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Discussion in 'United States' started by absentskier, May 25, 2018.
7 year old video but good find.
Wouldn't have been able to shoot it last year.
Have just been informed of our 14yr old daughter's home stay location for 12months for International Student Exchange starting at beginning of Jan. Note: Applicants cannot choose or request any preference for any cities, locations or states - they are completely random destination allocations across entire USA.
Salt Lake City, UTAH
Sorry mate - here was 2 from the back door the other day but got no pics from on the hill.
After you posted that I went out yesterday and it was bluebird and kept thinking "that would make a great shot to show conditions" so when we got home I had resolved to put the go pro on 1 sec continuous mode and then do a few runs but after messing around with it (had been a while) realised it was low battery so it probably wouldn't last a run so that left taking the DSLR out and, well I figured I would go the Go Pro route today but of course toady was socked in and snowing pretty much all day so didn't take it out.
Was a great day however - hill has absolutely deserted - nobody at any lifts and most runs empty. Had some great runs and plenty of face shots the last few days. The hill was reporting 21" in 5 days and they were saying 6th best November snowfall totals since they started keeping track in 81 (best since 2010). We went out lunchtime and when we committed to coming home did a run down Storm face and there was at least 2" of fresh that hadn't been there the last time which was only an hour or so earlier.
Every local I know that I have spoken to has said what a start so fingers crossed it keeps going
Ill grab a few hill shots at some stage @chunky - just checked the Brissy forecasts and at least it has cooled down for you.
Yikes!! Have friends and their 15 (at the time I think - definitely not 14) year old daughter did 2 months I think (All of December and some of Nov and Jan if memory serves) in Germany last Christmas or the year before and I remember thinking that's a pretty big call for both the daughter and the parents (sure I made some jokes about meeting Hans ) so 12 months.......
Congrats on the SLC placement (I think there would be plenty of places in the US I wouldn't want my daughter to go) and it sounds like a great opportunity - as per my comment above I didn't realise they did these sorts of placements for that long at that age let alone younger and 12 months. Done through some US centric exchange program? I know my other half tried to do a Rotary program when she was younger but I think it was anywhere and they were older like 16 or 17 at least.
Hey @tr+h - fingers crossed japan delivers. My other half had a full ACL reconstruction in the Sept prior so no snow for us last season so I never really followed the season as such aside from occasionally checking Steamboat which had a low snow year but from what I understand wasn't "that bad" skiing/riding wise. So was Utah and California pretty dire the entire season?
I had been following Mammoth this season and that wasn't looking great until they got that big dump the other day (5 feet or whatever it was) so at least Japan is in a similar boat in that they can get those 0 to hero type systems - Utah and CO just don't get those sort of dumps.
Not everyone in SLC skis. In fact most don't. It would suck to get the wrong family.
This sucks. Covering the mountain in reclaimed sewerage so people can slide on shite and piss....yeah great. Show some respect. I wonder how we would like it if the Hopi came and dumped sewerage all over the MCG...
Hey @chunky and @absentskier here was a few vids to try and show conditions. I think I got the settings wrong on the Go Pro as the colour looks really off (last time I had used it was for night lapse so had high ISO and had manually set the colour value) but anyway - I tried
Had it set to take a pics at .5 second frequency and I have used 10FPS - not that happy with the result - anyone want to offer some recommend settings for Time Lapse? Of course been years since I uploaded anything to Youtube and wasted a bit of time trying to work out why it wasn't playing back in Youtube at 1080 but looks like YT are restricting the quality options (sneaky buggers) for IE because you get the option to view at 1080 in Chrome. I tried to keep the quality down anyway to cut down on processing times and upload times etc.
I am choosing a few lift ride as I feel it gives a good idea of conditions (view in the best quality you can - max was 1080)
And here was a quick one cutting across to the Priest Creek Liftline - its a bit stop start because as I am with the boy I tend not to get to far ahead (and when I am stopped and waiting he tends to ski to me and stop which makes it worse). If you just tell him to go he is pretty quick down any terrain but we are definitely a 3 speed group with me the quickest, the boy a bit slower and then my daughter really slow (she will do any terrain - just slowly ).
