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JimK

Westward Ho by Jim K.

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2/20/19
Westward Ho.  I've started another long western ski trip.  This time, if all goes as planned, I won't return home until grass mowing season.  My wife and I drove out from the East a few days ago.


Luvin' the Beavers at Arapahoe Basin:  the first place I skied on the trip was a three hour session at Arapahoe Basin on 2/19/19.  I only had a few hours before moving on and my express goal was to ski the new Beavers Lift with its 1501' vertical.  I spent my entire time skiing the terrain served by this lift (about 8 or 9 runs, I'm slow) and it's a fantastic addition to the ski area.  I already love A-Basin, but it's always been a tough place to visit on a cloudy, low visibility day.  Which is exactly what yesterday was.  But the tree lined groomers and extensive/varied glades of the Beavers is the perfect solution for that kind of day.  All the terrain in the Beavers is dark blue or single to double black diamond.  I did not ski the adjacent and also new Steep Gullies area because it is extreme tree skiing terrain and requires a long hike out and I'm an old guy on my first day at altitude.  Here are a few pictures which I hope will convey some of the super nice tree skiing in the Beavers.


A-Basin base lodge, it was a cloudy day with poor visibility on the wide open terrain.

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The open bowls near the top of the ski area around the Lenawee mtn chair were pretty tough, not quite white out, but close.  And not so fun to ski as a result.

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I made an immediate beeline to The Beavers terrain pod.  It starts out above treeline for a few hundred vertical.

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This is the upper lift line, great snow and good skiing down this and on either side.

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There are only really two groomers back here.  This is Loafer to the lookers right or skier's left of the chair line.  That pitch under the chair is real steep and so is that part of the groomer where the lone skier is.

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This is Davis to skier's right of the lift line.  Both runs turn very dark blue for the last 500' of vert.  You can see very friendly glades all around.

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Moi above a very aptly named glade.  There is a lot of nicely spaced tree skiing and fair amount of it is only single black pitch.  

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This glade to the right and lower on the hill is steeper and is called Baily BrosDSCN7684.thumb.jpg.cc5a372530362f79c4e376fb8adf6c44.jpg


Bailey Bros again. Real pretty back here.

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Changing subject, This is where I skied today, guess where.

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I'll try to make periodic posts here.  Love the easy way you can post photos on this site!  Thanks!

 

 

 

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Edited by JimK
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2/21/19, I skied Crested Butte for the first time ever on 2/20 and 21.  It's a super beautiful part of Colorado with fantastic terrain and a cool vibe.  Really liked this mtn, might have to go back again later this winter.  Heading further west tomorrow.

CB base area.

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Took about five early runs with friendly Jerry on 2/20.  I met him on my first lift ride.  He was quite a bit senior to me and skied nicely.  Has owned a home in CB for 24 yrs.

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Jerry cruising Paradise Bowl with North Face T-bar in background.

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CB Peak, elev 12,162', inbounds ski trails run down those gullies to right.

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This is the top of the Headwall area served by the High Lift t-bar, the t-bars serve some bodacious terrain and they are having a good snow year, so it's all open.

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View of the edge of Headwall Glades.

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This is up on Headwall too, Rabbit Ears spine.

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Looking up at Rabbit Ears.  This helpful local showed me the route I never would have found myself.  CB has terrain you must be very careful on.

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View of Headwall area from Paradise Bowl, Rabbit Ears formation is upper left center.

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They are having the Prater Cup junior (under age 14) ski races this week on International trail.

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Good stuff.

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Double Top glades off East River chair.

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2/21 got very sunny and pretty in the afternoon.

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They save one of the best views for the beginner area.

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Lovely part of CO, feels remote.

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What an amazing adventure Jim! Definitely something I'd love to do someday.
Keep the pics coming! I've only been to a handful of places out west so nice to see what other places look like.

Have fun and be safe!

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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This is an area also in Mineral Basin to far skier's left called Ski Patrol Gully.

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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.

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Hasta luego.

Edited by JimK
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2/26/19, one foot new snow Big Sky, MT, a friend:

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another friend

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with seven friends in the new 8 pack, this is taking friendship to a new level 🙂

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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.

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Another lady pow-buster:

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Friend from Calgary, AB enjoying Montana.

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Nice snow and terrain off the Challenger Chair.

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Goodbye Lone Peak, must return again.

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Next stop on Mar 1, 2019 was a day-long tour of Yellowstone National Park.

We had Old Faithful almost to ourselves.

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We saw hundreds of bison, this group came right up to our bus.

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Saw lots of wildlife including a coyote about to pounce on something.

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Eagle nesting

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Lots of strange geothermal activity with wildlife in close proximity.

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Edited by JimK
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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.

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Several little girls blew by me while I was picking my way down Wilbere Bowl.  Snowbird is a very humbling mountain.:$

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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.

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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.

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In the PM I went skiing at Park City, and started by riding the town lift.  Meanwhile my wife went shopping on Main St.

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This is a view of Jupiter Peak (center) from the Motherlode chair.

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I stayed on the lower mtn today and enjoyed this gladed run in the area of Motherlode/Silverlode.

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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.

Edited by JimK

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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:26_nerd:

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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:

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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:

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Inverted:

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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:

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These kids are middle school age and fearless

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All these photos are from a beautiful part of the mtn in the Gad Valley side.

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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:
229864844_DSCN9169(2).thumb.jpg.e1334b4c5d0a4505bd35be10a43e6ed6.jpg
DSCN9206.thumb.jpg.1790d936b8c2378917bef9afae5e266a.jpg
These kids are middle school age and fearless
DSCN9243.thumb.jpg.e866f3ebeec66c2b0b9023cd9b3a6f8e.jpg
752081051_DSCN9246(2).thumb.jpg.d565069537f07c4a221e2654f6a13b51.jpg
1849551559_DSCN9254(2).thumb.jpg.45cdc2a96e4eab3b5998b91a3c365185.jpg
All these photos are from a beautiful part of the mtn in the Gad Valley side.
DSCN9334.thumb.jpg.90f2d05c64c51bed6342b7921ce757b3.jpg





Sent from my iPad using Northeast Mountain Sports mobile app

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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.

 

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Edited by JimK

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Dead Horse Point, Utah, 4/8/19, Colorado River 2000' below us.

 

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Edited by JimK
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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.

 

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Edited by JimK

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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 only:roflmao:
6" new everywhere, twice that in many spots.

Little Cloud chairlift

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Mineral Basin chairlift

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Pretty patroller checking out The Cirque

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Lower Peruvian Gulch

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