Snowbird and Alta, UT 6/4/06

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

Snowbird and Alta, UT 6/4/06

Postby Admin » Sun Jun 04, 2006 4:22 pm

Day 60:

Yesterday was so good, Bob Dangerous and I just had to do it again today! And besides, it let me hit my 60-day target for the lift-served season. With yesterday, that's 20 consecutive calendar months of skiing.

For those who may have missed it, despite the fact that Snowbird "closed" to skiing and snowboarding on May 29 they're allowing folks to ride the summer sightseeing Trams with gear as long as they sign a liability waiver. It's $10 a ride, or $45 for the entire summer season. The Tram runs every 30 minutes, on the hour and the half hour from 11 am until 8 pm, although skis are allowed only until 4 pm.

Unlike yesterday, we managed to make the 11 am Tram. And unlike yesterday, the June sun was blazing through cloudless skies. It's 91 here in the Valley as I write this, and it was already into the mid-70s at the base of Snowbird by 11 am.

For our first run we opted for Nirvana, and to get there via the Mid-Cirque traverse only required us to step across two bare spots no more than 6 feet long each. No big deal, especially for June at a closed ski area. :roll: Nirvana itself...was. Corn perfection, with only small sun cups and reasonably firm snow despite the high temperatures. Nirvana just goes on, and on, and on for an extended vertical drop right down to the top of Big Emma. There we had to sidestep across the plowed road and onto Big Emma, skiing down to Bass Highway. Here we had to click out and only walk the west-facing portion of Bass Highway between Big Emma and Wilbere Ridge, from which point you could ski all the way back to the Tram.

Arriving in time for the noon Tram trip, we learned that Snowbird president Bob Bonar had been hiking in Peruvian Gulch, witnessed folks skiing Great Scott, and telephoned staff to reverse their decision to open the Gulch and once again declare everything in Peruvian Gulch off-limits. So now, you either ski into Gad Valley or hike across the Peruvian Ridge to access the summit of Baldy. We opted for the latter.

Once again, the remaining snow yielded a rather painless hike up Baldy. We paused for a while to admire the views and marvel at the flowering Alpine tundra. Before long, however, we clicked back in and headed to the top of Main Chute just as some iron woman was reaching the top by hiking up from Alta with her dog.

Bob dove in first, kicking off a river of heavy slush that kept running...and running...and running. I dropped in a few hundred verts myself and kicked off a similar river, then topped to take a short video of the curious phemonenon even though we saw the same thing happen last June.

We finished up on Harold's again, where three young women were glissading, and headed down Schuss Gully right back to the parking lot at Goldminer's Daughter as we did yesterday, 3,000 vertical feet below the summit of Baldy.

By now it was 1:30 and we were done. We stopped at Wendy's for a quick lunch and marveled at the view of Salt Lake Twin Peaks and Lone Peak from the parking lot. In between, the top of Snowbird's Hidden Peak was visible, as was the Tram's Tower 4.

"Heluva place for a fast food joint," Bob remarked. "If there was a place back East with a view like this, it would be filled with $10 million homes."

