If You Want Big Air, Pull My Finger - Ski and Ride 23-24

FlexFlexerson

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(Hope I'm not stepping on any toes starting this season's thread)

With ski areas starting to open (congrats to Ski Ward on that front) figured this was a good time to get to talking sliding on snow for another season.

My own local area, Arapahoe Basin, just announced they're opening this Sunday with their usual opening day package, but forecasts also calling for up to 2 feet of snow at higher elevations so conditions could be a little more intriguing than usual for opening day.

I'm stoked. Our little guy just turned 2 and I'm planning on introducing him to skiing this season (at a very rudimentary level). He had a little practice with equipment last year but we're gonna try to actually give it a go. Luckily, his grandfather used to be a ski instructor (then patroller) so he's got multiple hands on deck to introduce him to the sport. Wife also got a pass this year so we're hoping to be at the mountain a lot.

I'm planning to be in line when the lift starts spinning on Sunday, I'll share some photos if I can.

Happy opening day wherever you are and whenever that is!
 

Devizier

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I downgraded my Epic season pass to the 7-day northeast package. I figured that it was a rough season last year (zero natural snow) and if I want more, I can get day passes at Laurel Mountain for $60/adult anyways. Probably going to do some longer trips to West Virginia and New York but nothing on an airplane with the kids yet. Going through a career transition so I want to get that sorted before we go that route.
 

Bowhemian

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Nov 10, 2015
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My local ski bump (Pats Peak) is partially opening up on Friday. I made an executive decision to take the day off to try to get on first chair (more likely first 100 chairs). Pretty excited. Last year I got in 16 days but didn't get the first trip in until mid-January. If they are able to stay open for the season, I might make a run at doubling that number. It's hard for me to get many days in December as I only have a mid-week pass and they don't open for night skiing until 12/25ish, and of course that week is blocked. Stupid job gets in the way of daytime skiing.

A couple weeks ago I picked up a new jacket, new pants (non-bib variety), and got myself a helmet (skied all last year with no helmet). Another 500 bucks down the drain.
 
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petefungtorres

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Jul 31, 2006
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Portland, ME
My local ski bump (Pats Peak) is partially opening up on Friday. I made an executive decision to take the day off to try to get on first chair (more likely first 100 chairs). Pretty excited. Last year I got in 16 days but didn't get the first trip in until mid-January. If they are able to stay open for the season, I might make a run at doubling that number. It's hard for me to get many days in December as I only have a mid-week pass and they don't open for night skiing until 12/25ish, and of course that week is blocked. Stupid job gets in the way of daytime skiing.

A couple weeks ago I picked up a new jacket, new pants (non-bib variety), and got myself a helmet (skied all last year with no helmet). Another 500 bucks down the drain.
I've seen quite a few Pat's Peak jackets at Sunday River the past couple weeks, but it sounds like that's going to end with it opening up. Love the dedication to take Friday and get first chair. My senior in high school skipped school on opening day (with our permission - he's already in to college and what's a bs day of your senior year worth in comparison to making it out for opening day).

And glad to hear you are now wearing a helmet. They're warm and have saved me some potential serious head injuries over the years. I think that's 500 bucks well spent!
 

Preacher

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Jun 9, 2006
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Finally got my passport back from my renewal request so we’re planning a trip to Japan for MLK weekend. Not sure if anyone has any JAPOW experiences but I’m all ears.
 

Bowhemian

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Nov 10, 2015
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Well, hit up Pats on opening day. It nice and cold in the morning, but it warmed up and the snow got super mushy by late morning. Didn't make first chair (but didn't wait in a line either).
BUT-me and my buddy were first ones in the bar. I'd call it first stool, but that doesn't sound quite right.
 

bigq

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Jul 15, 2005
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It has been a slow start to winter in the northeast. There has been very little snow so far and due to unseasonably warm weather it has been difficult for places to make snow. It was warm with a lot of rain Christmas week. In Maine even Sugarloaf and Saddleback were getting only rain. I spoke with a friend in Vermont and he said it was a lot of rain there as well. I had planned to bring my kids skiing at Sunday River on December 29 but opted not to because conditions appeared poor and skiing in the rain is not fun.

