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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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Alta, UT 3/12/05

Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:04 pm


The story of the day: wind. Wind that's in your face. Wind that forces you to cower behind trees. Wind that kicks up old grains of snow that sandblast your face.

The wind started the day, and continued to build throughout the day. It was enough to shut down the tram next door at Snowbird. It was enough to mitigate the warm rays of the sun that never were able to soften the windward sides of the ridges.

As a result, this wasn't the best day, especially in view of a lack of new snow for the past 3 weeks. Company helped to salvage the day: Marc C, Sharon from these boards, and her friends Pam, Frank, Frank's kid Jordan, Amy, and Amy's friend John. We had a blast. Today was a day to follow the sun and base decisions accordingly, although plans were often foiled by the aforementioned wind. Things that you expected to soften never did. Runs of the day were in smooth, dry chalk on Baldy Shoulder, and in north-facing aspects on Greeley Hill, of all places. There's plenty of snow, but we need some fresh stuff. A cold front is due tomorrow, but moisture is expected to be lacking until late next week.

Photos are below. The poor bastich who took the group shot for us missed his shuttle bus as a result! But he refused a ride offered as a consolation.
02 alta albion basin.jpg
Albion basin
02 alta albion basin.jpg (46 KiB) Viewed 3149 times
01 alta greeley hill.jpg
Greeley Hill
01 alta greeley hill.jpg (38.01 KiB) Viewed 3149 times
03 alta supreme area.jpg
Alta's Supreme area from East Greeley.
03 alta supreme area.jpg (46.07 KiB) Viewed 3149 times
04 alta blowing snow on baldy shoulder.jpg
Blowing snow above the cliffs on Baldy Shoulder's traverse.
04 alta blowing snow on baldy shoulder.jpg (42.62 KiB) Viewed 3149 times
05 alta baldy shoulder.jpg
Baldy shoulder.
05 alta baldy shoulder.jpg (31.9 KiB) Viewed 3149 times
06 alta collins.jpg
Looking down the Collins basin.
06 alta collins.jpg (40.29 KiB) Viewed 3149 times
07 alta group shot.jpg
(L to R) Marc C, John, Sharon, Amy, Pam, Frank, yours truly, Jordan
07 alta group shot.jpg (49.58 KiB) Viewed 3149 times

re: Alta, UT 3/12/05

Sun Mar 13, 2005 2:17 am

Two more points that I forgot:

1. Our verts for the day tallied 22,414 feet
2. The fracture line on Mt. Superior is still visible from this event: ... uto_band=x

re: Alta, UT 3/12/05

Sun Mar 13, 2005 10:49 pm

interesting Mt Superior avi video. What is the b.c. policy there ? Do they prosecute or " just" charge for b.c. rescue ?

Re: re: Alta, UT 3/12/05

Sun Mar 13, 2005 10:57 pm

jon wrote:Do they prosecute or " just" charge for b.c. rescue ?

I haven't heard of anyone being handed a bill, but that's not to say that it doesn't happen. As far as prosecuting, there's nothing to charge the person with -- that's USFS land across the street from Alta and Snowbird. There's no restriction against its use by backcountry skiers, and it's neither "opened" nor "closed." It's public land and not part of any ski area.

re: Alta, UT 3/12/05

Wed Mar 30, 2005 11:41 pm

thanks for sharing that vid clip. :shock:

so i guess the backcountry isn't just all fresh powder turns?
there's actually real life consequences that actually happen to real people.
makes you want to go jump off cornices by yourself onto a 50 degree slope
without digging a pit or kicking the cornices doesn't it? big lines get you
big consequences if any prep get's overlooked. there's a few things overlooked here.
although, it looked like the guy might have had the skiing ability to take that line.
just not the brain. :x

re: Alta, UT 3/12/05

Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:01 am

Marc, I love that group pic. Can you send it to me?

I am currently working on my photos. I took over 700 photos in the last month...Alta, Snowbird, Brian Head/Cedar Breaks, Zion NP and over 600 from the Grand Canyon!!! There's hardly a bad shot, but I'll do what I can so that people can enjoy them w/o being overwhelmed.
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