Saturday, November 16, 2013


A recent trip to Utah afforded another opportunity to try and overcome my fear of heights, the photo proves I made it up to the top on the tram.  We stayed at Snowbird, which is primarily a winter skiing resort area although they are open year round and have things to do in the summer.  We were there in between seasons so the summer things were over but the skiing season had not started.

A little snow was on the ground and it was lightly snowing for the first few days we were there.  The resort uses “snow cannons” to increase the natural snowfall.  The cannons blast moist air into the cold and the result is more snow.  I had never seen one in operation before and found it interesting.  There must have been a dozen or more of these cannons spread out on the slopes hard at work.

Snow cannon

Because it is a ski area there are several chair lifts and also one very large aerial tram that goes up 3,000 feet from the lodge at 8,100 feet to Hidden Peak at 11,000 feet.  Several years ago I did go on a gondola to Kellogg Peak in northern Idaho and had to keep my eyes closed the entire way up.  The gondola held probably a maximum of six people, that day there were only three of us in the car, the aerial tram holds close to 100 people.  The gondola swayed precariously and stopped mid way up the route bouncing on the cable and entirely too high off the ground for comfort.  The tram was smooth riding except when going over the cable towers and even then did not sway or bounce much at all.  I could keep my eyes open; hang on to the pole, and peak out the windows to see the beautiful scenery.   The angle of assent was more like a funicular rail line and that helped keep my mind off the fact that we were quite high above the ground.

Here are some pictures of the tram and the views.  We rode up in the red car and down in the blue car.  Usually the wait is about ½ hour between trams but the day we went all proceeds were being donated to a charity so they were running the trams every 15 minutes.  In one photo ski tracks are visible although the snow was not really deep enough, some rocks are still exposed.  

Red tramcar returning to the lower station

Ski tracks

Snowbird Cliff Inn as seen from tram

Salt Lake valley

Looking out from Hidden Peak tram station

The blue tramcar arriving at the upper station

Ski lift at Hidden Peak

View looking up at the mountains from the Inn

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