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November 29, 2005

Alta Photos up (all two of them)

Due to popular demand, the pictures of Sunday's Alta trip are up. Not much to look at, since visibility was so low. But certainly, they explain the conditions at Alta the last couple of days.

I am heading back up there as we speak and will share more photos if I can get the snow to let up. It is dumping again today.

On another note, my boots were seriously painful. I didn't realize how bad it was until I looked at them today. I have three quarter sized bruises on my ankle bones where the boots were pressuring them. Consequently my quads and calves are killing me still too. But live and learn and the gear will be tuned for the rest of the season.

Posted by Justin at 07:49 AM | Comments (1)

November 27, 2005

OK, I lied, The Season Started at Alta

Lake effect snow. What wonderful words. It dumped the last two days and though the storm moved through, the snow did not stop at Alta and Snowbird. The lake effect was in full effect. Alta did not disappoint. It never does. My offseason regimen of sleeping late, eating out, and doing nothing certainly did disappoint.

My day started at 5:30 at my aunt's house in Evanston, Wyoming. Left by six since I expected I-80 to be in worse shape than it was. I was at Alta by 8:15 and parked right up front. I had set up a visit with Tyler who works in the PR department for Alta and took me out for the morning. I left Jake in a half day lesson and hit the slopes with Tyler.

We worked our way around the Sunnyside and Sugarloaf lifts for the first few runs. Tyler and I talked on the lift about how spoiled we were by last year's record snows and some of the areas were roped off because the base still was not well developed. Most of our time was spend debating, "Do we want to chance a rock in what looks like a sick powder stash?" The base was a little lacking before the big dump this week but as it packs down, the next storm will yield Alta-like conditions. The first run, we dropped of a little ledge right by the Sugarloaf lift and I hit a rock and went down like I was shot by a sniper. "MAN DOWN!"

Tyler and I took two runs off of the new Collins lift. Last year, when I was up for Thanksgiving week, it was still not finished, but now the lift accesses close to 2000 feet of vertical with a high speed quad. This was the first real ski day this year so there was a short line (maybe 10 minutes or less), but Tyler works in the PR department. We both sat talking about feeling kind of guilty for using the ski school only line and cutting in front of some folks, as we took the lift up.

We took one run off the front side and took a second off the back into Sugarloaf. The frontside was awesome and had a good two plus feet of powder, but the backside was almost totally untouched. I came over a small drop and hit 15 foot high dip and got too far out over my tips and lost a ski. I MEAN LOST A SKI. Second sniper shot of the day. I sunk almost chest deep in fresh and filled my goggles with ice and snow. I spent the next 1200 ft of vertical skiing alternatingly blind with goggles or crying from the snowfall into my eyes before getting warmed up and the snow cleaned out.

I tried not to whine, but my new Nordica boots were just killing me. Turns out that the boots had a couple of problems. First, they have a set of racing "spoilers" that force your calfs forward. Second, the stock footbeds suck. Third, I have fat ankles. They were putting pressure right on my bones. Being forced too far forward over your tips is not really what you want in deep powder. My stance was horrible and consequently my thighs are still burning.

I picked Jake up from the ski school and we were debating where to eat. I wanted to get the boots fixed ASAP, so we did that during lunch. The Deep Powder House is one of a few Master Boot Fitters in Utah, so I stopped in there. I had new footbeds done and they took the plastic and they have some kind of a press that heats the plastic and stretches it. Scotty at Deep Powder House was able to feel the spots where my ankles were pressing against the liners. Finally, he adjusted the canting. They are literally like new boots. But it kinda killed the day.

It never got over 12 degrees today and snowed all day. Tomorrow, there is more snow coming and that is good news for the rest of the week. I am not sure what my legs are going to feel like tomorrow, but right now, I just want a hot bath and a bottle of tylenol. But what a great start for the season.

Thanks Tyler for making me feel like a local and for the opportunity to spend a day at what is quickly becoming my favorite place to ski. I am going to post more details about Alta and some really good info about the resort on a new page on the site that I am working on. Well, working on once I can stand and walk again. Now I am going to bed.

Posted by Justin at 06:50 PM | Comments (1)

November 25, 2005

It is Official--2005-06 Season to Start for Me at Snowbird on Sunday

2005-06 is going to start with a powder day on Sunday for me. Alta-Snowbird is expecting almost 20 inches in the next 36 hours according to the National Weather Service.

