Alta, UT 3/19-20/2016

Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the western US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.

Alta, UT 3/19-20/2016

Postby Admin » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:58 am

Days 55 & 56: Wow, what a weekend!

Warm sunshine, not a cloud in the sky, nary a breeze, soft dry snow, pool table-smooth surfaces, sparse crowds and good friends. What could possibly be better?

We're talking skiing in just a thin base layer and shell...and still almost being too warm. Yet the snow never wet much since Tuesday's storm so even at the opening bell on Saturday morning there were soft turns to be had, even on east-facing. They set up a Beach Party at Watson Shelter with an outdoor BBQ and Fat Tire on tap.

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AmyZ, Telejon and I all got lei'd during morning coffee. Right there in the coffee shop! Jon, in fact, even got lei'd twice.

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Really...where is everybody?

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Beach party!

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rdwore and AmyZ

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Burger, anyone?

On Saturday we literally went from the 9:15 opening right up to the very end at 4:30 p.m. (mrgskier and friends managed to catch the very last chair on Collins, with the lifties swinging the gate closed behind them). Thursday's wind event had smoothed everything out, and trust me -- when I can do a top-to-bottom non-stop High Boy at 3 p.m., and go back for two more laps after that you know that it's good!

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A posse of 11 for High Boy.

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mrgskier charges through the cold, dry snow on High Boy.

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After the lifts closed it seemed that everyone who was there migrated to the GMD patio for beers. I didn't get home until 6 p.m.

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(L to R:) Arnie, Jenny, rdwore and AmyZ

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A packed patio at 5 p.m.

Sunday was even 10 degrees warmer than Saturday (it was pushing 70 at my place in Cottonwood Heights), so we arranged the season's first East Castle Gun Tower spring picnic.

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Lunch with a view.

After lunch I headed up Baldy with TheOtherAmy and Corey. Somehow in 11 years here I've never skied the East Baldy Chutes, and our initial destination was East Baldy #3.

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Heading up Mount Baldy.

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The steepest part of the Baldy hike comes early.

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A beautiful day! Looking out across Livin' the Dream on Mt. Baldy to Snowbird's Mineral Basin and 11,750-foot Mt. Timpanogos on the horizon.

However, while I was retrieving my pack from the truck Corey took a test run on East Baldy #1 and reported the snow a bit punchy, so we headed for Plan B: Perla's. That's the only one of the primary Baldy Chutes that I also have yet to ski, but when we got to the top of the cornice and peered down Perla's it was clear that the surface was still a bit sketchy. So, on to Plan C: Main Chute. Alas, although the snow remained dry and chalky, Main Chute has been hammered over the past several days, leaving big, ugly bumps throughout.

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Exiting Main Chute.

It was 3:30 p.m. by the time we got back to GMD, and I was spent. I'm feeling tired, sunburned and dehydrated from the weekend as I'm typing this, but it was so worth it!
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