Aussies tour the west.

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

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Re: Aussies tour the west.

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:38 pm

I fixed your pictures. I forgot that the Alta pictures had captions and lost those. You can add them back if you want.

I agree with EMSC about Liberty vs. Rendezvous, similar pitch but Liberty is longer and can have a rocky entry.

Highlands Bowl? Don't even think about it, any of you. It's a consistent 40 degrees for 1,000+ vertical. But more important is the lung busting hike of ~600 vertical at over 12,000 feet. You do not want to be tired skiing something that is a stretch for your ability/experience. The terrain needs to be in your comfort zone and is comparable to High Rustler at Alta, Great Scott/Upper Cirque at Snowbird, Lenin/Dictator Chutes at Big Sky. I've skied Highlands Bowl 3x, all after sleeping a full week at 8,500+ in Colorado, most recently http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards ... hp?t=11685
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Re: Aussies tour the west.

Postby Sbooker » Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:53 am

Tony Crocker wrote:I fixed your pictures. I forgot that the Alta pictures had captions and lost those. You can add them back if you want.

I agree with EMSC about Liberty vs. Rendezvous, similar pitch but Liberty is longer and can have a rocky entry.

Highlands Bowl? Don't even think about it, any of you. It's a consistent 40 degrees for 1,000+ vertical. But more important is the lung busting hike of ~600 vertical at over 12,000 feet. You do not want to be tired skiing something that is a stretch for your ability/experience. The terrain needs to be in your comfort zone and is comparable to High Rustler at Alta, Great Scott/Upper Cirque at Snowbird, Lenin/Dictator Chutes at Big Sky. I've skied Highlands Bowl 3x, all after sleeping a full week at 8,500+ in Colorado, most recently http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards ... hp?t=11685" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Almost sounds like a challenge! :lol:
Point taken.
Headwall and Hanging Valley at Snowmass?
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Re: Aussies tour the west.

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:07 pm

sbooker wrote:Headwall and Hanging Valley at Snowmass?

Cannot be scouted in advance. Steep sections are not that long but there are choke points. The approach is blind and coverage varies by season. If you get there and find it's too much you're looking a tough hike back out. In January 2014 Liz got stuck in a Hanging Valley choke point for a good half an hour before ski patrol came by and coaxed her down. Best to ask an instructor or someone comparably qualified who has observed you ski. At Mammoth you skied terrain that steep but not where it was narrow, forcing turns to be made in very specific spots.

sbooker wrote:Snow conditions have been nice and the top half of the mountain certainly hasn’t melted/refrozen yet.

Yes the upper half of Rendezvous preserves snow better than the rest of Jackson. I suspect south facing Apres Vous is in spring mode already.
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Re: Aussies tour the west.

Postby Sbooker » Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:34 am

The first runs we did around Casper/Apre Vous areas on the first morning had frozen but quickly softened. I would say it was about 12 noon when it was ok to ski off the groomers. We skied around the Thunder and Sublette chairs in the afternoon and it was all winter snow.
The second day (after overnight snow) was overcast and lightly snowing so the whole mountain was lovely. I now regret not skiing the Hobacks that day.
Anyway we drove to Big Sky yesterday and will be on skis in a few hours. We’re staying at the mountain village. It’s a nice set up and a change from staying off snow like we usually do. My kids would love it as they have every time we’ve not had to jump in the car to ski. It reminds me a bit of Snowmass.
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Re: Aussies tour the west.

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:53 am

Hobacks probably would have melt frozen on the warmer days and been dust on crust with just a few inches new snow. But overall you did well with groomers plus upper half Rendezvous in good shape. My 1995 trip in your time frame had a more widespread melt/freeze.
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Re: Aussies tour the west.

Postby Sbooker » Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:12 pm

I’ve heard of the low crowds at Big Sky but wasn’t prepared for just how low. We’ve only had a quick look so far but the hill seems very diverse. It suits our group well.
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A warm up groomer. Note crowds
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From the top of the bowl above the Powder Seeker chair. Nice soft snow.
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Re: Aussies tour the west.

Postby Sbooker » Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:14 pm

We had a good afternoon although the light was pretty flat. My friends found it a bit difficult.
This place has fantastic beginner runs. Probably the longest gentle greens I’ve ever seen. My beginner friend loved it.
Some runs are half groomed and half natural. I don’t know I’ve seen that before. A great idea I think.
Attachments
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Nicely spaced trees.
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My wife enjoyed not having to worry about other aggressive skiers crossing her line when off the groomers.
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Re: Aussies tour the west.

Postby EMSC » Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:42 pm

Having just skied it today I suspect you could do headwall in the cirque at Snowmass. Decent snow and coverage right now (skied it today), though with a longish run out with some narrow moguls sections near the bottom. I doubt that you would want to do any of the other cirque runs/chutes nor any of the hanging valley.

Much steeper, avoiding rocks in the entries on 40 degree plus slopes with cliff faces, etc...

So basically take poma to the top, turn left and at the first entry which is a ways, follow the poles with orange markers. Not too steep, not steep for all that long, etc... probably easier than rendezvous, though much more remote and less skied.
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Re: Aussies tour the west.

Postby Sbooker » Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:53 pm

EMSC wrote:Having just skied it today I suspect you could do headwall in the cirque at Snowmass. Decent snow and coverage right now (skied it today), though with a longish run out with some narrow moguls sections near the bottom. I doubt that you would want to do any of the other cirque runs/chutes nor any of the hanging valley.

Much steeper, avoiding rocks in the entries on 40 degree plus slopes with cliff faces, etc...