I will be completing posts on both Alta and Snowbird and meeting with reps from both resorts to get more information on how best to enjoy what both have to offer. I will of course share particullars on the site and absolutely love skiing the SLC area.

Since I am taking time off work, I believe it only fitting that Jake take some time off school to head up there with me. The Avalanche is packed. The new Nordica Beasts are calling and Jakes 1080 Fish and new Nordica boots need broken in right. I can't think of a better place than Alta-Snowbird to get some first turns in on some new gear.

Oh, yeah, and one last thing... GO DEVILS! ASU 23 - U of A 20. I could not help thinking about the drive ahead of me tonight as I was watching my Devils smack down the Wildcats at Sun Devil Stadium. Hopefully my first ski trip will be as exciting and memorable as my trip to watch the Territorial Cup today. Have a nice drive back to Tucson Wildcat fans. And enjoy the offseason. We have one more left to play.

Posted by Justin at 07:33 PM | Comments (3)

Wish I was on the Mountain--But Glad I Didn't Miss the Broncos

In my previous posts on gear, one of my favorite devices for skiing is not actually for skiing at all. Rather it is for the umpteen hour trips back and forth between home and the mountain. I broke down and bought a Sirius Satellite Radio add on kit for my Avalanche over Thanksgiving weekend last year so that I could listen to the Broncos versus Raiders game while driving home from Big Sky to Arizona after Thanksgiving last year.

This Thanksgiving weekend, I didn't have to listen to the game and annoy the hell out of my wife and expose my children to profanities that would make my former Navy shipmates blush. And the Broncos gave me little reason to use profanity with a 24-21 win over Dallas. On the one hand, I wish I were skiing, but on the other, it was nice to spend Thanksgiving at home with family.

Last year, I was at Big Sky instead of in Tucson for ASU vs. U of A, so this year, I am spending the day at Sun Devil stadium watching more football and may catch the 3A State Championship afterwards despite my team being eliminated last week.

Moral of the story is that despite suck snow, I still have football. And when I am chasing powder during December and January, I still have football. Oh, yeah, and I am in so much trouble my first couple of days on the mountain this year because I feel so fat this afternoon. BLAH!!!

Posted by Justin at 12:57 AM

November 24, 2005

120 Days of Powder

So I am sitting here distraught that I am at home for Thanksgiving for the first time in three years instead of skiing, despite making huge preparations for spending the entire winter travelling the rockies and living in my new Condo at Brian Head. Then I get an e-mail from Wil at 120 days of Powder.

You should check us out at 120daysofpowder.com which chronicles our exodus from Arizona up to Steamboat, CO.

Wil is living the good life and fighting the good fight at Steamboat. Yesterday, Steamboat opened and Wil already has a day up on me. I have to throw some serious props his way for leaving the Arizona life behind and heading north to be a bum. I went through his Flikr page and was looking at the pics of his days in Phoenix. Two of my cousins went to (and dropped out of) the same high school he did back in the late 80's. (Go Huskies)

Head on over and bookmark the site.

Posted by Justin at 11:00 AM | Comments (1)

Snow on the Way (Finally) for Brian Head

This is what a Weather Report should look like. From the Brian Head NWS Website:

  • Friday Night: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow. Probability of measurable precipitation 50 percent. Southwest wind 23 mph. Low 19.
  • Saturday: Thunderstorms. Southwest wind 22 mph. High 25.
  • Saturday Night: Snow showers. Snow accumulation 5 inches. Probability of measurable precipitation 70 percent. Low 4.
  • Sunday: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow showers. Snow accumulation 1 inch. Probability of measurable precipitation 40 percent. High 19.
  • Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow showers. Probability of measurable precipitation 30 percent. Low 6.
  • Monday: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow showers. Probability of measurable precipitation 40 percent. High 23.
  • Monday Night: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow. Probability of measurable precipitation 30 percent. Low 3.
  • Tuesday: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow. Probability of measurable precipitation 50 percent. High 20.
  • Tuesday Night: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow showers. Probability of measurable precipitation 50 percent. Low -3.
  • Wednesday: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow showers. Probability of measurable precipitation 40 percent. High 21.
  • Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow showers. Probability of measurable precipitation 30 percent. Low 3.

