i was supposed to take this trip Feb 11-14 but the weak snow forced my hand. after a long look at the PNW, i decided to move the SLC trip to March. that turned out to be the right call.
3/3 - flew in late. very late. not American Airlines best showing. i grabbed the bags, met my friend, and went to the hotel. got to bed at 2:45. yoinks
3/4 - woke at 5-something. Alta was reporting 12", then 18". the road closed at 6:00 so i had some breakfast and settled in. getting rest was not going to be an issue. we passed the 7-11 at 8:00, got to the Sandy merge at 10:30, parked at 11:30, and got on the tram at 12:00. hilarious. on the bright side, my host is a friend of 30 years, we had lots of time to catch up.
the Bird was insane. even with the crazy late start, the Cirque was great. lower to anderson is a great start, all knee deep cut up. the lower peruvian stuff in the trees at the edge of the runs was wind-filled deeper. did it again, then again, met friends, and did it again. had one run thru Wilbere bowl and called it a day.
3/5 - sadly, the schedule didn't permit skiing. ran through some biz with my friend.
3/6 - seeing the forecast for these new dates i gambled on booking a snowcat trip the week prior. once it snowed on Sun-Mon, i was feeling really optimistic. there is a new company north of SLC but since i am a tourist and this was my one shot i went with the established Park City group. they were great. when i left cottonwood its was 31 degrees. when i got to weber canyon, it was 1 degree. my backpack of "extra" clothes went on asap.
the PC group seemed cool. its pricey, so i understand the testy reviews on yelp and elsewhere. my experience was very positive. the crew were friendly and efficient, eager to get us going, and stoked for the day. all three cats were running. there was a mixed group of heli/cat expericence. i won't belabor the details, but we probably got a top-3 day of the season. they had gotten snow from the storm and my day was the first clear day to get to the alpine. east faces were awesome boot-top, west faces a little less, while the north faces were knee deep fluff. our runs, which were 8 for 12k feet were a mix of each. here are some pics.
top of a north facing run
bottom of same run
top of east facing
and yea, we had no clouds and no wind. all day. it was ridiculous. i'd do it again, booking close to the date with an eye on the weather. yes, it cost $500 more than going back to the Bird, but it was the best run of the day at the Bird, done eight times. at a chill, very indulgent, pace.
3/7 - groomers at Canyons. had a free ticket, had never been, had a good time. the lift lay out was odd, but the snow was great, the staff friendly, and it was a fine day. we did go to the bowls up top, but only for a few. it was good but it was a better day to cruise.
caught the midnight flight and went home.
looking forward to next year