I'm currently sitting on a 5 night booking at the Snowpine in Alta 1st week Feb. Really hoping I can stick with that (work trip in NYC, some doubt). The renos at the Snowpine look epic.
Clarification - daughter is 14 now turning 15 when she departs in 4 weeks. She has always been a VERY mature and very independent child and basically organised this entire exchange herself - including seminars, application, interviews, vaccinations, her school approval - she just dragged us both along for ride! She would have gone for 12months but her school (here) advised she would have to repeat year 10 (fair enough) - which she didn't wish to do.
From the exchange letter/photos the UTAH host family appears to be a skiing/boarding family for sure. Don't know enough yet though - early days.
Down side is we are not permitted to visit during her exchange
Decent cover for this time of year compared to previous years yes?
Whitefish opened today!
In many places, yes.
Too late Went out early yesterday and because the little fella doesn't like taking off his gear and riding the Gondy we normally do Christy and Thunderhead and on the way down to Thunderhead lift (actually pretty close to the gates on the flats and hardpack there) I have wiped out at speed and crunched my hip with a hard hit and done at least 1 rotation as I remember whacking my head as well (and there was a decent gouge in the hardpack from the board as I went over). Not quite sure what I did (but could have been flicking to switch etc.) but the little fella reckons I just caught an edge but whatever I did because it was at speed the result wasn't good.
Was down on all fours for at least 5mins as my hip was bloody hurting and even warranted a patroller coming over to check on me (I just tried to shrug it off) but he must have been concerned because he rode the lift up with us. I stayed out as I had to ride Morningside and do at least a run off the ridge (did Christmas Tree Gully - was deep and bloody nice) but was hurting. Of course getting home and resting was when I knew it wasn't good. Not great yesterday afternoon/night and today have a massive painful hand sized lump on my hip with pain further up as well (and notice my shoulder hurts as well so must of whacked that as well) so rest day at home for me and will see how I fare tomorrow. I just cant believe I did it before the first run of the day
Shame because its a beautiful day out and of course they had some fresh - Hill is reporting 9 days of snowfall in a row Seems a bit warmer today as well judging by the sun melt out the back. Of course me not going out seems to be a good excuse for the kids to just sit at home on devices even though the could have gone out on their own!!!
Yeah I cant really overstate how good the conditions are at the moment - obviously the fact that they have had reasonable snowfalls (and top ups as per the 9 days in a row comment above) and a decent base for this time of year are a big factor but the biggest contributor is the lack of crowds - it really is deserted out there so that has made for some great conditions.
Ouch. Hopefully just bruising. Reckon you might slow down one day?
Mammoth looking nice atm.
That left side is still pretty sore (hip, lower back and shoulder) but decided to go out anyway so was definitely slower today. Was doing alright with only one incident being me and the boy running into each other in tight trees doing Closets/Shadows which was just because we both turned into the same line (I was lower so am blaming him). Last run of the day we did Upper Vagabond (lower is still closed - they could have opened it a week ago) and did the cat track Betwixt around to Rough Rider basin (which offered some flat untracked) so decided to do another run and as there was a heap of hits you could do off the high side of the run decided to 180 off one and because I came back onto the run switch there was a crappy bit (dip between the groomed and side) which caused me to catch an edge and face plant out onto the run Bloody hurt too.
Last bloody run - TBH I don't mind wiping out bombing a black or double black (because at times ill admit I'm not 100% in control) but to wipe out hard on the flat hardpack near the lift like I did the other day.......
Anyway, was good to be out today and whilst I still hurt now it wasn't that bad riding so hopefully I only lose a day out of it.
