Ski Conditions Report for Park City Canyons Utah
February 12, 2015
After a (so far) brutally dry winter, we often get mystery powder and conditions. You never know what 5 inches of new snow and some wind will bring. Sometimes goodness...
January 19, 2015
The ski conditions and outlook: it's like coming to the edge of a desert and staring across the wasteland to the horizon that just keeps moving as you move, never-ending, never changing. That's where we seem to be with this weather forecast. No snow and no weather on the horizon or the horizon of the horizon.
Oh well, that's winter sometimes, when you stay in one place. It was partly cloudy with warming air temps and an annoying wind on the ridge. All the good snow has been wrecked by the wind. It's time for inbounds skiing appreciation...
January 18, 2015
I think it's fair to say that the good snow is gone... Se le vie... The weather was wonderful with total bluebird conditions with perfect mid-20s temps at 10,000 and unlimited visibility after the brush-by storm that dropped a couple of inches of new snow and a LOT of wind. The wind completely wrecked all the good snow and created a quite unpleasant wind crust on nearly every aspect with almost no wind protected settled powder anywhere. Skied a few runs in the Canyons backcountry with Cutter, before retiring for the day.
January 17, 2015
After a rousing bluebird backcountry powder day yesterday, today was more about recovery. It was a short day of good snow, increasing clouds with some building wind as a new brush-by storm is approaching. Not much snow is expected. Got in and got out fast... Looks like high pressure and some rest is on the way.
January 16, 2015
We set out early on a mission to West and South Monitor on the Park City Ridgeline backcountry. It was another near perfect weather day, with good snow holding on North and East faces. Just a little wind effect on the very top of the backcountry bowls, but everything else was real nice...
January 15, 2015
After the storms we finally got a bluebird day, and it was a Fine Day... Perfect sunshine, cold enough to keep the snow good, nice powder and low avalanche danger means pure fun. The crew headed straight for Cone Head in Dutch's Draw and hit it over and over until the sun went home...
January 13, 2015
The day after the BIG fast moving storm that dropped 16 inches of new snow was one to dry out and try to find your way in the very low visibility conditions. The snow got a bit green-housed (humidity and fog adds heat and moisture to dry snow) and the east wind was blowing a bit too much, but it was still great skiing. Super crowded inbounds right away, so Cutter and I headed straight into the white-out of the backcountry ridge and made several laps in the trees of Dutch's Draw. We found some great snow in wind sheltered nooks and crannies.
Hooked up with Roy later and enjoyed a Square Top Loft. Nice. We were all pretty tired and beat up from yesterday's storm mayhem and inbounds shredding.
January 13, 2015
Holy big surprises! A decent little 6-12 forecast turned into a raging 6 hour snow machines dumping between 15-25 inches in 6-8 hours across a narrow area in the Central Wasatch here in Utah. After planning to get out for the swing shift, after noon, I finally got my Blue Ox truck running around 12 pm and out the door I went. The interstate I-80 was a total mess, with chains and 4x4 required. I got to the parking lot around 12:45 and it already had a foot of new snow.
I grabbed all my gear, as if it was going to be a backcountry hiking day, but soon found I needed only the chairlifts to get the nice deep powder. Skied inbounds until 3:30 then headed into the backcountry for a couple of DEEP runs, one on Loft and the second on lower Corn Bowl. Trail breaking was tough and sloughs were moving fast and scary on steeper terrain so Micah and I headed down (near darkness) and barely got on the gondola for the download. Super wet, but really nice day. Tomorrow should be premium!
January 12, 2015
Today was a day of perhaps a transition in the weather. It's a bit warm and cloudy again with terrible flat light at the ski area. I went up to Park City Mountain Resort and re-discovered the crowds that do not exist at the Canyons (at least where I go to ski). The parking lot was a fiasco as it always is at PC. A place to park your car for skiing, what a novel idea. The managers of PC clearly assume everyone who skis there is staying in a walk up condo or taking the free town bus. So I parked in the lower lot, only to find the First Time lift with a size-able lift line. (That's the lift you take to get to the regular high speed lifts). So I bypassed that line and headed for the water-dripping wonder Three Kings. Got soaked riding up the short lift, before I finally got to the white-out conditions of mid-mountain.
Snow was two things, soft and hard, depending on whether it was groomed or not, shady or not. Even the UVs were getting through the gloom to the south and east facing slopes.
One guy on the lift, joked, "It doesn't get much worse than this." I stared at this newby of the mountains and said, "Yeah, it does."
When I was a boy I sat on a lift on Mt. Bachelor, Oregon that was broken for an hour in 40 mph wind, with rain and sleet coming in sideways. I cried until I had no more tears. My Mom told me, "this is where they send bad boys in Hell." That made us all laugh...
Bring on the pow!
January 11, 2015
Cloudy, warm, and a few sprinkles of rain at the end of the day. A bit crowded, it being Saturday, despite the poor skiing conditions. Pretty much ass... But they're calling for a few inches today and maybe 6-12 tomorrow, so perhaps improvement.
This is how I felt skiing today...
January 10, 2015
After a frustrating morning of trying to get the official vehicle of Free the Powder Gloves safety inspected, passed and registered (which was a gigantic headache because I had to spend 1.5 hours in the Home Depot parking lot with 6 razor blades pealing off the window tint that got it a FAIL) , I headed to Park City Mountain Resort. Parking was a fiasco, as it is always, so I headed to the Canyons, which has the easiest to use, most gi-normous parking lot ever.
I did not expect much as this was the ski conditions report from the Utah Avalanche Center, "It's all-you-can eat crust skiing and riding out there, folks. Wind crust, rime crust, melt freeze crust - supportable, breakable, trap-door and rail-road."
I went all the way to the summit of 9990 Peak. It was very nice and calm. Food for the senses kind of stuff. I stood up there for a while, checking everything out (for the 4000th time), then dropped into the GNAR, north face, super steep Charlie Brown/Red Pine Chutes. I always forget how long and steep these lines are. They are great in the powder, but it's so far to the bottom, to go back up to 9990 (requires long traverse, multiple runs and two chairlift rides to get back up top). When it's really hard, conditions are slide-for-life. But on this day, it was surprisingly soft and carvy. And, it teaches you how to ski again. Steep, rocky, and hard is skiing...
January 08, 2015
The great American Founding Father Thomas Paine said, "These are the times that try men's souls..." . That is how I felt standing in the shade, staring down a 1500 foot slope of recently frozen snow that had been nice and soft in the sun, not more than 30 minutes before. My edge-less fat backcountry rock skis were going to be of little assistance on this ass-crappy (technical ski term) boiler plate of a ski run. All I needed was some great gloves to get me through (and my awesome skiing skill).
I am writing this blog post, so as you can see, I made it out alive... but it wasn't pretty for the other folks and who knows, the ski patrol probably had their hands full on their final sweeps.