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Winter Storm Gandolf clobbers Snowbasin

For the longest time I feel like Ski Utah Bloggers (myself included), and other media outlets only feature Snowbasin for their world famous restrooms, beautiful day lodges and award winning food. I think the time has come for us to give the mountain the respect it deserves. After all, it IS a ski mountain... the terrain here is awesome, the snow is deep and the lift lines... are short.

Winter Storm Gandolf delivered upwards of 30” inches on the Northern Wasatch resorts. None of them escaped Gandolf’s wrath. Friday afternoon, I was glued to the Weather Channel, strategically trying to set up a deep powder filled weekend.  The National Weather Service radar trends showed the Lake Effect Machine was just pummeling the Northern Wasatch Range. The snow station study plots at Snowbasin were suggesting that it had already snowed 18” inches during Friday and it was still snowing at 2” per hour.  That’s all the evidence I needed to assemble the Powder Posse.

Upon our arrival it was clear that the ski report did not lie.  The Basin got crushed overnight! Now here is where it gets good.  Temperatures were frigid, hovering somewhere around -5, but our crew grew up on the East Coast, so we are used to the cold.  Most Utah’s don’t enjoy skiing in the bitter cold so no one showed up until 11 am. That pretty much gave us two hours at our own private resort.  Once word got out that the snow was incredibly deep, and the sun was actually out, the locals arrived. But yes, I did say the sun was out at Snowbasin the day after a 25” dump! That in itself is kind of miracle. This was the day we’d all been waiting for, finally we were able to enjoy this mountain for what it really is... an awesome ski mountain. 


4 comments

Luke Ratto's picture
Luke Ratto posted 1 year ago

John Paul Lap'rs

rafael's picture
rafael posted 1 year ago

I'm planning a trip to utah from feb 22 to mar 1, and want to go skying. I know this isn't quite the place to post this, but I'm looking for someone who can honestly tell me about snow conditions and give me some advice (since I'm brazilian and every place I call says "Yes, there will be snow").
I was thinking brianhead, but am afraid of snow conditions there, so I would consider north of salt lake city or surroundings. Will brianhead be ok in late feb or am I better off playing it safe and heading north?

Matt Baydala's picture
Matt Baydala posted 1 year ago

Rafael, so here is the deal. There will be snow at every single resort in the state, that's a fact, it's winter in Utah. Brianhead is a great choice as well. With a base elevation at over 9,000 feet it would almost be impossible for the resort not to have snow. What kind of skiing are you looking to do? Beginner, intermediate or advanced? Another great option would be to maybe ski Brian Head and Eagle Point on the weekend just outside of Beaver in Southern Utah. Both resorts are rarely crowded, have high base elevations and are in close proximity to one and other.

rafael's picture
rafael posted 1 year ago

hey matt, thanks for the answer! Makes things much easier to know I don't have to worry about snow!
I will be doing mostly beginner, since my gf will learn from scratch and I only did it once before, so any mountain will do for us! Brianhead seems perfect since its decent sized and is away from big crowds! Good for a getaway + sky week!


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