Posted by Justin at 10:26 AM

November 23, 2005

Link to New Mapping site--Skibonk.com

Caught a link from Highly Obsessed Snowboarding Blog to a skibonk.com that has maps of locations as well as updated ski conditions in a nice little gui.

Skibonk is pretty cool and has simple to follow color codes. Red means closed and green means open. I think I can handle that. Mouse over it and it has runs open and base conditions. Not a bad site and worthy of a bookmark and second look when planning a roadtrip.

Posted by Justin at 01:10 PM | Comments (1)

More Geekdom Contained

Alright, so today started like any usual day. Wake up late, but just in time for another lame conference call. Fire up the good old computer. And bam! Nada. Kaput.

It took me about two hours to fix a Windows Registry "HIVE" that had outgrown the legal limit of 16MB that it will load and was 37MB due to some software installs and downloads recently as well as some attempts to rip a DVD and condense it down to 320x240 iPod resolution and load it on the new iPod 30 GB Video that I just picked up.

But good news is that I am back online and have my machine working again. I thought at first I had a Virus or something from the e-mails about Paris and Nicole that I kept opening last night. I was so pissed. I just blog about asshats opening e-mails and spreading viruses and then my machine goes down. But no such luck. It was Bill Gates and his shoddy engineering again. I never seem to have these problems with my Linux machine. But then again RedHat has not come out with the RedBox 360 either, so maybe in their infinite evil, there actually is good inside Redmond.

Posted by Justin at 11:49 AM

WARNING--Computer Geek Stuff Contained

Damned script kiddies will not stop writing these stupid worms that try to trick dumbasses into opening zip files in spoofed e-mails.

New variants of the Sober worm are taunting users for the second time in as many weeks. This time, the worms are trying to dupe people with fake messages from the FBI and CIA, and a promise to display new photos and videos of "Simple Life" stars Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie.

Tokyo-based AV firm Trend Micro said in an e-mailed advisory that Sober-AG has been spammed in e-mails written in German and English. It scans the version of Windows running on a target machine and, if it detects GMX as the domain, installs one of the German versions. Otherwise, the firm said, it installs itself as one of the English versions.

"The worm has no automated capabilities and must therefore be inadvertently executed by the user to install," Trend Micro said. "To entice the user to do this, the author utilizes classic social engineering techniques, such as promising pictures of celebrities, or alerting the user to illicit behavior."

Now my mail box is completely filled with e-mails inviting me to click on an innocent looking .zip file and get some hot Paris videos or some such crap. Note to self, no matter how tempting Paris Hilton may be, don't open e-mails from strangers. Oh, wait, maybe the stern sounding e-mail from the FBI or CIA is important enough to click on the zip file.

Every time this crap happens, I get calls from work that the dumbass-o-meter is pegged on one gillion because some asshat keeps opening file attachments. If I could find a bathtub big enough to hold all the idiots that open these attachments and fill it with water, I would love to throw a toaster in it.

Posted by Justin at 12:21 AM | Comments (1)

November 21, 2005

JP rips up Loveland again

JP is living the dream at Loveland Pass. Sick snow. Sweet trees. Tons of fresh pow. And from the looks of it, a couple of bluebird days.

If you get a chance, head on over to his site and check out his latest video on his exploits. Make sure to hit the blog link though and read the details about the video. Solid job JP.

I am going to start planning a trip up to Summit shortly when I can free up about a week. My cousin wants to go up for the December 24th Broncos vs. Raiders game at Mile High and kick it with some sick skiing before and afterward. I am trying to figure out how to sell spending Christmas Eve and Christmas day skiing and watching football to my wife. If I can somehow pull that one off, I expect that the world will end almost instantly with Fire and Brimstone. But that does not mean that I am not going to try. Let's see how much she loves me. The good news is my son Jake is on my side here as long as I drag him with. My son was born on January 3rd, 1997, two days after this little nugget:

But the Sun Devils were by no means ready to give up. With the Buckeyes up 14-10, the stage was set for a dramatic finish and no Hollywood scriptwriter could have penned a more exciting ending.

