Wild Powder Wednesday, where did everybody go? After a weekend of miserable rain and warm temps, father winter came back to reality and dropped 5+inches on Snowbasin in the middle of the night. Those who watched the snowstake knew what to do on Wednesday…GET UP TO Snowbasin ASAP for more fresh powder turns. Quite frankly, it might have been the least crowded powder day in our memory. At one point in the am the top was very socked in (couldn’t even see the next lift pole), but we got luck and almost all the clouds blew out leaving was with some stellar sunny conditions until about 2:30 when it became overcast and started snowing lightly.
Even though there were fresh tracks everywhere, there were also patches of ice from the prior rain, this was especially true on steeper aspects. Those who knew what to do spent the day over searching out low angle runs on Strawberry, riding endless lines of untracked powder down Main Street, Elk Ridge, Moonshine and WFO. Later in the day we were even treated to an opening of the Sisters for even more fresh terrain.
We also had some great runs down Dan’s, Wildcat Ridge and Wildcat bowl where long after lunchtime we still were finding huge glades of the fluffy white stuff. Even though we pushed it till the very end of the day we left quite a bit for Thursday’s visitors to Snowbasin. Wow, what a day.
Today was an awesome powder day at Snowbasin. The early bird gets the worm and those who came early were treated to an incredible layer of dense 5-8″ powder just about everywhere on the mountain, some drifts were considerably deeper. You could still feel the bottom at time but that didn’t seem to matter much as most skiers and boarders came down with some huge smiles on their faces.
We started the day with a few laps on John Paul, tearing it up right under the lift at the top and sweeping out onto the Grizzly Downhill and The Hollywood Hills. After getting our fill of steep, deep and fast we ventured over to Strawberry for even more wide open powder fields. Even thought it was only partly sunny in the morning, the visibility stayed good until about 12:30 and then the flat light took over and the fog rolled in. Ski Patrol was kind enough to open No Name so we ran back over there after a few runs off Upper Main Street and our favorite, Moonshine Bowl. No Name had deeper drifts that rewarded with a few face shots as we worked our way down the ridges.
We also had the Salomon Ski Crew setup on the plaza demoing their new BBR ski. Interesting design, reminds us of an old Winterstick snowboard stretched out like silly putty. Those who clicked in came back with huge grins and lots of positive comments on this great all around powder ski. The day wrapped up with Friday Night Lights Rail Jam getting set up with lots of young riders showing off their stuff.
A strong Pacific storm hit the entire Wasatch Range early Wednesday morning and continues to hammer the entire region with FEET of powder. We just plowed 20″ out of the drive so we could make it to the mountian. Make sure that you check the weather forecast and come prepared for some awesome powder and extreme weather (cold) tomorrow and Friday. Thursday: Snow showers. High near 15. Wind chill values as low as -11. North northwest wind between 6 and 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
When we we arrived at Snowbasin the holiday crowds were a bit heavy but the snow was piled high and continuing to pour out of the sky on top of 1-2′ snow drifts. We found a little jump off Wildcat Ridge, landing into a big powder puff. Lot’s of powder, faceshots and wide open powder fields. Some places had a bit of wind buff and wind lips which were tricky because of the the flat light and limited visiblity from blowing snow. Some aspects were windscoured on south facing slopes. Aside from that there was a ton of powder on the mountain today, tomorrow should be just as good.
The John Paul lift was opened at the start of the day then was placed on wind hold for about an hour. Reopened about 11am for lots of POW in the trees. Strawberry was closed all day due to wind and vis. No Name and the Allen Peak Tram were also closed.
To sum it up, there was powder everywhere today! There’s a lot of snow coming down and high wind conditions. Snowbasin Snow Safety makes the call on what can open and when. The key getting the goods is paying attention to the conditions and being on the mountain!! Even though lift lines were heavy at times today due to the conditions, holiday season and lift closures most people had a ton of fun. Compared to anywhere else on the planet you can bet that most people on the mountain today had one of their best powder days ever! We sure did.
Today was an awesome powder day on the mountain. Just about everywhere you looked there was a consistent 12-18″ of fresh powder for all the hungry holiday powder hounds. Lots of locals and visitors caused some delays on lift lines but in general things moved swiftly. The worst of it was when Strawberry opened and apparently everyone went there at the same time. Nonetheless we had great runs off the White Room, Moonshine, and Elk Ridge. The tram also opened around mid day as well as No Name. We did some great powder drops off the Allen Peak Tram and two laps on No Name. Earlier in the day we found lots of powder off of the John Paul lift, Hollywood Hills and the Grizzly Downhill. We even hit Philpot Ridge on the way back from Strawberry for some very thick and fluffy turns.
The holiday season brings some interesting visitors; we had skiing animals from Orange County CA, bare chested Tarzans and even someone in shorts. Crazy if you ask me, it was COOOOOOLD out there today, but fortunately it was much drier than yesterday. The snow began to fall again lightly around mid day and is expected to deliver a possible 3-5″ additional inches overnight tonight.