There is snow in the forecast this weekend so January should be better.
 

Preacher

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Jun 9, 2006
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We hit Vivaldi Ski World today. It’s a small mountain but the drive wasn’t too bad, about 2 hours. I saw a Korean kid with a couple Wachusett stickers on her helmet. It got pretty crowded after lunch so we took off around 2:30. I think the Koreans rival the Italians in lift line disorder and inefficiency. Fifteen people across narrow down to 4 turnstiles for an 8 person lift. They need a single ride line since most chairs go up with at least 1-2 empty seats. Next weekend, we’re on to Niseko.


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(Check out the blue helmet)
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Jun 26, 2006
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Love the Korean ski pics!

My local, Pleasant MT here in Maine, is struggling. Pray for Wednesday big storm not to be the tropical rain storm it looks like on the forecast. We have a mechanical issue with one of the lifts and that plus zero snow basically meant no revenue Xmas week. I’m slightly worried that Boyne just pulls the plug on us…
 

Arroyo Con Frijoles

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Jul 19, 2005
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Given the last couple years of snow, am I stupid to try to convince my wife to go to Tremblant for the kids' April break (first week of the month)? My kids are just learning and will be in ski school a couple days I'd imagine, and the adults are mediocre skiers who still love to go, so we don't need much. My wife loves a vibe, the village seems cool, and the hotels are actually pretty cheap. I just don't want to find ourselves in between passable snow and warm enough weather for outdoor stuff.
 

petefungtorres

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Jul 31, 2006
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Portland, ME
Given the last couple years of snow, am I stupid to try to convince my wife to go to Tremblant for the kids' April break (first week of the month)? My kids are just learning and will be in ski school a couple days I'd imagine, and the adults are mediocre skiers who still love to go, so we don't need much. My wife loves a vibe, the village seems cool, and the hotels are actually pretty cheap. I just don't want to find ourselves in between passable snow and warm enough weather for outdoor stuff.
Tremblant closes pretty early so make sure it will still be open before you go too far down this road. We wanted to go over Easter a couple years ago and they were closed. If it'll be open it's a great time and I'm confident you won't regret it.

@MyDaughterLovesTomGordon - hopefully Bridgton did well with the weekend storm - looks like the midweek storm should be ok as well. My youngest has his first race of the season there this afternoon so I'll be interested to hear how it was when he gets home.

Sunday River was good this weekend and did well with the weekend storm. An acquaintance who normally skis Cannon was up there on Friday and texted me to say "it has no business being this good out here". It's looking like we can expect a couple more feet of snow in the next week which should be enough to get us into the woods.

My oldest kid is currently at Mammoth with the VATech snow club. He is loving Mammoth, which I'm sure will come as no surprise to @GoJeff!
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Tremblant closes pretty early so make sure it will still be open before you go too far down this road. We wanted to go over Easter a couple years ago and they were closed. If it'll be open it's a great time and I'm confident you won't regret it.

@MyDaughterLovesTomGordon - hopefully Bridgton did well with the weekend storm - looks like the midweek storm should be ok as well. My youngest has his first race of the season there this afternoon so I'll be interested to hear how it was when he gets home.

Sunday River was good this weekend and did well with the weekend storm. An acquaintance who normally skis Cannon was up there on Friday and texted me to say "it has no business being this good out here". It's looking like we can expect a couple more feet of snow in the next week which should be enough to get us into the woods.

My oldest kid is currently at Mammoth with the VATech snow club. He is loving Mammoth, which I'm sure will come as no surprise to @GoJeff!
Pleasant was a joy yesterday! They've got a shuttle going over to the east side to get people up to the top, but it's really hard to use the normal race hill. I'm assuming they're setting the course on the Main? The kids will be a little bummed to only ride the quad, I'm sure. They've gotta get that gearbox fixed in a hurry.

