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January 31, 2008

Modifying the Xbox 360

Not really ski gear, but gear nonetheless. The Xbox 360 is phenomenol, but what to do when the kids smudge your new $60 game. This mod offers the ability to back up your games to dual layer dvds and play backups on the Xbox 360. Note, this voids your warrantee and may violate laws in your locality. I am not posting it to condone in any way violating the law or any kind of software piracy.

I found this while I was searching for the Xbox 360 dashboard update released in early December that allows the 360 to play divx avi files. I have been converting my dvd collection to divx so that I can compress them and so that I have backups in case my dvds get scratched. I compress them to play on my iPod.

I post this because it is fascinating the advances that have been made. MP3s and MP3 players. DVD players for vehicles. Noise cancelling headphones. Stuff that makes travel so much easier and more productive. Anyway, enjoy the video.








Posted by Justin at 01:55 PM

January 28, 2008

New Ski Journal Out

The new issue of the ski journal is out. If you haven't read my review on TSJ before, it is pure eye candy. They have absolutely the best ski photos you can find and pages and pages of them. Not a typical ski magazine, TSJ cuts way down on the ads and pimping and delivers a coffee table magazine to show off to friends when they come over.

Wallabies. UFOs. Hoh Chi Minh trails. Dark Matter. Urspruenglichkeit. Frosted and feathered hair. What any of these have to do with skiing is anyone's guess, unless you pick up a copy of The Ski Journal issue #2.2, now shipping to stores and subscribers. From Australia to Alta, the French Alps to Schlap-istan, the 1960s to the present and all points between, the newest issue of The Ski Journal continues the transportive vibe clearly established with the success of the magazine's first two issues.

Aussie Tony Harrington is one of the world's foremost ski and surf photographers. Via his words and stunning alpine images, he adamantly answers the question that plagues him on chairlift rides throughout the world: "How come you can ski that well? There's no snow in Australia!" Turns out the world is wrong. Very wrong. And if you've ever wondered what kangaroo tastes like (hint: not chicken), this story is for you.

In a lengthy interview, French freestyle newschooler Candide Thovex reveals he’s done with competition. “We are not robots,” he says, referring to the limits of the human body, a sentiment he’s acutely familiar with following a near-paralyzing injury last spring at his home resort of La Clusaz. Candide also discusses his future, memories of the past decade, and why he won’t be singing classic rock tunes any time soon.

Other 2.2 standouts: Jake Moe reminisces the decades of love in Sun Valley; Jill Adler profiles the soulful Alta Lodge and its 90-year-old owner, Bill Levitt; six essays on various "Lines in Skiing"; three decades of images by legendary shooter Hank de Vré; a review of the documentary "Steep"; a profile of Theory-3 filmmaker Jeff Thomas; and much more.

Seriously, subscribe. Get rid of the megamagazines that are cluttered with nothing but ads for overpriced gear and puff pieces about the spendiest resorts. This is the one ski magazine that is worth getting.

Posted by Justin at 01:38 PM

Some Statistics on Ski Injuries

Some new figures on ski injuries:

Is the rate of skiing injuries increasing?

Thanks to better equipment, the overall rate of reported skiing injuries has declined by 50 percent over the past 40 years, according to Shealy.

Is the rate of snowboard injuries increasing?

Yes, nearly doubling, according to research, which dates to the 2000/01 season. The rate was nearly 7 injuries per 1,000 visits compared to 3.37 in 1990/91.

What are some trends regarding injuries?

Broken lower legs, once one of the most common injuries to skiers, has decreased by 95 percent from 35 years ago. And after years of an increase in the number of knee injuries, especially ACL, the International Society for Skiing Safety Congress reported that since 2003 knee injuries have been on the decline. The reason for the 35 percent decline in serious knee injuries is believed to be due to the increased use of shorter skis. However, the number of mid-shaft tibia fractures has in-creased over the past 20 years after dramatically declining through the mid-1980s. The reason for the increase in tibia fractures appears to be a function of ski-binding-boot systems. Researchers believe that those numbers could be reduced if more people had their skies inspected by qualified ski technicians.

Where do most fatal acci-dents happen?

Well-groomed blue cruiser trails where the average speed of skiers is 25 to 40 mph...

Recently a man reportedly died at Steamboat after fal-ling into a tree well. How common is this?

