Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in the western US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.
Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:33 pm
Snowbasin Sunday 3/4
Even after a very short delay to get my SUV jumped (an interior light was turned on when removing hanging clothes and battery is near end of life - picture taken at Best Western at UT89/I-84 in So. Ogden waiting for jump), we got to Snowbasin at 8 which gave us time to get our Mountain Collective setup and meet some of the Pugski Gathering. Someone in group semi-anonymously reserved the Huntington Room in Earl's Lodge for the two days our group was there. Snowbasin only claimed 3", but it snowed hard until about 2 and another 5" fell in many places. My notes say I rode and skied Strawberry and Needles gondolas, the Tram (where I missed the powder I heard was great when it opened) and long slow Porcupine chair twice and John Paul chair fives times for a total of 27.4K. After skiing, we went to the Shooting Star Saloon where my wife and I split a bacon double cheeseburger. That is a 296 lb. St. Bernard mounted on wall behind her.
Snowbasin Monday 3/5
They claimed 7" new, but only 2" of that overnight. We had nothing new in South Ogden. We started out skiing the Tram, where there was some soft snow mixed in with bomb debris and I found low-angle untracked next to rope-line on skiers right. After a couple of laps of that, I led small group over the top of the ridge behind starters shack where we cut a few corners of the road, then skied past ski patrol shack into Easter Bowl which was not totally tracked. Visibility was marginal at the top until the end of the day. On tram we'd heard gates 4/5 into(/only out of?) No Name were open and followed a patroller into highest gate 4. He stayed on right/N side of creek, but I found a high crossing of creek with only a couple of tracks. We got long untracked lines twice on the left/S side of the creek and less deep and mostly tracked on the right side once. I went back towards end of day and even though I pushed further out, I did not find as good of a line. After lunch, I took my wife to Strawberry where we did a couple of laps. DanoT took her back to the main base while I skied hiked up to and skied Middle Cirque. Snow was skied out in the chutes, but was deeper and much less tracked approaching Strawberry Traverse. My notes say I twice rode two both Strawberry and Needles gondolas and rode the Tram 6x. I think I also rode John Paul five times for a total 24.3K. View is Ogden and the Great Salt Lake off back of tram near end of day. Alta Tuesday 3/6
We stayed with friend in Millcreek and got on road to Alta about 8. After getting Mountain Collective setup and checking into Goldminer's and moving a couple of her bags into room while my wife was booting up, a moderate line had developed on Collins. So my wife and I hiked up to Wildcat and skied it once before moving to Collins. After getting my wife down Sugarloaf a couple of times and up Supreme, I took a few laps led by Tom (near_nyquist) skiers right of Supreme.
I also took three hikes. The first was about noon when I hiked, skied, traversed, etc. from top of Supreme. I went past boundary into Catherine's area where I found some deep untracked day old snow. After catching up with my wife and some of the group at GMD for a quick lunch, my other hikes were above East Baldy Traverse and Devils Castle. I had missed all the rope drops and not sure if hikes were worth the effort although I did find some lightly tracked deep snow above Cecret Lake and deep tracked snow on East Baldy. I was tempted to drop between rocks into lake, but did not. My watch counted 22.6K
Snowbird Wednesday 3/7
I started with large group led by part-time Snowbird instructor (and full-time FBI employee) going up Tram early. We hit it hard trying to get into Great Scott without any damage to ourselves or skis which cut the group by almost half. We did a few Gad II laps and got into mid-Cirque twice in the morning. Then, while most of the Gathering was eating at the top of the top, Vinny, a young farmer from Calgary, and I were caught on the hike to the top of Baldy by Matt from Boston who had done the more difficult hike to top of Baldy from Sugarloaf the previous day. We did pass a couple on the way up, but at the top heard the guy was 72. We all skied Main Chute, our first time for Vinny and me, probably the longest steep chute I've ever done and definitely one of the most beautiful. I ended my day with 27.2K by returning to Goldminer's at base of Alta by doing much easier hike then traverse to Baldy Shoulder. My wife and her group also skied down Alta to end their day as Alta allows access after 3 PM if you are staying in one of the lodges. Vinny on Main Chute hike.
Alta Thursday 3/8
Pugskis arranged demos by DPS. I tried five pairs, first starting with 87-width X 185 length, then going to 96 width with a little less length before trying another pair of 87s. I tried to take all three pairs in the morning into High Rustler, although one lap I skied some of Greeley Hill before getting into lower Eagles Nest. After a quick break at car for a beer and some snacks, I tried a couple of pairs of 106 width, one newer, higher tech, more lively construction and one more forgiving. I led Tony Crocker through the High Traverse, where I had found lower route was less rocky and into a higher entrance to High Rustler than he expected to find with lower than average snowfall. Snow was still good, but high overcast made visibility more difficult, especially in shade. Both 106 width skies were 178 length and either would make for a good one ski quiver if traveling and not skiing deep powder. I ended my day with 26.2K by getting in nearly to the top of Stonecrusher which held excellent snow.
Snowbird Friday 3/8
We parked in first free row on the bypass road and caught group my wife was skiing with on the way to Creekside. We skied with a large group on Big Emma, then split into smaller groups and skied enough Gad II laps that I split off and went to Mineral Basin where I ran into Tony Crocker, Liz and others on my first lap. They headed for lunch via Road to Provo. I took another lap into Mineral Basin, then skied somewhat firm Regulator Johnson before joining group at mid-Gad for lunch. My wife and I skied from there to Peruvian which we rode up and went through tunnel. We skied Little Baldy runs twice and Mineral Basin once. I dropped off the traverse well before main groomer, but snow was not as good as I hoped. My wife skied Chips to Who Done It to the car while I took some steeper sections before getting her down to car . Then I took one more tram lap, skiing Silver Fox before quitting not much after 3 with 23.2K.
We broke up our drive home by spending the night in Elko where we ate too much excellent Basque food at the Star Hotel, then met friend from Truckee for lunch in Sparks the next day. We had some rain before Truckee which turned to snow about 6500' although it was mostly not yet sticking going over Donner Pass. My trip totaled 1,875 miles and I skied 8 days, 3 with a lot of new snow. I had 6 days on Mountain Collective and 2 on my Vail Epic Local. (will add pictures from LCC later)
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:18 pm
Awesome..you hit all the right notes...