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Utah trip Feb 2018
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Updated 2 months ago
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2 months ago

Mrs. eggraid and I are kicking back after our first-day skiing on our trip out to explore a few resorts in Utah. Looking at the weather so far this season, and the 10 day forecast for Utah, combined with our history with conditions on previous trips out west, we have decided to offer our services: Pay us $100 and we will let you know when we are traveling where out west so you can make plans to avoid skiing in the less-than-ideal conditions we seem to catch. The sub-optimal conditions didn’t stop us from having a great time on our first day at Alta, a ski resort I have wanted to ski since my obsession with skiing started as a teenager.

We were lucky to have an awesome guide: Our old friend Rich, an Alta season pass-holder and a Salt Lake City native. He took us to nooks and crannies of the mountain that we would have never found on our own, mostly on Sugarloaf lift, but also on Supreme and Collins. He was rewarded for his efforts when one of the epic Alta chutes opened unexpectedly, Main Chute. He has been watching for years to see it open, and when the announcement flashed on the LED screen at the bottom of Sugarloaf lift, we convinced him to abandon us for the 1 1/2 hours it would take to hike to the top and get back down. You can see the chute with a single skier coming down in the banner pic on the link below.

I can’t seem to figure out how to paste pics on this forum on a mac, but you can see some pics and a trip report that I will continue to update here: 

https://mullenrussell0.wixsite.com/mullens/work-03

Denis - DCSki Supporter
2 months ago

Great pictures.  Thanks.

2 months ago

Main Baldy Chute. I skied it a few years back. It is not too scary since exposure is minimal. The other chutes up there have some exposure and are above my pay grade. Along with some stuff at Snowbird that require a lot of nerve.

I skied Alta 2 weeks ago. What is the coverage like? They are back down to 60 inch base per their web site.

Off of Sugarloaf, did you side step up the ridge in the middle? 

2 months ago

Snow pack in Utah is historically bad this year. But I have been out West numerous times during high pressure periods that last several weeks. The surface conditions during those periods can be marginal, even by eastern standards. Especially in the freeze part of a thaw-freeze cycle.

2 months ago

JohnL wrote:

Main Baldy Chute. I skied it a few years back. It is not too scary since exposure is minimal. The other chutes up there have some exposure and are above my pay grade. Along with some stuff at Snowbird that require a lot of nerve.

I skied Alta 2 weeks ago. What is the coverage like? They are back down to 60 inch base per their web site.

Off of Sugarloaf, did you side step up the ridge in the middle? 

Does that ‘step up’ take you skier’s right towards Devil’s Castle? We didn’t do that. My friend, Rich was the only one who did Main Chute, and he booted up the ridge lookers left from the top of Sugarloaf. He said that Main Chute gets wind-loaded and is often an avalanche risk, especially because there are so many skiers in the terrain below. 

The coverage was OK, lots of exposed rocks, but for the most part the snow was still pretty soft off of the groomed sections. 

Here is an update from today’s trip to Snowbasin:

https://mullenrussell0.wixsite.com/mullens/blog/checking-out-a-limited-snowbasin

The surface conditions were better than I expected; 

2 months ago

Side Step up is I think 54 on the trail map, Keyhole Gulch. Near ahem Glory Hole. Short face with often good snow.

The trail map only names general areas and the locals have names (often more than one) for just about every single opening.

2 months ago

Thanks for the pix.

Wow, the groomed part at the bottom of Strawberry is worse than I thought. Definitely a ski slow zone - normally it is a high speed runout. Pix match descriptions I’ve heard about recent conditions.

Not totally unexpected. Snowbasin has a very low base elevation - 6450 and a less than ideal aspect - primarily east with some southern faces. The cottonwoods are the areas to go to for better snow base during lean years and the shoulder seasons.

First trip to Snowbasin I took several pix of the bathrooms, including the gold plated urinals. Felt guilty using them.

2 months ago

JohnL wrote:

Side Step up is I think 54 on the trail map, Keyhole Gulch. Near ahem Glory Hole. Short face with often good snow.

The trail map only names general areas and the locals have names (often more than one) for just about every single opening.

Hi JohnL think I know what you mean - after coming down Sugarrloaf just before you get to a left-hander in a little valley that goes to the run under that lift there is a gate and you side-step up it. Narrow spine - go in about 20 feet and there is a little tree-lined chute I guess 25 feet wide a little less at the top. Required about 5 hop turns and then it opens up and you come down in to the open and the lift is to your right. Yeah miss that place …

2 months ago

Crush wrote:

JohnL wrote:

Side Step up is I think 54 on the trail map, Keyhole Gulch. Near ahem Glory Hole. Short face with often good snow.

The trail map only names general areas and the locals have names (often more than one) for just about every single opening.

Hi JohnL think I know what you mean - after coming down Sugarrloaf just before you get to a left-hander in a little valley that goes to the run under that lift there is a gate and you side-step up it. Narrow spine - go in about 20 feet and there is a little tree-lined chute I guess 25 feet wide a little less at the top. Required about 5 hop turns and then it opens up and you come down in to the open and the lift is to your right. Yeah miss that place …

Where are you and Mary at? Tahoe? We where talking about you two the other day.

2 months ago

We got out to Snowbird for two days, I haven’t written that up, but we really enjoyed Mineral basin with some much-needed fresh snow - about 4-5 inches one day and then 6-7 days a few days later.

Today my buddy and I did some backcountry skiing, or I should say snowboarding, my first time doing that. It was sublime being out there on your own power, choosing where to go based on our skills and the conditions. Here is the report:

https://mullenrussell0.wixsite.com/mullens/blog/backcountry-in-the-wasatch

 

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