WILBERE, BABY THUNDER, GAD II, GAD VALLEY, PERUVIAN
Overview – From Wilbere – Baby Thunder – Gad II Trees – Lunch @ Mid Gad Restaurant – Gad Valley – Peruvian Gulch – Return to Base
1. 9 AM – Warming up on Wilbere and Big Emma
If driving, use Entry 2 and park your vehicle as close to the Wilbere Lift as possible. Because Wilbere’s pitch is short, there are seldom lines here in the morning and it’s a great place to take a few warm up runs and acclimate to Snowbird’s famous steeps. Wilbere is also a fantastic place to begin a powder day as Utah’s locals typically set their sights on the Aerial Tram and Mineral Basin. Warm up on Middle and Lower Emma (rated green, but fairly steep in comparison to other resorts) and then bag laps on the steeper slopes of Wilbere Ridge and Race Hill. Once you’re ready, make moves over to Baby Thunder via West 2nd South.
2. 10:45 AM – Baby Thunder
The Baby Thunder side of the mountain features a family area with fun and uncrowded blue and green runs. Some of Snowbird’s most gently pitched black diamond runs are also found here. For Intermediates looking to get the hang of skiing or boarding in deep powder, this is a great place to start. The Baby Thunder Area typically holds untracked powder and there are numerous tree stashes as well as a fun area for children dubbed Mini Miner’s Camp. Give Bluebell and Madame Annie (named after a notorious madam back in the bawdy silver mining days) a whirl. If you’re feeling confident, Tiny Tiger, Lazy Susan, and Thunder Alley are worthy black diamond runs to test your mettle at Snowbird. When the harvest is complete, it’s time to head up to higher elevations.
3. 11:45 AM – Gadzoom to Gad II
Use the Gadzoom lift to gain some serious elevation, the summit here is nearly 10,000 feet. Blue-rated runs to the left or right will funnel guests down to the Mid Gad Restaurant and provide a taste of Snowbird’s even steeper pitches. Choose either route but don’t miss the Middle Bassackwards cutoff to the Gad II Chairlift. As you depart Gad II, head looker’s right for Bananas, a fun, winding trail through tall pines. Depending on current conditions this may or may not be groomed. (*Remember, groomers are not why you came to Snowbird.) Dip into the trees to the skier’s right for powder stashes. The only other blue-rated trails off Gad II are Election and Upper Bassackwards (often closed because they lie underneath a major avalanche path.) Election is a fun roller coaster of a ride that dumps you near the base of the Little Cloud Chair. Know that if you choose to ride Little Cloud, there are no blue-rated runs if Road to Provo is closed. From the base of Little Cloud , return to Middle Bassakwards and follow the pitch down to the Mid Gad Restaurant for lunch.
4. 12:45 PM – Lunch @ Mid Gad Restaurant
The elevation at Snowbird is fairly high, so you’ll most likely be ready for some sustenance! Don’t forget to hydrate! It will help keep you standing for an afternoon of exploration at even higher elevations. Mid Gad offers the easiest ski-in/ski-out access, indoor and outdoor seating, and cafeteria style dining. You’ll often find live music as well! The French fries, Bluebird Bacon Burger, and BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich are all fantastic. It’s better to arrive sometime around 1:00 PM to avoid the lunch rush.
5. 1:30 PM – Further Exploration of Gad Valley
To continue exploring Gad Valley, take at least one lap down the steeps of Big Emma (another lady of the area’s storied past). A few laps in the Peruvian Gulch will be the final push for the day. Ride up Gadzoom or Mid-Gad and take Big Emma to the Bass Highway which will funnel you down to the Peruvian Express.
**Stronger intermediates may want to consider a trip up to Mineral Basin. See the Expert Itinerary for a few tips. It's best to avoid Mineral Basin in bad weather, as the visibility can be difficult in cloudy weather with low light.
6. 2:15 PM – Peruvian Gulch
Return to Tram Plaza @ Snowbird Center
If your legs feel weary, the Chip’s Bypass cat track can be used to navigate down to the wider slopes of Chip’s Run. Bear right down Middle Chip’s Run and follow the cat track. To round out a day at Snowbird, one of the best views down the canyon can be enjoyed from the Who Dunnit Trail. Keep your speed up at the bottom to coast back down the flats to the Tram Plaza.
If you lasted an entire day at Snowbird, you deserve a drink! The aprés at Snowbird, though limited, can be as difficult as it’s double black diamond runs! With a word of warning, know that many a Utah visitor has descended down into the depths of the infamous Tram Club with the misconception that you can’t get drunk on Utah’s weak beer. Let it be known that the Tram Club’s $5 special for a beer and a shot has taken down many a tourist! If you need to drive back down the canyon, it’s best to skip the Tram Club and just grab a quick beer on the Tram Plaza. You can purchase cheap beers for the plaza from General Gritts or the Snowbird Pharmacy, lovingly dubbed “The Pharm Bar” by locals.