FREE Standard Shipping on Orders Over $75

Racks and Accessories to Organize, Store, and Display Your Boards & Gear

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Snowbird Tips, Tricks, & Little Known Facts of my favorites!  I was just there for a last minute powder ski trip, which as you can see from the pictures below, was pretty spectacular.  During the time I was there it snowed over 50".  When it wasn't snowing it was Bluebird, and the glory of the Wasatch was shining bright.

The Tram

If you are a serious skier or snowboarded and you haven't been to Snowbird you are clearly missing out.  It has some of the best snow in the country if not the world and the terrain is awesome, especially once you learn your way around.  The Snowbird Tram is classic and typically the best way to ride the mountain on a powder day.  Nothing like getting 3000ft of vertical on every run!

Looking into Little Cloud/Regulator Johnson

Tips, Tricks, & Little Known Facts
  1. Stay at one of the lodges in Snowbird Village, NOT down in Salt Lake City or over in Park City.  Snowbird is known for its snow and its abundance.  To get to Snowbird you have to drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon.  Because the road is at the base of the canyon it is susceptible to avalanche danger from each side.  The road often closes, so to ensure your best chance at Powder - stay up at the mountain.  Plus who doesn't love a nice swim overlooking the slopes your were just shredding:
The Lodge at Snowbird

2. Go When it Snows.  Snowbird is relatively easy to access out of Salt Lake City, do the last minute booking when you see the storms on their way.  You will be treated to some of the best powder skiing around:

3. Avalanche Danger is the Real Deal Out Here.  With steep slopes and large amount of slopes, avalanche danger is a very real thing.  Make sure to err on the side of caution and DO NOT go into closed areas, there could be fatal consequences.   When I was there during the one night the danger was so high they wouldn't let you leave your lodge and go outside.

4. Snowpack is a Big Deal - Being from the East Coast, I am not a savvy powder hound just yet.  I do however know that the snowpack changes from storm to storm, season to season.  The condition of the snowpack determines how safe it is to ski and snowboard and how much of the mountain will be open.  This year the snowfall total has been way down for much of the continental US, including Snowbird, and it also is very unstable.  The little snow they have gotten has turned to icy layers followed by granular layers.  Any snow on top of this is very susceptible to avalanches (see point #3).  The little known resulting fact is that because of this in years when the snowpack is unstable many area on the mountain remained closed or delayed in opening.  When I was there, Mineral Basin (backside) was closed the entire time as was Road to Provo and Baldy. 

Untouched Mineral Basin

5. General Grits - Tucked in the back of the first floor of the tram center kicks out killer breakfast sandwiches and burritos as well as some great sandwiches (go for the Regulator Johnson).  When you walk into General Grits is looks like a general store, in the back they have the deli where they whip up some killer ski food.

Fuel Up at General Grits

6. Wake Up Early and Get to the Tram Early on Powder Days.  Getting first tram or first lift sets you up for a morning of fresh tracks if you know what you are doing.  Ski hard in the morning and then take a break later if you need.  I know it isn't always easy to get out of bed but trust me, it is well worth the reward of blower powder! 

Wake up Early and Avoid Lines like This

What are your tips from Snowbird or other hot spots? 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Art of the Last Minute Powder Ski Trip

This seems to be an appropriate topic, being that I am on a flight to Salt Lake City - for just the occasion, a last minute trip planned around a POWDER dump at Snowbird/Alta.    I am from the East Coast, Virginia to be specific, and there is NO snow around.  There are a few "ski areas" within a couple hours drive but once you get a taste of the fluff from Utah the "ski areas" really don't do it anymore.

Although I often talked about it and fantasized about it, this is the first true last minute, on a whim, go get some POWDER ski trip.  I am talking I book the flights and hotel the night before I got on a plane.  The obvious advantage being, you pretty much know there is going to be powder is you book the trip the night before.  The rather large disadvantage is it can be a lot to pull to in a hurry.  Here are a few tips to make it happen for you, the next time you hear you favorite mountains are about to get dumped on:

1)    Be FLEXIBLE - This is the prerequisite to everything else.  Last minute trips take a lot of flexibility to not only get out on the mountain with the Fresh Cold Smoke everywhere but also be able to leave home on a whim.  I would say single people without families have an advantage here, so use it while you can.  The other big key in flexibility is work schedule.  I am lucky enough to own my own business ( so I get a lot of control over my schedule.  
2)    Pick your PRIME Powder Spots - Where do you want to go to score the best powder?  It could really be anywhere but I would suggest you want to eye somewhere that gets a significant amount of Powder Days per year, this will increase your chances.  Terrain - if you have skied powder in the past you know it totally transforms a mountain ski experience, in my opinion it almost always makes it better but keep in mind some mountains are better suited for Powder than others.  Typically the steeper the mountain is the better - think Telluride, Snowbird, Alta, etc. There is nothing better than long powder runs but some mountains don't have quite enough pitch to maximize the powder.  Another thing to consider is accessibility, the easier and cheaper it is to get there the better.  I know flying into Denver from much of the East Coast is relatively cheap with a lot of flights.
3)    Know the Resort - Ideally you want to go somewhere you have been before.  In general you might lean toward my preference of exploring new areas on ski trips, but leave that for the planned in advanced variety.  It makes things a lot easier to quickly put together a trip if you know where to fly into, how to get to the resort, where to stay, not to mention where the Powder Stash hides.
4)    Watch the Weather/Subscribe to Alerts - Going along with point #2 and 3, once you identify your PRIME Powder Spots you need to stake them out.  Most of the bigger resorts will offer some kind of alert system that lets you know when snow is on the way so sign up for that service.
5)    Powder Fund - Everyone has heard of the rainy day fund - well if you are a serious skier you need a POWDER FUND.  Usually it isn't cheap to go on a last minute trip.  The true powder enthusiasts will be able to justify the added expense for the all but guaranteed powder.  Think of it this way, the only other way I know to pretty much guarantee Powder is to go Heli Skiing (to the tune of $10,000+ up in Canada/Alaska) or go Cat Skiing maybe more like $5000/week.
6)    JUST DO IT - Enough Said - Go Get Some!

Friday, January 6, 2012 Customer Photos

Hey Everyone!  Just thought I would share a few new photos of how our customers are using their racks.  I love seeing how the racks are used and where people put their racks.  I have seen a bunch in action but everyone seems to use them a bit differently.

Take a picture of your rack in action and send it over to use!

Send your pictures to