Snowbird, UT: 12/16/18

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Snowbird, UT: 12/16/18

Postby jamesdeluxe » Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:56 pm

With sunny skies continuing through the weekend and no fresh snow in sight, there was no reason to choose one Cottonwoods ski area over another for Sunday, so I opted for Snowbird because I hadn't skied there in 12 years and it's the home area of SLC friend BobMc. I hadn't seen him since he moved over to the Bird in 2012 after a decade and a half at Solitude, where he was the OP of the TGR thread "Solisunday" (still going 15 years later) and ringleader of weekend tailgate ceremonies in the far corner of the Moonbeam parking lot.

He's since become a Snowbird regular/loves it there, and we met his bud Travis and son Dylan (both on tele). I asked Admin to join us for a few runs but he's still carrying a Snowbird grudge.
:wink:

Despite a few short delays, we somehow managed to make it to the first tram. As someone who works in NYC, being in a very cramped box-like space with a 100+ other people ain't my idea of a vacation (and for the record, I don't like it in the Alps either); however, it's the quickest way to the top so no grumbling.
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From the summit tram station, looking out over untouched Mineral Basin -- plenty of snow back there but it won't open until Friday. They were blaming electrical issues with the lifts (same as Great Western at Brighton) but locals suspected that they just wanted to save money.
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Heading down from the tram, conditions were hard and fast but edgeable with some leftover loose snow from Wednesday's 14-inch storm (double compared to BCC):
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A fair portion of the ski terrain never got out of the shade:
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I don't think I've ever seen a faster teleskier than Travis -- carving like no one's business and always at least a quarter mile downhill from the rest of us.
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Their local's tour included heading into the woods to a secluded rest stop on top of Howitzer ammo boxes:
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The big adventure for the day was taking Dylan (9 years old!) for his first-ever run down the Cirque, which included an at-times tricky traverse in:
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Setting up cameras halfway down:
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We congratulated Dylan for toughing it out and having a story to tell at school on Monday. I can't imagine having the stones to do that run at his age.
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Due to it being a non-powder day, it was actually relaxing there. Odd as I don't usually think of Snowbird as a place to relax.
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Re: Snowbird, UT: 12/16/18

Postby Marc_C » Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:14 pm

I’m trying to remember a time when the Cirque Traverse wasn’t tricky!
-marc
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Re: Snowbird, UT: 12/16/18

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:00 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:We congratulated Dylan for toughing it out and having a story to tell at school on Monday. I can't imagine having the stones to do that run at his age.

I'm pretty sure that was mid-Cirque. Upper Cirque is not likely open yet, needs 6+ feet coverage by my experience, only a couple of skiable lines last March. Like MarcC said, the Cirque Traverse was probably tougher than the wide open skiing in mid-Cirque.

Adam was 9 on his first day at Snowbird, 2 seasons before we joined the Iron Blosam group. My brief notes from 3/28/1994:
I strained to keep up with Adam as I had a cold. AM 3 trams, Silver Fox, several Gad 2 runs. PM mostly Little Cloud, then traverse to Upper Cirque. Finish Peruvian chair. 26,400 vertical.
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Re: Snowbird, UT: 12/16/18

Postby jamesdeluxe » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:41 am

Tony Crocker wrote:I'm pretty sure that was mid-Cirque.

Correct. Despite your six-foot rule, I'm reasonably certain that people were skiing Upper Cirque. Of course, it wouldn't have been advisable to put a 9-year-old on his first major offpiste run (let alone me) through that, so Travis chose the less daunting Middle Cirque. His son had absolutely no problem going full speed down groomed terrain that was more or less the same pitch as Middle Cirque, but when confronted with ungroomed/bumped up snow at that same steepness, he was unsurprisingly much more tentative.
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