.

post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post





As I said in the other thread, some gates are trouble all over.  The especially dangerous areas are those ones with potential trouble that you don't spot until you're head is bouncing down 200ft of granite.  Other gates are reasonable with readily apparent hazards, and mainly safe sailing all the way down.  There certainly is some relativity, and someone from out of town could use this info on gates that cannot be scouted from the lifts.

 

there are no gates that lead to substantial cliffs. Just dont duck the cliff ropes and you will be good.
 

post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post





As I said in the other thread, some gates are trouble all over.  The especially dangerous areas are those ones with potential trouble that you don't spot until you're head is bouncing down 200ft of granite.  Other gates are reasonable with readily apparent hazards, and mainly safe sailing all the way down.  There certainly is some relativity, and someone from out of town could use this info on gates that cannot be scouted from the lifts.


http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/97507/snowbird-expert-gate-info#post_1266283

 

here is the start it will be weeks till it is finished.

post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View PostBut, without a local to show them the ropes, they might shy away from all the gates, so that they don't get too far over their head... thus leaving them bored to tears touring around Bassackwards and the likes looking for more obvious lines (does this sound familiar to anyone?).

 

"Bored to tears" at Snowbird, that is ridiculous. Even if you stay away from gates there is tons of tremendous terrain.  Why not just follow the tracks off into the woods.  That mtn is made for exploring.  There are so many treasures to find, esp if you have the right partner or small group enjoy it with.

 

Most of the gates you can scope out on the way up or looking up from where they toss you to, and you can figure out how safe they are.   I look forward to reading BushWackers post and will copy into a file and take along on my early Jan trip. Sounds like he is jonsing to get back to the Bird!

post #12 of 29

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post

Why not just follow the tracks off into the woods.  That mtn is made for exploring.  There are so many treasures to find, esp if you have the right partner or small group enjoy it with.


That is a terrible idea unless you can ski *anything*.  Those tracks might have been put down by someone much much better than you.

post #13 of 29

Quote:

Originally Posted by jaobrien6 View PostThat is a terrible idea unless you can ski *anything*.  Those tracks might have been put down by someone much much better than you.


Maybe it is not a good idea your first few times there, but once you know the lay of the land you can have a pretty good idea of what you are getting into.  I'm not super expert, but I can pick my way down most stuff, only a small percentage of those unknowns have those fall exposures that most of us would rather avoid.  Also, the snow is in the winter time is usually nice and soft all over the mtn, it is a different story if you are dealing with snow that melted the day before and refroze over night, entirely different all together.

post #14 of 29

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post

Quote:


Maybe it is not a good idea your first few times there, but once you know the lay of the land you can have a pretty good idea of what you are getting into.  I'm not super expert, but I can pick my way down most stuff, only a small percentage of those unknowns have those fall exposures that most of us would rather avoid.  Also, the snow is in the winter time is usually nice and soft all over the mtn, it is a different story if you are dealing with snow that melted the day before and refroze over night, entirely different all together.


If you know the mountain well enough and have the skills, fine, it may work fine for you.  But to suggest to anyone in this thread to just follow some tracks into the woods is terrible advice.  There are lots of situations where people could get themselves in real trouble following random tracks into the woods.  If you want to do it, fine, as long as you know the risks.  But to suggest to anyone that it's a good way to learn your way around a new mountain is irresponsible.

post #15 of 29

DSC02093.JPG> people could get themselves in real trouble following random tracks into the woods

 

Just take your ski off and walk out, a little walk never hurts no one.  i've done it plenty of times. (ha ha except when it is in 2-3 ft of powder snow!)

and if you are in fear of following tracks off into the wood "inbounds" at a resort, you have no business reading or posting on a thread about expert gates at Snowbird.

this thread is not about Florida Beach Ball!

My daughter pauses before she skis the Cirque.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bookends, just one teeny part of Mineral Basin which is one teeny part of SB. 

Look at the size of those skiers.

a bookends.JPG

 

The boys contemplate Great Scott.  It's only the first 3 turns to worry about.

scotty.JPG

 

Bottom of Great Scott on a nice day.

great scott bottom.JPG


Edited by SnowbirdDevotee - 11/10/10 at 3:24pm
post #16 of 29

With all due respect, I'll decide for myself which threads I'm allowed to read.