About 5 percent of all skiing/snowboarding fatalities are caused by people falling into tree wells, which are created where the boughs of low-hanging conifers create wells below them, mostly in un-groomed areas on the edges of groomed trails. The snow is like quicksand, the more the victim struggles, the deeper they bury themselves and usually suffocate, especially if falling in head first, which usually is the case. Colorado accounts for 17 percent of these kinds of fatalities in North America, trailing British Columbia (24 percent) and California (19 percent). Over the past seven years, snowboarders were twice as likely as skiers to be involved in these accidents.

When do most of the tree well accidents happen?

During or just after big snowfalls when skiers and snowboarders venture off of the groomed trails in search of powder. December and January have more of the docu-mented cases due to the loose and unconsolidated snowpack conditions generally associated with early season.

The article also has some interesting statistics on helmet use.

Have the increased use of helmets decreased the number of serious and fatal head injuries?

Helmet use been estimated to be about 40 percent of users and has been increasing about 5 percent annually over the past several years. While the use of helmets reduces the number of head injuries by 30 percent to 50 percent, that decrease is generally limited to the less serious injuries. However, according to Shealy’s research, there has been no significant reduction in fatalities due to head injury over the past nine seasons despite the increase in helmet use. Still, non-helmet users were greater than two times more likely to have died of head injuries among accidents in which helmet use was known. Just more than one-third of the deaths involved those wearing a helmet, with about half of them also suffering fatal head injuries.

Why no reduction in fatalities?

There are several reasons. Helmets are designed to protect your head up to 12 mph, however, most collisions with trees involve the skier/boarder traveling at least twice to three times that speed. Studies have shown that those wearing helmets ski faster than those without helmets. For non-helmeted skiers, 23 percent of all potentially serious head injuries are more serious than a mild concussion. For helmeted skiers, 67 percent of their potentially serious head injuries are more severe than a mild concussion. Another reason is that two-third of fatalities by those who wear helmets are due to multiple causes or injuries. For those who die while wearing a helmet, only about one-third have a head injury as the first cause of death. Basically, the severity of the incident simply overwhelms the ability of the helmet to prevent death.

Always wear a helmet and always ski in control. Know your abilities. The most dangerous place on the mountain is the average blue cruiser. Dumbass kids racing out of control. You don't have to be the idiot to get hit by one. I have hurt my knee twice (thankfully not an ACL) getting hit by someone uphill from me not being able to avoid me because they are out of control. And my brain bucket has saved my dome several times. Helmets are just good things to have, but they work best when you are in control.

Posted by Justin at 10:42 AM | Comments (2)

January 25, 2008

Brian Head and Wolf Creek Both Receive 10" Last Night

Title says it all. Both resorts received nice snowfall totals from the latest storm, with more to come.

Here is where they differ:

  • Wolf Creek total snowfall for 2007-08: 300"
  • Brian Head total snowfall for 2007-08: 145"

I still cannot get over how great the skiing was at Wolf Creek two weeks ago. This storm has some good snowfall potential for both resorts, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that Brian Head gets some more snow before my trip north after the Super Bowl.

Posted by Justin at 11:17 AM

January 24, 2008

Converting DVD's to AVI Using Mencoder on Linux

I am no king pimp of bash scripting, but I have been playing around with creating a script to rip DVD's into AVI files using Mencoder. The process needs several things:

1. Get the name of the DVD so that you can name the AVI file
2. Figure out which track to rip (bypass the credits and previews and just rip the movie)
3. Calculate the length of the movie
4. Set the bitrate to ensure maximum quality, but keep the file size under 700MB so that it fits on a standard CD-R
5. Determine the borders to crop off

So this is a collection of various code I found on the Interweb as well my own. I am sure there are better and more efficient methods to AWK stuff down and get the output to look pretty, but this is the net of my work on things. I know this is complete unrelated to skiing, but figured I would post it in case someone is interested in using it to automate the DVD ripping process. I searched high and low to get some code to do this and couldn't find any so I cobbled it together and kept myself occupied for a few hours.