Jake Plummer had already established himself in his career as a clutch performer with a knack for pulling out unlikely victories.

"We knew (Plummer) was a winner," claims Rudzinski. "He had come from behind so many times that season already, we didn't want to be just another victim."

Things did not look good for the Buckeyes when on a third-and-11, Jake "the Snake" somehow slithered his way into the end zone to give ASU a 17-14 lead with 1:40 to play.

"I just remember Plummer going to the sidelines and taking off his helmet, looking like he had just won another one for Arizona State," adds Rudzinski.

I won't spoil the ending--no wait, I won't talk about the ending--but as a Sun Devil Alum, we became Bronco's fans two and a half years ago.

Posted by Justin at 02:05 PM

November 19, 2005

Ski Lodges without the Pesky and Annoying "Skiing" Thing

Gadling Skiing linked to this article in The Paper of Record--The New York Times--about a new ski lodge in downtown Manhatten. This is classic.

This is in the New York Times travel section. Perfect for the NYT. Let's have a fake ski lodge where people can hang out and have hot toddies or smores. Now the NYT can send Jason Blair there to report on skiing conditions. What a combo, a paper that loves fake news writing about a fake ski lodge.

I am not a lodge lounging kind of guy though. The whole purpose of going to the mountain is to get out of the city. Instead someone has the bright idea to bring the ambiance of skiing into the city. THE ENTIRE AMBIANCE OF SKIING IS ROOTED IN THE FACT THAT YOU ARE NOT "IN THE CITY". Maybe it is just me that has to laugh at this sort of thing.

Posted by Justin at 03:29 PM

November 18, 2005

How to Fill Time Between Ski Seasons

Tonight it is official. My high school team was eliminated from the state playoffs 27-20, one win shy of making the title game. In addition, ASU is 5-5 with one game remaining and must beat Arizona to make a bowl game. I have season tickets to ASU football and to the Phoenix Suns and tonight had to give away my Suns tickets so that I could watch a high school game. Now, depressed, I have lost my Friday night filler and have no snow to look forward to. Being an ASU grad, Phoenix native, and ***former*** Cardinals Fan, my Sundays are at least entertaining because I have finally fully converted to a Bronco's fan. Again, Sirius Radio is so awesome as I can listen to the Broncos as well as the entire NFL every road trip we take during ski season.

It is getting tough as hell to write about skiing during mid-November when I still have ZERO days on the snow for 2005-06. My Brian Head season passes for the family look wonderful hanging on their lanyards with my ski equipment but are doing me no good. Last year, I already had close to 10 days in November alone. I am working on my condo and getting some extra football time in this year while waiting for the snow to fly in Utah.

I took my dad up to the condo with me to help paint and remodel and it was so cool to talk about 15 years ago when the two of us would go skiing. Bad back and all, I am trying to get him to throw on my cruisers and last year's boots and spend a few days on the mountain with my sons and my baby brother. On a personal note, the trip really reminded me that a huge part of why I love skiing so much is the fact that it is usually with friends or family. And you spend several hours in the car or truck together talking on the way up and way back. Maybe it is sharing a hotel room or having a nice dinner after a long day skiing, but even without getting to ski at the condo it was so cool to spend three days with my dad. It reinforced that I spend almost every weekend with my sons building and strengthening our bond and ski season is the best time of the year.

Posted by Justin at 11:23 PM

Summit County Resorts opening more Terrain

JP at Colorado Backcountry has been keeping me informed of how Summit County is doing. Trust me, it is better than Utah in a big way. Summit received between three and four feet over the last 10 days and most of the resorts are gradually opening more terrain.

Just from the ski reports, it looks like Loveland and A-Basin are close to 50% open. Copper has less open, but is still open with several runs top to bottom.

IF YOU HAVE SKIED SUMMIT IN THE LAST FIVE DAYS--PLEASE POST COMMENTS. I know JP keeps sending me e-mails about conditions, but the information is good to pass on.

I am just getting ready for Thanksgiving, so the posting might be sporadic since there is nothing even close to skiable within 700 miles of my place in Phoenix.

Posted by Justin at 11:21 AM | Comments (1)

High Pressure over the West Keeping Things Dry and Warm

I just got back from the condo in Utah. Weather was picture perfect if you like warm and sunny. Unfortunately, warm and sunny is incompatible with skiing as is bare and rocky which accurately describes the terrain at Brian Head.

