The Sierras come to Snowbird

By J Rhea Jan 8, 2008
The Sierras come to Snowbird

The latest storm system that rolled into Utah on Friday looked like a record breaker. California’s Sacramento Bee predicted chaos: "We have a blizzard warning in effect from 4 a.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Saturday in the mountains," said Karl Swanberg of the weather service's Sacramento office. "These are life-threatening conditions."

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The front rolled through the Sierras, then on to Utah with winds gusting over 100mph and snowfall rates over two inches per hour. But despite its destructive power, I was stoked to see what the storm would deliver to Utah’s resorts.

What it brought seemed like most of California’s snowpack. Sierra Cement, Wasatch style. The winds, combined with incredible amounts of water in the new snow, plastered the mountains with multiple feet of creamy, graupelly, dense, carvable, delicious pow. It wasn’t the fluff we’re used to here in Utah, but no one was complaining.

High avalanche danger kept many areas closed all weekend, but Snowbird’s top-notch ski patrol was able to open the tram on Sunday for top-to-bottom laps down Regulator Johnson. With free refills courtesy of the heavy snowfall and wind, we were more than content to lap the same run over, and over, and over, and over again…