Snowbird, March 10-11, 2020

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

Snowbird, March 10-11, 2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Mar 13, 2020 11:02 am

After the past two partial powder days I was getting a bit tired and the hip flexor strain I got late in the Canada trip was flaring up some. So on Tuesday I set out with Al and Charlie at a measured pace, starting with a top to bottom warm-up on Chip’s. Next time up we went through the Peruvian tunnel to Lupine Loop. Farther down I led through the gate I had skied with BobbyD and Amy Saturday but veered skier’s left to hit lightly tracked powder merging into the bottom of Patrol Gully.
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We left Mineral Basin to ski Little Cloud, which still was nearly all winter snow. After a cruise on Mark Malu, Charlie suggested Old Ladies’ Slide. We traversed under the upper rock band and found very lightly tracked but sometimes windpacked snow. Our third Little Cloud run was in the Rastas, Charlie leading Al here.
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Then we went out the Cirque Traverse, skiing the far skier’s right which tilts enough north to retain winter snow.
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We met many more of the Iron Blosam group for lunch at mid-Gad. Margaret, Bruce, Larry and Lonnie joined us thereafter and we skied groomers on Gad 2 and Little Cloud. Charlie had been wanting to test lightly skied Puckerbrush but I was skeptical of possible frozen subsurface. He was right as the snow had consolidated into mostly creamy turns. After squeezing through a tight slot in a rock band midway, I skied the last pitch and took this pic looking back up.
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It turns out that skier wasn’t Charlie. He didn’t like the crux and traversed right through a gate, then skied the lower part in more variable snow.

For our last run Lonnie, Bruce, Larry and I went out to Cirque Traverse to inspect Elevator. There was only one non-air entry and it had a rock that I skied above but high sided the far side and had to back up before skiing the chute. Larry backlit at the entry:
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I heard Larry scrape the rock on entry but he fluidly banged out precise short turns in the chute.
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Bruce and Lonnie went further down and skied the same mid-Cirque as I had done with Charlie and Al earlier.

Larry was on demo skis and one of his bindings came loose while skiing the bumps on Anderson Hill after I had called it a day and returned to Iron Blosam. It took him 20 minutes to get down the bumps but then he carefully managed the groomer back to the tram plaza.

I skied 20,000 vertical, more than I had expected when I started. The morning was mostly cloudy but the afternoon mostly sunny. All of the lower mountain went to spring conditions but much of the upper half remained packed powder, typical of a lot of my March days here since 1981.

Wednesday looked uninspiring, solid overcast though the base area got up to at least 40F, similar to last Saturday. I decided to take it easy and not go out until noon. My Tesla had been used for two airport runs of departing skiers and so I took it to charge in the second floor garage between the Cliff Lodge and the bypass road. These are not nearly as convenient as that prime parking spot at Alta, but there are three dedicated Tesla chargers that charge about 50% faster than the one at Alta.
I took the usual Chip’s warmup but with a diversion to Green Forest lower down.
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I met Lonnie and his friend Bryce at Gadzoom. They skied mid-Cirque while I skied Shot 11 in the Upper Cirque.
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Shots 9&10 have tight entries with DFU obstacles. Shots 12&13 are wide open but have lots of moguls.

As on Tuesday we regrouped at mid-Gad around 1:45, but only Larry and Margaret were there, as most of the Iron Blosam people took the day off. Larry said the snow in Restaurant Roll/South Chute was good, so I followed him there for an encore. Here Larry is inspecting the tight spot between upper and lower sections.
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On Friday I got a good overview from Gadzoom of the route Larry and I skied.
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In the lower part I could stay in winter snow nearly all the way to the top of Big Emma by traversing left to short pitches of direct north facing. That was my third and last top-to-bottom run, a short day of 10,100 vertical and less than 3 hours but high on quality.
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: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: Snowbird, March 10-11, 2020

Postby sierra_cement » Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:58 pm

Sad to read that even a place as reliable as north facing high elevation snowbird can have tough conditions to ski.

While I was perusing the percentile chart, I noticed this is a very low probability event.
http://bestsnow.net/utahhist.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Also, I noticed that the 75th and 25th percentile for April seem to be off. Median of B but 25 percentile A seems to be a typo for first week of April. 2nd week of April has median of A but 75th percentile is A. April is of particular interest to me since my daughter will have 2nd week of April off as spring break from next year.

utah percentiles.png
Utah Percentiles
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Re: Snowbird, March 10-11, 2020

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Mar 14, 2020 8:28 pm

Alternating A's and B's means that it's A about half the time and B about half the time. Snowbird Tuesday/Wednesday was at least still 30% A. I found winter snow on Friday but I didn't even look in Mineral Basin due to both Thursday sun and Friday fog, not a ood combination.
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: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10438
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California


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