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Everything posted by JimK

  1. 1. At the Grand Canyon 2. View from Grand Canyon rim trail of Mt Humphries, highest pt in AZ, 12,600'. 3. I hiked a few hundred vertical feet down the canyon on Bright Angel trail.
  2. View out window of our cabin on May 24, 2019.
  3. I was at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon for two days in May 2019. Beautiful place. Hadn't been there since I was 10 years old, 1964. I've been driving around the US for several months. My wife and I left Southern California to drive to our home in the Wash DC area on May 22. We drove through Sedona, AZ, then stayed in Flagstaff that night. A few hours into the drive on the 22nd we tried calling the Bright Angel Lodge at the Grand Canyon for last minute openings. This is one of those popular National Park lodges that people often book a year in advance. But sometimes if you have flexibility you can catch a last minute cancellation and sure enough they had a cabin with partial rim view open for next day, May 23. We left Flagstaff AZ on the morning of May 23 for 90 minute drive to Grand Canyon and experienced 34 deg temps and 3" of snow! They had a sell out that day on Grand Canyon souvenir sweat shirts as many tourists were caught in t-shirts and shorts. Our cabin cost approx. $220 for one night, pricey, but we were literally 40' from the Rim of the Canyon. It was insanely scenic and the 24th was a much nicer day. May 23, 2019, a nordic ski center at approx. elevation 8000' with a few inches of fresh snow, near Arizona Snowbowl Ski area. I doubt they reopened for the day:-)
  4. Snowbird May 9 was a mini powder day. May 11 at Snowbird was a classic sunny spring ski day. Still lots of snow in them thar hills. May 11, 2019 was my last day of skiing this winter. Soon I head to CA then eventually circle back to VA. It was a good winter. I hit 50 days, maybe 51. I lost track at one point during a crazy/snowy March. I feel blessed.
  5. I'm getting close to finishing my ski time in the West. I just spent three days in CO skiing May 4 & 5 at Arapahoe Basin and May 6 at Breckenridge. A-Basin was very lively with near mid-winter type weekend crowds and lots of parties in the Beach parking lot. The ski terrain was entirely open and the weather was mostly sunny and cool like mid to late March, not May! A-Basin: I've been to Breckenridge 3 times for about 8 days total. I've never experienced it this empty. Snow coverage was great and there were people climbing above Imperial and Kensho chairs. Breckenridge:
  6. oops. interesting how cross posting photos from various sites works for some and not for others. what I like about NMS is that if I cross post something from here to elsewhere it shows up there. Tip of the hat to Weatherman. 5/1/19: Pretty special morning at Snowbird, UT. As a lifelong resident of VA, this is the first time in 52 years of skiing that I skied in the month of May. From now on I ski May only6" new everywhere, twice that in many spots. Little Cloud chairlift mineral basin chair pretty ski patroller checking out Great Scott (it was good) lower peruvian gulch
  7. 5/1/19: Pretty special morning at Snowbird, UT. As a lifelong resident of VA, this is the first time in 52 years of skiing that I skied in the month of May. From now on I ski May only6" new everywhere, twice that in many spots. Little Cloud chairlift Mineral Basin chairlift Pretty patroller checking out The Cirque Lower Peruvian Gulch
