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First at Snowbasin

After living in Utah for five years I finally skied Snowbasin today.
I have always heard good things but just had not gotten over there
until today. Snowbasin is known for having great terrain and lots of
vertical with little skier traffic. It was the site of the 2002 Olympic
speed events. The resort was also voted #1 in the Lifts category in the
Ski magazine readers poll this year. They have two gondolas, high-speed
quads, triples, and doubles. I went over there with some journalists
and met up with the Guest Services Manager Kevin Stauffer for a tour of
the mountain. Kevin took us up the Needles Express gondola and down a
groomer called Blue Grouse. He also showed us a knob that we would
later hike up to get some fresh tracks. Then he pointed out some stuff
on Strawberry that will open after the next big dump. Kevin said, “Most
of the real good terrain hasn’t opened yet.” Today just the middle of
the mountain was open. On each side of the middle were chutes, rocks,
and powder runs that looked pretty sweet. After cruising the soft
groomers, we decided to go look for Pow. Skiers left of Blue Grouse we
side stepped up a catwalk and found some fresh. The first run down it
was untracked snow between a few bushes to dodge. Then we decided to
stop for lunch in the impressive Needles Lodge. I had the German
meatloaf with the Potato Beer Cheese soup. It was the best ski lunch I
can remember eating. Definitely a big step up from the frozen peanut
butter sandwich that I’m used to. After lunch we decided to check out
that knob that Kevin pointed out earlier. There Tom Rassuchine from
Couloir magazine and I found some pow turns skiers left of the knob. We
came back around and dropped straight off the back for some more Pow
turns. We also found a rock to jump off, which we hit a couple of
times. The shot was “short and sweet” as Tom said. Then it was time for
us to head back down. At the bottom I met up with Mary Rowland, the
resort’s public relations director. She explained the new backcountry
program, where patrol takes people on a tour of the backcountry. She
also told me about the first chair program. She said people come from
all over the country to ride a 7:45 a.m. chair to get a head start on a
powder day or even just to ride groomers with nobody else around. Today
I got a little tease of what Snowbasin is all about. I can’t wait to
come back when the rest of the mountain opens to see what its REALLY
about. By the way it started snowing today and it's supposed to keep
coming for the next several days! Below is a photo of Kevin Stauffer
(in red) showing me and some ski journalists the ins and outs of


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