by Dave Wall
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Everything is blurry. I rub my eyes, I still can not see too clearly. I have no desire to wake up. Damn my phone is bright. "Thank you for calling Snowbird Mountain Resorts Snow report, we have received 8 new inches in the last 12 hours and 15 inches in the last 48 hours." Hmm, I suddenly have all the motivation I need to jump right out of bed and into my snowboard pants.
6:30 am - "Kyle, Kyle, wake up." I punch him, "WAKE UP!" He takes a minute to come to, but he seems to have the same reaction I do when he hears there is 7 + 8 inches of powder. We need to get ready fast because the report said it was still snowing and had been all night, so the drive up the canyon is going to probably be a slow one and I want to make it up there early for freshies. Kyle: "I'm up."
7:15 am - Lunch, check, Gear, check, Camera, check, Mp3, check, "Hey Kyle, are you ready?"
7:30 am - Sweet, we're on the way up to the canyon and we have an hour and a half to make it up for first chairs. I am way excited, I don't get to ride Snowbird very much and I actually have never been able to get a powder day in there and I hear it is the best snowboarding experience ever. I have my brother Kyle here with me who I have not seen in about four years. Having him come stay with me and come snowboarding is such a cool thing for me. I have to say thanks to Paul for helping me out with this trip. He pretty much made it possible for me to come up today. Lift tickets can be sooooo expensive.
7:50 am - Wow, we are not even half way up the canyon, but we already have a solid wall of cars. The roads are not bad, I hope this is not the line waiting to park and go ride. This is going to be a long time and my stereo in my car is temporarily out of service. I am not sure why, but it decides when it wants to turn on and when it wants me to listen to the quirky noises my car makes. I think I just need to rewire it. Anyhow, today we are listening to the beats my engine and drive train make.
8:52 am - Entry level 2. "Hmm, what do you think Kyle, will we have luck with parking in there?" We are going to be a ways from the tickets but we are not going to find anything any closer. Its already packed in the parking lots for some reason. Sweet, my little car fits perfect in a parking spot no one else could back into. I love my POS.
Lacing up the boots, doing up the powder skirt, and we are ready to hit the mountain. We are early enough to get some fresh lines.
Walking, and walking, we are quite a ways from the tram deck, which is close to where I need to get our tickets. Damn the walk up is taking all my energy.
Coming up the stairs, I can already see the line to the tram as I reach the top. That is so odd, it is Monday morning and we already have holiday weekend lines. I hope its just because everyone wants to be on the tram and the whole mountain is line free.
Snowbird is a really great ski area. There are 2,500 skiable acres, 10 chair lifts and an
aerial tram. They boast 85 trails and most of them are tough. There is a 2,900 ft. vertical
with green trails off seven of the lifts. The average snowfall is 500" and the ski season is
usually 200 days long. The longest run is Chips Run (2.5 miles). We were looking forward
to a really great time and Snowbird did not let us down.
9:10 am - I hear the tram is not going to be open for another 20 minutes so we are going to head out and find some other cool stuff at this big mountain.
So heading up to the cat track that goes to the Wil'bere lift the snow seems a little wet, well actually the air is really moist and I can tell the snow is not the lightest.
Oh yes, I love strapping in for the first run. To me it is a kick off to what could possibly be the best snowboarding experience I have ever encountered ya never know.
The cat track is fun, I like to butter my board around on this kind of flat smooth stuff. Getting all crazy with it is kind of fun, but it is really easy to catch edge and when I do on a long cat track like this and its no fun having to unstrap and walk.
Wil'bere lift line is already quite long. It is one of the smaller lifts on the mountain and already we got a mad line. I don't know what the deal is, it's a Monday and there are soooo many people here. Well, what can you expect on Christmas week, the busiest week of the year at every ski area.
We are cutting across Big Emma to hit up Mid Gad lift. I am quite a ways up the hill and can see a huge line. AHHHH, what gives. See this is getting to me because I was sure we were going to have most of this mountain to ourselves. I guess that's my bad for putting expectations on my riding day.