  8. You are hardcore ST!
  9. Good season for me, have about 40 ski days and hope to get 10-15 more before driving back east in May, but... This might be an opportunity to clear my chest about a few things on the more challenging side of a season spent in the west. I retired in Feb and immediately drove west for a three month stay. Had only 4 ski days back east by President's Day. I was in lousy shape and suffered a lot of aches and pains trying to ski myself into shape in my mid-60s. It's been great and super snowy, but doing much of my skiing on storm days at Snowbird was a harsh training ground. Between the challenging terrain there, frequent low-viz conditions, and aggressive type of skiers on the mtn, I often felt like I should "get out of the way old man." It's mostly me and my inabilities to blame, but also I think I need some new skis. One wimpy 80mm ski and one old 106mm ski isn't cutting it. Now I know why my son and other serious skiers out here have quivers of a half dozen skis or more. Now that spring has finally come the soft snow conditions on the groomers are comforting, but I can't forget how punishing the off-piste storm skiing was on my body last month. I rode a chair yesterday with a Utah veteran and told him some of this. He was encouraging and said it could take a few years to learn the mtn, the snow conditions, and environment so that you ski Snowbird efficiently and know best places to ski on different types of days. This includes knowing where the best snow is, dressing right, picking the best skis for the day, exerting energy when necessary, conserving when not, etc. And of course, building fitness gradually rather than intensely after sitting in an office cubicle the first half of the winter. I'm used to skiing in 50 yrd bursts, out here they ski in 500 yrd bursts. I'm used to lots of quick turns, out here fewer turns and high speeds. I'm used to elevation 2000 to 3000', out here it's 8000 to 12500' 🙂 I'm doing a lot of home improvement projects too so my rest days have not exactly been rest days. It's also been challenging to stay harmonious with my non-skiing wife who is accompanying me. She's the lead on a lot of home improvement stuff and I'm the laborer. We've done some fun non-ski and non-home improvement things together, but not enough. Snowbird on mid-winter snow days is crazy. Big traffic issues getting up the canyon and lots of competition for the goods on the hill. I took an early April trip to Telluride and Crested Butte and one of the things I most enjoyed about both places was the small crowds. Some of my most fun days in Utah have been when I connected and skied with visiting friends. But I don't really have any local friends to hang out with. I expect to spend a lot of time out here next winter too, so maybe that will develop. Even a winter in paradise has its challenges 🙂
  10. next batch of photos from Alta, UT 4/17
  11. Today, 4/17/19 was one of the sunniest days in a while out here in Utah. I made my first visit of the winter to Alta using one of my two Wasatch benefit days from my Snowbird pass. Met some friends and had a nice day in good if slightly heavy snow at an amazing ski area.
  12. Yesterday I got to tour the DPS ski factory in Salt Lake City, fun and interesting!
  13. Dead Horse Point, Utah, 4/8/19, Colorado River 2000' below us.
  14. Wore this lucky sweatshirt for four straight ski days over Final Four weekend. It was getting smelly, but got the job done! Here at Crested Butte, Phoenix Bowl, with fellow Virginian (who moved to Gunnison at age 18 and never went back) on Apr 7.
  15. I hope to visit Telluride and Crested Butte this week with epicpass. Will report back here on how it goes. Have been skiing great conditions at Snowbird over the last month. Skied Deer Valley today with my Wasatch benefits from Bird pass. There is still a TON of snow at Deer Valley, it must kill them to have to close next Sunday with snow like this at the base on Mar 31, 2019:
  16. Saw a moose while snowshoeing over by Deer Valley on 3/12/19.
  17. Saw a porcupine in a tree today near Creekside Lodge at Snowbird, UT:-o
  18. The snow keeps piling up in Utah. Snowbird broke 500" for the season today 10 Mar 2019. It has snowed approx. 5-10 inches for about 5 days in a row. Some offpiste areas are really deep. I got to ski a couple runs with my son's Expedition Team today. He instructs hot little rippers. They wore me out. Gateway to adventure in the Tiger Tail area: These kids are middle school age and fearless All these photos are from a beautiful part of the mtn in the Gad Valley side.