Even with about 10 inches, Pleasant still needs another foot or so to get more stuff open. I'm starting to think Wednesday might spare Pleasant, but it's going to be nip and tuck. My kid races at Lost Valley today - should be a solid 20-second slalom course...
 

petefungtorres

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Pleasant was a joy yesterday! They've got a shuttle going over to the east side to get people up to the top, but it's really hard to use the normal race hill. I'm assuming they're setting the course on the Main? The kids will be a little bummed to only ride the quad, I'm sure. They've gotta get that gearbox fixed in a hurry.

Even with about 10 inches, Pleasant still needs another foot or so to get more stuff open. I'm starting to think Wednesday might spare Pleasant, but it's going to be nip and tuck. My kid races at Lost Valley today - should be a solid 20-second slalom course...
Now that you mention it - I'm not sure if my kid is at Pleasant today or Lost Valley. I couldn't imagine them racing at Lost Valley but they are racing slalom so our kids could be on the same hill.

Edit - yup, my kiddo is at Lost Valley this afternoon as well.
 
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graffam198

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Dec 10, 2007
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Reno, NV
Palisades Avalanche, in bounds, kills 1. Tragic but not surprising given the history of mountain safety between Alpine Meadows and the Ski Resort formerly known as Squaw.

First big dump of the year last night up here. Sitting on about 8” of snow in my driveway, 18” or so higher up. Light and cold, terrible base, add to avy danger, but great day for some pow!
 

graffam198

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Dec 10, 2007
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Just got done plowing snow. Thought I would build out on the above, and why it pisses me off so much. Look, I understand it's a business, and you got to open to make money, but this is the kind of circus shit that Palisades and Alpine are legion for. For the 30 years I've been skiing in Tahoe, both of those resorts have been the butt of money over safety jokes. And it shows.

So to add some education; yesterday's avalanche forecast: https://www.sierraavalanchecenter.org/forecasts/#/forecast/1/128677 I don't recreate in the mountains every day, but I do read the report daily. It's important part of my routine that gives me an idea of how the snowpack is developing this season. Kind of a read it and forget it, but not really. Enough of it sticks so you can almost recreate the season.

Anyways, Picture: (If you don't know how to read this, it's pretty simple. Shaded is area of concern, Aspect is which way the slope faces, i.e. which way the slope faces. Outer ring is below tree line, middle is tree, inner is above tree line.)

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As you can see, Persistent Slabs on W - E slopes. Likely to slide. D2 is fucked. Anything over D1 and you get hurt if caught. We have this very unstable hoar frost layer right now, basically unsupported crystals against the ground and snow interface. They like to collapse. And when the collapse, they like to slip and slide. This has been known and reported against.

Problem 2 was wind loaded slabs. NW - SE Slabs

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So, you have double trouble cooking on the slopes NW/E. Winds are predominately out of the south and west for our area so those northern aspects get steep and deep. SICK BRO.

Let's take a look at the mountain itself:

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Legend: 76429

Accident was to the right of the chair in that gully. The "Perfect" angle for sliding is 37.5 degrees. So basically anything red. A WHOLE lot of red in that gully. So, to open that chair, given the facts on the ground, is seriously cowboy.

Now, there are calls for broskis to "always be beeping" I.e. always have a beacon in send mode. Which is absolutely asinine. All it takes is one idiot to have their beacon in send mode to hose up a search. Not to mention, if you have your phone on, that messes up your beacon and search so you might as well not have it on at all. The real answer is to sit patrol down and have a real conversation with leadership that the snow pack is dangerous. You need more explosives, you need more patience. Because when you prioritize dollars over lives, you kill people.
 

Leon Trotsky

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Jul 18, 2005
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Now, there are calls for broskis to "always be beeping" I.e. always have a beacon in send mode. Which is absolutely asinine. All it takes is one idiot to have their beacon in send mode to hose up a search. Not to mention, if you have your phone on, that messes up your beacon and search so you might as well not have it on at all. The real answer is to sit patrol down and have a real conversation with leadership that the snow pack is dangerous. You need more explosives, you need more patience. Because when you prioritize dollars over lives, you kill people.
This whole thing seems crazy. They must have done mitigation there before opening right? Is that area of the Sierra's just super susceptible, considering the one that killed a whole bunch of people at Alpine Meadows?
 

graffam198

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And because I love this shit, check out this Avy from the day before:

