May 22, 2017

One last storm?

A break in the storms on Wednesday evening

7-8" on Wednesday, which is most likely the last significant snowfall until the fall. We skied a couple Collins laps at Alta on Wednesday night (finishing at 8:30pm when it was still light out!), and then went back to Mt Tuscarora to ski the Seagull Couloir in the sunshine on Saturday (and were treated to some parking lot puppies when we finished).

We opted for a longer run on Sunday, the true sign of shifting seasons.

The Alta-Collins snow depth is still at 113"!!

Wednesday May 17

Saturday May 20

May 14, 2017

Mixing it up

Summer and winter are battling it out... above 8500 feet there is still lots of snow, but we are in full spring/summer mode below that elevation. 

We got out to ski on Saturday but it was our first "early bail" of the entire season - conditions just weren't good: first overnight re-freeze of the week followed by high winds and clouds. Sunday was much better - I skied the Seagull Couloir on Mt Tuscarora for the first time. Very nice chute. It's the obvious line in the photo below.

To mix things up a bit, we headed to Millcreek Canyon for a pair of hikes this week. The obvious ones, Grandeur and Aire. Everything is just lush and green and beautiful right now. We (even Jake!) are enjoying the transition between seasons.

May 7, 2017

The Switch Flips

Man, last week was amazing. We still can't get over it.

Then the switch flipped, and I think its a one-way bullet train towards summer now. The 160" snow depth at Alta-Collins is already down to 125" as of this afternoon. Probably time to put away the powder skis until Thanksgiving. Tis the season for 82s!

We didn't get any good overnight freezes this week, so all the new snow sort of just turned to mush. Ski conditions weren't that great, but being up in the mountains on skis is always great... so we got out a couple days. After work on Thursday for my birthday (somewhat of a tradition) and then again on Saturday morning.

I think we still (easily) have a good month left, especially if the nights start getting a little colder. We're brainstorming summer ideas, but I'm skiing until its dirt!

I'm going to try and write up my 2011 vs 2017 comparison this week. Regardless of what happens over the next 4-6 weeks, I've already made up my mind on the winner.

Thursday May 4

Birthday ski at Alta - two laps from the top of Collins. Slush mess!

Saturday May 6

Main Chute was good, everything else was VERY slushy. Snowpack needs some time to condense, and hopefully we can get some overnight re-freezes.

April 30, 2017

55" Week to Close Out April!

Andrea dropping off the backside of Toledo Bowl - Saturday April 29th

It snowed 55 inches between Monday afternoon and Friday afternoon. 

The Alta-Collins snow depth surpassed 160" for the first time since 2011.

It snowed 55 inches between Monday afternoon and Friday afternoon!!! (worth repeating)

Six straight days of powder skiing to close out April. I'm going to have to get some thoughts down comparing 2011 to 2017, but this has definitely been our dreamiest season ever.

Tuesday to Friday was "Emma Week" so I'm lumping the photos I have together...

Tuesday April 25

The forecast called for 6-12" on Monday and through the night. By the time we got up to Alta after work on Tuesday, it had snowed 25" in 24 hours. Truly remarkable overproduction! With avalanche danger due to the storm snow fairly high, we stuck to an area we know well - Emma Ridge. We skied a south-facing lap, then one into Silver Fork's upper bowl, and then one more south-facing one to finish up. Powder days are here again!

Wednesday April 26

Solo dawn patrol - back to Emma Ridge for 2 laps before work. Conditions were even a touch better than the night before.

Thursday April 27

Another 12" storm on top of Monday/Tuesday's snow. We replicated the same exact tour as Tuesday evening - it was deeper and lighter! What a freaking week!

Friday April 28

"Slept in" since it was blustery and Andrea was planning to take a day off to rest for the weekend. I almost did the same thing, but 4" fell overnight and then another 7" came down during the day. I had to take advantage, and I'm glad I did. Another deja vu cold smoke two-lapper off Emma Ridge.

Saturday April 29

We were planning on heading to Cardiac Bowl, but it looked a little wind hammered, so we ended up dropping into Cardiff Fork and then skied 5 laps in the Holy Toledo zone. Absolute hero snow!

Sunday April 30

With the sun out yesterday, the only light, dry snow was going to be on the higher pure North facing aspects. Alta has been closed to touring all week due to the avalanche conditions, but the ropes were dropped today so we decided to ski laps in the Devil's Castle zone. Conditions were as good as you could ever hope for at the end of April. Hell, it would have been great powder in January! 

What an amazing week. Now we'll probably have to transition to "true" spring skiing, although you never know if another storm might drop into the Wasatch over the next couple weeks.