Categories
Skiing

Powder Skiing at Snowbird and Alta

A weekday bluebird powder day comes together perfectly

I arrived at Snowbird early enough to catch the first (public) tram to the top of Hidden Peak. Mineral Basin didn’t open yesterday, so I figured its south- and southeast-facing runs would be loaded with powder snow because of the storm’s strong west-northwest winds.

I was right. The 19 inches of fresh powder on White Diamonds was some of the deepest I’ve ever skied.

Skiing East Greeley at Alta (Photo credit: Peak Photo)

For my second run, I traversed to the Bookends in Mineral Basin, which still had plenty of untracked snow. From the Mineral Basin Express lift, I noticed the wind blowing across the north-facing slopes while the more northeast-facing slopes farther along the traverse looked to be protected from the wind. When the crowded Bookends Traverse slowed to a crawl, however, I got impatient and dropped in before I had planned. Wind had, indeed, scraped snow off the slope I skied. The snow was only a few inches deep near the top of the run, but it was still fresh.

After one more run at Snowbird, I headed over to Alta. There were still some opportunities there to hike for fresh tracks, but I decided instead to take what I could get from the gravity traverses. Ballroom was tracked, but still fresh. I dipped into the trees and stayed off-trail for more powder turns before arriving at the base of the Wildcat lift.

The mountain was getting tracked up, but my runs down from Wildcat, then East Greeley, were still plenty good. I decided to ski a run down from the Sunnyside lift to take a breather before heading back over to Snowbird. I found fresh powder on Blue Bell. Although it’s low-angle terrain, it’s still powder skiing, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Back at Snowbird, Little Cloud Bowl’s fresh, untracked powder sparkled in the afternoon sun, but ski patrol never did open Road to Provo while I was there. Despite missing out on the Road to Provo rope-drop, this was surely one of my best ski days, ever.