It is a classic Good News-Bad News situation for me. I have a third floor condo with a large loft that we are remodeling. We have been removing carpet, trip, appliances, cabinets, etc., and preparing to put in new floors and a new kitchen plus painting the place. Good News is that it makes the work much easier to not have to deal with snow on the ground. Bad News is that I bought to place for skiing and the season was supposed to open November 12th. I should have been skiing all this week not working.

As I said, it is a third floor condo and since there is not several feet of snow on the ground outside, we were able to use the express "elevator" method of disposing of the remodel waste by throwing stuff off the balcony. We had a serious internal debate about tossing the fridge, but decided to haul the major appliances down the three flights of stairs. The cabinets were not so lucky. While my week as spent lamenting the fact that there is no snow, I did actually enjoy the hell out of breathing paint fumes and watching various household items explode from a 35 ft drop.

Most of the weather folks are thinking that the high pressure will lift some time right after Thanksgiving and we will start getting some winter weather. It is sure messing with my holiday plans.

Posted by Justin at 11:03 AM

November 13, 2005

Summit gets slammed

Got a note from JP at Colorado Backcountry about the epic conditions in Colorado right now. Most of the resorts (Copper, Loveland, A-Basin, Keystone, Breck, etc.) have received approximately 18" in the last two days with more tonight and early tomorrow.

From JP:

We are getting hammered with snow out here. Just had another sick backcountry day at Loveland Pass. knee deep all day. 5-8 expected today and 10-12" expect monday and monday night. can't wait for tuesday.

I am heading to my condo at Brian Head on Tuesday. Opening weekend was supposed to be November 12th. Yeah right. Maybe for mountain biking. Skiing requires snow. In other news, Wolf Creek opened yesterday. Very little in the way of snow, and they are reporting a base of around 14" at the summit. Speaking of mountain biking.

Posted by Justin at 08:03 PM | Comments (1)

More gear to add to the shopping list

Today I broke down and bought a new PDA. I picked up a VX6600 from Verizon that is compatible with their "BROADBAND ACCESS/NATIONAL ACCESS" wireless internet and data service. Let me give you some details:


  • For $45.00 per month I get unlimited data transfers
  • The PDA connects via either high speed wireless in metro areas or what is about the equivalent of ISDN in other areas
  • The PDA has built in MS Outlook, etc for e-mail
  • Is compatible with my corporate VPN solution
  • Brian Head has awesome Verizon signal\
  • With a little bit of hacking, you can hook a laptop up to it and surf via broadband or higher speed internet anywhere Verizon has a tower.

So I take the PDA on the slopes with me and keep it wirelessly connected to my work's VPN solution so I can get my instant messages and e-mails. And all this for a wallet busting $300. Works as a Phone, PDA, Wireless broadband modem, and does all the e-mail, etc. over the high speed connection. Perfect for roadtrips so that you can check your e-mail or update your blog from right on the mountain.

Check it out from Verizon.

Posted by Justin at 12:51 AM

November 11, 2005

UPDATE--Early opening for Big Sky

I was just bagging on how bad conditions were in the Southern Rockies and Dax at Big Sky in Montana posts this nugget to the ski report:

So I'm sure you heard, we've gotten great early season snow, the word just came down we're going to open this Sunday, two week early.

I'm waiting to hear back for the details, which will be posted on this site, but in the mean time, I had better get my skis out of the closet in time to give a full report on Sunday afternoon.

We'll see you out there,

Dax

Trust me, Dax, we are waiting too...

UPDATE

Dax just e-mailed me with details:

BIG SKY, Mont. — Blessed with 44 inches of snow since October 22, Big Sky Resort announced today that it will open for an early season ski day on Sunday, November 13.

Big Sky plans on being the first resort in the area to open, it will operate three lifts from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The Swift Current High Speed Quad will access Mr. K, Lower Morning Star and Crazy Horse, the Explorer Chair will access beginner terrain while the Challenger Chair will access Moonlight and Midnight for black diamond powder turns. Big Sky is scheduled to open for daily operations on Thanksgiving Day, November 24.

Big Sky will offer access to over 3,000 vertical feet of skiing and approximately 350 acres for this early ski day.

