MikeSandy.net

About Me

A Skier's Journal

Read the preface and an excerpt from my forthcoming book about my first ski season at Snowbird in Utah.

Photo Gallery

40 photos sorted randomly

Snowbird's Peruvian Gulch
Snowbird's Peruvian Gulch
Kilauea Lighthouse, Kauai. October 27, 2013.
Kilauea Lighthouse, Kauai. October 27, 2013.
Sunset from Anaehoʻomalu Bay (A Bay) on the Big Island of Hawaii. October 13, 2016.
Sunset from Anaehoʻomalu Bay (A Bay) on the Big Island of Hawaii. October 13, 2016.
Crater Lake, Oregon
Crater Lake, Oregon
Tunnel View at blue hour, after sunset. Yosemite National Park, California. August 2, 2019.
Tunnel View at blue hour, after sunset. Yosemite National Park, California. August 2, 2019.
The Grand Teton from 20 miles away in Victor, Idaho
The Grand Teton from 20 miles away in Victor, Idaho
Peyto Lake, Alberta, Canada
Peyto Lake, Alberta, Canada
Hanalei Bay, Kauai
Hanalei Bay, Kauai
The Teton Range from the Jackson Lake Dam in Wyoming
The Teton Range from the Jackson Lake Dam in Wyoming
A lightning strike in front of the Teton Range in Wyoming
A lightning strike in front of the Teton Range in Wyoming
Hanakapiai Beach from the Kalalau Trail on Kauai
Hanakapiai Beach from the Kalalau Trail on Kauai
Summer skiing on Gunsight at Alta Ski Area in Utah. July 13, 2008.
Summer skiing on Gunsight at Alta Ski Area in Utah. July 13, 2008.
The Koʻolau Range on Oahu from the Pali Lookout at sunrise.
The Koʻolau Range on Oahu from the Pali Lookout at sunrise.
The Grand Teton (left), Mount Moran (right), and Jackson Lake. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
The Grand Teton (left), Mount Moran (right), and Jackson Lake. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
Awaʻawapuhi Valley, Kauai
Awaʻawapuhi Valley, Kauai
Yosemite Falls from Glacier Point. Yosemite National Park, California. August 3, 2019.
Yosemite Falls from Glacier Point. Yosemite National Park, California. August 3, 2019.
View to the east from Mount Haystack's summit in New York's Adirondack Park
View to the east from Mount Haystack's summit in New York's Adirondack Park
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois
The Grand Teton from the Mormon Row Historic District. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
The Grand Teton from the Mormon Row Historic District. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
Kauai's Napali Coast from the Kalalau Trail
Kauai's Napali Coast from the Kalalau Trail
Waterton Lake, Alberta, Canada
Waterton Lake, Alberta, Canada
Honopu Beach, Kauai. November 8, 2018.
Honopu Beach, Kauai. November 8, 2018.
Mount Shuksan from the Chain Lakes Trail. North Cascades National Park in Washington State. July 17, 2015.
Mount Shuksan from the Chain Lakes Trail. North Cascades National Park in Washington State. July 17, 2015.
Dante's View in Death Valley National Park
Dante's View in Death Valley National Park
Kauai's Napali Coast from the Honopu Ridge Trail. November 8, 2018.
Kauai's Napali Coast from the Honopu Ridge Trail. November 8, 2018.
The Cirque and the Peruvian Gulch at Snowbird Resort in Utah
The Cirque and the Peruvian Gulch at Snowbird Resort in Utah
Rock strata in Snow Canyon State Park, Utah. November 25, 2007.
Rock strata in Snow Canyon State Park, Utah. November 25, 2007.
The Teton Range. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. October 6, 2019.
The Teton Range. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. October 6, 2019.
A rainbow over Kauai's Hanalei Bay on the morning of November 2, 2013
A rainbow over Kauai's Hanalei Bay on the morning of November 2, 2013
Kaʻiwa Ridge, Oahu
Kaʻiwa Ridge, Oahu
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
The view from Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park
The view from Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park
The Awaʻawapuhi Trail, Kauai
The Awaʻawapuhi Trail, Kauai
Kauai's Napali Coast from the Kalalau Trail
Kauai's Napali Coast from the Kalalau Trail
Sunset from near Gold Beach, Oregon
Sunset from near Gold Beach, Oregon
Waimea Canyon, Kauai
Waimea Canyon, Kauai
Fall colors and Mount Moran. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. October 6, 2019.
Fall colors and Mount Moran. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. October 6, 2019.
A fly fisherman in the Ausable River with Whiteface Mountain in the distance. Adirondack Park, New York. May 31, 2004.
A fly fisherman in the Ausable River with Whiteface Mountain in the distance. Adirondack Park, New York. May 31, 2004.
Paris Las Vegas
Paris Las Vegas
The Grand Teton from the Mormon Row Historic District. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. October 28, 2018.
The Grand Teton from the Mormon Row Historic District. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. October 28, 2018.

About Me

My name is Mike Sandy. That's me in the background photo for this website. In the photo, I'm standing atop Mount Baldy's Main Chute in Utah on March 28, 2010. The chute drops into Alta Ski Area at a pitch of about 40 degrees from a spot just north of Mount Baldy's summit. Mount Baldy serves as the boundary between Alta and Snowbird, and it's accessible via a short hike from either ski area.

I'm originally from New York state, but I moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2005 to ski at Snowbird while pursuing a graduate degree in finance. I completed my degree, despite Snowbird's best efforts at distracting me from my studies, and now I work in bank asset/liability management.

Outside of work, I pursue a wide range of interests, including skiing, hiking, travel, baseball, and photography. Those interests are the main focus of the articles I've written. I also maintain a website that tracks the band 311's discography and their concerts I've attended, and a web-based app for creating custom PocketMod templates.

Connect with me on social media for my more extemporaneous content. And please don't hesitate to contact me if you have anything you'd like to discuss.

Thank you for visiting my website.

A Skier's Journal

A Season of Exploration and Discovery at Snowbird

I've written a book about my first ski season at Snowbird in Utah. It's about more than that, but that ski season is the basis upon which I relate other experiences (spoiler alert: also mostly about skiing). My tentative goal is to publish it by January 15, 2022.

Here is the preface:

In July 2005, I quit my job and moved from New York to Utah to ski at Snowbird, a resort about thirty miles southeast of Salt Lake City. My lifestyle, however, didn't fit the ski-bum archetype. During the ski season, I attended graduate school full-time at the University of Utah, and I lived on campus in a student apartment. I was just a regular guy living a regular life (as a student) while skiing some of the best snow and inbounds terrain in the United States.

After every ski day that season, I published a report on my website. While rereading those entries in late 2017, I felt detached from the experiences I had described. The passage of time allowed me to read them more objectively, and I enjoyed them for more than their nostalgic value. I thought other skiers might find the unspoiled nature of the entries compelling. In January 2018, I began compiling those entries into this book.

Stories in the skiing media often feature extreme terrain; impractical, skiing-centric lifestyles; or easy access to seemingly endless fresh powder. This is not one of those stories. Instead, my story features terrain accessible to any advanced skier with a lift ticket, a skiing lifestyle tempered by school or work obligations, and the luck and persistence required to earn fresh tracks on powder days without the privileged access provided to pro skiers and the media.

I hope my story demonstrates what it took for a regular skier like me to explore a mountain and find the fleeting moments that make skiing special. I hope you can identify with the doubts and challenges I faced before, during, and after that season. Most of all, I hope my story leaves you feeling more excited about skiing after reading it.

Read an excerpt →