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Author Topic: Annual Ski and Snowboard Thing 2012/2013  (Read 6680 times)
Tommy T
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« on: August 21, 2012, 08:23:37 PM »

Just a couple of weeks left to get early purchase discounts on season passes.   

Climate predictions for the winter have been holding steady for three months now.  Conclusion is basically that Utah and Colorado will be pretty much on average; Montana may be a bit warmer than average but have more precipitation and their average temp is plenty cold;  North West could see a lot of wet, soggy snow (not a Whistler/Blackcomb year for your one week vacation); New England basically isn't going to have a great winter for another 1000 years.  Snowshoe, WV, probably won't be open for Xmas, again (wouldn't bet more than I could afford to lose on Taos for Xmas either).

My wife's body isn't holding up as well as mine.  Some family arthritis limits her ski days to about one a week and her time on the slope each day to a few hours.  Swimming helps her a lot and she enjoys things like Aquatic Aerobic classes.

Snowbird will have a new high speed quad at Little Cloud (!) and there are still a couple of trees at Canyons that I have not ridden between.

Squatter's Imperial Russian Stout; Sundance Film Festival; 1,427 listed back country routes in the Wasatch that I have not done (yet); another chance to notch 100 lift served areas with just three day trips with 50 miles (one way) as the longest.  Several swim centers.  Plenty of interesting ethnic food outlets.

Were do I want to be when I turn 70 next February? (Well, that's easy, I'd like to be in J'Hole making a run down the back in Endless.)  I think Pipeline at Snowbird would do.

We don't have a place yet, so ideas may change.  Right now, we're looking for another perfect rental in SLC.

Tommy T.
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2012, 09:02:33 PM »

SLC Utah was my first western destination for skiing, and Snowbird was amazing of course.
I've always looked forward to your Utah trip reports the most because of the areas you often report from were runs from my first western trip.

Looking forward to another Wasatch season !
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2012, 11:12:58 PM »

SLC Utah was my first western destination for skiing, and Snowbird was amazing of course.


Mine too.  I'd not skied out West when I took advantage of a business trip to do some work advising a law firm out there and I took my son along.  Got a slopeside apartment at Park City and he skied by himself there for a couple of days (at age 12 or 13) and then we both got one day at Park City and one day at Snowbird, stying in one wing of the Cliff Lodge before construction was completely finished on the rest.  That was probably late March or early April, 1982 or 83.  I was pure tele then and he was on alpine gear.  We didn't start snowboarding until the 85/86 season.

Tommy T.
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2012, 01:45:51 PM »

Well, it seems that we have a done deal on a very lovely and well appointed Tudor-style house up on the hill very near Utah University starting December 14.  Grand piano in the living room kind of place.  Walking distance to our #2 favorite brew pub and trolley line to #1 and the whole temple area including the main Library and the comteporary art museum, both of which had a number of interesting programs and films last year. 

Now all I have to do is work out what I need for season pass choices, choosing among Deer Valley, Park City, Canyons, Brighton, Solitude, Alta and Snowbird.  The senior rate, early purchase, mid-week-only at Snowbird continues to be one of the best buys in North America and especially with the new lift in Little Cloud, I think that's a certainty. 

I'm going to take a look hard look at Park City's in-bound, hike-to ridges and back-country access.  I've never explored any of that and if it is as nice as Canyons, it might well serve the same function that Canyons did last year.  (I also need to check on the operator's financial stability.  Park City has ended up as a lessee from the corporation that owns Canyons and there is a major blow-up as to whether Park City has a unilateral right to renew its lease at the same price or whether it's right to renew is more of a right of first refusal, subject to whatever new price the landlord demands.  If the pending lease problem adversely affects the present manager's ability to raise short term working capital or makes it reluctant to perform proper mainentance and replacement, Park City might not be a fun place for four months.)

Tommy T.

P.S.: We can certainly discuss everything from climate projections to vacation area selection to early weather reports to Wasatch Powder to appropriate gear, but on snow reports will probably start on December 15th.
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2012, 01:13:20 PM »

From the Park City area web site (sort of hidden down at the end of the season ticket prices and features list) is this notice:


"Park City Mountain Resort is confident it will be open for the 2012-2013 season, but in the unlikely event the pending lawsuit against Talisker Land Holdings results in the Resort closing for the  season, the Resort will refund the full season pass price paid by holders of 2012-2013 season passes.  If the Resort is required in the lawsuit to close for a portion of the 2012-2013 season, the Resort will prorate the refund based on the period the Resort is closed."


That.  And, Park City has parking problems (for an extra charge, the daily parking fee is covered by the pass but space is not assured), tends to be very crowded during peak weeks, and its reputation for a snobby attitude persists.