UPDATE: New Code Posted that makes things look a little better

# This program creates an avi from the dvd drive # #

MAXSIZE=700000 # Set the maximum file size to 700mb, which is 716800kbytes
OVC="-ovc xvid" # Use XviD encoding
OAC="-oac mp3lame" # Use mp3lame audio encoding
LAME_OPTS="-lameopts abr:br=128 -af volume=9" # Set audio bitrate to 128 and adjust volume
ZOOM_OPTS="-zoom -xy 640" # Set zoom and size options
XVID_OPTS="-xvidencopts turbo:nochroma_me:notrellis:max_bframes=0:vhq=0" # Adjust Quality
PASS1="$XVID_OPTS:pass=1" # Set options for pass 1
PASS2="$XVID_OPTS:pass=2" # Set options for pass 2
OUT_FOLDER="/DVD_TEMP/AVIs/" # The file to place the output in
DISC_TITLE=`lsdvd /dev/dvd | grep Disc | awk '{ print $3 }'` # Detect Disc Title
OUT_FILE="-o $OUT_FOLDER$DISC_TITLE.avi" # Specify output file

# Determine the longest track on the DVD and the runtime for that track

LONG_TRACK=`lsdvd /dev/dvd | grep Longest | awk '{ print $3 }'`
IN_DEVICE="dvd://$LONG_TRACK"
RUN_TIME=`lsdvd | grep "Title: $LONG_TRACK" | awk '{ print $4 }' | awk '{ gsub(/\:/, " "); print $1 " " $2}'`

# Calculate the Runtime in seconds

declare -i HORAS=`echo $RUN_TIME | awk '{print $1}'`*3600
declare -i MINUTOS=`echo $RUN_TIME | awk '{print $2}'`*60
declare -i SEGUNDOS=$HORAS+$MINUTOS

# Calculate Audiosize and video size
# Audio rate is 128bits/s which is 16kbytes/s

AUDIOSIZE=$((16*$SEGUNDOS))
VIDEOSIZE=$((($MAXSIZE - $AUDIOSIZE)*-1))

# Detect the crop settings for the DVD image

rm -f /tmp/cropdetect
mplayer -benchmark -nosound -ao null -vo null -vf cropdetect -ss 301 -frames 10 dvd:// > /tmp/cropdetect &
sleep 1
CROP=`tail -10 /tmp/cropdetect | grep "Crop" | head -1 | awk -F"(" '{print $2}' | awk -F")" '{print $1}'`
rm -f /tmp/cropdetect

rm ./divx2pass.log

# Create a test file in /tmp to make sure the crop settings and encoding settings work that begins 60 seconds in and lasts 100 frames

nice -n +19 mencoder $IN_DEVICE -ss 60 -frames 100 $OVC $OAC $LAME_OPTS $CROP $ZOOM_OPTS $XVID_OPTS:bitrate=800 -o /tmp/$DISC_TITLE.tmp.avi

# Run Pass 1

nice -n +19 mencoder $IN_DEVICE $OVC $OAC $LAME_OPTS $CROP $ZOOM_OPTS $PASS1 -o /dev/null

# Run Pass 2

nice -n +19 mencoder $IN_DEVICE $OVC $OAC $LAME_OPTS $CROP $ZOOM_OPTS $PASS2:bitrate=$VIDEOSIZE $OUT_FILE

Posted by Justin at 03:20 PM

January 21, 2008

MLK Weekend, NFC-AFC Championships, and No Skiing

It has been a while since I checked in. First, I was gone for three of the past four weekends and as cool as my wife is, I probably needed to chill for a bit. MLK weekend sucks just about anywhere because most resorts get swamped by folks heading up because the kids have days off. Plus there is football.

But all of these things take a backseat to family and personal life stuff. My grandfather is in the hospital and it has been a rather odd last couple of days.

Anyway, I am planning an epic trip starting the first week of February. Looking like two days at Jackson Hole, another day at Big Sky, a day at Alta, and back to Brian Head. Betting on 5-6 days of skiing at four resorts. Including Alta and Big Sky that are my favorite resorts. If things go as planned, this will make trips to Wolf Creek, Alta, Brian Head, Beaver Creek, Big Sky, and Jackson Hole by mid-February. I am already at 9 days and this will put me right at 15 days.

Posted by Justin at 11:27 AM | Comments (1)

January 17, 2008

Rough Season for Off-Piste at Alpengluhen

Frequent commentator and fellow blogger Off-Piste at elpengluhen reports some seriously bad news:

After a full day of 4 and 5 year olds I assisted in a restocking run to the mid-mountain lodge. Up the chair with 10 lbs of sausage and 8 gallons of water. Returning at the bottom, I was involved in 3 person collision, where I got hit head on. My right arm is broken in multiple spots along the radius. My left was spared apparently thanks to the wrist brace I was wearing (although the metal brace was bent hard). Helmet was broken, and my left eye crushed.

