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Well I missed the Skivt-l party (again) .. but this time I had a good
excuse:  I had a chance to hit Snowbird for the weekend on my way out to
a west coast meeting on Monday.   Got to meet up with some friends from
last years Italy ski trip too .. ( good timing for a change !) ..

Arrive Friday night around 9:00 pm and meet up with Connie ( coming in
from LA) .. The GOOD NEWS  is that the Bird got 2 feet that day .. THE
BAD NEWS:  The canyon is closing at 10 PM and we don't have our luggage
yet ..YIKES !!!  Get our luggage / skis in record time but miss our
shuttle by minutes.   Catch the next shuttle  a few minutes later but
it's 9:35 by the time we leave the airport .. driver is going to take us
to a Motel they have a deal with, then come back and get us in the
morning .. canyon should open by 9:00 ..

They got us to Snowbird by 9:00 the next morning, and the lifts didn't
open on time because of avi-control so we lucked out ..and got on the
slopes by 9:30.. What a day ..Bluebird skies, upper 20's .. great snow
.. old friends.. The snow was variable, from dream powder in protected
areas and the trees to wind packed in other areas.   Snowbird was the
most crowded I had ever seen it, I think every season pass holder was
there along with all the guests who were supposed to leave Friday but
couldn't ( or just didn't).   Most of the open mountain was tracked out
by 11:00 am!  We were waiting in the little cloud lift line around noon
( at least a 30 min wait) and they hadn't opened up little cloud bowl
yet  .. it looked like over a hundred people were waiting at the top for
them to drop the rope and let people in .. when they did it was a race
to the powder and poof .. in about 10 minutes the whole bowl was skied
out .. not a clean line to be found .. then those lucky few who were
first down came skiing up to the long lift line we were in with big
grins shouting SINGLE trying to cut into the line .. NOT!!!

After lunch we headed over to GAD II and found lots of power in the
trees and thinning crowds as well .. A group of about 6 (1 skier and 5
borders ) were up in the cliff area above the GAD II lift base area.  It
provided for nice entertainment as  one-by-one they hurled themselves
off what looked like a 25-30 ft drop into soft fluffy basin of powder.

Sunday  .. Woke up to another bluebird day .. and almost no one on the
slopes ... no lift lines all day .. The snow still goo where it had been
sheltered or grommed/skied on enough the day before,  very tricky other
wise.  It had gotten enough sun the day before, and  cold and windy at
night to firm up a lot and spoil a lot of the goods.  Treat of the
day:   They finally opened Thunder bowl on Sunday afternoon and it
looked like we were about the 10th tracks to wander in.   Some of the
most challenging stuff I've skied in my life .. mostly because we had
never skied that area before and ended up following some tracks left
when we should have followed the ones that went right .. anyway it was
steep, deep, and very tight!!   The upper portions had unbelievable snow
.. deep and light .. but as we descended it just got heavier and heavier
until it we wished we had fat skies or snowboards!

Hard to believe it was April ... and most of the Utah areas were closing
by the next weekend!  The plane to San Diego Sunday night was about
about 70% skiers .. with big grins .. and tan faces.

Jim

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