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This is pretty low angle terrain. I ski here all the time. This dude was triggered by the tracks circled in red! There is 0 support right now in the sierra snow pack. So when you are running a resort, full of a wide range of skills/knowledge, you have to take this into account. And this is just Avy 1 training. These dudes should all be Avy 3 trained which really dives into the science, art, voodoo, of snow
 

graffam198

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Dec 10, 2007
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This whole thing seems crazy. They must have done mitigation there before opening right? Is that area of the Sierra's just super susceptible, considering the one that killed a whole bunch of people at Alpine Meadows?
Yes and no. So there are 3 main snow pack types out west; Maritime, Inter-Mountain, Continental. Maritime is generally wet and dense, Continental is that chamgaine powder, and inter-mountain is a mix of both, tending to be more dense and heavy (sierra cement). This winter was off to a bit of a dry start, kind of cold, so we got more of a continental snow to start the season. Great to shred, shit for base. Generally speaking, the Sierra's are some of the safest mountains to back country in. Like anything, there is risk, but our snowpack tends to be stable. And, given our weather patterns, weak layers tend to gain strength quickly (lots of sun!).

As an aside, that's why CO kills so many each year. Lots of that champaign pow pow that doesn't like to bond. So it slides. And they have a lot of steep and dangerous stuff.

Right now we are in a danger will robinson type snowpack. Last year similar scenario. Weak adhesion and base followed by massive dumps. But we got there.

The avy that killed all those people in the 80's (Alpine Meadows) was a result of shitty management, shitty science, and shitty luck. They weren't doing enough blasting to clear loading, and then got 7' in like 3 days or something. MASSIVE load on terrain that is basically the 37 degrees. BUT, they didn't learn, and killed a dude in 2020 by basically the same thing. Heavy load, didn't blast, opened Scott Chair.

Conversely, if you look at Kirkwood or even Mt. Rose, which have similar terrain (from an avy perspective) are much more conservative.

This is the Chutes at rose:

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They won't open for weeks. Look at all that red and blue. Just too dangerous.

Or, take a look at Kirkwood:

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That stuff off Thimble Peak or even the Wall? Doesn't open all that much. Just too gnarly to keep safe. Sunrise chair is a joke
 

uncannymanny

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Awesome posts @graffam198.

Just arrived myself in Park City with 8 days under my belt, including some nice, deep champagne pow at Bachelor this past weekend.

We’ll do PC, Snowbird, maybe some others for 4 days, then Jackson Hole for 2 and then Aspen Snowmass for 3.

I have a lot of trips mentally planned for the rest of the winter/spring, doing as many Ikon mountains as I can in the west.
 

graffam198

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Awesome posts @graffam198.

Just arrived myself in Park City with 8 days under my belt, including some nice, deep champagne pow at Bachelor this past weekend.

We’ll do PC, Snowbird, maybe some others for 4 days, then Jackson Hole for 2 and then Aspen Snowmass for 3.

I have a lot of trips mentally planned for the rest of the winter/spring, doing as many Ikon mountains as I can in the west.
JEALOUS. Utah has been getting hammered this year. Be safe. Do your mother a favor, READ THE REPORT :) https://utahavalanchecenter.org/forecast/salt-lake
 

graffam198

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Dec 10, 2007
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Reno, NV
Ha and yeah we are supposed to get hammered here tomorrow through Sunday. I will take that advice no doubt!
And not to beat a dead horse...But this shit is wild too: https://www.sltrib.com/sports/2023/04/14/avalanche-report-offers-new/

A whole lot of voodoo happened to make this slide a thing, and they started off mostly right (In avy terrain 1 person at a time not 2). But once shit got real, well, the improper professionalism showed.

Like, this is why this dude died
He said carrying a shovel and probe “is not normally a requirement on guided trips.”
First guy down didn't know how to use his beacon. Went too fast. Happens. Second guide got a signal. But if you only have 2 shovelers and 2 probes, well, you are full on hosed!!!! Like, holy shit, if I go out w/a group, and I'm the only one with a shovel and probe, we aren't going hommie. 6' down that guy was probably going to die anyways, but to only have 2 people mandated!!!! to carry shovels and probes? You get caught, you better hope you are the first one found.

