Snowbird, UT, Mar. 14-15, 2017

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Snowbird, UT, Mar. 14-15, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:30 am

Tuesday Mar. 14 was the final day in Utah for Liz’ friends Rob and Don, so we showed them around Snowbird. They started at Gadzoom and joined us at 11:15 to take the tram up. The weather was now in the 50’s with almost no wind, so the softening process was accelerated. This view from Hidden Peak shows why the Salt Lake locals don’t mind March dry spells or remember them for very long.
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We went into Mineral Basin right away with a nice run on White Diamonds but on the second run Lone Star the snow was getting heavy after noon. Second time up the Mineral lift we ran into 8 of our Iron Blosam group including admin’s friend Nate. We all skied a couple of Rasta runs. Don on first run there:
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Rob emerging from trees skier’s left of Rastas second run:
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We continued on to lunch at mid-Gad 1PM. After lunch Stefan joined Liz, Rob, Don and me to ski the liftline of Gad 2, well filled in this season, then down to Gadzoom via Tricep to avoid the now slushy Lower Bassackwards.

After two lifts to the top, Liz led Don to Middle Cirque while Rob and Stefan followed me to Jaws, which has not had adequate coverage for me to ski since 2011. View down Jaws:
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Snow was moderately soft chalk, skier spray backlit by the sun shining down the chute. Rob just below the upper narrow section:
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Stefan in the middle of Jaws:
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I was pleased to see winter packed powder snow on the entire apron of the Upper Cirque. Overview of Upper Cirque:
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We got to the tram, coincidentally shared with Mark, Adam and a few others from Iron Blosam. Mark and I agreed to look for Macaroni, but Mark took off through the last Silve Fox gate, thinking that Rock Chute was Macaroni. Rock Chute was steep and had some step-over rocks halfway down, so only Scott (13-year-old new to Iron Blosam this year), Rob and I followed Mark in there. As is often the case I don’t think about the camera when I’m skiing DFU territory. We merged back into Upper Silver Fox. Some of our group finishing that:
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Overview of the area:
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North Chute has coverage for the first time since 2011 but it is roped with cliff warning signs. Interestingly a patroller riding the tram the next day said the sign is just that, a warning not a closed sign. Macaroni is the chute directly under the tram tower.

Everyone else called it a day, but Stefan and I took a final run on Peruvian, skiing low Baldy out to Eye of the Needle. I finished with 17,600 vertical.

While in the tram Adam and Mark informed me that they had skied a more constricted route through the lower cliff band of Baldy but that Nate had tried to hockey stop in the slushy flats approaching Middle Chip’s Run and sustained a serious injury. Eddie was in the Snowbird clinic with Nate. I checked in there and learned that Nate had a fractured fibula and ankle sprain. By 5:30PM Nate’s leg was wrapped up securely so I brought him over to Iron Blosam, where admin picked him up at 7:15 to take him down to Salt Lake.
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: 1,318K in 2010-11
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: Snowbird, UT, Mar. 14, 2017

Postby kingslug » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:35 am

The Cirque looks great.
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Re: Snowbird, UT, Mar. 14, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:59 am

kingslug wrote:The Cirque looks great.

It is impressive that the Upper Cirque runs still have winter snow even on the lower angle aprons below the chutes. This is what high altitude and low humidity will do for you even when temps are 50+F. I expect comparable conditions on Mammoth's upper steeps well into April.

Needless to say the more east facing Middle and Lower Cirque have been sun-baked.
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: 1,318K in 2010-11
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9314
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Snowbird, UT, Mar. 14-15, 2017

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:09 am

Wednesday Mar. 15 I arrived at the tram Plaza 10:40 and took a warmup run on Chip’s before the rest of our Iron Blosam group arrived at 11AM. Weather was as warm as 3/14 but there was a slight breeze that slowed down the softening process a bit. So we headed to Mineral Basin immediately to ski sun softened White Diamonds and Lone Star. The face far skier’s right of Powder Paradise appeared to have winter snow, so Al and Liz skied that while Stefan, Dom, Nick, Mark, Eddie and I traversed through the Bookends to the saddle overlooking Mary Ellen Gulch.
IMG_9061.JPG

Lifts may be in there as soon as 2019.

We skied the winter snow under the cliffs and I found a nice line on a spine skier’s right of the Richie’s Run gully. Departing Mineral Basin, we skied out to the Rasta’s and I continued out farther to skier’s right Hoop’s. We rode Little Cloud and traversed to the skier’s left side of Upper Cirque to check out the snow and entries to see if some of those runs might be accessible to more of our group with the better coverage this season. We judged a traverse from skier’s left into Shot 11 to be the cleanest line, but we all skied a slightly longer and steeper Shot 10 this time. Stefan and I skied to Gadzoom and then mid-Gad lunch via Hot Foot Gully while the others skied via Green Forest.

After lunch we rode Little Cloud and returned to the Upper Cirque with Ed Meisner, who had been on the DL in 2016 after a shoulder operation. Ed skied Shot 12 while the rest of us skied the Shot 11 line we had scouted earlier. Stefan:
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This is why we call him Fast Eddie.
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Eddie skiing the apron as Ed Meisner observes:
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We all skied Hot Foot Gully, Dom dropping in there:
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We took the tram and the Ho Chi Minh Trail out to Lone Pine. Stefan there:
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Some of the snow out there was heavy.
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Eddie lower down with view to Big Emma below:
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We barely made last tram at 3:45PM. This time we skied the correct Macaroni chute below the tram tower into Silver Fox.

I skied 22,800 vertical. By Wednesday we had it well dialed when and where to get the most out of the conditions in the warm weather.
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: 1,318K in 2010-11
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 9314
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California


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