Vision is slowly coming back to my eye, my face is finally starting to lose the swelling, and my arm itches like crazy. Typing is slow and difficult right now.

SkiPatrol's general opinion was the helmet saved me from any further damage. Best case I can be back out for some spring skiing, but the prognosis isn't likely. For now my season is over. And my bed calls for more sleep.

ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET. You never know when something is going to happen.

Thoughts and prayers bro. Get your dome straight and your arm back together. It could have been worse, but damn dude, it still sucks.

Posted by Justin at 12:49 AM

January 14, 2008

Wolf Creek Weekend

I am notoriously late. If I say I will be there at 4:00, expect me at 5:30. If we have to leave for the mountain at 9:00 AM, I get up at 8:55. So it shocked everyone when I told them I planned to leave for Wolf Creek at 3:00 PM on Friday. I didn't want to drive all night and be tired the next day. I was on the East side by 3:15 and we were gone. We got into Pagosa at 1:00 AM. Even more shocking was when I was the first one up at 7:00 AM, showered and done eating before Tim had knocked the cobwebs out. Got my gear loaded. I didn't want to miss the start of the day.

DAY 1

Five people. Erich and Tim that are regulars. Jake that is attached to me at the hip. And the new guy, JP. Erich for whatever reason was running late and trying to get his gear set for the day. Instead of leaving at 8:00, Erich is cramming his stuff into the Avy at 8:30. We start cruising up a snowpacked but sanded 160 from Pagosa. Just after the switchbacks, we notice people passing us and pointing. All I can think is John Candy and Steve Martin in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles:

"You're going the wrong way!"
"Yeah, OK." {waving}
"How do they know where we are going?"

Well, they were trying to tell us something. The tailgate of the Avy was open with all of our gear in the back. The standing temperature was -9 and Erich left the tailgate open with Jake's and my boots at the very back. Nothing fell out, but my boots were as close to frozen as you can get. I thought they were going to break when I put my foot in them. Needless to say, Erich got an ear full.

We hit Treasure, through the Waterfall Area, and on to Alberta. All day, lap after lap on Alberta. We never touched a run, just caught fresh track after fresh line through the trees between Shazaam, Bankshot and Gyro. About midday, Tim and JP hiked the ridge above the lift and swore we needed to head up there. After a climb from the Alberta lift side, we skied Peak Chutes down to the base for lunch. Oh, the powder. I commented on the way up that I couldn't imagine a more perfect day. Bluebird. 80" of snow over the last 7 days. 20 degrees by midday. Tim replied, yeah, almost perfect. The only thing wrong was that there were an occasional set of tracks in the untouched pow.

Back up Treasure lift after a Wolf Dog (all veal brat with onions, parsley and curry) and Quiche. I point that out because the lodge food was so good that we actually had a 20 minute conversation about if it was the best lodge food we ever had. We traversed and hiked up to Boundry Bowl before dropping through Waterfall again. By 3:30 PM, when we called it a day, there was nothing left in the tank. The entire day was knee deep powder. A stop at Kip's Cantina, which was basically a small house downtown that was converted into a restaurant to catch the Pats-Jags game, then back to the hotel to prepare for round two.

JP just dusted us. We went climbing and he never stopped. Turns out he was training for a half marathon and was an avid hiker that has summited several 14k peaks in Colorado. Tim neglected to tell us that which made Erich and I feel less old and worthless.

DAY 2

So Erich won the bonehead award for Day 1. Jake won it for Day 2. Overnight, he had gotten out of the truck and left the back door to the Avy wide open. Froze up the truck and covered the inside with frost and ice. Ran the battery down. An earlier start to the day and we were on the mountain, parked, and geared up by 9:00. Back up Treasure, traverse, then hike Alberta Peak.

I am deathly afraid of heights. I have never been scared skiing, so this was a first. Not that the peak was unskiable, but that the climb combined with the wind, combined with the two skiers that went backcountry and are still missing, combined with my quads absolutely burning from the day before and now the climb, combined with a little dizziness from the almost 12,000 feet scared the living hell out of me. I sat down at the top and the mountain was spinning. I didn't want to put my skis on because I was scared I would fall over. By the time we got down to the bottom, Erich had stopped three times with dizziness and nausea and had to sit for almost at the bottom of Alberta before he could even take the lift up and take the catwalk back to the base.