So basically take poma to the top, turn left and at the first entry which is a ways, follow the poles with orange markers. Not too steep, not steep for all that long, etc... probably easier than rendezvous, though much more remote and less skied.


Thanks for the info. Had another day at Big Sky. Will report later.
Now in Aspen. Will ski tomorrow.
Delta “didn’t have room on the plane for your ski bag”. Hopefully it turns up over night. If not I will demo and bill it to Delta.
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Re: Aussies tour the west.

Postby jamesdeluxe » Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:12 am

Sbooker wrote:Delta “didn’t have room on the plane for your ski bag”

Happens all the time on those flights Delta runs out of SLC to JH and other ski destinations. Clearly, it's cheaper for them to pay for rental skis hundreds of times every season than to use bigger planes.
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Re: Aussies tour the west.

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:31 am

I thought you were on the road from SLC to Jackson to Big Sky. No snowcoach/snowmobile tour to Old Faithful from West Yellowstone? I would think that would be a must-do coming from as far as Australia.

Did you do an one way car rental, then fly Bozeman-SLC-Aspen?
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Re: Aussies tour the west.

Postby tseeb » Mon Mar 02, 2020 4:18 pm

I had better luck with Delta yesterday. It was my first time flying a legacy carrier in over 10 years as I've only been on Alaska and Southwest lately. Getting 2 bags from YYC-SJC including a ski bag with two big pairs that they didn't even weigh was just under $60 ($80 Canadian) vs. $40 for second bag on Alaska going to Calgary (where my first bag was free from credit card). Both bags arrived in San Jose within about 10 minutes after I got to baggage claim. I easily made 38 minute connection in SEA as flight from Calgary arrived early even though they had to de-ice and I had to take train two stops to change SEA terminals. Flight was late leaving SEA as plane did not get to gate until after scheduled take-off. Then I got moved from aisle seat on three wide side of row 22 to empty two row side of row 13 with views of Rainer, Adams, Hood, Jefferson and other Cascade volcanos including Three Sisters and Shasta.

Ranier
9238Ranier.JPG

Adams at left, St. Helen's right of center with Hood barely visible behind the blown-off top
9241AdamsStHelensHood.JPG

It hasta be Shasta
9243Shasta.JPG
Last edited by tseeb on Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Aussies tour the west.

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:45 pm

sbooker wrote:“didn’t have room on the plane for your ski bag”

Ski bag??? I had to persuade you guys to buy your own boots. You bought skis too?
http://bestsnow.net
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
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Re: Aussies tour the west.

Postby Sbooker » Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:04 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:
sbooker wrote:“didn’t have room on the plane for your ski bag”

Ski bag??? I had to persuade you guys to buy your own boots. You bought skis too?


You’ve given me some great advice for which I’m certainly thankful but the best has been to buy our own ski boots. Because of the Delta issue I had to rent yesterday and it was......not great. I did try some Manta M5’s though and they were great in the powder (more on that later).
We bought skis after I came back from Japan where we tested a few models. I really find the rental thing tiring. So we bit the bullet - with great results. I’m happy with mine as is Kylie. I suspect I would be happy with most skis though.
As previously mentioned this trip has had many changes. Yes we went to Yellowstone but did a snow coach tour instead of snowmobile. We’ll definitely bring the kids back to experience that and let them check out Big Sky. They would love that mountain.
We flew from SLC to Aspen. My friends didn’t want to shell out for a flight from Bozeman to Vegas so we took the drive from West Yellowstone back to Utah.
On Sunday night it snowed in Aspen. We spent the day at Snowmass and loved skiing the 7/8 inches of powder. There is so much low angle stuff on that mountain - perfect for those of us who are perfecting powder skiing. There were absolutely no crowds. I was finding patches of fresh snow in the Campground area after 3pm.
My intermediate friends loved Snowmass so much that we went back today. There was still lovely soft fresh snow this morning to my delight. We spent the whole morning on Sheer Bliss lift. My friends lapped the groomers while Kylie and myself skied in between them on the ungroomed so we could share a lift back up.
We’ll go to Highlands tomorrow.
A few pics.
Attachments
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Powder on Monday.
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Still soft snow this morning - Tuesday.
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This is Garret Gulch. I like these interesting areas.
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Good variety for groups. Groomed/ungroomed.
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My friends have loved the scenery at each destination. Maroon Bells in the background.
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Good memories from this trip.
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Re: Aussies tour the west.

Postby Sbooker » Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:06 pm

tseeb wrote:I had better luck with Delta yesterday. It was my first time flying a legacy carrier in over 10 years as I've only been on Alaska and Southwest lately. Getting 2 bags from YYC-SJC including a ski bag with two big pairs that they didn't even weigh was just under $60 ($80 Canadian) vs. $40 for second bag on Alaska going to Calgary (where my first bag was free from credit card). Both bags arrived in San Jose within about 10 minutes after I got to baggage claim. I easily made 38 minute connection in SEA as flight from Calgary arrived early even though they had to de-ice and I had to take train two stops to change SEA terminals. Flight was late leaving SEA as plane did not get to gate until after scheduled take-off. Then I got moved from aisle seat on three wide side of row 22 to empty two row side of row 13 with views of Rainer, Adams, Hood, Jefferson and other Cascade volcanos including Three Sisters and Shasta.

Ranier
9238Ranier.JPG

Adams at left, St. Helen's right of center with Hood barely visible behind the blown-off top
9241AdamsStHelensHood.JPG

It hasta be Shasta
9243Shasta.JPG


Those conical mountains are lovely to look at. I checked out Yotei in December. Glad you had no bag issues.
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