Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Late Season Birdie Pow- 4.28.2014- Snowbird

Some times you get it good, and sometimes you get it really good! I had a pass to Snowbird to use that I have been saving to ride on, and by all accounts I picked the right day to use it. With 14" of snow overnight, it was a powder feast up Little Cottonwood Canyon. The Tram was severely delayed due to the avalanche control that was being done on the mountain. I headed for Wilbere, since it was the only chair running to start the day off. I found some really great snow over there to slash it up in. Wilbere gives you a birds eye view (No pun intended) of the Peruvian Chair and the Tram, so when the festivities kick off over there, you get to see it. Finally after five or six runs, I saw them load the Peruvian chair. I made a mad traverse over there to see what P-Gulch was offering up. So deep up there, and unusually cold for this time of year. It was snowing the whole time, and the conditions were all time. I made my way back to the base to be a Tram dweller to get access to the top. I did a run out Gad Valley with some really great untracked lines. Also hit the Cirque and Gad Chutes to make it a full set up there. I lapped the Peruvian Chair again, when I got word they were going to open Road to Provo. I made haste and got up the Tram and dropped into to zero visibility and wind built whoop-dee-doo's that you could not see. I carefully made my way out to Mark Malu, and dropped off the cat track and started spraying cold smoke. This was by far the deepest and most consistent snow I found on the mountain. After getting my fill, I ran a lap out of Gad Valley one more time, realizing that the lower part of that area was untouched. I did multiple laps over there, spraying cold smoke until about 3 PM when my legs finally gave out. I rode from 9 AM to 3 PM! Huge day up there! It has been a great week touring and to get a Birdie Pow day to top it all off was the icing on the cake for sure. Not sure how many more days I will ride this season. Alta closes this weekend, and that opens up touring in that terrain next week. Frankly, if this was my last day this season, I would not complain. It would be hard to imagine it getting any better than it has been this last week. It has been a great season regardless. Just nice to be on the mountain slashing it up again. Enjoy the short edit from yesterday with the best video I had due to visibility on the mountain being nill at times. Cheers to all!

Late Season Birdie Pow 4 28 14 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Splitboarding Solitude- 4.27.2014

We got another blast of wet cold weather which drenched the valley with much needed rain, and put up 8-12" of snow in the mountains. I connected with my good friend Chris and we headed up to climb the summer road to get some no pressure pow turns. The snow was a mix of windblown grauple, and powder. It made uphill travel a cinch. The climb was great, with the sun peeping out of the clouds, and mini blizzards blasting us in the face all the way up to the ridge. Once we got up top, the sun was playing with shadows on the mountains across the road. It was awesome to watch, and we stayed up there for a bit enjoying the view. We broke it all down and went into snowboard mode, and we dropped the Sunshine Bowl with creamy turns to enjoy. We had a great run all the way to the base, and then enjoyed the sunlight that would occasionally play with the aspects lighting them up. It was awesome to see. Not to many more days like this left, so I for sure enjoyed this one a lot. Enjoy the photos and video in the edit below. Shred ya later!

Solitude Tour 4 27 14 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Splitboarding Brighton- 4.23.2014

We had a huge storm with killer winds drive through Utah yesterday. It caused huge damage in the valley. But it dumped a good 3-4" of fresh up Big Cottonwood Canyon. I threw the split in the car and headed up. It was a ghost town up there. Only one snowmobile track in the whole hill. I skinned up to just below Crest, for the top was wind stripped clean. The snow was smooth and wind buffed, so knowing which way the wind blows was to work to your advantage. I stayed near the trees, and got some really nice turns all the way to the car. I have been so busy shredding the 'Tude all season, I forgot how much fun and no pressure splitboarding is. The cardio on the way up was great, and the ride home is just what I needed. I hope we get a few more skiffs like this so I can tour some more before it is all done. Below are a few photos and a short edit of my ride up there today. It was beautiful, lightly snowing on the way up, and sun peeking in and out of the clouds. Big Cottonwood is beautiful. Few more days this season for me, then this party is over. Get it while you can!

Brighton Tour 4 23 14 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Closing Day- Solitude Mountain Resort- 4.20.14

Well, it had to end sometime. What a day it was. I was expecting it to be crowded like other closing days I have had. But this was wide open slopes and really fast sorbet. It was a light turn out at the 'Tude. I had some really fun runs, and got to see the rad crew that works the lifts up there, and to be on this mountain once more. It has been a great season up there. I have had so many fun powdery days riding up there. There is no pressure ever on terrain when you ride there. Always seems to be enough powder to go around. Special thanks to the Solitude FOG's for the amazing food and hospitality. You made a migrating rider from another mountain feel right at home. Probably a few more days touring and riding the Bird, and this party is over with. Enjoy the quick edit and see for yourself how few people were there. It felt like my own private resort. The Big Cottonwood Pass is an awesome deal. And it sure payed for itself. I would have visited Brighton on closing day, but the Sol/Bright trail was closed. Summer is on its way, only a few more days on the snow!

Closing Day Solitude 4.20.2014 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.

Friday, April 18, 2014

First Hike for 2014- Bells Canyon- 4.15.2014

Well, it had to happen. I usually get one of these in March, but our weather has been a bit off this year. My daughter was off for spring break this week, so we decided to go for a good walk in the woods. The snow is gone, and things are beginning to green up. I was not sure how the water level was going to be at the lake, but when we got there, it was full for this time of year. We spent out time taking in the wildlife and very warm temperatures. I will for sure be visiting this place some more as we wait for the snow we have been riding all season to turn into the water that fills our lakes. Hiking season is here! I am very happy to be back out on the trail.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

No April Foolin'- 3.31/ Solitude/Snowbird/Brighton

Powder days are special. They are the one thing as a snowboarder I live for. Getting one is a gift indeed. Getting three of them in a row, on three different mountains is something that happens on a rare occasion. We had a series of storms that over produced from Sunday night into Wednesday. Monday was a bluebird pow day at Solitude, with so much good snow everywhere. It was nice to get one of those, since all the storms recently have been storm riding. I lapped the whole mountain enjoying the creamy treat provided by mother nature. Tuesday I was treated to a day at Snowbird with my friend Mike. This was by far one of the best days of the season. We rolled into Entry 2 at 8:40, and there were six cars. Gadzoom lot was empty. High fives were in order and we proceeded to the Tram. Walk on Tram and Lifts on a day like this is a treat! It was knee to waist deep everywhere, and you could not find a bad run on the mountain to save your life. The new Gad II is really nice, and they have done a great job with the terrain up there this season. More face shots than you could shake a stick at. After two amazing powder days, you would think it was all said and done? Nope! I woke up Wednesday morning, and Brighton was holding the goods. I lapped Great Western for most of the morning, getting some great snow, and once again meeting up with Mike and his friend Justin. After they departed for Molly Green's beers, I decided to head over to Snake Creek. It just started dumping so hard! It quickly started to fill everything back in, and once again the whole mountain was in play. I finished out the day on Crest, still finding the goods at 3 PM! I rode so much powder over the last three days, my legs are shot! It is safe to say I have Mad Pow Disease after this three day powder extravaganza! Our snowpack is prime, and things are all time! Enjoy this edit from the last three days. Things are getting down to it, so pray for snow!

No April Foolin' 3.31/ 4.1.2. 2014 from Christian Paul on Vimeo.