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Snowbird, 2/16

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2002 12:25 am
by Tony Crocker
This was the last but not least day of my Olympic trip. Keep in mind this is the Saturday of President's weekend with blue skies and good snow, though no real powder for a week. I WALKED ON my first tram at 9:30 and got off my 4th at 10:45 to head for Mineral Basin. I did 6 runs back there as the February sun had softened the south facing terrain without it getting as sticky as during my usual March trips. I then ate lunch at Mid-Gad, also with no waiting. There was a modest crowd watching the Red Bull Huckfest (both skiers and boarders) in the terrain park at the bottom of the Gad Valley, but even there the chair waits were a minute or two.

The afternoon became gradually overcast with a light breeze on top. The entire front side of the mountain had packed powder conditions, and the bumps were noticeably smaller and fewer in number than normal due to lack of skier traffic. I even found a small stash of week-old powder off Tigertail. The only negatives for conditions were that the upper part of the Cirque Traverse had been wind-stripped, and the shadier bowls had flat light by mid-afternoon.

I have been skiing Snowbird regularly since 1981, so I utilized this rare opportunity to test endurance. I rode the last Peruvian chair at 4:30 and finished the day with 41,266 vertical feet.

Does it get any better than this? It might. I'm home now, but the Olympics last one more week and it is supposed to snow for 3 days of it. If you're skiing Utah this week, you may get a heli-quality experience.