Winter has returned to Utah… sort of. A wet, warm storm dropped heavy powder along the Wasatch Front, which should go a long way toward creating more base. The big winner was Solitude Mountain Resort, reporting 10 inches of new snow in 24 hours.
I skied Solitude Wednesday and the mountain felt like she was back to her old self with a fresh plaster of white. The snow was super fun and surfy. The best powder was found on the Headwall Forest off the Summit chair.
Rain, Snow, and Slush?
The storm wasn’t all good though. Heavy rain fell at resort base areas before turning into snow. That left a mess of slush on lower runs. The colder air and new snowfall covered the wetness, but made for interesting skiing at Solitude on lower runs above the Moonbeam Lodge and off Apex. To find the goods, one had to gain elevation. As the old Mountain Gazette magazine’s motto says, “When in Doubt, Go Higher.”
Powderhorn and Summit
So where was the powder? At the Powderhorn and Summit lifts. Powderhorn provided good morning laps in deep snow. The downer is the runs off the ‘horn are very rocky. The new snow merely covered up the rocks so you couldn’t see them, but wasn’t deep enough to keep your skis from striking sharks. I got a core shot on my second run by getting too crazy at the bottom of Concord. The lesson? It’s best to carefully ski Powderhorn runs and be light on your feet until we get a deeper base.
Summit was a different story, however. I joined up with Solitude athlete, James Patrick Fleege for some powder laps in the Headwall Forest. We found untracked lines, better visibility, and not a rock to be found. Now that the Summit chair is running, skiing and snowboarding at Solitude is at its best. I can’t wait until Honeycomb Canyon is ready for prime time.
Other resorts around Utah saw new snow as well. Brighton also got 10 inches. Deer Valley did well with 9, as well as Eagle Point in Southern Utah. But for some reason the rest of Utah did less well with Snowbasin reporting 4, Park City getting 5, and Sundance only receiving 2 inches of new snow. So if you want to get the deepest powder, Solitude is your best bet.
According to Evan Thayer at OpenSnow.com, there’s a chance for a bit more snow on Friday, then a break until another system late next week.