Was sunny and warm today with a sun snow shower down low when we headed out which was cool. Up high was snowing and socked it with 1 chair or lower visibility at times. Daughter didn't want to do runs off the top of Warner so did Closets/Shadows (nice but pretty tracked - they haven't opened it all the way below duster and the kids wont duck ropes so that's a pain) and me and the boy did a run through Land Of The Little People which had great coverage which was surprising (on the line we took a couple of felled pines but still covered enough). Did some untracked stuff over at Sunny side and to the side of Moonlight etc. and it was very heavy so its a pity today warmed up as it had been nice and soft previously.
Compared to earlier crazy busy today - lifts still all ride straight on but the runs were busy with locals and I assume holiday folks, ski school groups and plenty of Winter Sports groups - guess just busier being the weekend. One of the highlights was seeing not 1 but 2 Long (I think) Tailed Weasels (all white winter coat and black tip on the tail) - one from the Storm Lift and the other ran out in front of my daughter at the top of Storm.
Even Texas is getting good snow at the moment!
Well after I think 11 days straight of recorded snowfalls (with at least 1 sneaky one in there I didn't think snow was forecast) the tap has been turned off and we have had some sunny days. The other day got up and the temps were -20 odd so rugged up when we went out only to find it was bloody warm (like 0) - that's a pretty big swing in a few hours. We didn't go out yesterday as the little fella was sick but the day before did a couple of runs down Chute 1 and 2 (1 being pretty sketchy - should have done it earlier with fresh) to check them out and as I said previously the warm (ish) weather has made any lower untracked stuff very heavy. They have finally opened terrain like lower Vagabond but tracked areas are moguled/scaped. Definitely getting busier at the base area as well with beginner types so assume that's indicative of increasing holiday visitors. Snow forecast today into tomorrow so fingers crossed that delivers and freshens things up for a few days
Hey @NeoSamurai - you had said in your original post your daughter was going for 12 months (at least that's how I read it) and then said she cant do 12 months as she would have to repeat the missed year of school so how long is she actually going for?
Anybody flown to LAX with AA? Their site is garbage and i'm getting mixed messages from their support whether I will have to pay an excess baggage (due to dimensions). $200 USD each way really brings up the cost, if it is like that i'll probably go with Delta.
I have not flown internationally with AA but have done several US domestic legs. I have never been charged extra for skis.
Nobody in the USA?
Guess its been a week so a quick update - That snowfall I mentioned last time delivered with 11" at mid and 13" at least up high - made for some great runs. Went over to Pony a couple of times (traversed once and hiked up from the back the other) and had some great runs and just in the nick of time to sneak in some runs as the crew at the top of the lift advised they were going to open on the Sat. Amazing what a difference fresh to warm can make because we were then back to warm/sunny days which basically killed the offpiste (I think one day it was in the 40's) and even on piste ungroomed stuff was trash. The groomers of course are sill good/fun but bloody icy in the high traffic areas - guess we have had a couple of cruising days.
We were due to get 4-8" the other night into yesterday but when I checked the temps after midnight it was still in the 30's so wasn't expecting much and sure enough we got skunked with 2". Lots of wind (Gondy was slow all day and Storm never opened) and still warm but I had fun - mostly due to wind blown - a few nice stashes and even though the crust was still under the fresh (storm total was 5") you could get some fresh turns in and due to the high wind (and low vis) there was nobody out and about. Breck scored 15" and if you check the CO totals there were some big variances even between really close resorts.
Crowds have picked up big time mostly due to a few big University groups - there is a group from Perdue of 800 odd and add in a couple of hundred here and there from the other unis you have lots of young (mostly men) folks on the hill. I guess the boys stand out a bit more as you have these roving bands all over the hill - interesting to watch especially as the off piste has been "challenging" at times Steamboat does seem to do the big groups really well - the groups that are here now are getting accommodation and skiing for the week for < $700 which is a bloody good deal.
