EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › 2 Days in UT - First time skiing out west. Need help!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

2 Days in UT - First time skiing out west. Need help!

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Have read through a myriad of threads and reviews at this point trying to decide where to  ski at for 2 days next week in UT.  I am an intermediate level skier (midwest).  I've never skied powder, but would like to experience it.  Things I'm looking for in a resort:

 

1) Good views

2) Be able to demo some powder runs that aren't too steep

3) Well organized runs - don't want to spend all day staring at my trail map

 

As far as I can gather, I probably should NOT be considering Snowbird or Alta as they'd mainly be for the "advanced" folks.  Canyons seems too confusing and has a lot of negative online sentiment; DV and PCMR just seem like larger versions of what we can get out east, though I could just be reading too many negative reviews of them from Alta/Bird lovers...

 

At this point I'm wondering if it would be better to do one day at Brighton and one at Solitude, or maybe two days at Powder Mountain?  Thanks for the help!

post #2 of 28

A day at Brighton and a day at Alta.

 

Yes, Alta.  Alta has some seriously advanced terrain, but the blues are pretty mellow, and the greens are as easy as any greens I've seen anywhere.

 

As for powder, it's either there or it ain't, and most days it ain't ( at least on the marked trails).  Show up and ski whatever is there and be happy you're out of the midwest!

 

 

post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 

Alright - being from Michigan you probably know the Boyne resorts.  How does a blue at Alta stack up with a black at Boyne in regards to steepness/speed?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post

A day at Brighton and a day at Alta.

 

Yes, Alta.  Alta has some seriously advanced terrain, but the blues are pretty mellow, and the greens are as easy as any greens I've seen anywhere.

 

As for powder, it's either there or it ain't, and most days it ain't ( at least on the marked trails).  Show up and ski whatever is there and be happy you're out of the midwest!

 

 


 

 

post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmccarty View Post

Alright - being from Michigan you probably know the Boyne resorts.  How does a blue at Alta stack up with a black at Boyne in regards to steepness/speed?
 


 

 



 

Don't overthink it...you'll love Alta with capital letters.... LOVE

 

Seriously

post #5 of 28

Alta is wonderful for intermediates who want to explore powder.  You won't get bored staying on the groomed runs either.  Assuming you are there after fresh snow, easy to check out the fluffy stuff just off the edge of groomers.  I got my first taste of true powder at Alta long ago and it's still my favorite place . . . for all levels.

 

Skip Snowbird.  Brighton is fun, as is Solitude.  Haven't been to Powder Mtn yet, but really liked Snowbasin.  But for a quick trip, not worth the extra drive.

 

Assuming Michigan blacks are similar to blacks in the southeast, you should be fine with blues in Utah.  My daughter learned in Virginia.  Skied groomed blues at Alta when she was 8 with no problem.

post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 

Here's the other wrinkle - will have a rental car with no chains.  Reading on the FAQ for Alta is says UT state law requires them to traverse its roads??  Do they actually enforce this?  Safe to go without?

post #7 of 28

POW MOW, ALTA, Brighton, Snowbasin... in that order.

post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmccarty View Post

Here's the other wrinkle - will have a rental car with no chains.  Reading on the FAQ for Alta is says UT state law requires them to traverse its roads??  Do they actually enforce this?  Safe to go without?



If it's not going to storm don't worry about it, if it's going to storm please don't try to get up into the canyons on a 4x4/chains day.  I realize you are from Michigan (I lived there for 30 years before I moved out here.) and probably know how to drive in the snow on Michigan roads.  The Cottonwood canyons are far different, in stormy weather the road can present problems a 2wd vehicle can't overcome.  Both canyon roads have places the road surface goes off-camber around corners.  As you go around these corners, especially on a typical busy day, your vehicle won't have enough momentum to keep itself from sliding downward.  It can be pretty tough to keep a 2wd from sliding off into the ditch.

 

As your rental car slides into the ditch/snowbank quite often you block off the road for the rest of us that have prepared to regularly drive up the canyon.  Please don't be that guy.

 

The bus is an option if you happen to catch a storm.

 

 

post #9 of 28

I went to Utah as a lower to solid intermediate skier many years ago as my first (and only) trip out West and had a blast.  First off, don't be afraid to visit Alta.  Out of the three areas I visited while I was in Utah, I had the best time at Alta.  Lots of terrain an intermediate can handle, amazing scenery, and it is one of those legendary ski areas that a skier should visit.  

 

I also echo the recommendation for Brighton.  That was my second favorite ski resort out of the three I went to.  It has a much different feel than Alta, but enough good intermediate terrain to keep you occupied for at least one day.  Plus, Brighton is really two small ski areas combined into one to make a nice intermediate ski area, with each area having a different feel that adds some nice variety to the ski day.

 

One of the best things I did when I went to Utah was take a lesson at Alta.  I had never skied powder before and the instructor did a great lesson of teaching the small group I was with how to ski it. That lesson got me off the groomed run and had me seeking powder stashes that I could handle for the rest of the trip.

 

The bus is a good way to get to Alta and Brighton if you don't want to hazard driving up the canyons yourself.  The bus was my sole mode of transportation to the ski areas while I was in Utah.

post #10 of 28

I patrol at one of the SE Michigan locations. Last season was my first chance to ski anywhere else, went to Alta and the Canyons.

