Today in an effort to avoid holiday crowds we decided to ski Snowbasin. We skipped the gondola and avoided waiting in line from the start by loading the John Paul lift. On the ride up we noticed that most of the terrain on that side had been skied down to hard pack. We headed skiers right down Mt. Ogden Bowl and Herberts over to the Middle Bowl lift. On the way there we found a couple of Pow turns just off the main trails. After riding the Middle Bowl lift we found better snow skiers right in the trees as we worked our way towards Strawberry. The snow was soft up top and untracked in some spots. As we got closer to the bottom it turned to hard pack as we merged on to the trail leading to the catwalk. The best snow we found was off the Strawberry Express gondola. Most of the vacationers were skiing the groomers off Needles Express. Barely anyone was on the Strawberry side. We walked right on to the gondola and headed over to Sisters Bowl. Feeling lazy we skipped the hike and took the traverse around skiers right. The entire bowl was in the shade, which kept the snow nice and soft. The further we traversed the less tracks there were. We skied some chopped up Pow with a few untracked shots along the way. The skiing was best when we stayed skiers right the whole way down, until we hooked up with the Last Chance trail just above the area boundary. If you cut left too early, it puts you into a tight gully with firmer snow. This being only my second visit to Snowbasin and my first on a clear day, I noticed a lot of good lines I hadn't yet seen. The tops of all three peaks had some nice chutes and rocks to play around on. I can’t wait to come back on a full-blown Pow day and really get after it!
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