Anyway - today was another bluebird day so after charging hard before lunch (was better than I thought it was going to be - was great fun - damn my little fella is fast and good on the tele's) after lunch the other half and I went back out for a couple of hours so took the camera to grab a couple of pics:-
Top of Thunderhead looking over to Storm Peak (Four Points Lodge shown)
From the Storm Chair looking up towards Thunderhead Peak and Lodge
Passing Four Points Lodge
I quite liked the wind blown snow on the Storm Lift power/control lines
Other half skiing Christmas Tree Gully (wasn't happy at the top - our line in was steep and very rocky)
Trees further down
Anyway - whilst I will confess to being a bit of a snow snob in regards to crusty conditions (damn the warm weather - Denver forecast tomorrow is in the 60's) really cant complain - good to be out and about
1st & 2nd bags are free to/from Australia. 1 pair of skis + boots, helmet count as a single piece (ie your 2nd bag). Maximum weight per piece is 23kg for economy 32kg for business. The maximum size for your ski bag is supposed to be 126 inches (length+width+height), but you would be hard pressed to exceed that (my double sportube fully extended is under 100 inches), and I've never seen anyone apart from Japan measure a ski bag.
Will be in Vail 23-28th Feb (although haven’t booked flights yet , bit lazy).
Will have a ski pass for vail, Breck, beaver and keystone but will be staying on mountain at vail.
Just booked our trip. Will be skiing Utah (Snowbasin / Powder Mountain) 20-23rd, then breck 24-29th of Jan.
Will probably only get a car in Utah. Had a look at a few of the comparison sites and even the car dealers and there's no information on snow tires. Do we have to wait till we get there then get slung a massive upgrade cost or do you not even need snow tires? Any advice would be great.
Don’t need snow tyres. You’ll be given all season M&S tyres.
Ikon Passes and Epic Passes are good value, Vail and Beaver Creek are $209US for walk up one day lift tickets.
Appreciating you are asking about UT not CO however I would expect the answers to be similar.
Cheers guys. I sent an email to a couple of the car rental places in Salt Lake anyway. Will report back.
Does anybody have recommendations on a cat skiing operator either near Ogden/Snowbasin in Utah or near Breckenridge in Colorado? I'm looking for steep and deep terrain, more for advanced / expert riding.
Somewhat chilly at the lodge this morning.
While I don't think it's "steep and deep" in the same way as cat or heli skiing in Canada or Alaska, there is a cat skiing operation near Ogden with 70,000 acres you might enjoy. Whisper Ridge is a father-son operation that opened up a few years ago. All private land. Very comfortable custom cats. I haven't gone yet but have talked to the father a couple times at the Boston Ski Expo. They are locals. Son has an MBA, father has the vision, and they have made good connections to get the business up and running. Whisper Ridge has a partnership with Powder Mountain.
Yep - Bloody cold
Later in the week with the inversion (super cold at the base but heaps warmer mid to upper mountain) I reckon you could tell where the cold layer was as you skied/rode down to the base. That day I think the reported temp was -27F which is almost -33C - as our temp digs for that week was the next stop after the "Ponds" (staff accommodation) one of them was saying that morning (before 8am) none of the doors would open on the Gondola so it kept faulting the system so the mechanics were working overtime to get it working properly.
We spent the week at the Steamboat Hotel down on the Hwy (bunch of hotels clumped together like the Holiday Inn and Marriot etc.). Had a good room with a nice view to the ski area
and with the "Orange Line" bus stop out the front worked really well for getting around.
