Snowbird, UT 5/12/2005 - powder day!

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Snowbird, UT 5/12/2005 - powder day!

Postby Admin » Thu May 12, 2005 2:42 pm

He. Teehee. Teeheeheeheeheeheehee. Haha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

May 12? You'd never know it. It looked more like mid-February. Funny what 18" new atop a 182-inch base will do.

OK, so it wasn't the 28" that fell barely a mile away next door at Alta, but Snowbird's lifts were spinning and Alta's weren't. Today was everything I'd hoped it would be. We barely missed first tram, and caught the second. The tram operator cautioned that the gate to Peruvian might close with the heating of the day due to slide potential. We therefore headed straight through pea soup visibility to the main line of Great Scott.

How often do you get fresh tracks down Great Scott? Not often. Visibility didn't matter all that much, for the fresh snow was incredibly consistent. Big, fast arcs of sublime mid-May powder. It doesn't get much better than this.

The snow got heavier as altitude decreased, to the point where it was downright punchy and grabby near the base. But I didn't care -- I wanted untracked all the way down, and I got it.

Every powder pig in Utah seemed to come out of the woodwork today. The media blitz yesterday regarding Snowbird's midweek opening spread the word far and wide. By now, the liftline for the tram was through the entire cattle corral, around the corner of the building, and all the way back through the tram plaza. It had to be a four, maybe five-cabin wait. It was the only viable option, though, as Gadzoom only serves terrain in the inferior lower mountain snow...until, that is, they announced on a loudspeaker that Gadzoom and -- surprise, surprise -- Little Cloud was open. Someone in mountain management must've been smacked upside the head, and they managed to round up enough staff to get Little Cloud spinning. We high-tailed it down to Gadzoom, hopped right on, and encountered a long but manageable (i.e., 10-12 minute) liftline on Little Cloud.

Runs out to Rasta Bowl, Knucklehead Bowl, etc. were off-limits, as was everything out Road to Provo as they were still conducting control work. So we went back through the Peruvian gate and headed straight for Jaws.

Oh, man, was that a mistake. Sure, it was fun, but the whole chute had slid, making navigation of the avi debris in zero visibility next to impossible. We're talking vertigo-inducing visibility here. Once through the crux of the chute, however, we were able to angle to the trees on skier's right and return to joy. We worked our way over various hillocks, threading through several cliff bands as far as Rothman Way where we bee-lined back to Gadzoom.

Back up Little Cloud and into Gad Chutes, as far north as one could go before rounding the turn into South Chute. Orgasmic! Barely tracked, which became completely untracked as one got lower. We stayed uphill of Mid-Gad restaurant and dove into steep trees leading back down to Bass Highway -- what a trip! I'd never skied those woods before, and they dip and roll their way down the fall line full of character. The snow was deep and dense enough that you could just point 'em and go for it, merely banking turns to thread through the sylvan silence. Fun, fun, fun.

We had time for one final run. By now it was 11:30 as we reached Little Cloud to find that the liftline had evaporated as everyone returned to work. By now the traverse was barely navigable, and Marc_C nearly skied off the edge of the Cirque into the abyss. You really couldn't tell where snow ended and cloud began. The snow had gotten noticeably heavier by this point, too, and we'd already skied the best that the storm had to offer. We went back into Gad Chutes, skiing a line between Candleabra and the one that we'd skied the run before. A cliff band forced us right to rejoin our earlier line near the bottom of the chute, but by now the snow in the trees below mid-Gad had become positively leaden. We headed back to the truck with perma-grins formed by a mid-May powder day.

13,065 powder verts in just over 3 hours. What a bonus to an incredible season.
01 snowbird marc_c atop great scott.jpg
Marc_C atop Great Scott on our first run -- freshies await!
01 snowbird marc_c atop great scott.jpg (13.54 KiB) Viewed 3595 times
02 snowbird atop great scott.jpg
Atop Great Scott on our first run.
02 snowbird atop great scott.jpg (16.54 KiB) Viewed 3593 times
03 snowbird fresh in peruvian.jpg
Fresh snow in Peruvian Gulch.
03 snowbird fresh in peruvian.jpg (18.17 KiB) Viewed 3593 times
04 snowbird fresh tracks to base.jpg
Fresh tracks stretch all the way to the base.
04 snowbird fresh tracks to base.jpg (23.33 KiB) Viewed 3592 times
05 snowbird growing tram line.jpg
A tram line out of control, stretching completely across the plaza.
05 snowbird growing tram line.jpg (60.75 KiB) Viewed 3594 times
06 snowbird mid-gad.jpg
A closed Mid-Gad restaurant buried in snow.
06 snowbird mid-gad.jpg (25.02 KiB) Viewed 3592 times
07 snowbird below gad chutes.jpg
Terrain below the Gad Chutes.
07 snowbird below gad chutes.jpg (55.44 KiB) Viewed 3593 times
08 snowbird little cloud queue.jpg
The Little Cloud liftline got long, but remained tolerable.
08 snowbird little cloud queue.jpg (42.06 KiB) Viewed 3591 times
09 snowbird no tracks.jpg
Totally untracked above mid-Gad.
09 snowbird no tracks.jpg (36.3 KiB) Viewed 3593 times

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re: Snowbird, UT 5/12/2005 - powder day!

Postby Frankontour » Thu May 12, 2005 3:20 pm

Wow... really far from Florida, Marc... !!!

lucky guy, here I'm excited because they forecast 2" of snow in Gaspesia overnight and because I'm going to drive 5h tomorrow to enjoy probably just some snowpatches at the Valinouët and Mt Édouard
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re: Snowbird, UT 5/12/2005 - powder day!

Postby Eric312 » Thu May 12, 2005 3:36 pm

Man, I gotta move overthere very soon, out West :twisted:
4 Ski days so far this season
It started at Killington on October 30th !
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re: Snowbird, UT 5/12/2005 - powder day!

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu May 12, 2005 4:53 pm

I recall my prediction March 15: "It is mildly amusing to see the snow move from West to East shortly after Marc moved from Albany to SLC. But there is no doubt in my mind that he will have the last laugh."

And in early April that Marc's powder days were far from over.
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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: Snowbird, UT 5/12/2005 - powder day!

Postby NHpowderhound » Fri May 13, 2005 6:25 am

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re: Snowbird, UT 5/12/2005 - powder day!

Postby awf170 » Sat May 14, 2005 2:11 pm

look at the home page pic of the summit building thats nuts... it wasnt nearly that deep when i went in feb. vacation
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