I'm at home typing this with sunburnt arms.
Attachments
01 snowbird daltons 060604.jpg
Upper Dalton's Drop
01 snowbird daltons 060604.jpg (58.51 KiB) Viewed 1694 times
02 snowbird peruvian gulch 060604.jpg
Peruvian Gulch
02 snowbird peruvian gulch 060604.jpg (56.03 KiB) Viewed 1692 times
03 snowbird peruvian cirque 060604.jpg
Peruvian Cirque
03 snowbird peruvian cirque 060604.jpg (57.69 KiB) Viewed 1691 times
04 snowbird admin nirvana 060604.jpg
Admin skiing Nirvana at Snowbird
04 snowbird admin nirvana 060604.jpg (57.52 KiB) Viewed 1693 times
05 snowbird admin nirvana 060604.jpg
Admin skiing Nirvana at Snowbird
05 snowbird admin nirvana 060604.jpg (53.8 KiB) Viewed 1692 times
06 bob hiking baldy 060604.jpg
Bob hiking Baldy
06 bob hiking baldy 060604.jpg (58.54 KiB) Viewed 1694 times
07 snowbird chamonix IV 060604.jpg
Looking down the gut of Chamonix IV into Mineral Basin.
07 snowbird chamonix IV 060604.jpg (54.97 KiB) Viewed 1694 times
08 alta LCC from baldy 060604.jpg
Looking down Little Cottonwood Canyon from Mount Baldy's summit.
08 alta LCC from baldy 060604.jpg (58.78 KiB) Viewed 1691 times
09 alta baldy tundra flowers 060604.jpg
Tundra flowers atop Mount Baldy have a short life span
09 alta baldy tundra flowers 060604.jpg (57.37 KiB) Viewed 1692 times
10 alta baldy tundra flowers 060604.jpg
Tundra flowers atop Mount Baldy have a short life span
10 alta baldy tundra flowers 060604.jpg (58.62 KiB) Viewed 1691 times
11 alta sugarloaf castle from baldy 060604.jpg
Alta's Sugarloaf and Devil's Castle from Baldy's summit
11 alta sugarloaf castle from baldy 060604.jpg (56.6 KiB) Viewed 1691 times
12 alta timpy from baldy 060604.jpg
Mount Timpanogos from atop Baldy
12 alta timpy from baldy 060604.jpg (58.21 KiB) Viewed 1692 times
13 baldy summit view east 060604.jpg
The view looking east from the Mount Baldy summit
13 baldy summit view east 060604.jpg (26.4 KiB) Viewed 1690 times
14 alta bob skiing main chute 060604.jpg
Bob skiing Main Chute
14 alta bob skiing main chute 060604.jpg (55.49 KiB) Viewed 1692 times
15 alta lower mt 060604.jpg
Approaching the lower mountain at Alta.
15 alta lower mt 060604.jpg (57.59 KiB) Viewed 1689 times
16 alta west rustler 060604.jpg
Lots of snow left on Alta's West Rustler -- lines like Stonecrusher and Jitterbug are seamless top-to-bottom.
16 alta west rustler 060604.jpg (54.77 KiB) Viewed 1691 times
17 alta baldy 060604.jpg
Looking back at Baldy.
17 alta baldy 060604.jpg (58.46 KiB) Viewed 1692 times
18 snowbird peruvian gulch 060604.jpg
Snowbird's Peruvian Gulch today.
18 snowbird peruvian gulch 060604.jpg (58.63 KiB) Viewed 1692 times
Image

Image
User avatar
Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 10013
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 9:32 am
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Snowbird and Alta, UT 6/4/06

Postby Marc_C » Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:32 am

Admin wrote:Arriving in time for the noon Tram trip, we learned that Snowbird president Bob Bonar had been hiking in Peruvian Gulch, witnessed folks skiing Great Scott, and telephoned staff to reverse their decision to open the Gulch and once again declare everything in Peruvian Gulch off-limits.

Their web site has been consistent in saying that P.G. is closed to all traffic all summer, so was there really a reversal? Did the tram op or someone say something specific about PG being open on Saturday? Yeah, your photos from Saturday show a lot more tracks than just yours and Bob's!

From the photos, Nirvana looked to be in better corn shape than the chunky goodness of Main Chute. Was that the case?
-marc
User avatar
Marc_C
 
Posts: 3218
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 10:32 am
Location: A Sandy place south of a Great Lake

Re: Snowbird and Alta, UT 6/4/06

Postby Admin » Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:46 am

Marc_C wrote:Their web site has been consistent in saying that P.G. is closed to all traffic all summer, so was there really a reversal? Did the tram op or someone say something specific about PG being open on Saturday? Yeah, your photos from Saturday show a lot more tracks than just yours and Bob's!

From the photos, Nirvana looked to be in better corn shape than the chunky goodness of Main Chute. Was that the case?


On Saturday, no restrictions were announced on the tram. On the 11 am Sunday trip, they announced that the only off-limits area was that section of the ridgeline from Gorilla Pass (the top of the Chip's switchbacks) to Great Scott, not inclusive. By the noon ride the word had arrived that all of the Gulch was again off-limits.

Main wasn't nearly as chunky as the photos would indicate. You're looking at the river of slush. Either side of the river was smooth and perfect.
Image

Image
User avatar
Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 10013
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 9:32 am
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah


Return to Western North America

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Google [Bot] and 11 guests


All content herein copyright © 1999-2017 First Tracks!! Online Media

Forums Terms & Conditions of Use

cron