Ideal scenario. Find the first guy, leave your probe. Get your buddies probe. Go find the second guy. First guy stays at the probe and starts shoveling like crazy. The group skies down. Add a second and third shoveler. The remainder go w/guide 2, who hopefully, has found guy #2 and is now shoveling like his life depends on it.

ANYONE getting a guide, do me a solid. Take the Avy rescue course at a minimum. Learn how to shovel and probe. If you show up, and the guides don't make people carry shovels and probes, leave. It's not worth your life.

I spend close to 100 days a year in the mountains, it's a blessed life. I have been in some hairy situations, no fall, no fuck ups. But they have always been executed with safety in mind. Roped up, single party, slow slow slow. People get so wrapped up in slaying they don't realize that safety is part of the fun. It is awesome digging a pit and seeing what dangers lurk beneath. Or doing rope work with your buddy and practicing falls/rescues. It's as fun as the objective and way more important. Don't let someone tell you they are an expert then cut corners.

EDIT: Sorry for the slew of posts, I just really geek out on snow play, science, etc. I have a total rager for the guide industry as a whole, in America at least. Anyone can do it, they all bill themselves as experts, and in fact, most of the time, they aren't. Pair that with silly decisions in-bounds, with people who are just looking to carve in what they assume is a safe space, well, it gets me going! Shred that gnar, have fun, just make sure you prioritize your safety and are honest about your limitations. End goal is to go out the next day right?!
 
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petefungtorres

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Jul 31, 2006
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Portland, ME
And not to beat a dead horse...But this shit is wild too: https://www.sltrib.com/sports/2023/04/14/avalanche-report-offers-new/

A whole lot of voodoo happened to make this slide a thing, and they started off mostly right (In avy terrain 1 person at a time not 2). But once shit got real, well, the improper professionalism showed.

Like, this is why this dude died

First guy down didn't know how to use his beacon. Went too fast. Happens. Second guide got a signal. But if you only have 2 shovelers and 2 probes, well, you are full on hosed!!!! Like, holy shit, if I go out w/a group, and I'm the only one with a shovel and probe, we aren't going hommie. 6' down that guy was probably going to die anyways, but to only have 2 people mandated!!!! to carry shovels and probes? You get caught, you better hope you are the first one found.

Ideal scenario. Find the first guy, leave your probe. Get your buddies probe. Go find the second guy. First guy stays at the probe and starts shoveling like crazy. The group skies down. Add a second and third shoveler. The remainder go w/guide 2, who hopefully, has found guy #2 and is now shoveling like his life depends on it.

ANYONE getting a guide, do me a solid. Take the Avy rescue course at a minimum. Learn how to shovel and probe. If you show up, and the guides don't make people carry shovels and probes, leave. It's not worth your life.

I spend close to 100 days a year in the mountains, it's a blessed life. I have been in some hairy situations, no fall, no fuck ups. But they have always been executed with safety in mind. Roped up, single party, slow slow slow. People get so wrapped up in slaying they don't realize that safety is part of the fun. It is awesome digging a pit and seeing what dangers lurk beneath. Or doing rope work with your buddy and practicing falls/rescues. It's as fun as the objective and way more important. Don't let someone tell you they are an expert then cut corners.

EDIT: Sorry for the slew of posts, I just really geek out on snow play, science, etc. I have a total rager for the guide industry as a whole, in America at least. Anyone can do it, they all bill themselves as experts, and in fact, most of the time, they aren't. Pair that with silly decisions in-bounds, with people who are just looking to carve in what they assume is a safe space, well, it gets me going! Shred that gnar, have fun, just make sure you prioritize your safety and are honest about your limitations. End goal is to go out the next day right?!
This place continues to amaze me. Thanks for your posts. I took up skiing ten years ago or so and won't ever be anything but a resort skier in all likelihood but I'm still going to re-read these posts several times.
 

graffam198

dog lover
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Dec 10, 2007
1,846
Reno, NV
This place continues to amaze me. Thanks for your posts. I took up skiing ten years ago or so and won't ever be anything but a resort skier in all likelihood but I'm still going to re-read these posts several times.
Thanks!

