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Cottonwood Canyons driving strategies

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Will be driving up the canyons to ski next week for the first time from SLC (I usually stay up the canyons).  Will be renting 4wd with snowtires.  My goal is to get to the LCC mountains in time for first tracks.  In cases of big snowfall, it sounds like there are decent chances of LCC closing.  Since I'd rather get first tracks at a BCC or an Ogden resort than wait until 11AM or later to ski at a LCC resort, I need help in answering the following questions:

1) What time does the canyon usually close overnight after/during a storm?  What time does it open?

2) What is a good time to line up at LCC on big (or moderate) snow days?

3) What is the best way/time to know when to bail on LCC (rather than wait until 10A or 11A) and head for BCC or Ogden?

 

Thanks.

 

Peter

post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by petey View Post

Will be driving up the canyons to ski next week for the first time from SLC (I usually stay up the canyons).  Will be renting 4wd with snowtires.  My goal is to get to the LCC mountains in time for first tracks.  In cases of big snowfall, it sounds like there are decent chances of LCC closing.  Since I'd rather get first tracks at a BCC or an Ogden resort than wait until 11AM or later to ski at a LCC resort, I need help in answering the following questions:

1) What time does the canyon usually close overnight after/during a storm?  What time does it open?

2) What is a good time to line up at LCC on big (or moderate) snow days?

3) What is the best way/time to know when to bail on LCC (rather than wait until 10A or 11A) and head for BCC or Ogden?

 

Thanks.

 

Peter


 


they always announce the road closure sometime though it  could only be a 30 minute warning. If you get to the gate prior to closing with a 4wd you cna just drive up, park your car and wait. PRAY they cause alot of slides on the road so it stays closed to all the suckers who did not get up.

 

1/10 times beating the closure will get you more than just first tram. Last year it got us skiing at the bird with about 100 people total till 11:30 am. 6 trams runs of untracked. It like heli skiing with out the cost or the fanfare. One time while working there the road closed all day long and the mountain was just people who made it up canyon and people staying there which was not many. I got 25 trams runs of blower powder with about a couple hundred people.

 

Beat the road closure. Get first tram, and hope the road slides to keep everyone else and be an elitist about it because they are literally the best runs you will ever get at any resort anywhere.

 

 

post #3 of 13

I don't have much experience with the specifics of LCC closures, but I would say that first tracks are not a huge issue in Ogden or BCC. Snowbasin and Powder typically hold fresh tracks throughout a given snow day and sometimes for days afterwards. Solitude has a similar reputation, though I can't confirm.

 

So basically, you could stick around at LCC without worrying too much about rushing off for first tracks elsewhere. Maybe they open it up or maybe you get sick of waiting and head out, but you won't miss out completely if you linger a little longer.

 

The way this year is going, though, first tracks and that there powder snow aren't things you have to worry much about.

post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

I don't have much experience with the specifics of LCC closures, but I would say that first tracks are not a huge issue in Ogden or BCC. Snowbasin and Powder typically hold fresh tracks throughout a given snow day and sometimes for days afterwards. Solitude has a similar reputation, though I can't confirm.

 

So basically, you could stick around at LCC without worrying too much about rushing off for first tracks elsewhere. Maybe they open it up or maybe you get sick of waiting and head out, but you won't miss out completely if you linger a little longer.

 

The way this year is going, though, first tracks and that there powder snow aren't things you have to worry much about.


the reason why its not an issue is nowhere as the sustained steep pitches of snowbird.

 

post #5 of 13

> If snow is predicted, or if it is snowing overnight, check this website or sign up for the text alerts.

http://updsl.org/services/canyonalerts

 

> You might not have much notice on the closure. Sometimes they announce the night before, but not always. Get up early and check the snow report and the above website. Be prepared to drive up early.

 

> I heard the sheriff's office was not going to let people line up this year at the mouth of LCC. I'm not sure if that is true or not because we haven't had any days where the road was closed in the morning.

 

> I usually bail by 9:30 and go to BCC if it looks like it will be awhile. The time goes by VERY slowly while siting in the car waiting for opening. If it is a good snowfall, you will have almost as much fun at Brighton or Solitude. Usually the day after the big snow is just as good or better anyway because they open areas on the mountain that weren't open the day before.

 

 

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post


the reason why its not an issue is nowhere as the sustained steep pitches of snowbird.

 



Not entirely true. I think you're saying that the reason why other resorts don't get bombed early like Snowbird is because they lack the same steep pitches? No doubt true for Solitude/Brighton (though Soli's crappy lift system and limited overall vert are also to blame), but not applicable to Ogden-area resorts. Those resorts benefit from less population and less snow. Why would anyone from SLC drive up to Ogden when LCC/BCC is right there, especially since Ogden resorts get less snow? Put Snowbasin in BCC and I'd bet it'd get pounded like Alta/Bird on a powder morning.

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post



Not entirely true. I think you're saying that the reason why other resorts don't get bombed early like Snowbird is because they lack the same steep pitches? No doubt true for Solitude/Brighton (though Soli's crappy lift system and limited overall vert are also to blame), but not applicable to Ogden-area resorts. Those resorts benefit from less population and less snow. Why would anyone from SLC drive up to Ogden when LCC/BCC is right there, especially since Ogden resorts get less snow? Put Snowbasin in BCC and I'd bet it'd get pounded like Alta/Bird on a powder morning.


snowbasin does not have sustained pitches like snowbird.

 

post #8 of 13

If it's dumping, start up the LCC access road between 5:00-5:30 AM, and just hang out until the lifts open.  If they are going to do avy control, they close the road at 5:30 AM.

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post


snowbasin does not have sustained pitches like snowbird.

 


Not saying it does, but it has enough steep/intriguing terrain, vertical and proper lift system to attract the same type of powder morning crowds. As you've said many a time, Alta's terrain and lifts aren't in the same league as Snowbird's. But that doesn't stop it from getting rushed on a powder morning. Put Snowbasin in one of the CCs or nearer SL and you'd watch it get bombed the same way. Lack of steep pitches isn't what keeps the crowds away.

 

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

SJcoll - is there a way to predict the night before whether they will be closing the canyon at 5:30AM?  Additionally, are there recommended places to "hang out" at Alta or Snowbird so early prior to lift opening?

 

 

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by petey View Post

SJcoll - is there a way to predict the night before whether they will be closing the canyon at 5:30AM?  Additionally, are there recommended places to "hang out" at Alta or Snowbird so early prior to lift opening?

 

 



sometime they tell you the night before. My MO was to get up when it was snowing and starting calling the road hotline.

 

The best skiing off lifts in american is Snowbird when the road is closed.

post #12 of 13
What about that "hang out" spot Petey was asking about? That's about 3 or 4 hours of time you'd have to kill before lifts open.

What about the roads... How safe are they at 5am during a storm. Do they plow all during the night or wait until the road closes? Is there risk of an avalanche taking us off the road?
post #13 of 13
Park at Alta, sit in your car and watch the snow fall until Goldminer's Daughter opens.
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