This is part 6 in a series documenting our week in Park City. You can catch up on Parts 1
With snow in the forecast for the weekend, and after a somewhat disappointing day snowboarding at The Canyons
, we settled on checking out Snowbird on Sunday. It was snowing heavy, and as we got closer, the snow kept on coming. Made our way to Peruvian lift. Probably four inches had dropped overnight so things were looking good as we dropped in to Chip's Run to warm up.
About mid-mountain, Chip's Run intersects with Who Dunnit and Rothman way, there was a giant white sea of nothing. The clouds had settled in and visibility was minimal, the fresh snow combined with the cloud cover and falling snow completely eliminated any sense of depth perception. Kinda weird feeling, like you could get totally disoriented in that stuff. Chip's Run was another one of these cat-track blue runs like we saw at The Canyons the day before. A few flats and up-hills made it less than enjoyable. It probably didn't help that we were all pretty beat up and fatigued from seven consecutive days of shredding.
We learned the hard way that the Snowbird Tram isn't worth the extra $10 on a weekend
, since there are two other ways to reach the Mineral Basin on the back side of Snowbird. Maybe on a weekday you could benefit from the 8-minute base-to-summit ride, but on a Sunday afternoon, it was just another goddamn long-ass line to stand in. But whatever. We had made it to Mineral Basin and took the easy way down, a green/blue run called Lupine Loop. Whiteout conditions were as bad or worse on this side of the mountain, and it was hard to see where the run dropped off; pretty harrowing for the "easy way down", especially for the more novice riders and skiers.
On the ride up the Mineral Basin Express lift, we were able to scope out some of the better terrain on Not Quite Corn and High Stakes. Even though it was kind of tracked, the depth of these tracks suggested pretty decent stashes to be had. I'll take someone else's sloppy seconds any day; we don't get anything like that in Michigan. Brad, A-Train and I spent the next few runs taking black diamonds down the Mineral Basin side. Really bad ass, just shredding these runs.
About 3pm the wear and tear of a week of nonstop snowboarding was really setting in, but we couldn't leave yet. We didn't have time to check out the skier's right side (from top) of the Mineral Basin lift, but we did get a few runs off the Baldy lift over to the easier side of Mineral Basin, which was also pretty rad.
If I had to describe it, it's like a massive bowl, only for beginners (Lucky Boy and Bird's Nest trails). Not real steep, but expansive and rolling. There was about a foot of powder around there, and drifts somewhat deeper in some areas. From this side, we could take these easy rollers back towards the chair, and still drop some steeper runs (Bassanova and you could traverse to Chamonix Chutes) towards the end. We rode the Baldy chair until it shut down at 3:45, took our final lap and rode back to the top about 4pm. A-Train descended Chip's Run from summit to base; Brad and I cheated and hopped back on the Tram.
If the $10 I spent for the Tram pass was worth anything, it was the ability to download at the end of a day, rather than negotiate the cat-tracks and crowds all trying to get to base at the same time.
Snowbird was freaking epic, and I wished that we didn't have to leave. I could not have asked for a better way to end a week in Utah.
I was hoping for a winter storm to cancel our flight out of SLC on Monday in order to get one more bonus day of shredding the Bird, but our luck ran out, and we came home as scheduled. The Mineral Basin side was really, really fun. Even when I skidded past the "Danger: Cliff Area" sign and had to use all my hop-turning skills to negotiate some super-steeps, it was a riot. Had we been there earlier in the week, I would've dropped some of the smaller cliffs. My only regret is that we didn't go there earlier in the week, when our legs and bodies were a bit fresher. I would've gladly sacrificed our day at The Canyons, or one of our three days at PCMR for another day or two at the Bird. Next time I'm in Utah, I'm definitely making a return visit.
If you go to Park City area and don't go to Snowbird, don't ever let me find out or I will hunt you down and punch you in the grundle.