 

I stand by my statement.  You told someone who's ability you know nothing about that the best way to learn the way around an unfamiliar mountain is to follow random tracks into the woods.  That's terrible advice for the general public.  It might work well for you, it might work well for me for all you know.  But to just make a blanket statement that it's a good way to learn your way around the mountain without pointing out the inherent risks is, as I said, irresponsible.  What if those tracks are headed to a cliff the person wants to drop, what if those tracks are headed OB, you have *no* idea where they're going if you don't know the mountain.  It's very possible to end up in places where's it's not so simple to traverse out or hike back uphill.

 

Also, your comment wasn't even about the gates, your comment was:

 

Even if you stay away from gates there is tons of tremendous terrain.  Why not just follow the tracks off into the woods.

 

Think whatever you want about me, my skiing, or whatever.  That's terrible advice to give someone random on the internet.

post #17 of 29

Quote:

Originally Posted by jaobrien6 View Post But to just make a blanket statement that it's a good way to learn your way around the mountain without pointing out the inherent risks

 

is, as I said, irresponsible.  What if those tracks are headed to a cliff the person wants to drop, what if those tracks are headed OB,

Ok, I take that back.  IF ANYONE HERE THINKS they are in the Florida Beach Ball thread, please get back to the beach.

Also, have no fear, the entire boundary of Snowbird is very well marked.  In fact, that makes a great exploration to ski the boundary of mineral basin both sides, don't worry, it may seem like you'll have to walk back to the lift, but the patrollers don't expect you to have to walk, trust them, they know what they are doing.  And do the same on the front side, exploring the Blackjack boundary (w/o climbing, no need to take a walk at the bird) and then on the TigerTail/lower ThunderBowl area which is a desolate but often missed steep part of the mtn.

http://www.snowbird.com/about/trailmaps.html

Saying that, look at the mtn on the way up and down, if you are an experienced skier and like to test yourself, take a dare and check out some gates andvfollow the tracks off into the woods here and there and then everywhere.

post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post



 

"Bored to tears" at Snowbird, that is ridiculous. Even if you stay away from gates there is tons of tremendous terrain.  Why not just follow the tracks off into the woods.  That mtn is made for exploring.  There are so many treasures to find, esp if you have the right partner or small group enjoy it with.

 

Most of the gates you can scope out on the way up or looking up from where they toss you to, and you can figure out how safe they are.   I look forward to reading BushWackers post and will copy into a file and take along on my early Jan trip. Sounds like he is jonsing to get back to the Bird!



By bored to tears, I meant that we were touring around the runs in the Gad area, but couldn't find any runs that we could scout fully before we were fully committed.  As we ran into trouble earlier by jumping right in, we got gun shy.  Bassackwards isn't very exciting if your too gun shy to head off the main trail.

post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post




http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/97507/snowbird-expert-gate-info#post_1266283

 

here is the start it will be weeks till it is finished.



Bushwacker... thanks for taking this on!!!!!

 

You are a credit to this site!  On behalf of all the Bears flying in from out of town, THANKS!!!!

post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post

By bored to tears, I meant that we were touring around the runs in the Gad area, but couldn't find any runs that we could scout fully before we were fully committed.  As we ran into trouble earlier by jumping right in, we got gun shy.  Bassackwards isn't very exciting if your too gun shy to head off the main trail.

 

Where did you get into trouble?

 

post #21 of 29


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaobrien6 View PostYou told someone who's ability you know nothing about that the best way to learn the way around an unfamiliar mountain is to follow random tracks into the woods.  That's terrible advice for the general public.  It might work well for you, it might work well for me for all you know.  But to just make a blanket statement that it's a good way to learn your way around the mountain without pointing out the inherent risks is, as I said, irresponsible.  What if those tracks are headed to a cliff the person wants to drop, what if those tracks are headed OB, you have *no* idea where they're going if you don't know the mountain.  It's very possible to end up in places where's it's not so simple to traverse out or hike back uphill.

 

Also, your comment wasn't even about the gates, your comment was:

 

Even if you stay away from gates there is tons of tremendous terrain.  Why not just follow the tracks off into the woods.