Mid Gad run is pretty cool, but the powder is way heavy. Any time the nose of your board even dips for a second the snow tries to take you down in a hurry. Right now I am getting all the snow out of my goggles. I did a pretty good goggle toss, I would give myself about a 6. I had to ride down the hill about 35 feet to get them.
Wow, damn this snow is really getting me wet, I have to keep from eating it.
We head over to see how the tram lines are. Well, just as I thought, they are as long as they were before. It is really not my style to wait in line. I mean, I know the tram is SICK, but I get way to antsy waiting. Lines and stop lights are my two biggest pet peeves, and I have to deal with them every day.
11:00 am - It looks like they are opening Peruvian Lift. Oh my gosh, we get the first chair up, and there is tons of fresh lines. Oh yes, I am picking them out all the way up.
So I am not going to take Kyle on anything too crazy just yet. I think I am going to take a run down Chips, to get him into riding this powder. He hasn't been snowboarding in like two and a half years and this powder is kind of weird.
Flying down those cat tracks, I am cutting hard as I can to get huge spray off the cat tracks, but it seams the snow is magnetic. I don't even get a little bit to fly. Hmm, well I guess it is good base snow, and we really needed that. I just feel bad that I cracked this up to be the best day ever and we both are already soaked, and getting pulled down all the time.
Second lift. We are on are way up and I am literally amazed. Right before my eyes PrimeRose path is a virgin run and I see one person come over the top and then another and then ten more and then like 30 more. We don't even make it to the top of that run before the whole thing is completely tracked out. I really mean completely tracked out. I have never seen anything like this. A Monday and there are so many people the whole mountain is going to be hashed in less than an hour.
By the time we strap in and start heading down everything is gone. It's like a mob came and stole all my picked out runs. Damn it!
The worse part about it all is that the snow packs out really hard. So when you cross over someone line you really feel it. And when there is tons of lines we can't really go fast because we get tossed in a hurry.
We took a run on Chip's Run and it was in really good shape. We picked up Rothman Way and skied to the Gadzoom Detachable Quad it was great. We skied over to the Little Cloud lift and took that to the top. We took a look at Mineral Basin and gave it a try. It was humbling but we handled it. We decided to take Road To Provi and rode down Mark Malu Fork. We rode the same chair back to the top and came down through the bumps on Regulator Johnson and then took another run down the groomed part of that slope. It was awesome!
A few runs later. 1:00 pm. The day is left to dorking around on moguls and little obstacles. We can't really go fast because then we will eat it, and there is not really much of a park up. Oh well, we can just make the best of it right?
Well let's actually see what they have up for a park. We heading over to Big Emma, we are dodging people like a video game. They're everywhere!
The park has two really small jumps at the top, then a box, a decent hip, and some other little stuff on the side. I am going to just get mad speed and hit the hip.
OH shhhiii, it has mad lip and I am going way to fast and it's too late to speed check, and oh crape the landing is hashed . . . just stomp it hard!
That wasn't smooth at all, but I want to hick it again and conquer that little mess of a hip. I want to 360 it. Kyle is being cool and taking some pictures. Check them out, not too good on the tricks, but hey, the jump was an obstacle all in it self.
2:30 pm - We are going to head out of the park and see if we can find any run that is groomed to play tag on or something. These moguls and park is beating us up pretty bad so ya, lets see what we can find.
Nothing! Everything is moguled out, and all the runs are still crowded. I think we are going to head out, I am completely soaked through my shirt under my coat and Kyle just rung out his coat sleeve to show me how wet he was.
Over all, I have had a pretty rad day though. We got some freshies in, a few tree runs, some park and a lot of dorking around and laughing at each other. I have had some better days, but not with my brother, so I will definitely remember this day as a great day of riding with my bro at this fabulous mountain.
We will ride
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