Alta, UT 11/19/2011

Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Day 4: Powder day!

I'm managing to bat .500 thus far this season for powder. Even though last night's storm was somewhat of bust (forecasts earlier in the week had predicted 18-30"), Alta claimed 9" that frankly felt more like a foot to me. Not too shabby for mid-November!

I hooked up with Bobby Danger, Skidog and Amy. Frankly I didn't think that I'd ski much past noon today but we didn't pull out of the parking lot until 2:30 p.m. It was that good.

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Skidog was shooting photos today, too, so I expect that we'll see more added to this topic thread shortly. Riding Wildcat, Bobby and I joked that even though it's mid-November, today skied as well as Mad River Glen will all season. :lol:

Saw mbaydala from the lift and vice versa on numerous occasions but we never connected. Spotted tirolerpeter exiting Watson Shelter. Saw Marc_C at GMD. Saw numerous returning employees. It felt good to be home today.
 
Beautiful pictures by everyone. Good to see pics of Admin too.

Is the snowpack is stable again or were you choosing lower angle stuff?

Also, what is the deal on the "ski pole camera" or whatever it is? I assume the skier is skiing normally and it just looks like he is holding his pole out?

=D>
 
that snow was on the order of ten to twelve percent . not to light that you would bottom hard and not to dense that there was to much resistense on less pitched terrain . small crowd at the outset this morning one lap on wildcat and collins line was gone . schuss gully skied exceptional lots and lots of loose snow in the gully proper . wildcat trees were still pow after two p.m.
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should be just as nice in the morning
 
Harvey44":6hd5mb47 said:
Is the snowpack is stable again or were you choosing lower angle stuff?

It's remarkable what a little ammonium nitrate can accomplish. :lol: Thanks to ASP we were able to ski decent pitches on Wildcat and West Rustler. Despite this Baldy Shoulder/Ballroom remains closed for avi control. Nothing on Backside is open yet for the season. All they're running so far is Collins, Wildcat and Sunnyside. It amazed me today that even with a three-quarters full parking lot and such limited terrain we were still able to find untracked snow at 2:30 pm.

Harvey44":6hd5mb47 said:
Also, what is the deal on the "ski pole camera" or whatever it is? I assume the skier is skiing normally and it just looks like he is holding his pole out?

mbaydala will on occasion ski with a GoPro camera mounted to the end of his pole. Hold it out in front and point the lens backwards, and that's what you get.
 
Alta came through nicely today (Sat) and reminded me again why I moved here in 07. I spotted the crew on the Collins lift when they hailed me coming out of Watson's. The "crispy" stuff on most of the trails yesterday had been pleasantly covered and there were many nice untracked lines through the trees. Wildcat was definitely the place to find untracked and with careful selection of the lines I skied, I managed to bottom out audibly just once. Overall, the weather was beautiful and the day was filled with lots of warm "Hello's" and "How was your summer?" type meetings with the regulars. I was surprised that there were so few skiers on the mountain. All in all, a sweet day. \:D/
 
Harvey44":195c9sy1 said:
Beautiful pictures by everyone. Good to see pics of Admin too.

Is the snowpack is stable again or were you choosing lower angle stuff?

Also, what is the deal on the "ski pole camera" or whatever it is? I assume the skier is skiing normally and it just looks like he is holding his pole out?

=D>

It's just a GoPro camera attached to the end of a ski pole with the help of a handlebar mount for my bike. Just trying to get some different shots, after a while that standard GoPro view can get pretty old and unenjoyable to watch. Hope you enjoyed it.
 
Harvey44":ldptf6d3 said:
Is the snowpack is stable again or were you choosing lower angle stuff?

All those photos are from open, controlled, in-bounds terrain.

Stable again in the side & back country? Not entirely...

Utah Avalanche Center":ldptf6d3 said:
There are pockets with a CONSIDERABLE danger in terrain above 10,000 feet on northwest through northeast facing slopes which means dangerous avalanche conditions are present and human triggered avalanches are likely. The danger is significantly lower in areas that don’t have old snow from October and don’t have recent deposits of wind drifted snow.

There was one significant avalanche reported from Saturday below Pioneer Peak with an unknown trigger. It was 2 to 4 feet deep, 125 feet wide and ran 175 feet which was about the extent of the avalanche path in this small bowl. No surprise, it broke into faceted snow near the ground. There was also one snowcat triggered avalanche overnight that broke 2 to 4 feet deep and 150 feet wide on a northeast facing slope at around 11,000 feet. This was really the only activity reported as most people noted a lack of collapsing in their observations compared to last weekend. Some people noted an increase in strength among the faceted grains while others noted not much strengthening. That has been my observation as well. I’ve seen some areas where I’m not too concerned about the weak faceted snow and I’ve seen other areas that have not seen much improvement.

Yesterday’s activity sums it up pretty well. Most slopes settled nicely during last week and didn’t get angry with the half inch of water weight we added on top of it but there are a few slopes on the brink. My current perspective is that the most suspect slopes are above 10,000 feet with northwest through northeast aspects but you better do your homework by digging and looking for weak snow near the ground once you’re nearing 9500 feet on any slope with a northerly tilt to it. I think that the chances for triggering something are low to moderate but consequences could be pretty bad which is why I’m going with a “pockety” CONSIDERABLE rating for the aforementioned slopes. The other factor that makes me keep CONSIDERABLE in the rating is the chance for the southerly winds to transport snow onto those northerly facing slopes today.
 
I bagged my morning touring plans. Wanted to stay on south facing slopes in order to keep it safe but there just isn't enough snow on those slopes to avoid rocks and snow snakes. Check this video of the snowpack from before the Friday nights storm.

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/32350352[/vimeo]
 
Nice shots!

I have to ask, Admin, you made an MRG reference, are you from the Mad River Valley?
 
Hendy":cz7pjft6 said:
Nice shots!

I have to ask, Admin, you made an MRG reference, are you from the Mad River Valley?

Welcome, Hendy! FYI your further posts won't be moderated.

I'm a New England native, former Burlington resident and Jay Peak patroller. However, I have many friends who are MRG regulars and that comment was a not-too-veiled shot at them. :twisted:
 
Thanks for the welcome, good to be here, took a break from skiing for far too long, have the bug again and just stumbled onto this forum O:)

I grew up in the MR Valley, skied MRV exclusively from the age of 5...Had a chuckle when I read what you said, we sure are spoiled out here!
 
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