A week ago, I had the awesome privilege to attend the private screening of Chris Burkard's new documentary called "Under An Arctic Sky". Chris is known for his adventure photography that has taken him to farthest expanses of earth. I first came to know Chris through his Instagram. He inspires me and others to create a personal crusade against the mundane.
Each year, Alta Ski Resort averages over 500 inches of snowfall. That equals almost 42 feet of snow each ski season. Also, the snow is not wet and heavy, it's light and deep. This year, 2017, has been an amazing year for storm cycles and snow. It has dumped a lot of light snow. There weren't many breaks in the weather patterns. Just yesterday, April 29, Alta received over 5 feet of snow in just under 4 days. It's been an amazing year.
The Cirque splits Snowbird in half. It's a beautiful mountain ridgeline with awesome skiing on both sides. You can access the Cirque from the Tram or with a quick traverse from the Little Cloud lift. Below is a picture of the north-east facing Cirque with the Snowbird tram in the distance. You can see the many of the famous Snowbird ski chutes.
This year, 2017, has been an epic snow year in Utah. We have had week after week and many times days after days of light deep powder. During the 2nd week of March, there was a break in the storm cycles with warmer weather and spring skiing conditions. So we decided to summit the Primrose Cirque just to the left of Roberts Horn peak.
A few Saturdays ago, I headed up American Fork Canyon in Utah to do a ski tour with my little guy. It was a blue bird day and the sun was out. We started our approach from the Tibble Fork Reservoir parking lot. In the winter, Tibble Fork Reservoir is a popular destination for snowmobilers, snowshoers, and sledders. The parking lot was full. I knew once we found a parking spot, it was going to be a good day. The Tibble Fork parking lot tends to be crowded on the weekends. The earlier you can get there the better. The warmth of the sun on the face is one of the great joys of skiing on a blue bird day.
One of my favorite things about flying is when the airplane climbs through the clouds to the blue skies. Just before you reach the cruising altitude, you pass through large puffy cumulus clouds that look like pieces of floating cotton. My ski mind instantly converts those clouds into large pillows of powder. Skiing powder is like skiing through clouds. On a powder day, you ride up a ski lift or hike up a mountain to a top of a ridge. You look down on the snow and it looks like white clouds are covering the entire surface.
On Tuesday, December 27, 2016, me and a group of friends met at 5:30 am to summit the Flagstaff mountain on skis. The Flagstaff mountain is right across the street from Alta. Alta and the Flagstaff mountain are located up Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. This area is popular backcountry ski destination in Utah because of its quick access to some of the most spectacular mountains views and snow.
On Labor Day my friends and family headed to San Onofre State Beach in California to do a little sunset surfing and have a bonfire on the beach. San Onofre Beach is 3 miles south of San Clemente, California. We set up on Old Man's beach and headed out to surf at Sunset. We paddled out to the waves. It was the golden hour so the light on the water was amazing. Surfing also teaches you some basics principles about life. Principles that can give you courage to do hard things and succeed.
One of my favorite places to hang out during the early ski preseason is at Alta Ski Resort up Little Cottonwood Canyon. The minute the first snow falls you'll find enthusiastic skiers and snowboarder exploring the different areas of the mountain. Seeing snowboarders is a little unusual but cool, because they are not allowed on the mountain once the resort openings. Alta is one of three resorts left who only allow skiers.
Today marks the 10th year anniversary of the day we lost my Grandpa, David James Nielsen. And he has been missed greatly. My Grandpa was one of my biggest believers. He taught me, "Burke, If you can see it, you can achieve it." These words have stuck with me and helped me do hards things as I pursue my dreams and goals in this life. My Grandpa was an awesome photographer. To honor him I take a camera around with me everywhere I go. He always told us, "A great photo is worth a thousand words." To honor my Grandpa today, I packed an American flag in my bag and ran with it to the top of a mountain summit that overlooks beautiful Mount Timpanogos in American Fork Canyon.