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Second week in April - SLC, or Colorado?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Looking at either SLC or Colorado (not sure where, but leaning to Winter Park and Steamboat combo) for the second week in April.

 

Where are we most likely to get the best conditions / new snow?

post #2 of 10

That's around the time of year that Steamboat (maybe WP too) tends to close. Conditions were crap when I rode that late in Steamboat. WP might be better because of elevation, but SLC (CCs) would be a much better bet for snow that time of year. That'd be my call if I had to plan this far out. If Colorado, I'd go for the highest resorts you can.

post #3 of 10


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

That's around the time of year that Steamboat (maybe WP too) tends to close. Conditions were crap when I rode that late in Steamboat. WP might be better because of elevation, but SLC (CCs) would be a much better bet for snow that time of year. That'd be my call if I had to plan this far out. If Colorado, I'd go for the highest resorts you can.


That is interesting.  March and April are #1/2 respectively for snowiest months in CO.  

 

Steamboat is a relatively low elevation resort in CO and I agree going higher and colder if you are betting.  WP fits that bill and you as close to Summit Co as Steamboat.  Can't speak to SLC, but It seems unrealistic that CO is going to be warm and dry in April while Utah is cold and wet.

 

I'd pick based on what you want to ski given the terrain differences if you are going to make any bets right now.

 

 

 

post #4 of 10

April in CO is not very good from my experience, and I don't believe that it's one of the snowiest months. March is fine, but April is the last month of the season and is largely spring conditions. Nothing wrong with that, but OP is looking for snow.

 

SLC gets a ton more snow than CO in general and a lot of that often comes in late-March through April. My last powder day last year was April 30. May 2 the year before. Both years saw very late seasons with tons of powder between late-march and may.

 

I don't doubt some CO resorts can be good that late in the season, but neither WP or Steamboat was in my experience. SLC is one of the surest bets that time of year.

post #5 of 10

Bestsnow.net rates WP best ski time as 'nearly any time' with most consistent snow in CO over the last 20 years.  Most of the Utah resorts are rated best up through March.

 

WP is in the Fraser Valley, which is the coldest spot in the lower 48, and it is far enough east to benefit from late season flow patterns that often don't dump west of the continental divide, but hammer the Front Range (a limited effect of the same reason A-basin is often open in June).

 

Steamboat does not share this full season predictability or elevation and it would make sense to be careful not to lump a committed trip in April.  WP, Loveland, and A-basin are relatively close together with April being prime season at the latter two.

 

So again, IMO, you pick what you want and pay attention that SLC is a much smaller place than the geographic range of Colorado.  This isn't a bad thing and makes it much easier to generalize statements about late season conditions.

 

Which brings up a bigger point - with both states well under average year to date are there other choices for April?

 

 

post #6 of 10

Regardless of all that, Cottonwood Canyons still get a lot more snow than WP (and A-Basin and Loveland and every resort in CO). I'm guessing by "most of Utah resorts," you're ignoring Snowbird and Alta. Not so coincidentally, those are the resorts I'm talking about. They average  a good 150 inches more snow and do pretty damn well late season. They're better late-season picks than WP or Steamboat.

 

Not looking for another CO/UT argument, but that time of year, UT is more reliable for snow.

 

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post

Which brings up a bigger point - with both states well under average year to date are there other choices for April?

 

 



Yes, Europe's actually having a winter!

 

 

Winter Parks not a bad option in April, but normally the Bird would be the call for any time later.  This year, who knows? 

 

The problem with the Bird is it has a lot more steep rocky terrain. I've heard it been pretty boney most of the year?

 

Alta's tentatively scheduled closing is earlier than WP this year?

 

IMHO:  I'd wait to book either one.

post #8 of 10

I've had good April skiing in both Summit County & Utah. Like others have said elevation is key that time of year. I wouldn't book a trip to Steamboat or Park City that time of year.

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

Regardless of all that, Cottonwood Canyons still get a lot more snow than WP (and A-Basin and Loveland and every resort in CO). I'm guessing by "most of Utah resorts," you're ignoring Snowbird and Alta. Not so coincidentally, those are the resorts I'm talking about. They average  a good 150 inches more snow and do pretty damn well late season. They're better late-season picks than WP or Steamboat.

 

Not looking for another CO/UT argument, but that time of year, UT is more reliable for snow.

 


Definitely not an argument.  There are resorts in both states that are going to do better late season for different reasons, and I'd guess the OP is interested in that more specific information.  The OP probably doesn't know that while March is the top month pretty much statewide in CO that April tends to shift towards "Four Corners" storms like we just had in Colorado that really favor eastern resorts (and SW resorts at times) as they slam up against the Front Range with easterly flow (55" reported in one spot in the foothills over the weekend...that storm was just a little bit of strength away from hammering the more eastern big resorts off of I-70).  That's always worth knowing, but especially this year where we may be counting on base building/maintenance in the late season.  The OP may also not know that SB and Alta are the best late season in Utah rather than "SLC".

 

As pointed out below, there is no way I would book right now.  WP I think is about 100" below average and there is plenty of terrain that opened late on the Jane backside that is bumped up like crazy due to the hit of snow and then back to quiet weather.  Not exactly what most are after in terms of terrain diversity...

 

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input guys.  Confirms what I'd already been thinking. Not booking anything yet - as we have some time before we need to commit.  Europe isn't an option for us.  Someday, but not this year.  

 

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