I'm tending to a repeat of last years pass combination of mid-week at Snowbird and unlimited at Canyons.  If the year turns out to be exactly the same as last year-- well, that's not bad.  And, the chances are quite high that it will be a better snow year which will make it into a different experience, even at the same mountains.

And, I've found a band with two concerts during the winter that is welcoming me and my horns.

Otherwise, this is the house, as lifted from a web site:



and, a representative inside shot, from the same source:



Tommy T.
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2012, 01:34:22 PM »


October 22, 2012.  9am.  Top of the tram.




Snow expected to continue all week -- probably 15 to 25 inches is a fair prediction.

About 7 weeks to go.

Tommy T.

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« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2012, 10:46:08 AM »

Just talked to my fam in Ogden and Pow Mow got 30" so far.  Lots of people earning turns up there yesterday.
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« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2012, 10:08:02 PM »

Just talked to my fam in Ogden and Pow Mow got 30" so far.  Lots of people earning turns up there yesterday.

I have new board boots waiting for the first run!

Tommy T.
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2012, 11:37:33 AM »

For Thanksgiving, we drove up to Little Rock to see my sister-in-law and her newest grandson then on up to Nashville, Ind. to visit my wife's cousins and a couple of elderly aunts; then over to Columbus, Ind. to see my sister and her new grandson plus a visit with an elderly uncle and an elderly aunt.  Over to Cincinnati, for Thanksgiving dinner proper with my Daughter and her family -- that's kind of special because I'm a Mayflower descendant and my wife is part Native American, so the daughter and her girls are the literal embodiment of the first Thanksgiving.

The drive was really like a tour of the seasons.  Around the Indiana hills, the trees were bare and ground was brown.  Down in the Ohio River valley at Cinci, there were dead leaves on the trees.  As we headed South and West across Kentucky and Tennesse, there began to be some late season color -- faded yellows and rusty reds -- in the trees and ground cover sometimes showed a little faded green.  By the time we got to Texarkanas and started moving due South, the colors were becoming brighter and were really Fall-like as we approached our home, which is only about 75 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and well within its climate influence.

This is the picture off our front deck, looking West, across part of our deck and the driveway extension at 9am this morning, November 29th.  Some of the delicate trees, like the Japanese Maples, have dropped their leaves due to a couple of cold nights, but the hardy shrubs are in bloom!  



Meanwhile, Canyons and Snowbird are running lifts (GadZoom at the 'bird) on a couple of feet of snow.

I can't decide whether to blow the leaves off the deck or to wax my board.   Huh

Five band concerts and two weeks until we leave.

Tommy T.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 09:50:02 PM by Tommy T » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2012, 08:44:28 AM »

I was at a show last night and was really enjoying listening to the trumpet player.  Do you have any video uploaded of you playing the trumpet?
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2012, 10:32:59 AM »

I was at a show last night and was really enjoying listening to the trumpet player.  Do you have any video uploaded of you playing the trumpet?

Well, I do not have any professional quality video.  In general, I hate recordings of myself because I hear every little thing that could have been better and I compare the sound to the sound of the very best players recorded in studios or in outstanding performance spaces with top-notch recording equipment and post-recording production techniques.

My daughter-in-law did get a hand-held video taken at an outdoor concert of me playing a complete flugel solo on the second movement of the Concierto d'Aranjo  (the flugel solo played by the woman in the movie "Brassed Off").  It does show what I can do.  I've never down-loaded it to my computer but I'm pretty sure that she still has it on hers.  I'll ask for a copy and if she still has it, I'll try to find a host site and post it up for you.  (I've never used YouTube -- I suppose that's the ideal spot.  Unless somebody has a better suggestion, I'll look into that.)

Tommy T.

Follow-up edit:  Chelsea says that the reason I don't have it is because it is saved on her Hi8 video camera and she doesn't know how to convert it for computer use.  I've asked her to get it commercially converted, at my expense,  to several modern formats and copies made for me, herself and my daugthter.  It is a bit of family heritage, showing the Concord, MA, Band, playing at the ampitheatre at Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, MA, at sunset for about 600 people.  I played with that band for about 35 years and at least three of the best performances of my life were at that venue, in front of that band.  This video also has evidence of my first grandson impatiently tugging at her waist and then at the end . . .

I asked the conductor to hold the final chord of the piece for a moment and then cut off but keep the band in playing mode, with his hands still up, while I slowly faded the flugel's final note a niente, even, at the very end, turning my bell away from the mike to achieve a complete silence.  On the video a woman in front of Chelsea is heard to say "That was perfect" and the man with her says "It really was perfect."  

