logs for 1999
(8th calendar year of non-stop skiing)
Dec 1999, Month 87: Skied
Southern California's Big Bear, Snow Summit, and
Snow Valley. They've had as much natural snow as
Death Valley this year; zero.
Was quite impressed with what they were able to
do with machine snow. I thought SoCal too
litigious for such fun, big launches in the
middle of runs. There were lots of great gullies,
and each resort had it's own fun personality.
Most chairs were open.
Nov 26th: The
Bird's the word since Snowbird opened yesterday.
Quite a crowd enjoying the spring-like conditions
this last week of November. A lot of excitement
in the air for the upcoming 6 or 7 months of snow
fun. Ran into a bunch of friends who were
partaking of the holiday weekend. It's been a
couple months since I've been on a chairlift--feels
good! The ski conditions weren't great, but it
sure beats hiking for turns.
Oct 23rd, at Park
City: The resort probably won't open until mid-November.
Had to make two attempts before I could ski the
man-made snow on CB's Run. I was stopped the
first time--something about illegal trespass. Had
to come back at dusk, but by that time some of
the early season grooming turned into frozen
death ruts. The top third was smooth and fun.
Besides, it's the only skiable snow in the
mountains at the moment.
BOYS OF THE HOOD, Sept:
Went this year with a good friend, George Thomsen.
Timberline at Mt. Hood was incredible this Labor
Day weekend! There was so much leftover snow that
we could almost ski right to the lodge. It even
snowed a couple days before we arrived.
With the new Palmer "Quad-burner"
chair (my nickname for it), you can rack enough
vertical to get quad quiver quick, if you wish.
The weather was picture perfect, the snow supreme
and really fast. Until you go, you can't imagine
how good it really is.
Just skied Snowbird. Still enough snow right
below 'Pipeline Bowl' near 'Rock Garden' to get
about 60 turns per run. Haven't been able to ski
this shot during August since 1993. I'll be
skiing the chairs at Mt. Hood on Labor Day
weekend. As always--the best snow on the whole
continent at the moment.
Skied lower Alta on the 4th of July weekend.
Still plenty of snow, even though the chairs
haven't been running for almost 3 months. Hot
July day, even at 9,000 feet.
5th: Snowbird's last day.
What a surprise! Rich, Lyness, and I wish we had
started earlier because the snow was so perfect.
Smooth, sugary consistency everywhere. Skied in
the clouds all day, only 3-chair visibility at
May 15th, Month 80:Snowed all day. 6" new
last night and another 6" during the day.
What a day! Pow turns everywhere we went. Fine
May treat! We could hear whoops and yells from
powder demons everywhere. Did a dozen runs on the
tram and chairs.
Mt. Baker, Washington. What
a breathtaking, isolated glacier. The ski resort
is so remote they don't even have phone lines--communication
is by ham radio.
There is one spot, usually out-of-area, where you
ski over 2 dead bodies (one from this season and
one from last) that haven't been recovered
because of the record snowfall this year. The
head of ski patrol told me they are buried
beneath 100 feet of snow.
Snowbasin with Pat McDermott.
No new snow, but plenty of mach-speed cruising.
Surprising how much the new chairs, gondolas and
tram improve the whole experience here. The
Basin's alot more interesting now. The 2002
downhill run is killer! I predict that unless
they remove a couple of big trees on the hairpin
turns, we're going to watch some horrific Olympic
crashes come showtime in 2002.
10th: Taos, New Mexico, with Mark
Cobble, my fellow ski club buddy from Peoria,
Illinois. He convinced me to join the Peoria Ski
Club. Mostly because we don't have any good ski
clubs in Utah, believe it or not.
I have always wanted to ski Taos. It has quite a
reputation. Good mountain. It's the same acreage
as Solitude ski resort, but with Alta's vertical
drop. We both agreed that it's fun for a day or
two, but not enough to keep our interest beyond
16th, '99: What can I say? The
best day I've skied at Whistler/Blackcomb. We
absolutely caught the mountains just right. Over
3 feet of new, with just enough fog to keep the
crowds away. The most incredible day for
vertical, steeps, powder, and fun that I've
experienced outside of Snowbird. Too bad the top
of the mountain is only 7,000 feet. If this place
had Utah or Colorado's elevation, it would be the
premier ski experience of the world. On days like
this, it is anyway.