By Alison Thompson
BYU student Spencer Hansen has one breath before he launches himself off one of many double black diamond runs on the slopes of Sunbird. Tightly clutching the poles, he knows this steep terrain is not made for the average Joe. That”s why he enjoys the challenge of Snowbird.
“I prefer Snowbird over all the other resorts on the Wasatch front, because it has the best powder, tons of cliff hucks and a decent terrain park,” Hansen said.
Hansen, a 23-year-old majoring in advertising, is one of the many riders daring enough to utilize the entire mountain of Snowbird.
“I love Snowbird because I am a technical skier,” he said. With its steep runs and deep powder, the average rider can”t handle the harsh terrain.”
Snowbird”s marketing director Dave Fields said that even though Snowbird has the reputation of having tough terrain, the park does offer multiple blue runs.
“We just created a new beginners rope tow,” Fields said. “We have a lot of variety that people don”t realize.”
Snowbird will open two of its lifts, Mid Gad and Gadzoom, this Friday, officially starting the winter season.
Approximately 59 inches have fallen at Little Cottonwood Canyon since Oct. 30 and rumored storms for the upcoming weekend might give Snowbird additional snow, enabling the tram to also open before the weekend.
Hansen boasts the terrain park helps him show up his snowboarding friends.
“I”m a big mountain skier so learning how to rail slide and jib is a blast,” he said. “The park”s half pipe is mellow and easy to learn on.”
Snowbird”s elevation reaches 11,000 feet at Hidden Peak, which is a major contributor to the mountain”s large amount of snowfall.
Beyond the deep powder and rigid cliffs of the runs, Snowbird offers a guided two-hour snowshoe tour, snowmobiling, ice-skating, tubing and orienteering.
“Snowbird is cozy,” said BYU student Holly Cuevas. “Other resorts I have visited have a metropolitan feel, but at Snowbird, you feel alone and secluded.”
An all day tram pass is $57 while chairs are only $48. College students with a minimum of 12 credit hours are charged $449 for a season”s pass.