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Alta, Utah in Dec vs. Jan

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

First time poster here. My family (including young kids, beginners) is considering skiing in Alta, Utah, and choosing between two sets of dates: Dec 10-17 vs. Jan. 4-11. How do the dates compare in terms of ski conditions?

 

Thanks very much,

Leslie

post #2 of 10


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeslieR View Post

Hello,

 

First time poster here. My family (including young kids, beginners) is considering skiing in Alta, Utah, and choosing between two sets of dates: Dec 10-17 vs. Jan. 4-11. How do the dates compare in terms of ski conditions?

 

Thanks very much,

Leslie

 

IMO,


Jan 4-11 >>>>>> Dec 10-17...

 

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks, but perhaps I should clarify: lodging would be easier in December, so how is the skiing at Alta at that time?

post #4 of 10

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeslieR View Post

Thanks, but perhaps I should clarify: lodging would be easier in December, so how is the skiing at Alta at that time?


Go to the Alta web site and hit the link to Snowfall History, and scroll down to the monthly totals at the bottom.  It will give you the Oct.-Dec. montly averages going back to about 2008, so you can see what to expect in December. The resulting "base" is usually about 1/3 of total snowfall.
 

 

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeslieR View Post

Thanks, but perhaps I should clarify: lodging would be easier in December, so how is the skiing at Alta at that time?

 

Its a question of when, not if. When they have about 50" base then it will be in good shape for skiing off piste. When less then you will be hitting a lot of rocks.

 

Wait and see. If it looks good in November with lots of snow on the ground then great. If November is warm / dry then probably not. After Xmas is much more of a sure thing.


Edited by tromano - 9/2/11 at 12:14pm
post #6 of 10

 

Quote:
Jan 4-11 >>>>>> Dec 10-17...

+1  Odds of adequate or better snow base by Jan. 4 are at least 95%.  Probably slightly less than 50% Dec. 10, somewhat more than 50% by Dec. 17.  If you have to decide now, this is a no-brainer.  It would take a huge price bargain for me to even consider the earlier time frame. 

post #7 of 10

Ski resorts have a limited amount of terrain open in the beginning of the season. Either time will allow you to miss the holiday crowds, but most would agree that January would be more preferable. Last year the Canyons didn't even open until mid-December (lift relocation). 

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Pringnitz View Post

Ski resorts have a limited amount of terrain open in the beginning of the season. Either time will allow you to miss the holiday crowds, but most would agree that January would be more preferable. Last year the Canyons didn't even open until mid-December (lift relocation). 

 

Not that great an example since last year the canyons could have opened much before that if it were simply based on snow conditions.

 


 

 

post #9 of 10

We get into this every year! <g>

But here are pictures from a trip i took a couple years ago on 12-9.  Snowbird was awesome with a 50" base. 

http://www.epicski.com/t/49115/snowbird-pic-s-12-9

Then another year, I was scheduled the same weekend, and was oh sooo close to canceling, I think the base was only 30", when it began snowing about 5' foot as i was flying out, the skiing turned out to be quite excellent.

For sure January is a better bet for everything open skiing, esp if you want the more advanced terrain.  If you are looking for intermediate, family terrain then you likely have close to 90% chance of having plenty of terrain open for you.

 

I like December skiing because I was able to use my freq flyer miles easier and its' just a nice feeling to get a trip in before xmas at a quiet resort.

If this is your only trip of the year or you haven't done much big resort skiing, it's a better idea to wait to mid-Jan.  That's when I'll be there. 

If have to wait until then is going to stretch you somehow, then I would say you have a 75% of very good skiing on December 10th.  At Snowbird/Alta that is.  Too early for PC & Snowbasin. 

Another option is to save money by staying in MidVale/Sandy in January, because the prices are same in Dec or Jan.  It'll just take a little traveling each day.

post #10 of 10

The week after New Year's is typically pretty slow around so I would like lodging would be easier to find in early Jan.  Of course, a bit more costly than in Dec.  That said, there is a reason that early Dec is called Early Season.  Would be better to plan for Jan and not run the risk of disappointing the kids.

 

Are you thinking of staying at Alta or in the city?

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