Powder Turns at the Bird
It’s pretty rare but sometimes a storm will roll through Utah, dump at one resort and ignore others. For instance, when you hear the weatherman say, “southwest flow” resorts like Sundance, Powder Mountain, Deer Valley and Park City will be favored. If they mention a “northwest flow” it’s almost certainly going to pound the resorts of both Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon. The latest storm to come through Utah was rather strange, forecasters couldn’t get a handle on it and it was driving me insane. Some forecasters were calling for up to 30” of snow and others were saying this storm would be hard pressed to produce more than a foot of snow. There were also murmurs that the storm wouldn’t be strong enough to push up the canyons therefore the heaviest snow could fall in the mid canyon areas and on the benches. Well the later is almost exactly what happened. It wasn’t the classic 30” inches in the cottonwoods and 15” inches on the Park City side. So when things don’t work out the way they normally do I’d suggest skiing the whole resort, not just your favorite zones. Explore spots you may normally pass up.
On Sunday the Powder Posse did just that at Snowbird. Snowbird only reported 5” overnight so we were expecting dust on crust. While it wasn’t exactly dust on crust, it wasn’t Little Cottonwood's deepest day. Fortunately, I studied the weather charts the night before, so I had an inkling that the deepest snow may be located at lower elevations and on the west side of the resort. I suggested we give Baldy and Mineral Basin a try and if it wasn’t that deep we head over to Gad 2. Sure enough, just as we expected about 6” had fallen on top of a firm base. Most skiers, especially for those who ski back East this would have been classified as a full on powder day but being spoiled Wasatch skiers we were looking for the bottomless pow we have come to know and love. Well we found it off Gad 2, and Baby Thunder. Yeah I said it! Baby Thunder! The snow was easily two feet deep in Thunder Bowl and Defiance Ledge. Sometimes the deepest snow is right under your nose, you just need to get out there and find it. Don’t be afraid to be creative and mix it up. We sure don’t.