Guru Dave, Feb 2005

Guru Dave is about making turns, not straightlining to the bottom, so enrolling in his ski school of higher learning will pay handsomely. The first lesson is to listen for what the tram operator doesn't include in his or her litany of run closures. That non-announcement will tell you where the pack is going, so you can pick someplace else. Bear in mind that hunting Snowbird powder is still a crapshoot, with conditions and visibility varying wildly by the hour. Admitting that, skiing in the Guru's tracks on his home hill is always a smart move. His counsel:

>>In poor light, head to Mineral Basin.

True, at the top you can't tell up from down, but neither can anyone else, improving your odds of stumbling into some super snow. When the main drag is ravaged, take the highest traverse allowed and climb the short Hillary Step out to the tree lines below the Sunday Cliffs.

>>When the wind whips over Hidden Peak,

it stockpiles snow on the Upper Cirque faster than the tram can disgorge skiers. We skied Macaroni and Silver Fox over and over and over one afternoon and every run it got better. Very weird and very wonderful.

>>Don't overlook lines on either side of the massive boulevard of Regulator Johnson.

The fall line directly under the Little Cloud chair is sweet, and on the opposite side of Regulator, near the bottom of the main pitch, look for a gate that leads to the oft-overlooked little playground known as Eddie Mo's.

>>It takes a while after a storm for High Baldy to open,

so even if you miss the opening bell you can still be right on time to hit this visually stunning, physically challengingterrain. The uphill hike is only about 10 minutes (you can do it), then there's another five minutes of traversing before you're in an expert skier's paradise.

>>If the tram line is long,

don't be too proud to use the chairs. Gadzoom to Little Cloud gets you summitside, and some of the best skiing on the hill is off of Gad 2.