Well, I guess if you feel like you’re not yet ready to go full bore for skiing, you couldn’t ask for a better start to the winter. The base has remained unchanged for two weeks and snowmaking reigns supreme in Utah.
The Bird’s Tram is running for Regulator-only skiers and you’ll have to tolerate an annoying misting as you skid past the gun. Where would we be right now without the manmade? Canyons, Park City, Alta, Brighton, Solitude are all open and skiing on manufactured snow.
Manmade is NOT artificial. It’s atomized water shot through pressure “guns” into the cold air. The drops freeze into particles and hit the ground. The basic difference between this ‘fake’ snow and the natural stuff is that it falls in pellets instead of large feather-like flakes. Ever try to ski one of the snowmaking mounds? Not fun. It’s basically a giant hill of compacted ice crystals. You have to wait until a snowcat swings by to punish the mound until it’s skiable.
Today, yesterday, the day before, it was all skiable on trail, where the cats have cruised and pushed the manmade around. Get those skis tuned now; even if they’re your rock skis. Manmade snow is H-A-R-D and F-A-S-T. Not necessarily ideal for those with wobbly legs…and for those ‘training’ on high traffic runs (the only ones open right now). Like Marc Guido said in his forum: Below the top of Gadzoom, though, there was much more traffic. Big Emma itself was a killing field, loaded with quite a few folks who really had no business being there. At least we have sun! Alta is better off right now and allowing adventurers to traverse across to Ballroom and get a few fresh tracks so I’d say they’re holding better than their neighbor.
These are the days that beginners, kids, and families will appreciate. Local rippers will either a) whine or b) tell you how fantastic it is because, well, it’s like the Secret. Keep wishing for something and it will happen. Plus, when life hands you lemons….
In conclusion, get up and out first thing in the morning to practice your groomer arcs, stay onpiste, and pray for snow.