 

Think whatever you want about me, my skiing, or whatever.  That's terrible advice to give someone random on the internet.


I don't think he said that its the best way. And this is epicski, which is a skier community, hardly the general public. As far as inherant risks of skiing. I think those largely go with out saying. But yea. I see what you are saying.

 

Following a person you barely know or a guide written by "some guy on the internet" isn't necessarily the best idea either. But it has always worked out for me. We all have to make choices. There is always a first time and you won't ever learn if you don't explore.

 

I don't think there is anything wrong with following tracks. Especially if you have a feel for the area and think they are headed some place cool. But if you want to talk about how to safely learn an area....  I think the safe way to explore new stuff and to learn all the lines in a place, is to stick around there all day and farm it out. Just start by ducking off the trail a bit where you are off piste but in can still see the trail. And then next run a bit further but where you can see your old tracks. and then keep going. Eventually you will have covered the whole area.

 

$.02.


Edited by tromano - 11/10/10 at 6:46pm
post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post



 

Where did you get into trouble?

 



We went through the Ski Patrol Gully gates off the Baldy Express lift.  From the chair, it looked blue at best, but the snow looked fresh... while everything we'd hit to that point was tracked crud. 

 

We jumped in, and didn't stay as close to the lift as we initially intended.  The run as a whole was very blue until the end where we approached maybe a 20ft drop off.  From what we could tell, there were three ways down, but we couldn't get close enough to the edge to see what route was all rocks.  My buddy eventually settled on door number 2 and bit it badly over a route that nothing but granite.  Another guy came along a few minutes later and did the same thing (all the while I'm debating on the edge).  Finally, a German group came along. After a several minute debate, they settled on door number one, which ended up being a really easy route.. so of course I followed.  The issue is that by the time you could fully scout what you were getting into, you were fully committed. Luckily the Germans came when they did because I was ready to commit to door number 3 which was the worst of the 3.  

 

All in all, it was a very easy area, save for the last section.  If we could have seen better which route to take, it still would have been easy.  Like I said, we're not experts, but we're definitely advanced, and we were in search of some Utah pow which was scarce during our trip.

 

After that, we got too gun shy to go beyond the gates, as we figured that 20ft drop could have been a 100ft drop.  

post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post





We went through the Ski Patrol Gully gates off the Baldy Express lift.  From the chair, it looked blue at best, but the snow looked fresh... while everything we'd hit to that point was tracked crud. 

 

We jumped in, and didn't stay as close to the lift as we initially intended.  The run as a whole was very blue until the end where we approached maybe a 20ft drop off.  From what we could tell, there were three ways down, but we couldn't get close enough to the edge to see what route was all rocks.  My buddy eventually settled on door number 2 and bit it badly over a route that nothing but granite.  Another guy came along a few minutes later and did the same thing (all the while I'm debating on the edge).  Finally, a German group came along. After a several minute debate, they settled on door number one, which ended up being a really easy route.. so of course I followed.  The issue is that by the time you could fully scout what you were getting into, you were fully committed. Luckily the Germans came when they did because I was ready to commit to door number 3 which was the worst of the 3.  

 

All in all, it was a very easy area, save for the last section.  If we could have seen better which route to take, it still would have been easy.  Like I said, we're not experts, but we're definitely advanced, and we were in search of some Utah pow which was scarce during our trip.

 

After that, we got too gun shy to go beyond the gates, as we figured that 20ft drop could have been a 100ft drop.  


there is no place at snowbird where you could hit a 100 foot drop with out ducking a rope.

 

I do have to laugh that you caught in Sweet 'n Low Gully I have taken 6 years old though there, exiting though door number 1 of course! 

post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post




there is no place at snowbird where you could hit a 100 foot drop with out ducking a rope.

 

I do have to laugh that you caught in Sweet 'n Low Gully I have taken 6 years old though there, exiting though door number 1 of course! 


 

Cool about the 100 foot thing.

 

Honestly, I don't know why they don't open the area up and call it green or blue.  Just put up some ropes or gates at the end to steer everyone to door number 1.  I was half-embarrassed to post this, as everything in there is so low angle... it's just that we couldn't see which way was safe.

post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post




 

Cool about the 100 foot thing.

