Ice Skier

By: Kyler Roush

If I could only describe today in one word, that word would be FIRM.  Things at Snowbird have undergone a drastic transformation in the last couple days.  At the beginning of the week we were all skiing balls deep powder, but not anymore.

Yesterday, the temperature on the Plaza Deck reached a staggering 60 degrees without a cloud in the sky.  Overnight everything froze and today it took a few hours for everything to soften up into skiable shape.

If you plan on skiing over the weekend, here is a rundown of the areas of the mountain.

Peruvian Gulch- Smooth, firm and fast groomers.  Silverfox from my experience was the place to be today.  From Silverfox and below, Andersons Hill was the way to go.  The mogul field under the Daltons traverse was also soft and fun.

Ice Rink

Not actually that bad......but close in the morning...

Gad Valley-  Big Emma, an icy mess, as usual.  Bassackwards seemed to be the place to be, but that isnt saying much.  If you’re interested in relaxed skiing, Harper’s Ferry off of Wilbere was smooth and fun.

Gad 2- I made a quick lap through the Black Forest and found less than favorable snow.  The snow hasn’t been skied as much and is “soft” but quite sticky.  I wouldn’t hesitate to go back through as it was enjoyable.  If you’re interested in skiing White Pine, the Gad 2 gate has been open the last couple days and I would expect the same for Saturday.  Bring a beacon, shovel, probe, and partner.

Mineral Basin- Anywhere in Mineral Basin was a good choice today, the snow was wet and soft and corn-like in places.  Mineral was the only place you could find a lift line today.

Pipeline- If you were one of the few lucky souls to ski it today, I envy you as I missed getting up in time by 10 minutes.  The snow in Pipeline Bowl was creamy and wind buffed and the snow in the couloir looked just as good.  There is a chance of Patrol opening Pipeline Saturday, so be prepared with a beacon, shovel, probe and partner.

Snowbird's Pipeline

The weather this weekend will be breezy, partly cloudly and mid 50′s.  This should lead to some nice spring skiing without everything turning to peanut butter.  If you aren’t interested in bumpy frozen snow turning to soft slush, take a bike ride or go climbing as the weather in Salt Lake and surrounding areas are forecasted to be 70′s.

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  1. Jesse says:

    I skied Pipeline today; it was freaking awesome! Super-soft on skier’s right side of the chute, though the hike was quite nasty (as is to be expected).

  2. Patrick says:

    First ever day at Snowbird, First ever pipeline run. I have fallen in love with “The Bird.” Sure Wish I didn’t have to go back to Colorado for the rest of the season.

  3. someone says:

    I Would of loved to ride pipeline but snowbird ski patrol eats worms and dirt. And said that snowboarders are not allowed to ride pipeline due to slick ice sheets.

    • Kyler says:

      Well unfortunately, some dirt is starting to appear in high traffic areas…

    • someone else says:

      I was there when some snowboarders were denied. It is not the ski patrol’s fault you chose a sport that’s origins are in surfing, not mountaineering. I’m pretty sure you can’t front point in sorels. The down was not the issue. Maybe if the bootpack is more friendly in the future it will open to your shoes.

      • Dennis says:

        Well, i have been snowboarding La Grave, Chamonix and some crazy steep couloirs in Northern Norway, often it’s been rock hard ice all the way, and ALL my friends are skiers, no problem at all! And they do have crampons for snowboardshoes, mine works perfect! So this is bullshit!!

        Sorry for my bad english


    • Kyler says:

      Hiking up today, the boot up would have been friendly at times, but quite hazardous in snowboarding boots for much of the way. We all make choices in life, and my choice is to ski.

  4. DMZUSA says:

    My guess is some people don’t know how to sharpen their skis edges, when dealing with ice/hardpack conditions… and haven’t figured out that they should carry extra wax when temperatures fluctuate sooo much.

  5. Anonymous says:

    thats some bullshit! cant hike out in snowboard boots…What if you have crampons? sounds like alta is rubbing off on yall a bit to much out there

  6. Tim says:

    what about snowshoes made to fit snowboard boots, or is that just overkill?

    • Kyler says:

      Its not a matter of weight distribution. Much of the bootpack is VERY steep and requires you to be able to kick into hard icy snow with your toes. Plastic boots kick into hard icy snow much better than a soft snowboard boot.


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