Alta videos
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7 users
2k+ views
skier219
January 22, 2009
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
Alta has been spectacular this week. I don't have time for a full report, but here are some helmet cam videos. The video sharing websites were killing the quality, so I went with full-size full-quality Quicktime movies hosted from my server. They take longer to load, but are worth it. I'll put a ** next to the best ones to watch. The Catherine's traverse video is long so I didn't star it, but it gives you an idea how wild the traverse routes are -- they are more challenging than the actual terrain you ski down at the end!

Chute run:
http://hunter.pairsite.com/craig/alta0109/CLIP0006.mov **

Bumps:
http://hunter.pairsite.com/craig/alta0109/CLIP0007.mov

Initial traverse into Catherine's Area (sidecountry):
http://hunter.pairsite.com/craig/alta0109/CLIP0009AA.mov

Run down Catherine's Area near Alta boundary:
http://hunter.pairsite.com/craig/alta0109/CLIP0009BB.mov **

Traverses and run down Glory Gulch and Keyhole Gulch:
http://hunter.pairsite.com/craig/alta0109/CLIP0012AA.mov
http://hunter.pairsite.com/craig/alta0109/CLIP0012BB.mov

I hope to shoot more video tomorrow as a snow storm moves in. Should be another great day.

Craig
ridenski - DCSki Supporter
January 22, 2009
Member since 04/11/2004 🔗
82 posts
I can't get the videos to play, but by "spectacular this week" do you mean I made the wrong call skipping my trip to Utah this week because there was no snow in the forecast? I'm thinking now that's probably what you mean.
Murphy
January 22, 2009
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
I can't see the vids either. I updated Quick Time but I think I still need another add-in. Xvid maybe? Can you get that for Windows machines?
skier219
January 22, 2009
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
For Macs, you can install Perian to get the Xvid codec and another one needed for the audio (it happens to be what the VIO helmet cam uses, not my choice):

http://perian.cachefly.net/Perian_1.1.3.dmg

Not sure about Windows. But I put a couple of the videos on Vimeo here:

http://vimeo.com/user1190503/videos

And one on YouTube here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEEkLa_lBg4&feature=channel_page

The quality is so bad with those sites, I didn't bother posting the rest of the videos there.
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skier219
January 22, 2009
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
Originally Posted By: ridenski
I can't get the videos to play, but by "spectacular this week" do you mean I made the wrong call skipping my trip to Utah this week because there was no snow in the forecast? I'm thinking now that's probably what you mean.


When I was at Alta/Snowbird last March during one of these "high-pressure" weeks with no snow, I discovered that the skiing was still awesome even when it wasn't non-stop powder. In fact, the bluebird weather, mild temperatures, and perfect visibility is a fair tradeoff in my opinion. So yeah, I had no hesitation sticking with my plans for this trip at all. Alta has about 40" less base than when I visited this time last year (80" vs. 120"), so the off-piste skiing is more technical (pick lines carefully), but I like that. On the groomers, it's the usual great Utah conditions with dry packed powder, what I would call "perfect" east coast conditions which we rarely see on the east coast except in the days following a good storm.

Two out of my three trips to Alta last year were powder-heavy weeks, one was a high-pressure week like this one. Can't complain about that average.
skier219
January 22, 2009
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
Forgot to add, it's snowing right now. By mid-afternoon, this could turn out to be a powder day. Pity I am flying home tomorrow frown
ridenski - DCSki Supporter
January 22, 2009
Member since 04/11/2004 🔗
82 posts
I hear you brother. I'm going to try again in March, and even if there's no powderfest I'll work on my racoon tan. Have fun the rest of the week!
BushwackerinPA
January 22, 2009
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
hey if you send me all of those and some music you like Ill edit....you have some diamond in the rough right now but you want diamonds.
skier219
January 22, 2009
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
Bush, thanks for the offer. I am planning to edit a bunch of the videos together and add a soundtrack, maybe tonight or this weekend. If you have any general advice, pass it on -- I am still thinking about how I want to put it all together, and I figure it will take a few drafts. I got some more good shots today.

Conditions took a major crap today, surprisingly. The morning snow turned into a mix of graupel, sleet, snow, etc... around noon. I didn't see any rain on the mountain, but it's awful wet back here at the base, with some puddles in the parking lot. The mix actually skied well at higher elevations, in fact, moguls were great with a coat of frosting. But there was a lot of wind and fog, and the humidity shot up.

I think that spells the end of the dry packed powder surface conditions until the next real snowfall. I imagine conditions will be sketchy until we get another good shot of snow; I'll be curious to see if the snow cats start grooming like they normally do around this time. I am also curious what this new layer will do to the snow pack in terms of avy instability (I have a whole post's worth of observations to share on that later). The danger level was low to moderate this morning.
skier219
January 22, 2009
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
So I saw a snow cat slide down the hill sideways tonight while grooming. That was pretty crazy. I think that guy will need a change of shorts. It looked like he lost traction going up, tried to turn around, and then slid sideways (about 400 feet).
skier219
January 23, 2009
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
OK, I added two more videos on Vimeo:

http://vimeo.com/user1190503/videos

The two gulch runs are cool to watch -- makes me want to go back and re-ski them better, with slightly different lines. Because of the steepness, each turn takes you quite a ways downhill, so the choice of where to initiate the turns really factors into the line. In powder, less surgical skiing is required, and you can just gun down if you have the right skis. Maybe next trip.

The local dude I was skiing with was on 194cm Dynastar XXLs (109mm waist) and those things were awesome. Stuff that was tossing my Head iM82s around just disappeared under the Dynastars. They skied well on groomers too. This has got me rethinking my quiver a bit....

We got about 7-8" of heavy snow overnight (about a 12:1 snow:water ratio). I am sorry to be leaving today, but not as sorry as I'd be if it was 20:1 powder!
skier219
January 26, 2009
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
All right, here is my masterpiece cool , with a mix of videos and a soundtrack. I was able to tweak iMovie settings to get great quality out of the vimeo upload:

http://vimeo.com/2962100
Roger Z
January 26, 2009
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Nice video! Great soundtrack too... I liked watching you kick the stick away in the chute. I know that feeling! ("what the... is that thing gonna chunk out my ski???" tap tap tap- sliiiidddddeeeeeeee "nope!"). Would have been great if there had been a powder day, but it looks like you hit some decently soft snow in some of that.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
January 26, 2009
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,726 posts
Bravo.
Is Porter the guy who went to Europe a couple yrs ago and posted all the ski lift pictures??
skier219
January 26, 2009
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
I like watching the stick just because of the way it plummeted down the fall line -- it made me glad I was about to take a left and shoot back onto the main trail!

I think this is a different Porter, who coincidentally enough turns out to have been one of Bushwacker's roommates from UT. Small world.
pagamony - DCSki Supporter
January 28, 2009
Member since 02/23/2005 🔗
840 posts

nice work in alta and good music, craig. i think you should have gotten a nice snow as well - we got one in colorado on thursday.

btw, the porter from solo ski trips and exotic lift shots fame can be found here: http://parisbaconpesto.blogspot.com/
currently on a round the world epic.
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