Alta/Snowbird, Mar. 12-13, 2018

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Alta/Snowbird, Mar. 12-13, 2018

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:18 pm

On Monday a large contingent of our Iron Blosam group went to Alta as many of them bought Mountain Collectives which are area specific for 2017-18. Some like Al Solish had not been there for a long time, before the Collins high speed and when Watson’s and Alf’s were basic mountain huts. With Sunday’s substantial warmup there were more widespread spring conditions than on Saturday. So most of us started with groomers, 2 on Sugarloaf and 2 on Supreme, all of which were in excellent shape. On the second Supreme run, I ventured through the lower Challenger gate. I found the desired steep winter snow line under the lift but Challenger and the ensuing traverse were bulletproof.

We returned to the Collins side, and I met the younger Iron Blosam contingent to show them the way to High Stoner, which Eddie and Adam had not skied before. The entry was sketchier than Saturday and snow not quite as soft but still excellent. The lower part of Lone Pine was just starting to get into spring mode. We all met for lunch at Watson’s, including Liz, who got to Alta about an hour later than the rest of us.

After lunch we had a big group of at least 10 so we took two laps out Ballroom, where some people could drop in early to mellower skiing while others continued out to Harold’s/Tombstone. Here’s Al:

By 3PM I was sure West Rustler was ready on a sunny day in the high 40’s. Several of us dropped though the fence along the High T into Annie’s. Al and Scott on Annie’s:

Dom, Nick and Adam:

We took a final Ballroom run, then the long Blackjack traverse back to Snowbird. I skied 21,700 vertical.

On Tuesday we were at Snowbird. Garry and I waited for his friends Robby and Leti who live in Park City but buy Snowbird 10-packs to make a few daytrips each season. No surprise they move briskly, first nonstopping the Chip’s warmup run. It was as warm as Sunday/Monday but mostly cloudy. So I was suspicious of Mineral Basin. We tested it about 11:45, which was its peak popularity time on Sunday. The snow was still chalky beyond Powder Paradise but the lower groomed section was still slightly crunchy. So we moved to Little Cloud, where I learned that you need to be moving fast to keep Robby in sight. As I cruised upper Mark Malu, Robby zipped through the nearby bumps at at least the same speed. He then veered into the Rastas with no hesitation. As he had been there Thursday I figured he knew where the rocks were and so kept him in sight to ski diagonally from upper Rasta 1 into lower Rasta 2. On the next lap he hit far skier’s left of Rastas, cutting through the trees to lower Hoops at the bottom.

We skied to the tram plaza, then up the tram to Upper Silver Fox. I lost sight of Robby but fortunately found a manageable line through the lower cliff band. After a short snack break and another Silver Fox lap, I decided to explore a bit, taking admin’s suggestion to try the Rat’s Nest entry to Great Scott. There were a couple of rocks to step over but then a manageable sideslip probably easier than the one into Eagle’s Nest on Saturday. View across the top of Great Scott from Rat’s Nest:

In this year’s snowpack I’m not up to the entries from the other side.

Robby and Leti left at 3PM. Garry and I took one final tram and we took the Cirque Traverse to Middle Cirque. The low road traverse was surprisingly clean. The far skier’s right entry that still held winter snow had some rocks at the widest entry but we could squeeze in a bit higher. Garry skiing Middle Cirque:

I finished with 20,500 vertical, fairly beat from 4 consecutive tram laps. But I was quite sure we would be taking Wednesday off from skiing and hopefully getting some new snow later in the week.

Hardly anyone in our group skied today. The storm has been intermittent but all rain at Iron Blosam. However George and Garry saw snow on cars coming down from Alta, only 600 feet higher. And the rain is finally changing to snow here about 6:15PM.
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
Posts: 10494
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

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