Alta/Snowbird, UT 12/16-17/2017

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Alta/Snowbird, UT 12/16-17/2017

Postby Admin » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:42 am

Days 6-7

Friend Scott and I went to Snowbird on Saturday morning and hooked up with BobMc and TravieB. They were running the Tram, Gadzoom, Mid-Gad and for the first time this season Gad 2, although the only open route off of Gad 2 was Election, leading back to Bassackwards.

In contrast to their neighbor next door, Snowbird was only allowing skiing on the few runs with manmade snow. It also meant that every single skier or snowboarder riding one of those open lifts had to come back down through Big Emma. As a result, things felt awfully crowded everywhere other than Regulator Johnson, where our strategy was to simply remain on Hidden Peak until most of the folks we shared a tram cabin with started down ahead of us. The manmade snow was firm and somewhat scratchy in places.

By noon all four of us called it quits, and I went further up the canyon to spend the afternoon with the usual Alta posse. By contrast, Alta was only loading every other chair to preserve both the snow and the downhill experience. The difference was appreciated, for I'd rather wait a few more minutes at the bottom and have plenty of elbow room on the descent.

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Every other chair.


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The storm starts on Saturday.


The storm that was originally supposed to drop 4" or perhaps somewhat more turned out to be a real disappointment, leaving only an inch during Saturday's ski day and another inch overnight into Sunday, when things cleared out. There's no doubt that it improved surfaces nevertheless, and by suffering through the alders at the bottom of Backside we were able to score some more legitimate untracked skiing. And it was great to bump into Stan in the Sugarloaf line, albeit only briefly.
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Re: Alta/Snowbird, UT 12/16-17/2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:57 am

Parking lot that full on Saturday with what was open?

No question Alta skis way better than Snowbird in low tide conditions, and enforced lowering of skier density is a good idea too. Still, it must not have been a pretty picture with that many people.

And admin is quite brave to be using brand new skis this month.
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Re: Alta/Snowbird, UT 12/16-17/2017

Postby Admin » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:17 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Parking lot that full on Saturday with what was open?

No question Alta skis way better than Snowbird in low tide conditions, and enforced lowering of skier density is a good idea too. Still, it must not have been a pretty picture with that many people.


That lot's only about 2/3 full, the photo angle is deceiving. And even loading every other chair our longest line on Collins as about 8 minutes. Most times lifts were ski-on. And with an estimated 1,000 acres open -- nearly half of the ski area -- we seldom encountered anyone else in the areas we were skiing.

Tony Crocker wrote:And admin is quite brave to be using brand new skis this month.


I gouged 'em on Baldy Shoulder on the first run on Dec. 5. :bow: Nothing terrible, though, right in the center and only shallow. It's the only thing I've hit and I've been using them full-time ever since. They're only tools -- they can be fixed or replaced.
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Re: Alta/Snowbird, UT 12/16-17/2017

Postby stan » Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:55 pm

Good to run into Admin in the Sugarloaf life line, such as it was. Given the amount of snow, there was an amazing amount open. Some of it involved hiking or non-standard access routes (I have never before approached High Boy across Gunsight!) Some of the Alta winter residents are starting to find the less skied areas, so a few of the traverses are getting a bit bony, but there is still much fun to be had.
Leaving tomorrow, hope to get over the passes to Montana without too much trouble.
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Re: Alta/Snowbird, UT 12/16-17/2017

Postby Marc_C » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:23 am

stan wrote:Some of it involved hiking or non-standard access routes (I have never before approached High Boy across Gunsight!)

Is Highboy skiable? It sure looks unreasonably bony.
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Re: Alta/Snowbird, UT 12/16-17/2017

Postby stan » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:02 pm

High Boy actually skied very well on Monday and Tuesday. It was more brushy than bony. Even getting in wasn't too bad. More roots than rocks.
The new snow should help some, though they really need about 2 feet of sierra cement to cover everything.
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Re: Alta/Snowbird, UT 12/16-17/2017

Postby kingslug » Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:28 pm

Well thank the snow gods your getting some..Weird winter. We get some..then it rains..keeps repeating.
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Re: Alta/Snowbird, UT 12/16-17/2017

Postby Admin » Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:51 pm

kingslug wrote:Well thank the snow gods your getting some..Weird winter. We get some..then it rains..keeps repeating.


In the Northeast you think that's weird?

Full-on powder day today. Finally. More to come.
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Re: Alta/Snowbird, UT 12/16-17/2017

Postby stan » Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:00 pm

Come to Montana! 3 feet since Monday at Snowbowl. Cold, though... zero to 5 at the summit today. Heading east for family visits tomorrow. It looks like the cold weather will follow us to Vermont. It is really weird to think of flying skis eastward, but that is the plan.
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Re: Alta/Snowbird, UT 12/16-17/2017

Postby jamesdeluxe » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:29 am

Snowbird a few days ago: instantly tracked out
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... Gu1peA3x_k
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Re: Alta/Snowbird, UT 12/16-17/2017

Postby Admin » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:36 am

jamesdeluxe wrote:Snowbird a few days ago: instantly tracked out
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... Gu1peA3x_k" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


<soapbox>
I do not care for the way they do terrain openings at Snowbird. In fact, I've been hit from behind during the frenzy following a Road to Provo rope drop at Snowbird. It's uncontrolled chaos with a couple of hundred people all dropping into the same terrain at the very same time. I much prefer the controlled and (relatively) respectful access via a gate that by its definition meters a traffic flow.
</soapbox>
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