Tomorrow also begins the New Year’s Eve celebrations at Snowbasin. Join the New Year’s fun in the Cinnabar Lounge. Rick Hoxer will be performing on New Year’s Eve. New Year’s Day we will have our favorite local legends, The Kap Brothers performing all your favorite rock tunes. Apres ski entertainment runs from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m
Thursday was another special day at Snowbasin. We still had plenty of powder lying around from yesterday’s storm. JP and No Name were both open and surprisingly the day ended with still many fresh lines to be taken for those willing to walk 100 paces. Conditions were BRISK in the morning, the groomers were fast, wide and uncrowded. Lots of smiling face coming in from the Snowsports Learning Center as well as those taking a break in the sun on Earl’s Plaza. If you haven’t tried the tomato bisk you are missing out!
We woke up to 8″ on the snowstake. Tons of fresh powder everywhere. JP Lift was open, and then at lunch time we had the first opening of the season of No Name Peak. You had to boot pack it but it was worth it. Incredible runs down No Name and Shooting Star. Even got a taste of the Pyramids. Thanks to Snowbasin Ski Patrol for getting more of the mountain open.
Photo Note: Somehow we left the camera by the door, call it powder day jitters, today’s photos and video were taken with an HTC Evo cell phone camera. Not bad.
JP Face at 9:25 AM, 12-11-10 - Photo by Jim Forster
We decided it would be fun to get the do a people’s report for this past weekend’s conditions at Snowbasin. Taken from Snowbasin’s Facebook page, here are some of the comments that our fans had to say.
Jennifer Lanza great snow until about 3:00pm as the clouds rolled in… started to crust/ice over. Line was a little long at Needles, Middle Bowl was empty.. just the way we like it!
Ryan Reedy who wasnt at basin today is the question.
Alexander Romashko Laps on Middle Bowl were sweet as were repeated cliff drops. Finally getting some coverage and fluffy landings. And there was plenty of faceshots off of JP. Keep it coming Ullr.
Cody Laws good snow, good friends, cheap beer. a win all in all.
Jamie Shambarger Sounds like everyone had a great day, we were headed up, then one our little ones started getting sick, the flu, bummer!!! But just maybe, Dad may need to take a few quick runs tomorrow!!! Wish us luck!!
Kyle England All I know is I was hearing nothing but stoke from the bottom of JP all day!! Those lapping it in the morning sure had their way with all the fresh stuff. Main runs are tracked out, though there are a decent amount of small shots up higher if you look for them
Every once and a while we have to sacrifice a powder day to take care of our friends who are just starting out. Talk about herding cats!! Actually, the girls today did great on the mountain, considering it was their first time ever on snowboards and that the base was a fairly nasty sideways mix of snow, gusty wind and rain. The day started out at about 38F at the base and 30F at the top. Believe me, I got the texts from my friends who got the goods today but were also grateful for Snowbasin’s awesome gondolas. Let’s be serious people, the gondolas are where it’s at on a day like today. THANK YOU SNOWBASIN FOR THE GONDOLAS!!
Snowbasin’s Snowsports Learning Center has a great program for beginners that can really help them get into the sport in a great way. Our crew decided to dive in and take advantage of the killer deal on a first time lesson/rental/lift package. At every step of the way we had attentive and prompt service that got our crew going in no time.
More details at http://www.snowbasin.com/winter/snowsports/#/learn/.
Special thanks to Donny and Michelle who provided the lessons and took the extra time to dial in the gear and fit for each rider. Sometimes we forget how hard it is to figure out which front should go forward and how tight to make the boots and bindings. Snowbasin’s team really got us squared away good. Donny’s teaching technique was great, all the girls commented at how much they progressed and how patient both instructors were today.
The true test of a good day though is how big the smiles are at the end. We were all laughing about the falls and warming up with hot cocoa in Earl’s Lodge. We also enjoyed the legendary smoked salmon and trout plate and some chips and salsa by the fire.
Oh, and all the rest of the mountain hotshots were grinning too, because even though it was a wet and windy one, there was lots of incredible deep powder out there and there will even be more tomorrow too. See you at Snowbasin!!
We also wanted to say an additional big thanks to Snowbasin’s Guest Services, especially Kevin Stouffer, who helped us search for a misplaced board that blew off the rack into a snowbank. We would have found that board next spring if it wasn’t for Kevin and his Sherlock Holmes like senses. Thanks Kev!
Another amazing day at Snowbasin. The early bird gets the worm, especially on a sunny Tuesday morning with 6-8″ of fresh snow from the past 24 hours. Yesterday’s lack of vis left lots of snow for today’s skiers and boarders. There are still some sticks and stones (big ones) to watch out for, but the mountain is filling in nicely, especially for this early in the season. Please be very careful if you are tempted to ski of piste and away from the groomed path. We’re all looking forward to the next storm cycle and the possibility of more lifts and terrain opening up!
Awesome and challenging powder day for those who played hooky on this powder Monday and came up for some incredible skiing at Snowbasin. Early morning snowfall was heavy at times starting the day with 3-6″ coverage over previous pack. At the top of the mountain visibility was very limited but heavier patches of untracked powder could easily be found, with some shots up to a foot deep. Later in the afternoon clearing began about mid mountain, nice runs off of Dan’s, Griz, Philpot and Wildcat. Lower aspects towards the end were a bit heavier and set up. Today was wet, foggy, a thigh burner and absolutely awesome skiing and boarding. Fun turns with Michael, Elizabeth, Steve, Heidi and Lance.
On a side note, the full menu at the lounge at Earl’s is available. At the end of the day we enjoyed my #1 favorite, the smoked trout and salmon plate and a nice pale ale to finish the day.