And I should have referenced some cool stuff.

Cal Topo: https://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=38.66938,-120.06439&z=15&b=mbt&a=sf

This thing is awesome! Can add slope angles, sun exposure, etc. Not just for skiing! I use it all the time for hiking trails, camping w/the dog and fam, whatever. It's free. There is an App. Rabbit Hole.

Avalanche: https://avalanche.org/#/current

Zoom out. Find your area. Read about the snow pack! Even if you aren't going out, it's kind of fun to geek out on what's out there. Plus, where else can you say hoar in polite company? :)

The Canadians know their shit: https://www.avalancheassociation.ca/page/TheAvalancheJournal They are up there with the Swiss when it comes to snow science; maybe better.

More Canadians that absolutely Slay:


And Avalanche Post study (Note all the sliding snow off of roofs!!!!): https://avalanche.org/avalanche-accidents/
 
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graffam198

dog lover
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Dec 10, 2007
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Reno, NV
AND more Circus Shit from the Palisades Crew: Second avalanche reported at Palisades Tahoe, no one impacted (yahoo.com)

Wolverine bowl. Wildly overrated but generally pretty well trafficked. No one was buried, really surprised there hasn't been more reporting on the cause. Kicker here. "Avalanche Safety Experts had done some mitigation work that morning".

Look at that crown! (Vertical face where snow separated from above) Whole bowl slid.

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Pretty sure this is the bowl in question:

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Just totally insane to rely on "blasting" and not digging pits up there (per the reporting).

Anyways, again, sorry for the diatribes, but to have the same management team have 2 big slides in b2b days was just too perfect of a "proof" as to why they have the rep that they do regarding mountain safety. Plus, snow science!
 
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Preacher

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Jun 9, 2006
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Pyeongtaek, South Korea
The skiing in Niseko was fantastic today. Bluebird morning and then intermittent snow picking up to heavier snow at the end of the day. The snow is soft and plentiful. #japow

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I don’t think I’ve been on a one person lift outside of Mad River Glen.
 

petefungtorres

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Jul 31, 2006
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Portland, ME
The skiing in Niseko was fantastic today. Bluebird morning and then intermittent snow picking up to heavier snow at the end of the day. The snow is soft and plentiful. #japow

I don’t think I’ve been on a one person lift outside of Mad River Glen.
Awesome pics - looks spectacular. Apparently there are four total single chair lifts - the others are in Germany and Alaska. Can't imagine there are too many people who have ridden all of them.
 

Preacher

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Pyeongtaek, South Korea
7660076597
76598
76599

Had some white out conditions at the top in the afternoon but the snow was great. My wife kept wanting to take the off piste routes which is new for her. She has always preferred sticking to groomed stuff but the snow here is so soft. We went through the woods a bit, did some moguls, the fluffy stuff on the sides of the trail. At one point, she exclaimed she couldn’t believe she could turning in snow up over her boots. She’s all about the powder now and Mt Niseko-Annupuri did not disappoint. She already booked a hotel for lunar New Year weekend in Nagano. MLK weekend last year, we were at Mt Snow. Bit more snow here than what they had in Vermont this time last year.
 

Kliq

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Mar 31, 2013
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Planning on going to Loon this Saturday. Temps expected to dip below zero, anyone have experience skiing there in extreme cold?
 

Preacher

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Pyeongtaek, South Korea
Flights booked to Tokyo for Lunar New Year/Super Bowl weekend. Plan is to get into Tokyo Thursday night and then head to Nagano on Friday morning. Maybe ski in the afternoon on Friday but then have all day Saturday and Sunday. My wife booked the Courtyard Marriott in Nagano which I think was the only global brand she could find. It’s also the most expensive Courtyard I’ve ever seen, but the breakfast spread looks good. I’m hoping we can book a longer trip to Japan in March. Maybe a week or so. I’ve already been told I can’t take off for spring break but maybe another week would work. Not sure how long they have snow out there.
 

petefungtorres

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Sorry everyone, totally missed this thread. I'm here for the gnar pow now!