We'll get it somehow and when it's available, I'll make a seperate post about it so it will show up on the home page and you don't have to keep re-reading this one.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 02:19:32 PM by Tommy T » Logged

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Tommy T
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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2012, 10:24:08 PM »

Thule box is on top of the mini-van and is loaded with boots, boards, skis and snowshoes.  Ski clothes have been checked and are packed and in the van.  Tool kit, tire chains, spare bulbs and the like are in the car and the air pressure, oil level, brake fluid, and washer fluid are all OK.    Still have to pack the household stuff, medicine kits, toiletries, favorite pillows and that stuff as well as the camping equipment for the trip home next Spring.

Christmas concerts with the Woodlands Band on Sunday evening and the Livingston area Community Band on Monday. We leave Tuesday.  (Monday is sort of a parody.  I'll be totally packed and leaving the next day for spending the winter in the mountains snowboarding and I'll be playing with a band at the Escapees RV Park, where full-time RV'er's park in South-East Texas for the Winter.)

Canyons and Snowbird are both picking up some fresh snow from the remnants of the big storms that caused flooding in California.  This is an image of the ridge line at Canyons, the high point on the right end is 9990, the high point of the Canyons Ski Area.  The open snow fields to the picture left of 9990 are side-country -- out of bounds but reached through a gate on top of 9990 after just a few hundred feet of climb.  This image was lifted this afternoon, December 7, off one of the steer-it-yourself web cams on the Canyons web site:



(The snow-boarder avi fatality from last season was just to the left of the high clump of trees below the high point on the ridge to the left of 9990.  The diagonal band just below the trees is a small cliff face which had protected some unconsolidated snow that gave way when the boarder was crossing just below and to the left.  He was carried way down and was found in trees with his board broken -- probably died from trauma.  It really didn't matter that the group had beacons, shovels and probes -- in their car down in the parking lot.)

Tommy T.
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2012, 09:37:20 PM »

Looks nice out there.

It's not very "wintery" around NE...   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2012, 11:10:06 PM »

We've arrived in SLC and have unpacked into a gorgeously restored and beautifully furnished house up on the bench in a toney neighborhood within a couple of blocks of U of UT.  Good weather for the trip and tonight is the start of four days of predicted moderate and maybe a bit slushy snow.  I'll make at least a few turns tomorrow just to pick up my pass and start aclimitizing.  We've already been in one of our favorite coffee houses and had a Latter Days Stout at the Desert Edge brewery and pub.

Trip out was just fine but did feature an unusual visit to an Irish pub on the main street in Durango, just a few blocks up from the train station.  11:30 Thursday morning -- they are out of Guiness!! Well, the waitress pushed a local Colorado milk stout pretty heavily so we tried and while it was not a Guiness, it was very smooth with a chocolaty undertaste and no bitterness at all.  I ordered the Irish Stew which was listed as one of the lunch specials for the day.  By then it was about 11:40 and the specials list was a clean, typed menu stuck into the permanent edition.  It even had the date typed on it.  "Oh, sorry, we're out of the Irish Stew."  Well, I had a fairly nice spicy wrap with shrimp and beef, but I was thinking about filing a false advertising claim about that Irish pub sign over the door. Between seasons and mid-week, Durango was really a ghost town.  

Thursday night in Moab was the opposite: every eatery in town had a good crowd although the lodgings seemed to be empty. Turns out that Thursday is specials night at most of the establishments.  We ate at the Moab Brewery and sampled their version of the stout.  It was a really fine medium heavy drink with a little more bitterness than Guiness, a little less fullness in the deep flavor, but still a substantial sense of coating the tongue on the way down.  Entrees were $2.00 off with the beer and a premium ice cream was half price as the dessert.

We're not fully unpacked but my riding gear was purposefully packed on top and it's out and stacked where I can find easily in the morning.

Tommy T.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2012, 06:43:18 PM by Tommy T » Logged

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Tommy T
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« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2012, 07:30:40 PM »

The house rental includes snow-removal and I knew it was going a good day when I heard shovels scrapping in the driveway at 7am.

First day of my 12/13 season.  11" of new snow this morning (and still snowing late afternoon), temps right at 32 for a high .  The snow was heavy but not slushy.  The board planed out pretty well and I remembered how to turn.  I was at Canyons (S'Bird pass is week-days only) and put in 7000 feet of vert mostly in the trees between 7,100 and 8,200 feet ASL. The crowd was pretty light until about 11:30am when a big wave of people seemed to appear and the only lift that was serving blue and black terrain developed an excessively large line.  So, after a fun but not testing morning, I went back into town and helped with grocery shopping and stuff like that.  Tomorrow, two more high lifts open and some serious terrain should come on line (heard some bombing up there this morning).

I pretty much blogged Canyons and the SLC pub scene on a daily basis last year and Canyons is no longer an unknown (it made top 10 in Ski Magazine's list for the season -- that in spite of the infamous "Bad snow year in the Wasatch" problem).  I expect to limit this year's posting to describing any worthwhile back country work and covering news like Canyons' new terrain park and S'Brd's high speed quad up Little Cloud.

Tommy T.
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