The last run of the day. The one that takes you back to the car, to the hotel or to the lodge. Your legs are typically shot and you are one of the last ones on the mountain. The easy way down is always a temptation, but you know better. Your legs feel like Jell-o, but your mind is busy searching.

In the television of your mind, you can envision yourself floating through pockets of untracked powder tucked next to the trees or at the end of long traverses that weed out the weak. It’s not the top-to-bottom powder fields that dominate your dreams, but it’s pretty darn good.

Last Run at Snowbird Resort - Jason Mitchell

This last Saturday at Snowbird Resort, I was busy showing some family members around the mountain, then ended up teaching another family member who had never skied before–that’s what happens when you’re a former ski instructor.  When I found out that he had never skied before, the day’s plans instantly changed and I went from pow-seeker to teacher.  There’s nothing worse than a first-timer having an awful experience on the hill. And, unfortunately, I’ve heard of too many horror stories from people who hadn’t skied in 20-30 years because their first experiences were so bad.

Once my PSIA duties were completed, I was back on powder duty, but the winds had picked up which forced the closure of Mineral Basin and Little Cloud lifts. Now, many of the lines I wanted to ski were off limits. So, again, I adapted and made the best of it with the family–that was until the last run of the day.

Last Run at Snowbird Resort - Jason Mitchell

Everyone who couldn’t hold their own had dropped off and was back at the car, but I had one last run in my blood. I would let my nose seek out the stashes in the lower half of Gad Chutes.  This area hadn’t been extensively tracked out due to the lift closures and tram delays, so I was banking on some hidden treasures.

Ducking in as high as possible, I zig-zagged my way through the leftover untracked snow along the treelines, then continued traversing into the lower third of Barry Barry Steep. Yeah it was pretty cut up and the pockets of untracked were hit-and-miss, but it sure beat cruising the groomers anyday.

The next time you call last run, don’t just opt for the groomer to the base, let your powder senses lead you into the trees or steeps and you just might find some untracked goodies or still stoke-worthy sloppies. With as much terrain as Snowbird offers, there’s no doubt you’ll find some just around the corner.

Barry Barry Steep at Snowbird Resort

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About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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