VTah Part VI — The Most Highly Anticipated Snow on Earth!

By:  Greg
February 28, 2012

I have to be honest, there were big plans (read: it was written, and ready to be published) behind the many closed doors of FIS to call this VTah Episode VI: Return of the SHREDi. We would start with a modification of the opening crawl, discussing the efforts of Fox Powsinker and a band of rebels as they search for powder skiing despite the machinations of the evil Galactic Winter as it raises its Death Star higher and higher, lengthening the day, increasing the temperature, and decreasing the amount of snow. Endless gags are buried in here, and we’ve got personell perfect for the parts of a Wookie, a princess, and Darth Vader. VTah is about storms though, and since this storm was so unique, I figured it deserved a treatment without camp.

I suspect anyone who reads FIS has been anticipating this storm for quite a while. We got you a week lead time, but you’ve been waiting for it to snow like this all year. Indeed, this is the longest stretch of time between VTah trip reports since we started the series. As usual, this VTah weather event was all about upslope snow. A low pressure system travelled directly overhead on Friday into Saturday, and the precipitation wrapped up in the low itself was nothing too impressive, but as the low departed, the large scale atmospheric pattern that was drawn through from the northwest was phenomenal for producing snow. And snow it did. We awoke at 4:30 Saturday morning to find a relatively small amount of snow on the ground, but unbelievable quantities of snow falling out of the sky. As we started our early hike for turns, it was difficult to see at times it was snowing so hard. Luckily, it wasn’t sight we were looking for. In fact, it was the inverse of sight we sought.
the inverse of sight

Several inches of snow fell during our ascent, and the mountain had collected the snow well.
the mountain collected the snow well

You might even say the mountain collected the snow TOO well, and we soon discovered that anything that was wide and steep (read: fun to ski in 2′ of blower) was prone to avalanches.
avalanche picture from Vermont

We didn’t have any close calls, but we were scared enough by the activity to avoid these slopes for the rest of Saturday. It was snowing so hard throughout the day that I’m almost sure that many slopes in the backcountry avalanched naturally; the loading was just too fast for physics to keep the snow up on the mountain. Luckily for us, a wide berth of the standard steeps meant deep powder snow on fun mid-angle zones. We had been up on the mountain since 5:45am, and we stayed out until after 4pm harvesting the goodness. I’ll let this storm-light session speak for itself.
storm light session picture 1

storm light session picture 2

Storm light session picture 2 pt 5

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Read about the author:   Greg
Enjoy this TR? Read another: TR: Wandering in Wildflowers to Wolverine


  1. VTColdSmoke
    wrote on February 28th, 2012 at 7:08 am  

    Pretty sure I saw your tracks from Sunday up high from across the notch. What an amazing weekend, let’s do it again!!!!!!!!!!

  2. teleskiqueen
    wrote on February 28th, 2012 at 7:34 am  

    Beautiful! Looks like a blast. Who says we don’t get champagne powder in the East?
    Awesome photos.

  3. Butch Chamberlain
    wrote on February 28th, 2012 at 8:42 am  

    Hey there, great news! what a weekend. Haven’t had this much fun in ages.
    Wanted to get up to TD but friends decided they wanted something different. I mean who wouldn’t want to go for TD with so much POW out there!!! Oh well, I digress. So wound up going to the Hump. Not as great as you guys had it. I told the party they made a big mistake heading for this area, but they wouldn’t have it. Oh well, I did sneak off on Sunday and went into the north side of Belvidere. It was a good thing to bring snowshoes. Lots of POW. Very
    stable, as far as where I went. Good stuff. Came back via Hazens and made it
    down almost to the main road. Oh well it was great. Let’s take it while the goods are good. You all have a great (SAFE)time out there. Have fun! BC

  4. Butch Chamberlain
    wrote on February 28th, 2012 at 8:46 am  

    Sorry Gregg. Forgot to mention those GREAT photos again. You guys do a smash up job of it. If anyone isn’t excited, then they need to look at those pics and get it going. All it takes is a little energy, and bang you are on it. Love the photos, keep ’em coming. This year has been so snowless, that it’s like having christmas morning all over again. Again SUPER PICs.

  5. ShredTastic
    wrote on February 28th, 2012 at 8:58 am  

    Great stuff. Jay was incredible. Literally made me feel like I was scoring in Utah again!

  6. JMO
    wrote on February 28th, 2012 at 8:58 am  

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Excellent work.

  7. Jake
    wrote on February 28th, 2012 at 10:02 am  

    Those unconventional terrain shots from later in the day are so great. Really, really, awesome.

    • Lionel Hutz
      wrote on February 28th, 2012 at 10:52 am  

      If there was only that terrain on the east coast. Only in the west. Remember that.

  8. VTbackcountry
    wrote on February 28th, 2012 at 10:41 am  

    That is fantastic work! It was heavenly in No. Vtah last weekend….too bad u guys ski on the “DEATHSTAR” aka..Stowe all the time ;)

  9. Dynafiddle
    wrote on February 28th, 2012 at 10:52 am  

    Sweet photos as usual for a super epic VTah weekend!Hopefully lots more to come!

  10. Sign Guy
    wrote on February 28th, 2012 at 1:51 pm  

    Where the HELL was Christian!? Great four day run of skiing….from cream cheese on Thursday to the last turns on Sunday afternoon with my two sons and wife! Thank you Snow Gods.

    • christian
      wrote on February 28th, 2012 at 5:25 pm  

      no friends on a pow day, dave ;)
      oh, and ePic Pics gregor. esp aj on the unconventional terrain.
      i saw that (almost) identical shot when i was a teenager and i was like…that’s what i want to do every day from now on.

    • Sign Guy
      wrote on February 28th, 2012 at 7:13 pm  

      A crede I live by as well. Glad to hear you found yours!

  11. Whitewoodchuck
    wrote on February 28th, 2012 at 5:17 pm  

    Fabulous TR and photos!!

  12. Adrian
    wrote on February 29th, 2012 at 10:38 am  


    Killer shots, what a storm. Especially love those 3D puzzle shots, what an amazing zone!

    • Lionel Hutz
      wrote on February 29th, 2012 at 3:56 pm  

      That was as much fun to ski as it looks.

  13. powhounddd
    wrote on February 29th, 2012 at 8:35 pm  

    way to sum up the stoke. really great photos!

  14. Chris P
    wrote on August 9th, 2012 at 9:57 am  

    Re-reading this post for the 100th time from work mid-August, have to say what a weekend, makes me almost tear up thinking back to it, praying such an event happens again this winter! (Hopefully a few times)

    • Greg
      wrote on August 9th, 2012 at 9:59 am  

      Right on Chris!! Stay stoked! Fall Sampler packs are in the beer aisle… The Turn is here!

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