More importantly, thank you to @petefungtorres for asking your kiddo about follows--super helpful stuff!
No problem - happy to help. Not sure if this means anything either, but the freestyle skiers seem to be really into kendama lately. He and his crew have been doing it for about a year and I saw an instagram reel pop up last week with someone doing a kendama trick while riding a rail.
 

teddykgb

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Perhaps it has been covered but my kids are not toddlers anymore so I’m getting back out this season. Having absolute sticker shock at lft ticket prices here in the northeast am I missing ways to save or does it really cost like 120 minimum midweek?
 

Kliq

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Perhaps it has been covered but my kids are not toddlers anymore so I’m getting back out this season. Having absolute sticker shock at lft ticket prices here in the northeast am I missing ways to save or does it really cost like 120 minimum midweek?
Not sure where you are located specifically and where you are looking at but prices vary a lot depending on how far out you buy. But yeah, anywhere under $100 is a great deal these days.
 

FlexFlexerson

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Perhaps it has been covered but my kids are not toddlers anymore so I’m getting back out this season. Having absolute sticker shock at lft ticket prices here in the northeast am I missing ways to save or does it really cost like 120 minimum midweek?
"Buy a pass that covers your preferred areas" isn't super useful advice at this point in the season, but the industry has shifted pretty hard to funneling price-conscious customers to pass products and just jacking up day ticket prices as much as possible.

It's been years since I've had to use it, but I used to grab some discounted day tickets at Liftopia when I needed to. I used to be able to find decent deals, not sure what it's like so much now. And yeah, definitely try to book days out in advance and at least shave a few bucks off the walk-up rate.
 

uncannymanny

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Jan 12, 2007
9,010
Planning on going to Loon this Saturday. Temps expected to dip below zero, anyone have experience skiing there in extreme cold?
I’ve stayed very warm below zero (Whistler at -20) with a 250 merino base layer (top and bottom), light mid layer (mine is hooded to go under helmet), light insulated jacket (down/synthetic/wool) that unzips (heat regulation), neck muffler and a water/wind proof shell. I also wear short insulated pants that helps me not lose heat through the cold lift seat.

Also this thing is one of the most important things on very cold days, where I wear it over my helmet: https://bsbrand.com/products/team-hood-balaclava-prints
 

FlexFlexerson

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SoSH Member
In the "bound to happen" department, my local area is getting bought by Alterra: https://arapahoebasin.blogspot.com/2024/02/alterra-to-buy-basin.html

Hard to say what this will mean. The Basin's strategy since leaving the epic pass 7 or 8 years ago or however long it's been has been to limit skier visits and try to attract "quality" over quantity. The spend per skier visit is some factor higher now, with just selling Basin passes and being on the ikon pass a limited number of days, than what they were seeing on Epic. I have friends in management there and they say they're making more money overall on like half the number of visits that they were in the Epic days. I'm sure Alterra sees room for improvement but I hope they're buying an asset understanding that the key to its success isn't pure volume. If they do get that, I'll still be a loyal patron. If not, I may have to look elsewhere for my home mountain. The terrain at the basin can't be beat, but I'm way over the crowding and hassles that come with unrestricted mega-pass access.
 

Sausage in Section 17

Poker Champ
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Mar 17, 2004
2,048
10 day Interior BC ski package

This ad came up for me today. Without really checking out how cost competitive it would be in general, the tour by itself would be a once in a lifetime premium sampler pack of BC powder. You fly in and out of Calgary, spend two days at Fernie, one day each at tree skiing meccas Red Mountain and Whitewater, then two more each at Kicking Horse and Revelstoke. Then back to Calgary.

I’ve skied 4 out of 5, and I think that you would have to be in pretty great shape to attempt 10 days of skiing in a row at these various areas. Or at the very least, you’d have to pace yourself. But those are the spots, and if you got good snow, it would be mind blowing.

I’m waiting on a hip replacement, so I’ve been in semi-retirement the last few seasons. Hoping to make a comeback as an intermediate down the road.
 

