We know what Snowbird is all about. The steep and deep. The gnarly terrain littered with cliff drops. The three-thousand feet of leg-burning vertical accessed from a single tram ride to Hidden Peak. All those blessed virtues that led one unfortunate chap to post a negative yelp review and spawn an entire advertising campaign.
But you don’t have to be an aspiring freeride professional with a penchant for big air and an Instagram handle that’s some iteration of @CliffHuckstable to enjoy the 'Bird. Whether you’re looking to get rad or simply searching for some cruiser corduroy turns, some mellow meadows to skip through and somewhere to shred with the kids, the 'Bird is the word.
Skiing and snowboarding are lifestyles. Après is life. You enjoy arcing some turns as much as the next person, but the scenery, the vibes and the good times are just as important as the serious business of getting after it.
Hop off the Aerial Tram at 11,000 feet atop Hidden Peak where an enormous variety of slopes drop off under your bases. Thankfully, in addition to the imposing steeps of Macaroni Chute, you can access the finest, longest cruiser laps around. Chip’s Run to Who Dunnit is a glorious, unending top-to-bottom ripper of a groomer lap tracing the mountain’s outline all the way back to the tram deck.
When the sun comes out, dip into Mineral Basin for a meandering ride down Lupine Loop to the base of the lift. Take Mineral Basin Express back to the top, and drop in for a marathon lap. Head down the Road to Provo toward the Twin Peaks, pick up speed down Mark Malu Fork toward Goblin Gulley, Bassackwards and Big Emma. Whether high-speed carving or leisurely lapping, the endless cruiser runs at Snowbird are tough to beat.
After some relaxed riding, take your après seriously at Snowbird SeventyOne. The retro vibe with a full dinner and cocktail menu available starting at 4 p.m. is perfect for sending it with some after-ski refreshment.
One must go backwards to push the sport forwards. That’s why you’re always riding on twin tips. What time is it? It’s airtime. And you have a flight to catch.
Some might think the 'Bird is for freeriders, and those freestylers belong over at Brighton or Park City. Not so fast. Snowbird has a well-manicured terrain park with jumps, rails and a halfpipe in Gad Valley you can quickly lap from either Mid-Gad or Gadzoom. It’s terrific fun in the spring and to add a bit of variety to those rare days between storms.
Beyond the boundary of the terrain park, you’ll find natural features all over the mountain ready for your aerial exploits. Head out Road to Provo to find groups of shredders sessioning “The Wave.” Take it any size you like, whether that’s small or to the moon, to a forgiving landing. Or head down Chip’s Run for a jib lap. There’s no jumping allowed in the slow zones, but along the periphery of the runs are myriad jumps and jibs of all shapes and sizes. The only limit to freestyle potential at the 'Bird is the boundary of your creativity.
After taking to the skies all day, take it underground at The Tram Club. Most of the best hits at the 'Bird are unofficially named, poorly kept secrets. The best way to find your way to them is by ingratiating yourself with the locals while sharing a dimly lit cocktail.
Corduroy is for pants. Powder is for the people. You wouldn’t dare be caught inbounds with those tech bindings on your skis or splitboard if you weren’t using the chair bumps to sneak in extra backcountry vert.
Sure, there’s plenty of great hike-to, inbounds terrain at Snowbird, but you’re here to get beyond the ropes. The best way to do that is with Snowbird Mountain Guides. Their guided backcountry ski tours take you up the mountain and into epic terrain beyond the boundaries.
New to the backcountry? Perfect. Snowbird Mountain Guides will help you safely access untouched powder in backcountry terrain, all while educating you about the process and providing the required gear. Already experienced but you want some local beta to help find the goods? Look no further.
Since you clearly don’t mind the extra effort, head up the hill for a bit of après at the Alta Peruvian Lodge once you’re done hunting powder. You’ll find plenty of backcountry aficionados there willing to swap stories of hard-earned pow turns over a pint. Affectionately dubbed "the p-dog" by locals, this bar is open to guests of the hotel only for the 2020-21 season.
You’re here because that scene in “Better Off Dead” where John Cusack’s stunt double tomahawks down the K-12 (aka Great Scott at the 'Bird) makes your blood boil. Who’d willfully waste gnarly pow turns just to get the comedic shot? You’re here to send, and you have the stamps to prove it.
No matter what lift you get on at the 'Bird, the gnar is at your fingertips. Hop of Gadzoom Express, traverse through the trees and thread the needle down the rocky steeps of the aptly-named Organ Grinder. Head a bit further down the hill and find plenty of hair-raising terrain in the Get Serious Chutes.
Drop in straight under the Aerial Tram for an array of spicy steeps and bottomless powder along the cirque or head out the Baldy Traverse before doing your best IFSA impersonation through the chutes and cliffs like the ominously-titled Femur Rock. Find some fun in the sun out in Mineral Basin among the steeps of the Bookends. You don’t need to be a 20-year local to seek out thrilling terrain at Snowbird, but even if you are, you’re still likely to uncover hidden gems you won’t even share with your closest friends.
You’ve been impressing people all day with carefully timed feats of glory as the tram passes overhead. Make sure the onlookers continue to notice you during the après hours by tipping back a tall can you picked up from the Snowbird Birdfeeder on the tram deck as they file back to their cars.
Found this interesting? Check out The Different Sides of Deer Valley too.
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