So after what was almost a two month hiatus, Snowbasin decided to do the right thing and reward the people of Utah. On Saturday June 11, 2011 Snowbasin fired up their chairlifts for what is essentially their second ski season of this record setting year. The word I received up their on Saturday was that they will continue to spin the lifts until the snow melts, and right now they are not ruling out skiing on the 4th of July either. I'm pretty sure that would be a first for Utah, having two resorts spinning their chairs on the 4th of July. That's just incredible.
Upon arriving at the Basin, I was definitely surprised to see how much snow was still hanging strong on the upper mountain. As most people know it gets hot in Utah and as soon as the strong June sun starts beating down on our snowpack it doesn't take long for it all to disappear. Well this season we've had just so much snow that even if the June sun were working overtime, (which it hasn't been) there would still be a ton of snow up there. The unusually high water content of the snowpack this year has also helped to extend the season. That heavy dense snow we received both early and again in the late season really takes a while to melt off.
Now the base area is almost completely absent of snow, so I was kind of skeptical when I heard the Snowbasin officials throwing out numbers like a 100" mid mountain base. I didn't see how they could possibly be claiming a 100", I mean for one thing the top lift serviced elevation is about 8,700 feet. That's almost 2,300 feet below Snowbirds top elevation so I just didn't think it could be possible. Once on board the Gondola the world changed fast in those 12 minutes. Conditions truly went from summer to winter and thing changed to white and then all white fast. Take a look at this video we put together. Kevin from Park City Television did a great job of really capturing just how surprised and impressed almost all the skiers and riders were this past weekend.
If you're planning on heading up to the Basin this weekend enjoy and have fun! If skiing in middle June wasn't on your radar I hope it is now. The terrain Snowbasin is offering is really great for all skiing levels. Friends of mine have expressed that they'd love to get their little kids out on the mountain again while the weather is so nice but they just didn't think their small children could handle the advanced and expert terrain that Snowbird offers this time of year. If that's your only hang up, I'd seriously suggest you head on up to Snowbasin, most of the terrain available is ideal for beginners, and for only $35 a day you cant go wrong. Also if you're one of those people who just aren't down with winter weather but have always had an interest in skiing, now would be the time to get up to Snowbasin and give this skiing things a shot.
For those of you looking to get yourselves into a bit more trouble, I am pretty sure I saw some skiers putting in some pretty aggressive lines off Ogden Peak. Remember though everything above the lifts is all Backcountry terrain. Be sure to check in with Ski Patrol before you venture out on another epic June adventure.
Matt Baydala, originally from Rockville Centre, New York, sniffed his way to Park City, Utah in 2006. Since then, he has built a career as a Park City restaurant manager to accommodate his skiing lifestyle. His passion and appreciation for the diversity of Utah’s wintersports product make him the perfect Powderhound. "For me skiing The Greatest Snow on Earth® is not just a hobby; it’s an obsession," exclaimed Baydala. "Now I have the opportunity to share this awesome life we live out here with the entire skiing community."
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