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Park City, Snowbasin, & Snowbird... April 6-13

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

We landed at 10:30 last Wednesday and in 45 minutes we had our bags and rental car.  By 12:30 we had grabbed lunch, checked in to our condo in Park City, and were putting our skis on snow.  The snow was pretty spring like and soft and the sun was warm.  It was great being back on skis after a few weeks off.  We explored the mountain a bit and came to the conclusion that Park City for the most part kind of sucks.  There are too many flat catwalks and traverses.  


Thursday morning we were greeted by several inches of new snow and more on the way.  We headed out and quickly realized the new snow was very wet and sticky.  The un-groomed runs were total garbage in the morning because the soft snow from the warm days before had refrozen and there wasn't enough new snow to cover it all.  We quickly realized that they don't groom much this late in the season but we made the most of it.  


Friday morning we woke up to a foot of new snow.  We hopped in the car and headed to Snowbasin.  There was already a line for the gondola at 8:30.  We got geared up and on to the snow by 9:00 and there was definitely a buzz in the air.  My buddies and I manage to ski 40+ days a year in the Midwest but we were quickly reminded that we rarely get to ski powder, especially at 9000+ feet.  It took most of the first run to get a feel for it but after that it was "game on."  We headed back up the Porcupine lift and you could hear all the hoots and hollers from the skiers bounding through the new snow.  On the third run down I managed to take a header off a cat track and tweaked my knee a bit but after digging myself out and collecting my gear I was all smiles.  I took an early lunch to evaluate the condition of my knee but headed back up John Paul then on to the Mt. Allan tram early in the afternoon.  It was a near white out at the top but once we made our way down a bit the visibility improved quite a bit.  After fighting some heavy, wet snow a the bottom I decided not to push my luck since we had 4 more days of skiing.  


Saturday we were back at Park City, much to our dismay.  I started out the morning on my Icelantic Pilgrims which despite the  rather modest new snow fall (5 inches) were the wrong choice.  Fortunately we are staying in a ski-in/ski-out condo so I went back for my Keepers.  My ski buddies finally realized what I told them about PC was true...pick an area to ski and stay there.  After lunch we headed to the Jupiter chair which was actually very good skiing.  Our outlook on what Park City has to offer changed a little bit after spending the whole afternoon up there.  When we arrived back to our condo I pulled up the forecast for Little Cottonwood Canyon since were headed to Snowbird for the next three days.  The National Weather Service was calling for up to 17 inches of new snow over night so Sunday promised to be a very good day.


Sunday arrived and so did the snow.  Snowbird was reporting 15 inches of new snow.  We loaded up our stuff and headed out.  We got to the mouth of LCC and that's were things derailed a bit.  Just as I had expected there was a long line of cars headed up the canyon.  By the time we got geared up and got our lift tickets we faced a long tram line.  It was probably 10:30 or a little later by the time we finally got the top for our first run.  We were packed in the tram like sardines and when the doors opened we were greeted by a total whiteout.  Once we got down below the ridge top the visibility improved.  Unfortunately 4 days of skiing and a cold had taken its toll on my body.  I went in early for some lunch and met up with my buddies.  After lunch we headed up the Peruvian chair where I attempted another run.  I quickly realized my legs were shot and when I got to the bottom I called it a day.  


I decided to sit things out today since I am still fighting this cold.  Its hard to sit here and look out at the blue skies since we haven't seen the sun since the first day in town but I still have tomorrow with a little more snow on the way.  I have some helmet cam video, including my fall at Snowbasin, that I will post when I get time to edit it.



post #2 of 8


Originally Posted by cstreu1026 View Post

We explored the mountain a bit and came to the conclusion that Park City for the most part kind of sucks.  There are too many flat catwalks and traverses.  



Not to mention it's on the wrong side of the wasatch and misses the good powder.




Originally Posted by cstreu1026 View Post


We were packed in the tram like sardines 



Hahahahaha, That's way I always get on last, sorry if I push too hard....





post #3 of 8

not a big fan of the tram at snowbird because the line is ridiculous at times. 


last trip, we got Chair only tickets and saved a few bucks.  was a long and cold chair ride but we were layered okay.



post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Well we skied our last day today at Snowbird.  The morning started out pretty good.  There was some filtered sun and the snow was firm after refreezing over night but Mineral Basin was pretty decent.  About 11:30 we started to make our way back to the bottom for lunch and we could see some clouds moving up the canyon.  By the time we finished lunch the clouds had settled in about 1000 ft. below the top.  The light was beyond flat and it was skiing by braille.  We headed back to the top and back in to Mineral Basin but we couldn't see anything there either.  The decision was made that since we had 6 great days of skiing we might as well knock off a little early and call it a successful trip.  By that time the snow was starting to fall again.  We have some friends that land later today and it looks like they are in for some great skiing at Snowbird and Alta with a foot and a half of snow expected tomorrow night.  Now I just need to spend some time editing video.

post #5 of 8

Sounds like we got out in time.  I arrived at the Bird on Thursday evening.  It had been snowing all day.  It didn't stop until Sunday afternoon when we got a peak of sunshine.  Visibility was challenging at times, but 3 feet of new snow in 3 days couldn't be beaten.  Hard to believe this picture was taken in April.  Sunday morning actually....


Snowbird tram returning.JPG


It would have been nice to see more sun, but no complaints out of this Easterner...


post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Yeah the visibility on top when we were there on Sunday was absolutely horrible.  I just wish I had more left in my legs.  Next time maybe I should start at Snowbird instead of finishing the trip there.

post #7 of 8

Make sure you demo some wide powder skis for these kind of days. I was at Snowbird on Friday, and unfortunately since it was my last day in SLC and leaving that afternoon it was the only day I used my old K2. After skiing on Mantras and Gotama the days before it was like night and day. These type of skis were def made for this Snowbird deep powder skiing! 

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

I brought my own...a pair of Icelantic Keepers.  I do wish I would have tried a pair of DPS Wailer 112RP's but with the cold I've been fighting I was never sure how I would feel the next day and I didn't want to throw away $60 on a demo.

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