Missed New Years as my son was ill but did take a few pics of the fireworks from the Hotel but as it was pretty snowy hard to get a decent shot
Talking fireworks Steamboat has started weekly fireworks as part of their "Steamboat Friday Nights" celebrations with music etc. I remember reading about it in the local paper ages ago as their was some local opposition (dog owners etc.) but looks like they got approval. I love a good fireworks show and they aren't over in a minute (run for about 15mins I think) so it must be costing them a fortune but if you are here for a week and catch the show it would certainly add to the experience which I guess is what they are going for. Here were a few of my attempts from last night (taken from the back door of where I am so we get a great view as they are let off just across the way)
Today (and yesterday) was a changeover day with many of the New Years crowds leaving (US kids are back at school next week - local kids Tuesday I think) so the slopes looked much quieter today however Music Fest is this weekend and next week so the crowds will pickup again with all the Texans coming for that. Would have been nice to ski/ride today and unlike the cold of the previous week it was positively tropical being above freezing but we decided to try some X Country skiing instead.
This season the local Ski Hill (Howelsen Hill) has free skiing and X country etc. on Sundays but apparently most of the X Country trails there are expert so we decided to head up to the Steamboat Ski Touring Center instead which proved to be a wiser choice because whilst the kids probably would have been fine, us adults were definitely NOT up to expert level. Been a lot of years since I have tried X Country skiing and it was as hard as I remember Bloody hell - had a wipeout minutes into it so sign of things to come. Spent more than 3 hours doing several of the trails including a couple of more difficult ones and whilst the kids didn't have any issues (my little fella was zipping around skating etc.) I struggled. Every time I picked up speed in the track on the down I would pop out (and then on occasion crash) and on one occasion I ran into the back of my daughter with a decent crash (where I landed hard on the basket of one of my stocks) and I have just noticed that I have a huge lump on my thigh as a result.
Anyway, was a good activity for the day (guessing I will feel it in the morning - a few hours was quite the workout). Here was a pic of the kids with Sleeping Giant as a backdrop
And lastly a pic towards the ski hill taken from one of the trails
I did try to take some multi shots to do some much better Pano's as there were some good views to the ski hill from the trails (mostly from around the Golf course) but with no stitching software on the PC it will have to wait (grabbed Hugin before - will install it at some stage). Certainly lots of nice homes etc. up in that area but with price tags in the 4 and 5 (and up I am sure) million $ a bit out of my reach
Have fun out there folks
Nice to see your update. Happy to swap my humid and hot yucky Brissy days for your cold ones?
There are so many Australians in Aspen the next two weeks on Friday Jan 11 and Friday Jan 18, Buttermilk is serving an Australian Appreciation Brekkie between 8.30am and 9.30am. Vegemite toast for everyone, fairy bread for the little uns and bacon & egg rolls for the adults (and hung-over) - all gratis.
Rumour has it there might even be some Tim Tams in the afternoon as people come off the mountain.
...which is a timely reminder and warning to all decent thinking citizens of snow-bound nations that the contentious annual day of worshipping the Union Jack + Southern Cross flag and 'celebrating' the highly-dubious land-rights claims of the original boat people is almost upon us. From Hirafu to Heavenly please lock up your family or get out of town.
anyone noticed any TSA/flight or national park impacts from the shutdown? leaving in a week or so
Hey @chunky - Sadly I'll be having my own hot and humid Brissy days soon enough!!
Hey @Brimmo - First shop I did here at City Market (Kroger's) I noticed a stack of Tim Tams so I guess they are now a stocked item as per ( https://www.kroger.com/p/arnott-s-tim-tam-original-cookies/0931007202818# ). Definitely noticed a few more Aussie accents post Jan 1 than earlier in the season.
Hey @Nick. - Not heard anything on the Denver news regarding TSA or Flights etc. and that has been over the busy Xmas and New Year travel period so I would say you should be good. National Parks and Museums etc. on the other hand have been impacted and have been frequently reported on the news so I would suggest you check anywhere you were thinking of visiting. The type of stuff being reported is about various places that are basically closed (like museums etc.) and for things like National Parks they have been talking about no car access (i.e. gates locked - but you can walk in) and lots of issues with waste collection and no access to public toilets etc. (shut).
Had a lovely first taste of Snowmass today. Mainly just sampled some of the long rolling cruisers (wife and daughters loved them) that the place is famous for. Parked (for free) at Two Creeks and had a 60 metre walk to the lift - very easy.
