Don’t you know about the bird? Since an active pattern in late December and early January, Utah went through a drastic dry spell. So when I flew out to Utah two weeks ago, I wasn’t expecting conditions to be that great. But it turns out that I timed my trip out perfectly. After deciding to go up to Deer Valley to avoid a potential canyon closure, I went up to the Bird on Thursday morning. Prior to my drive up the canyon, the resort had received two feet of snow in forty-eight hours. After a bit of traffic, I got up to Snowbird at around 9:30. I decided to stay low to check out some areas that avoided the powder crowds from the day before: Wilbere and Baby Thunder. I slowly worked my way up through Gadzoom, Gad 2, and Little Cloud. And then came the rope drop at Mineral Basin. I missed the original rope drop because I was over at Gad 2, but I got there about fifteen minutes afterward. After dealing with some chunky snow from the initial skiers and riders and avalanche blast snow, I found the good stuff. Suffice to say, it was soft and deep. Face shots were on the menu. I got back another run in Mineral Basin via the Baldy lift, which was also sensational. I got a top-to-bottom lap in via Chip’s Run and headed back down the Canyon. The second portion of my trip to Snowbird started with a stay at The Cliff Lodge on Sunday and Monday night. The hotel features a large number of activities to keep you busy between skiing and sleeping. Some of the amenities include the Cliff Spa, a separate pool and hot tubs next to the Chickadee lift, a bridge to the Snowbird Center, personal ski lockers, various restaurants, shops, a fitness center, a game room, and much more. It’s a great place to stay if you want slopeside accommodations along with plentiful activities.
I kinda knew it was a good powder day by night time when it continued to snow, but I wasn’t expecting 10″ inches of snow in the past twenty-four hours. It turned out to be a sleeper powder day, due to most locals thinking the storm was only going to give 2-4 inches to the Cottonwood Resorts. For me, this was probably the best day of the season.
I had a flight Mid-Day Tuesday, so I only ripped for around an hour on the Wilbere lift. It definitely firmed up a bit after a warm-up on Monday afternoon, but it was nice to ski some untracked corduroy for the first time all season. I got about five runs in before having to prepare for check-out and packing up to return home to New England. While driving my car towards Utah SR 210, I got one last look at the stunning panorama of Snowbird and prepared myself for the neverending concourses of the new Salt Lake City International Airport. Image Credits: Snowbird Resort, Ian Wood
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