So we split up, each of our groups with a Motorola handheld. I told Erich I would head over to the mainside with him. Erich felt better as soon as he got back to the main lodge, so we skipped calling it a day and hit Raven and Dickey lifts. JP and Tim wanted to spend the rest of the day climbing and skiing double blacks. Which brought us to Jake.

"Jake, you going back or you hiking?"

Jake chose hiking and skiing double blacks. During the trip, Jake skied Knife Ridge Chutes, Dog Chutes, Alberta Peak, Montezuma Chutes, Peak Chutes, and Waterfall. Spent the entire time either skiing double blacks and hiking or skiing trees off of Alberta. My son that turned 11 on January 3rd let his old ass dad head down to the lodge while he went hiking and skiing double blacks with Tim and JP. He was either right on my heels all day Saturday or charging ahead. But by Sunday, he bested me.

Straight A student. State Champion football player. And Erich, JP and Tim spent most of the time Saturday night, before the hiking and me wussing out, talking about "when my kid is his age, I hope my kid is that good". Sunday just destroyed my expectations.

I called Big Jake today and left a voice mail. Big Jake of my best friend since college and the guy that went down Jake's first blue run on his first powder day at Sunrise with me and watched Jake crying and ski patrol carrying his skis down for him. Jake who watched the 1997 Rose Bowl with a 9 month pregnant Tera the night before he popped out. My message to Jake:

About 2 years ago, I stopped playing Xbox against him because it embarrassed me. I knew this day was coming. But this trip was sudden. We are old.

It was a good weekend.

Posted by Justin at 09:37 PM | Comments (2)

January 11, 2008

Great News Story on Helping Those with Mental Illness (h/t The Onion)

Enjoy.


In The Know: Is The Government Spying On Paranoid Schizophrenics Enough?

Posted by Justin at 11:38 AM | Comments (1)

January 10, 2008

Memorial and Donations for the Victims of the Ski Bus Accident

The Arizona Republic has details about the memorial service for the Deer Valley High School victims of the bus accident:

A memorial service for Deer Valley High School students Jasmine Bowden, Erica Sheffey and Marc Rasmussen is being held Wednesday at the Community Church of Joy.

The service starts at 1 p.m. at the church, 21000 N. 75th Ave. in Glendale, and it is open to the public.

The three students were killed in a bus accident as they returned from a ski trip in Telluride, Colo. on Jan. 6.Six others died and at least 23 were injured in the accident, which happened in southeastern Utah.

Wednesday is a scheduled early release day for all Deer Valley Unified District schools.

Those wishing to make a donation to help with funeral or hospital expenses can make a deposit at any Wells Fargo Bank branch. The "Families of Deer Valley Memorial" account number is 3878909518.

Please offer a small donation to help the families. This is a truly tragic thing that happened and it could be any one of us as I said in what Caroline described a "dark" post earlier this week. And offer them your thoughts and prayers as well.

Posted by Justin at 03:38 PM | Comments (1)

Shaun White, Bode Miller Videos on Sportskool.com

Got an e-mail from a reader, John (and he makes number 6), about (Sportskool.com has some cool instructional videos including some by Bode and Shaun White. I liked this on on skiing trouble situations:

Posted by Justin at 02:25 PM | Comments (2)

80" in Past Week at Wolf Creek, CO

Wolf Creek is reporting 80" from the latest storm system. I am leaving on Friday afternoon with Tim, Erich, someone I have yet to meet, and young Jacob for a weekend of pow on Alberta.

I will say it again, Wolf Creek is an untouched gem. Sick snow that is almost as frequent and plentiful as Alta in Utah. Fairly isolated and no real base area, but that means no crowds and powder that lasts weeks before getting completely tracked. Alberta is one of my favorite places anywhere to ski. Glades and just steep enough. Waterfall is almost as good and it is sick steep. Treasure's face provides an excellent descent.

My only complaint about Wolf Creek is that their marketing manager, Roseanne, completely blew me and my 5 readers off when I called her for an interview about the Raven Lift that they just built last year. Like I do not exist. Like the Interwebamagiggy is fun for things like online poker and porn, but serious journalists are never "bloggers", and she didn't even know what a "blogger" was. I guess that is what happens when you live in a town of 2,000 in rural Southwestern Colorado. So here I am doing PR for a resort that doesn't even think I exist. Talking about 450" of snow per year, the most in Colorado. Talking about great glade skiing and no lift lines. And paying my own way instead of having them say "Hey, Justin, thanks for all the work creating buzz. Here are a couple lift tickets on the house." Again, this is similar to the issues that I had with Brian Head in December until I finally got ahold of Ron Burgess.