Adult lift tickets will be an early season rate of $30. Juniors, College Students and Frequency Cardholders will ride for $25. Season passes will be honored and guest services will operate from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

I spent most of the Sunday after Thanksgiving last year on Challenger. They had tons of runs open and it was a blast. This year, my son Jake can ski it with me. I hit a rock or two last year, but they would not open the top unless the snow was deep enough. Two years ago, by Thanksgiving, they had barely opened Mr. K.

GET YOUR FREQUENCY PASSES and take the week after Thanksgiving off. Best deal out there and it appears that the snow is going to be awesome.

Posted by Justin at 03:40 PM

Colorado Backcountry from JP

JP at Colorado's Backcountry Skiing Blog has some seriously awesome info about A-basin this season. I have yet to drive the 14 hours north to Summit County and ski the half a dozen open runs at A-Basin, Copper, and Loveland, but judging by his experiences, you need to buy wax on the way up to get rid of the scars.

Early season is hit or miss. As I explained in my A-Basin section, folks buy the season passes and it gets so crazy crowded, that JP has probably spent more time in the lift lines and the bars than actually on the slopes. It takes 45 minutes in line to take a lap. You have to get there early and be done by 11 or 12 when all the folks that were too hungover to make it up early get there.

Bookmark JP's blog. Well worth reading and awesome photos too. Official SHOUT OUT.

Posted by Justin at 12:38 AM | Comments (1)

November 10, 2005

New Website for Alta

Alta has a new website that debuted Monday. Better information and much more user friendly.

That said, there still is not any new snow. Reporting a 13" base right now. I cannot offer a fully informed opinion on the new website until the website contains something along the line of:

New snow in last 24 hrs. -- 24" Weather forecast for today -- High 25 degrees and sunny

Message to Alta and other resorts... stop teasing us and make with the snow already.

Posted by Justin at 03:29 PM

Mid-November and still no snow at Brian Head or Wolf Creek

It has been a brutal winter so far for skiers in the South Rockies. Wolf Creek, Durango Mountain, Telluride, and Brian Head are all bare. The very upper reaches of the mountains (above 10,000 ft or so) might have enough snow to cover a rock or two, but that is about it. From Wolf Creek's ski report:

Wolf Creek is anxiously waiting on snow!! Twenty-four inches has fallen year-to-date but warm temperatures have reduced the snowfall to 8 inches at the summit and 2 inches at the midway. We will announce our opening plans as soon as mother nature leaves her mark on the slopes.

I have yet to step in to my bindings for 2005-2006. I am not going to drive 16 hours to ski one run at A-Basin or Loveland, so until some snow starts flying, I am pretty much hating life. Good news is it is football season and tonight I am heading to watch my old high school team in the playoffs. There better be snow before football season is over...

Posted by Justin at 11:29 AM | Comments (1)

November 07, 2005

Last day for discounted Frequency Passes at Big Sky

Imagine showing up at a resort, scanning your frequency pass at the lift, avoiding any kind of lift line (since there rarely is one), having your credit card charged $20 bucks less than the schmucks are paying at the ticket counter, and rolling up on over 3,000 acres of the best skiing in the country. Sounds like an insanely good deal right? Then on top of that, add an entire week of ***FREE*** skiing, several weeks of half priced skiing, discounts at the lodge, and it sounds too good to be true.

From Big Sky's Website:

$59 ($80 after 11/7/05)

Instead of standing in line for ticket, your pass is scanned at the lifts and a charge is made to the credit card you have on file. You can still choose to pay at window if you wish.

AMAZING $20 PER DAY DISCOUNT! Adults with Frequency Card pay only $45, Junior/College $25

  • 7 Free ski days Sunday, 11/27/05 - Saturday, 12/03/05
  • Half-price every Wednesday, from Nov. 30, 2005 - Feb. 15, 2006 (Adult $33, Junior/College $23)
  • Half-price Jan. 2-8 and April 2-16, 2005
  • Receive $20 off the regular $65 day rate ($45 adult, $25 junior)
  • $5 off when window prices $50 or less
  • 25% discount on adult group ski/snowboard lessons any Saturday, all season
  • 50% discount on Huntley Lodging (some restrictions apply)
  • 10% discount on any retail items at any Big Sky outlet
  • Purchase by Nov. 7, 2005. No cards sold Nov. 27-Dec. 3, 2005
This is my third season of buying a Big Sky Frequency pass that costs $59 through today. Tomorrow, the cost goes to $80, which is still incredible considering the free week of skiing. This is part of why I spend Thanksgiving in Montana at my mom's house. Free lodging and free skiing. Plus free Turkey.

