2007 Skiing Archive
It was cold, it was overcast, I was skiing by myself, the ungroomed terrain's snow was stale, and I had to get some Christmas stuff done. I skied a groomer run down from Sugarloaf through a storm of artificial snow that would make any east coast ski area jealous. I then skied a run in the Ballroom, and, finally, a groomer run back to my car, which was parked at the Albion lot. For some reason I just wasn't into it today. It happens.
The Canyons is nice, but it simply cannot compete with its big brothers in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Their website advertised that they got 35 inches of snow from the storm last weekend. I'm not sure how 35 inches of new snow turns into hardpacked snow so quickly, but it did at The Canyons this day. I suspect they got significantly less than 35 inches based on the snow conditions I observed. There was rocks everywhere, branches poking through the snow surface, and even patches of dirt throughout the handful of boring groomed runs open.
Very little was open again today, but they got so much snow that it completely buried Snowbird's SnowCam measuring board.
- 2 GadZoom runs
- 3 Wilbere runs
- 1 GadZoom run
- 1 Wilbere run
After one of the dryest Novembers on record, skiing in Little Cottonwood Canyon finally commenced this week. I headed up to Alta, which received 7 inches of new snow overnight.
I don't mind hiking up when I'm skiing, but I definitely don't enjoy hiking down. Snowbird's got it all wrong this season when it comes to spring skiing. The conditions in Little Cloud Bowl are great spring conditions, but you have to either hike back up to Hidden Peak from the top of the Little Cloud lift, or ski back down Gad Valley, walk down part of the Bass Highway, and then ski the rest of the way back down to the base. I'm not sure how the conditions were on the Peruvian side of the mountain because I couldn't get back over there easy enough.
Today I was able to reap the rewards of having to suffer through absolutely miserable weather for the past three days (cold, cloudy and constantly raining) because all that rain fell as almost two feet of snow in the mountains.
The last ski day at Alta for the season. It was cold and snowy with crappy snow conditions. Not cool, but fun nonetheless.
Alta was nearly empty as I rode the Sunnyside lift up to the Sugarloaf lift. Alta had received a large storm in the middle of the week (when the lifts were closed), so only Friday's skiers had skied the new snow. The weather was variable, but it seemed there were still plenty of fresh tracks to be had. The condition of those fresh tracks, however, appeared to be questionable.
Given that I have a trip to Durango planned for next weekend, I anticipate that this ski day will be my last of the season at Alta (they close next weekend) and my last ski day with Brendan as fellow locals (he's moving back east this summer). I brought my camera along to document this event.
I went skiing at Alta with friends of my old boss at Snowbird. They are all way better skiers than me, which is why it's so fun skiing with them. They never take the easy way down. Before our first run, they already started talking about skiing Baldy chute, which made me both excited and nervous all at once. After a few "warm-up" runs, we fueled up at the mid-mountain restaurant and hiked up Mount Baldy to ski its main chute, which is a 750 vertical foot, 40-degree steep, 30-foot wide chute dropping off the summit of Mount Baldy. I linked a few pictures below to illustrate the experience. The photos were taken by Steve (my old boss) with his cell phone during the trip.
Weird, sort-of blah overcast groomer day with a run down Gunsight to end the day.
Today was another warm, sunny, spring-like ski day. It's a little early for spring conditions, but they seem to be here to stay regardless. I got to Alta at about 12:30. Alta, unlike The Canyons, still has an excellent base. There are no bare spots on the trails (off-trail there are some bare spots, but not even as many as earlier in the season).
B-A-R-E. Not a lot of snow left at The Canyons.
- Dave's adventure getting down the boilerplate spring morning ice off of 9990
- Sidewinder trail was awesome
- Two AWESOME swooping runs down Upper Boa with Brendan
- The Canyons is very big horizontally
- There wasn't much challenging terrain open
(more coming soon)
It was 70+ degrees in the valley and 50+ degrees in the mountains today. Spring skiing is here a month early. Although I love spring skiing, this ski season is really turning out to be a dud, especially compared to last season. At this point last season, I was just getting going. The snowpack was still building up, not receding. And I had yet to have some of the best ski days of the season. With this weather, which has been in place for the past week, it looks like this season is already starting to wind down.
I didn't wake up today expecting to ski all of the terrain at Snowbird that last season I considered too difficult to ski except in the best snow conditions. But that's exactly what I skied today, and much more. Last season I had highlighted the all the trails and areas on the trail map that I skied. Well, after this ski day, I can color everything in between the defined trails, too. Today, Snowbird's terrain kicked my ass even more than usual, and I learned that I have a ton of room for improvement in my skiing.
Over the past seven days, the Little Cottonwood Canyon resorts received more than 80 inches of new snow. Yesterday (Friday), Alta received 9.5 inches of powder with 5.68% water content. Much of Alta and Snowbird's terrain never opened on Friday due to the storm, so there would be plenty of untouched powder to ski on Saturday morning. Basically, all signs pointed to a ridiculous weekend of skiing in the Wasatch.
Three feet of snow had fallen during the week. Some of it was light, fluffy snow, but some of it was also thicker snow (~9% water content). We can credit the winds on Friday for the snow conditions. The mountain was covered with a layer of crusty snow that was soft enough and fresh enough to make the skiing today absolutely superb.
(more coming soon)
7 inches of fresh snow overnight with a storm raging that added another 5 inches throughout the day. Awesome runs in the Cirque at Snowbird.
(more to come, eventually)
If Alta were located in Vermont, today's powder day would rank as one of the best of the season. Big, hard bumps lurking beneath a light, soft 7-inch layer of new powder...