Posted by Justin at 01:46 PM | Comments (1)

January 08, 2008

Reflections on Bus Accident that Killed 9 in Southern Utah

I just drove through Mexican Hat in a blizzard the weekend before Christmas as I was coming home from Denver. My grandfather has extensive business that he does in Monticello and Moab and I have been through the stretch several times. And I spend countless hours and miles driving on snowpacked and icy roads during ski season.

This hit close to home. I thought about orphaning my kids or worse, losing one of them in an accident. Driving on bad road conditions in the middle of the night, tired after a long day of skiing. And the best skiing means the worst road conditions. Blood in the snow. People screaming. No light. Snow and rain falling. Desolate area, no cell reception.

This reminds me to keep my emergency road kit ready. Road flares. Blankets. Flashlight. Bungee cords. First aid kit. Tarp. Some canned food AND THE CAN OPENER. Bottle opener (in case all the beer didn't break during the wreck j/k). Matches. And I love having OnStar. I know it doesn't work a lot of places, but at least it offers far better reception than a regular cell phone.

But the Arizona Republic reported this, which is what makes America, especially rural America great:

Rose June, a clerk at the San Juan Inn, said she rushed to the scene to distribute blankets and towels to people on stretchers. She said many on the bus seemed to be in their 20s.

"They were saying, 'Where's my friend? Where's the ambulance?' " June said. "I tried to keep the rain off their face."...

Danny Palmer, funeral director at San Juan Mortuary in Blanding, about 40 miles northeast of Mexican Hat, came to the scene. He spent two hours helping victims and watching rescue efforts, including those carried out by passengers hurt in the crash.

"People that probably needed their own medical attention were helping those who were more serious," Palmer said. "It was quite inspiring."

Thank you to the people of the Four Corners area that helped save lives and reduce the suffering of those that were affected. Prayers go out to the families, and to the parents of the three high school students that were killed. Erica Sheffey and Marc Rasmussen died at the scene. Joseph DeBolskewas a senior from Saguaro High School.

Posted by Justin at 10:33 AM | Comments (2)

January 07, 2008

Eight Die in Major Ski Bus Accident in Four Corners

Thoughts and prayers for the victims of a major bus accident in the Four Corners area as they were returning from a ski trip:

A charter bus carrying people from a Colorado ski resort ran off a wet road and rolled several times down an embankment in far southeastern Utah, killing eight passengers and injuring about 20 others, authorities said Monday...

“When the vehicle was overturning, the roof of the bus split open and multiple occupants of the vehicle were ejected,” he said...

Roden said the bus was en route to Phoenix after a ski trip to Telluride, Colo.

A manifest showed 51 passengers were on board the bus when it crashed about 10 miles north of Mexican Hat, in the Four Corners region where Utah meets Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. Rescue crews from all four states were sent to help.

The closest hospital was 80 miles north in Monticello. San Juan Hospital received more than 20 people, chief executive Craig Preston said. Ten to 13 still were being evaluated while others with more serious injuries were sent elsewhere.

I had considered driving to Wolf Creek. This is an extremely remote area on or near the Navajo Reservation. Monticello and Cortez are the closest towns and I am betting their hospitals are not even close to being able to handle this amount of traffic/injuries.

Prayers go out. This was a nasty storm and snow and ice had to make things even more difficult.

Posted by Justin at 08:15 AM | Comments (3)

January 02, 2008

Record Breaking December for Snow at Brian Head

From the Brian Head website:

Brian Head Resort received 99 inches of snow during the month of December, which breaks a 15-year record! And weather reports are predicting a BIG storm coming in this weekend. All 65 runs are now open.

I can tell you that conditions are not "ideal" in that coverage is not complete in some of my favorite areas and remains with early season obstacles, but compared to last New Year's Day, Brian Head is way ahead of the race. Problem with things isn't December's 99" of snow, it is October and November not building a good base.

Expect things to be much better this weekend after the next storm hits. I might be going to Sunrise for the first time in three years to get in some weekend skiing if the storms materialize.

Posted by Justin at 09:11 PM