  19. Getting in some frequent skiing here in Utah. Was at Snowbird today and it was really puking, ten inches in the five hrs I was there. I skied mostly off the Gad 2 chair which has trees and is good for storm days. Although I took one run down Great Scott: In the midst of it all they were holding some sort of junior mogul contest, these guys were good, esp. considering it was in low viz conditions. Upright: Inverted:
  20. Brad, it was good to see you too. Our paths crossed a few times, but next opportunity we'll have to make time to ski together. I need more age-appropriate ski friends
  21. 3/5/19: Since my last post on our visit to Yellowstone I've put in a day of skiing at Snowbird and then today I made a double play at Park City, UT. I went snowshoeing with my wife in the morning and skiing in the afternoon. There is a big snow storm coming to the Wasatch this week, so today/Tuesday might be the last day of sun (hazy) until Friday. My favorite run at Snowbird on 3/3 was Wilbere Bowl as seen in this photo from the Gadzoom chair. Several little girls blew by me while I was picking my way down Wilbere Bowl. Snowbird is a very humbling mountain. This is the view from the place we are staying at in SLC for an extended period. I like to sip a drink at the end of the day while looking at this view out the living room window. 3/5/19 was a morning of snowshoeing on public trails near the Park City Ice Arena. You can see a gang of fat tire bikers in background. There were many cross country skiers on these trails too. In the PM I went skiing at Park City, and started by riding the town lift. Meanwhile my wife went shopping on Main St. This is a view of Jupiter Peak (center) from the Motherlode chair. I stayed on the lower mtn today and enjoyed this gladed run in the area of Motherlode/Silverlode. Now on standby, 2-3 feet of snow are expected in the higher elevations of the Wasatch Mtns over the next three days. That much snow is a double edged sword as it can really mess up the access road in Little Cottonwood Canyon to Snowbird and Alta. Those staying slopeside in Utah this week could be in for a treat.
  22. Spent Feb 26-28 skiing Big Sky, MT. Stayed at the Lodge at Big Sky. It snowed most of the time I was there. Never made a ride on the tram because it was hardly open during that time, but still skied some fun terrain and great snow. A friend on one of the many fine gladed runs. Another lady pow-buster: Friend from Calgary, AB enjoying Montana. Nice snow and terrain off the Challenger Chair. Goodbye Lone Peak, must return again. Next stop on Mar 1, 2019 was a day-long tour of Yellowstone National Park. We had Old Faithful almost to ourselves. We saw hundreds of bison, this group came right up to our bus. Saw lots of wildlife including a coyote about to pounce on something. Eagle nesting Lots of strange geothermal activity with wildlife in close proximity.
  23. 2/26/19, one foot new snow Big Sky, MT, a friend: another friend with seven friends in the new 8 pack, this is taking friendship to a new level 🙂
  24. 2/24/19: On Feb 22 my wife and I drove from Crested Butte to my son's house in Salt Lake City. It took about 7.5 hrs and was another pretty drive with a mix of mtns and high plains. On Feb 23 I skied at Snowbird, UT using my senior season pass for the first time this winter. Better late, than never:-) Tonight Feb 24 we are driving up to Montana and plan to ski Big Sky Feb 25-28. I think we may be going into some very snowy conditions on the roads and the slopes, will switch to my son's car with snow tires. Visiting and skiing A-Basin, Crested Butte, Snowbird and Big Sky in the span of seven days might be a new level of craziness for my tendency to do far-flung ski road tripping 😮 After Big Sky we should settle-in around SLC for a long while and get to fully unpack our travel bags. Departing the town of Crested Butte on Feb 22. It's kind of like a smaller, quainter Aspen. I've think they've worked hard to retain a historic feel to the place. Part of the drive from CB to SLC went on US 6 through Price Canyon, UT. I really enjoy driving around the country as long as the roads are clear. These are deer on the side of the road nearby. We've also seen on this trip a coyote in suburban Kansas City (!), a herd of about 30 Elk beside a country road near Golden, CO, a fox, and lots more deer in CO/UT. On Feb 23 I skied at Snowbird, UT, it was a pretty day. This is the classic view of the backside of the mtn, Mineral Basin, from the Baldy Chairlift. Mt. Timpanogos, elev 11,752 in far background. This is an area also in Mineral Basin to far skier's left called Ski Patrol Gully. This is a view of the front side of the mtn in Peruvian Gulch, the groomer in center is Chip's Run. The steeps of The Cirque are behind it between the tram towers. Hasta luego.

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