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2/23 & 2/24/2017: Park City, UT. Bonus days = Powder Daze

abc

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TWO fabulous powder days ("powder daze") at The Canyons (Park City)!!!

After my short break from my tour, my original plan was to head over to Jackson and burn my 2 free MCP days. But the atmospheric cloud had a different plan.

Whilst Jackson had quite a lot of powder last week, Utah was on tap for a proper big one THIS week. As I was boarding my plane to go back to Salt Lake, the snow had started to dump on the area.

Bonus Day 1 (2/23).
Mountain: The Canyons at Park City
Condition: Powder!
Weather: cloudy, foggy, snowing!


Last week, I had 2 sub par days at Park City due to unusually warm weather. So I thought it deserves a chance for redemption.

More over, I'm not a big fan of skiing in whiteout condition above treeline, which the best of Snowbird's terrain lies. Besides, the Cottonwood Canyon road was closed during the height of the storm. So Park City was the only game in town.

My friend played hooky from work to show me some easy powder. Mid-calf to almost knee-deep (I probably wouldn't find those stashes on my own. Also very poor visibility just to figure out where I'm at all).

But first, she has to run the morning scrum meeting. So we don't get to do first chair. Still, since it'll be snowing all day long, I wasn't too terribly disturbed about missing first chair.

We start from the Canyons side because parking at Park City was super hard so we didn't want to chance it on a powder day. The Pines besides the Saddleback chair usually have good powder. It didn't disappoint this time either. In fact, it was a little "too much" powder given the whiteout condition. I couldn't see where the snow is. I was being taken for a ride by my own skis.

We decided to move on to Peak 5 and the mellower "dreamland" area. On the way there, there's a black run that few people bother to touch. But my friend the trusted local boarder took me down that one. Wide open trees, snow was up to my knee! Not bad for a 2nd run of the day!

Then we "arrived" at the dreamland area. A powder lovers' dream come true!!!

First, we had to "suffer" through a short section of the upper runs, where moguls were hidden from the newly fallen powder. My skis often found the hard crusty mogul beneath. My friend's board however, floated right over them.

But like the terrain trap in an avalanche, the lower half of the runs had "trapped" all the snow slid down from above, making them thick and cushy. We were lapping it up like kittens with a bowl of milk. (had I bothered to stop and took pictures of ourselves, you would have only see the huge ear-to-ear grin and nothing else)

We boarded the Dream Catcher chair as the liftie were flipping the chairs cushion up right after us! For not starting the day on first chair, we made it a full day by riding the last chair.

My friend thought Sidewinder might for once be rideable given all the snow. But wrong. It was still a slick piece of ice at the end of the day. Based on that sample, we concluded the lower part of the mountain would be in similar condition. We opted to download via the gondola. Our legs breath a sigh of relieve. My legs in particular.
 
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abc

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Bonus Day 2: 2/24, Canyons again. Sunny, interspersed with snow squalls.

Today, I wanted to ski Alta, but unfortunately the road didn't open till very late. So I did Canyons again.

The Canyons skied very well yesterday. (and it was free on my Epic pass, whilst for Alta I'd have to pay 50% because I already used up my 2 "free" days on my MCP pass) My friend at Park City totally didn't understand why I would want to go to a different mountain instead!

But I got too greedy. Alta had reported another foot overnight. And the avalanche work on the Canyon road was "scheduled" to complete at 8am. So I thought I want to ski a different mountain on my 2nd bonus day. Furthermore, if knee high was good, with the additional snow Alta got, I may get a chance to experience waist deep powder! Who wouldn't want to take a chance on that?

After waiting for 1/2 hr in traffic that didn't move at all, I reluctantly concluded my greed was not likely to be rewarded.
Heading east on I-80 was slow going. It was still snowing on and off, there were multiple accidents slowing things down further. It took twice as long to get to Park City.

It wasn't until almost 11am that I pulled into the Canyons parking lot. Ironically, it's so late in the day, enough people were leaving already. So I got to park in the 2nd row from the cabriolet.

Still, by the time I got to the real skiing, it's approaching 12 o'clock! The good of that is, people were disappearing into lodging for lunch so there's no line on the Saddleback chair.

The sun came out so I could easily see the new snow that hasn't been skied yet and planned my route (it was cloudy earlier so few could see the lines). I was rewarded with many laps through untracked snow that's easily knee deep, if not more.

The good visibility also allow me to find my way back to the stashes my friend showed me from yesterday (and some other powder patches I happened upon along the way). So after people came back out after their lunch, I moved on to Peak 5 and the dreamland again. Dreamland unfortunately had been groomed. The ungroomed trails got flatten by the amount of skier traffic. (Whilst yesterday, no one was there because most people simply couldn't find their way around to that far corner of the domain) Still, I found all the other powder stashes my friend showed me yesterday. And it was super sweet with the additional 1/2 foot since close of yesterday. So the snow was sometimes up to my thigh!
 

4aprice

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Chairlifts that go down hill ??

Welcome to western skiing.

IMG_09551.jpg


Summit chair at Solitude.

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
 

thetrailboss

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Nice. Your timing was great. We got 54" of fresh last week alone. Best skiing here in six years.
 

abc

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Yep, I timed it alright! One shouldn't complain about knee keep powder.

I only wish the Cottonwood Canyon road was open. Missed skiing Alta/Bird after such a storm. I can only imagine what it's like in such epic condition.
 
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