I think we’ll go to Aspen tomorrow. Have a ski on Aspen Mountain and a stroll around town.
It is possible to park for free in Aspen town with a car pool parking permit. You need to turn onto the Airport frontage road and as you are almost exiting the airport there is a little man in a little shack who will give you a permit if you have four ? people in your vehicle between 6am and 11.30am - you must park in the designated car pool parking areas - https://www.cityofaspen.com/Faq.aspx?QID=262
Where are our Tahoe regulars? The Sierras and surrounds have got a ginormous snow system incoming.
Guess I spoke to fast - other half reckons it got a mention on the Denver news last night. They were saying DIA was OK so far (but that could change if more and more TSA staff don't come in) but apparently Atlanta were majorly impacted.
Couple of great shots there @absentskier
It was on my list to take the little fella up for a night hike so finally got around to it tonight so here was a few pics. Was supposed to sort skins for him (borrow or get really cheap) but never happened so given I have to carry my gear and boot pack he can do the same
Love how they light up the trees around the base area and here was an example (looking down towards the Hwy)
Almost there - Looking up towards Thunder Head lodge which was our destination - caught a couple of other skiers coming down "The Daze" (Heavenly Daze) but given the star trails I must have had the camera zoomed
This is a view from the top of Thunderhead looking down to the base
And this was the view up to Storm Peak - with the top of Pony lit far left, Four Points lit at Centre and the top of the Storm lift lit top right. The centrally lit area with the red top and bottom was a winch cat at work
All in all a nice night out with the boy. Reckon 3/4 of the hike he struggled to keep up but to give him his due the final 1/4 I was definitely the one lagging behind
And lucky last here was a pic that was still on the camera from the other day where I was trying for an "arty" shot of the frost that was on the tree at the back door
Anyway, snow supposedly inbound over the next few days so fingers crossed the system delivers
I so want to visit there. Yeah it's not for everyone but I want to try it. I reckon my family would love Snowmass.
......and snow delivered
Woke up to more than a foot of fresh on the back wall
They were reporting 14" at mid mountain and 15" at the summit at 5am or whenever they do the report but by the time the lifts opened it was up around 20"+ and before the day was done it would be an official 26" within 24hours. I'm pretty sure that my previous best 24 hour total was 67cms so 26" at 66cms was just shy of that.
Suffice to say it was deep out there and a few great runs were had.
Very heavy and if it had just been a bit drier it would have been all time but was still pretty great. Other half and the boy did first tracks and they reckon it was absolute carnage (lots of people struggling). Me and my daughter tried to get out relatively early but joined the masses (big queues as you might expect and early) in trying to get at it. On a big powder day I always agonise over the best strategy (trying to get after the fresh) but realistically its all good and whilst it was really busy early by lunch the crowds had thinned heaps. Saw a few people with only one ski and as per above observed plenty of carnage myself.
Big day was had and with much colder temps over night that sucked a bit of moisture out of the fresh coupled with much better vis etc. today, I would say that a few of the runs I did today were much better than yesterday. Did a few laps of some untracked tight treed stuff that was as good as I have had in those areas - suffice to say it was deep, really deep and fun - just had good fun riding around.
Anyway, given I head home next week a big storm was a great way for Steamboat to say goodbye. Tomorrow will probably be my last ride for the season so will look forward to hearing how the NA season pans out for any fortunate enough to be skiing and riding this season.
No photos I am afraid but Grand Targhee has had 18” of cold, dry snow in the last 24 hours. Just saying!
Yes the visibility has been terrible but the snow has been great.
I have been extremely lazy with updates this trip. Has been amazing though. Steamboat has been brilliant. So much snow. And a great few days at Snowmass, Aspen and Aspen Highlands.
We leave in a few days and it is dumping big tome today / tonight.
I’ll post some photos of the last month.