 

Honestly, I don't know why they don't open the area up and call it green or blue.  Just put up some ropes or gates at the end to steer everyone to door number 1.  I was half-embarrassed to post this, as everything in there is so low angle... it's just that we couldn't see which way was safe.


If this was last year then it probably didn't help that the snowpack was low until February.

post #26 of 29

Joe, that's an example of plain old good fun awaiting at every run at Snowbird.  You used good skiers sense, after I think you told me one of your group sacrificed himself to the rocks by picking the wrong door.  And that Sweat n Low is by no means a cliff, but is a 10 ft high rock shelf. Oh well, know you know, puzzle #1 solved, dozens more await...

Another place for exploring is Snowbasin, but much harder to get into real trouble.  If you stay on marked trails it is one thing, but the fun to be had there is exploring the ridges that go right down the fall line of the mountain.

 

Bird_lovers.  There is a poster sized map (2005) that many of you probably don't know about, available in the photo shop in the SB Center.  It is a blown up satellite map with most of the names placed on the Bird nooks and crannies, but only the top of Mineral Basin.  I think it cost $20.  I have one framed in my basement, but it doesn't do much good there, because it would be much more handy to be in a pocked-sized map that you could carry around to learn the many names that are not on the regular map.


Edited by SnowbirdDevotee - 11/11/10 at 5:00am
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post


 


I don't think he said that its the best way. And this is epicski, which is a skier community, hardly the general public. As far as inherant risks of skiing. I think those largely go with out saying. But yea. I see what you are saying.

 

Following a person you barely know or a guide written by "some guy on the internet" isn't necessarily the best idea either. But it has always worked out for me. We all have to make choices. There is always a first time and you won't ever learn if you don't explore.

 

I don't think there is anything wrong with following tracks. Especially if you have a feel for the area and think they are headed some place cool. But if you want to talk about how to safely learn an area....  I think the safe way to explore new stuff and to learn all the lines in a place, is to stick around there all day and farm it out. Just start by ducking off the trail a bit where you are off piste but in can still see the trail. And then next run a bit further but where you can see your old tracks. and then keep going. Eventually you will have covered the whole area.

 

$.02.


 

Yeah, I won't disagree with anything you said.  And honestly, I've been sick and was a little cranky when I joined in this thread, so I apologize for that.  I'll admit that I've followed tracks before, but I still would be wary about suggested that tactic to someone as a way to explore a new mountain.  There are ski areas where that's a safer tactic, and ski areas where that's just really not a great idea until you know the lay of the land.  Anyway, I've probably argued enough about this.  Must be getting antsy for snow.

post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post

Joe, that's an example of plain old good fun awaiting at every run at Snowbird.  You used good skiers sense, after I think you told me one of your group sacrificed himself to the rocks by picking the wrong door.  And that Sweat n Low is by no means a cliff, but is a 10 ft high rock shelf. Oh well, know you know, puzzle #1 solved, dozens more await...

Another place for exploring is Snowbasin, but much harder to get into real trouble.  If you stay on marked trails it is one thing, but the fun to be had there is exploring the ridges that go right down the fall line of the mountain.

 

Bird_lovers.  There is a poster sized map (2005) that many of you probably don't know about, available in the photo shop in the SB Center.  It is a blown up satellite map with most of the names placed on the Bird nooks and crannies, but only the top of Mineral Basin.  I think it cost $20.  I have one framed in my basement, but it doesn't do much good there, because it would be much more handy to be in a pocked-sized map that you could carry around to learn the many names that are not on the regular map.



We were there early Feb and as Tromano said there wasn't much snowpack.  As such, there was definitely more than a 10ft rock shelf.  I'm pretty sure by the end of February, most if not all of the rocks would be reasonably covered, and the landing area below would be higher due to snowpack.

 

Conditions wise, one of the lifties who took a chair with us said he hadn't really seen crud like that in the 2 years he'd been there.  

post #29 of 29

The Brad Asmus Powderhound guides give difficulty ratings for a bunch of runs at Alta and Snowbird.

 

http://www.fourmilepress.com/

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Ratings For Expert Gates At Snowbird