FlexFlexerson

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SoSH Member
Snow's been nice and soft here in Colorado thanks to a series of storms that's brought our snowpack back to life. It's absolutely dumping in the southern mountains (Wild Creek, Purgatory, etc.) tho it's not really in the cards to get down there this year. Missus and I will take a few days off next week to do a little trip to Monarch - real old school mountain - so looking forward to that as just a nice time away with the wife.

I'm extremely, extremely happy tho as yesterday I got my little guy out on some real slopes for the first time ever. He's 2 so we're mostly just getting him used to the idea of being in gear and getting out, and he has a blast. My wife made a short little reel capturing the moment: https://www.instagram.com/reel/C3KElOoMktxWT_RP6Bv9NKYaseb1K7qXV500l00/

Kiddo skied for a solid hour and still wanted to keep going even as he was basically falling down with tiredness as we were walking back to the lodge. Leave 'em wanting more. Best day of my life.
 

Preacher

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Jun 9, 2006
6,371
Pyeongtaek, South Korea
Just got back from Hakuba last night. Hakuba Happo-one is where they did the downhill events for the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics and sits at the northern end of the Japanese alps. The starting gates are still there. While the snow was great and the little area we stayed in was great (Echo Land - which looks and feels a lot like a small, western ski town), getting there is a huge pain in the ass. We flew into Narita on Thursday night and stayed by the airport. The next morning, we caught a shuttle back to the airport to get to the Narita train station, took a train to Tokyo station (about an hour), took a bullet train to Nagano (about 90 minutes), took a bus to Hakuba (about an hour) and then a small bus to the hotel (about 15-20 minutes). We had our skis and luggage with us so that made the transfers fun. Getting back, we reversed the whole thing (except started with a taxi) then got on a plane for the flight back and then a 90 minute drive home. We looked at getting a car service from the airport to our hotel and back but that was $1600 each way. With some proper planning, we could have rented a car and made the 5-6ish hour drive each way on our own. Might make sense but I don't like to drive on the left side of the road in general and then we'd also be dealing with some unpredictable road conditions. Further complicating travel bookings was Lunar New Year and someone named Taylor Swift performing in Tokyo over the weekend.

The skiing, however, was great. The first day was clear skies in the morning and then snow starting in the early afternoon and picking up until the lifts close. They got about 6 inches overnight so day 2 was even better. Hit some off-piste stuff plus a run my wife enjoyed so much we did it twice and it was a double black diamond with moguls but she just enjoyed going through the soft powder sine you don't notice the uneven base as much. She has really gotten a lot more adventurous last season and this season. She never would have skied this stuff 3-4 years ago but now she's all about getting off the groomed stuff. Hakuba has about 10 resorts in the area but Happo-one was the closest to our hotel and one of the larger ones. Plus, at this point in the season, it had the most snow. We were going to hit Cortina which was about an hour from the hotel and typically has the most snow of any of the Hakuba area resorts but has had a bit of a down season so we figured just hit the closer resort with the best snow.

We're trying to figure out where to go for a week long trip in late March. It'll be Hakuba or Niseko and since Niseko is easier to get to and they get more snow (so better late season), we're leaning that way. But we did enjoy the ski town of Echo Land. Before that rolls around, we really need to hit Yongpyong which hosted the alpine events for the 2018 Olympics.
 

Preacher

Member
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Jun 9, 2006
6,371
Pyeongtaek, South Korea
Color me jealous, @Preacher!
It was a lot of fun. We almost scrapped the whole thing. Last Sunday, my wife just got back from a two week trip to the states where she had a deposition in Bakersfield, CA, visited her dad in Indianapolis, had another deposition in Savannah, GA, and then was an instructor for a week long course for new prosecutors at Fort Belvoir. She flies back to Japan tomorrow for a trial next week so she thought maybe having a weekend at home would be smart, particularly since we've been traveling so much. Ultimately, I left it up to her and she decided we should still go. I think she is happy with her decision, especially since she's leaving me with all the ski clothes to wash and put away.
 

teddykgb

Member
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Jul 16, 2005
10,981
Chelmsford, MA
Just an update to my question before in case anyone comes and reads: Loon had a buy 3 midweek tickets as a pack for about 70 a pop which I went for. Loon is far from my fav place but it’s accessible and got me back out there so it was a net win