Big Sky has everything you could ever ask for and is right outside Yellowstone National Park.

Posted by Justin at 11:13 AM

More Snow for Alta on the Way

This just in from the National Weather Service Forecast for Alta for the next two days:

Tonight: Snow. Snow accumulation 2 inches. Probability of measurable precipitation 60 percent. Southwest wind 28 mph. Low 32.

Tuesday: Snow. Snow accumulation 8 inches. Probability of measurable precipitation 80 percent. Southwest wind 20 mph. High 34.

Tuesday Night: Snow. Snow accumulation 3 inches. Probability of measurable precipitation 60 percent. Northeast wind 12 mph. Low 24.

Alta is reporting that they have a 14" base now and are going to open November 17th (always conditions permitting).

All of the now seems to be bypassing the southern resorts like Brian Head and Wolf Creek, but Summit County and the Salt Lake City area resorts are tracking for on-time openings.

Posted by Justin at 10:50 AM

November 06, 2005

Loveland Gets 15" in last 48 hours

I spent the weekend at my condo at Brian Head. Highs were in the low 50's at the base area and that does not lend itself to an on-time opening. But that is my problem, not Loveland's.

After being the first resort in the nation to open (for like the 100th straight season I might add), Loveland got a combined 15" dump in the last 48 hours. Translate that into open runs and you get one lift and three runs. Still not enough snow to start opening some more terrain, but every little bit counts.

Posted by Justin at 10:36 PM | Comments (1)

November 04, 2005

The End of An Era at Jackson, WY

This is not new news as it was announced in June, but is certainly worth writing about. From Jackson Hole, WY:

JHMR owners, the Kemmerer Family, in conjunction with Resort Management have decided that, while experts assess the aerial tram would be operable for multiple years, it should be decommissioned before any safety concerns arise. As a result, the Aerial Tram will close September 2006 after 40 years of incredible service.

I was born just on the other side of Yellowstone from Jackson in Powell, Wyoming. I still consider the northern Wyoming-southern Montana area home, despite living in Phoenix for almost 20 years. The Tram was an icon. Not just for skiers, but for all visitors to Jackson. It ran year round and provided some of the most breath-taking views you will ever get of the Tetons.

Although we went to Jackson several times in the Summer, we never ventured there to ski it. This year will be my first time at Jackson, but whether it is your first time riding the tram or possibly your last, it is well worth the trip. Several friends make a yearly trip there to ski and they all say the same thing--it will humble you. Jackson is one of the most challenging places to ski around and over 4,000 ft. of Vertical just off the tram will test the skills of even the best skiers.

Posted by Justin at 11:37 AM

November 02, 2005

Northern Rockies to get more snow over next three days

The Northern Rockies are getting their fair share of snow due to the Jet Stream flowing further north and a high pressure system over the four corners region. This means snow for Alta, Park City, etc., but nada for Brian Head. Snow for Summit County, but none for Wolf Creek.

From the National Weather Service Forecast for Alta:

Tonight: Cloudy...windy. Snow likely after midnight. Accumulation around 1 inch. Lows at 8000 feet around 30. Southwest winds 25-35 mph. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Thursday: Snow in the morning...then snow showers likely in the afternoon. Colder. Accumulation 3-6 inches. Highs at 8000 feet in the lower 30s.

Thursday night: A chance of snow showers in the evening...then snow likely after midnight. Cloudy...colder. Accumulation 2 inches. Lows at 8000 feet near 20. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Chance of around a foot of accumulation of the next 2 days.

Why do I feel like one of those cheesy Junior Weather reporters that show up on the local news? My life right now is resigned to watching weather reports and scouring E-bay to by a "weather machine". BTW, my early season trip to Wolf Creek has been postponed until further notice... until further snowfall is probably more accurate.

Posted by Justin at 10:51 PM