 

You'll LOVE Alta. Some spots on the blues are like blacks here, for example the top of Devil's Way (exit left as you get off of the Collins lift) is similar in pitch to the top of Blue at Mt. Brighton or Donald J at the Highlands. But there's a lot of terrain suitable to the average Michigan skier, and the views are stunning. Be sure to go up Supreme.

 

They're not kidding about the drive up the canyon. On a slick day, going up without chains is a potential Darwin Award event.

 

Don't forget that there's a HUGE difference in altitude, it took me two full days before I was mostly able to catch my breath. You might want to ask your doctor for a prescription for acetazolamide.

 

If you like Mexican I recommend the Red Iguana, not too far west of Temple Square. It's vastly superior to anything I've found in the Detroit area. The moles are stellar.


Edited by chilehed - 2/24/12 at 6:30am
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 

So warmup day @ Brighton and then a morning lesson on powder at Alta?  Is there a place to park and ride for the bus?  Thanks for all the tips guys!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MephitBlue View Post

I went to Utah as a lower to solid intermediate skier many years ago as my first (and only) trip out West and had a blast.  First off, don't be afraid to visit Alta.  Out of the three areas I visited while I was in Utah, I had the best time at Alta.  Lots of terrain an intermediate can handle, amazing scenery, and it is one of those legendary ski areas that a skier should visit.  

 

I also echo the recommendation for Brighton.  That was my second favorite ski resort out of the three I went to.  It has a much different feel than Alta, but enough good intermediate terrain to keep you occupied for at least one day.  Plus, Brighton is really two small ski areas combined into one to make a nice intermediate ski area, with each area having a different feel that adds some nice variety to the ski day.

 

One of the best things I did when I went to Utah was take a lesson at Alta.  I had never skied powder before and the instructor did a great lesson of teaching the small group I was with how to ski it. That lesson got me off the groomed run and had me seeking powder stashes that I could handle for the rest of the trip.

 

The bus is a good way to get to Alta and Brighton if you don't want to hazard driving up the canyons yourself.  The bus was my sole mode of transportation to the ski areas while I was in Utah.



 

post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmccarty View Post

So warmup day @ Brighton and then a morning lesson on powder at Alta?  Is there a place to park and ride for the bus?  Thanks for all the tips guys!
 



 

 

A couple of park-n-ride lots along Wasatch Blvd on your way to the resort. The bus (rideuta.com) costs a few bucks and doesn't make change.
 

 

post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmccarty View Post

So warmup day @ Brighton and then a morning lesson on powder at Alta? 
 



 


Sadly, you can never count on powder anywhere, not even Alta, but don't wait for pow to take a lesson.  You can learn the skills you need to begin skiing powder on any groomer.  Even if there is powder, your instructor will probably  start you on a groomer, and if you have a relationship with an instructor you have a much better chance of getting a good lesson on the rare powder day.  If you can get a lesson on a powder day, especially this year when the snow cover has been less than normal, your instructor is due some major tippage.   If there is a dump, Powder Mountain is a good spot for lots of low pitch pow.

 

post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post


Sadly, you can never count on powder anywhere, not even Alta, but don't wait for pow to take a lesson.  You can learn the skills you need to begin skiing powder on any groomer.  Even if there is powder, your instructor will probably  start you on a groomer, and if you have a relationship with an instructor you have a much better chance of getting a good lesson on the rare powder day.  If you can get a lesson on a powder day, especially this year when the snow cover has been less than normal, your instructor is due some major tippage.   If there is a dump, Powder Mountain is a good spot for lots of low pitch pow.

 


 

Curious why a powder day would necessitate a bigger tip? Isn't he just doing his job either way?

post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobMc View Post

The bus is an option if you happen to catch a storm.

 

 


If the canyon road is closed first thing in the morning, the bus gets priority when the road opens.  Can be better to park at the lot near the entrance to BCC instead of the parking lot near the entrance to LCC.  Or you can simply choose to go elsewhere that day.

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post


 

Curious why a powder day would necessitate a bigger tip? Isn't he just doing his job either way?

 

You are absolutely right, but powder days are the days most instructors question their commitment to the job.  And you will not have a second lesson from me if you don't tip properly for the first one, powder day or not.

 

BK

 


Edited by Bode Klammer - 2/24/12 at 9:37am
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post

 

You are absolutely right, but powder days are the days most instructors question their commitment to the job.  And you will not have a second lesson from me if you don't tip properly for the first one, powder day or not.

 

BK

 


I will be taking a half day lesson at Alta in 2 weeks. What is an appropriate tip?
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post

 

You are absolutely right, but powder days are the days most instructors question their commitment to the job.  And you will not have a second lesson from me if you don't tip properly for the first one, powder day or not.

 

BK

 

 

That's a bit of a presumptuous, entitled attitude. Don't instructors make an actual wage (not like the $2 or whatever that waiters make that gets offset by tips)? If not, forget what I'm saying. But if so, why should an instructor expect a proper tip (whatever that is)? I only took one lesson when I was younger and I'd have no idea what a proper tip is. Maybe someone doesn't know what to tip (it's not like ski lessons are universal like eating out) or maybe he thought the lesson itself was underwhelming or a ripoff.

post #19 of 28

Wow.....No tip good = no 2nd lesson. Never thought I'd see that. LOL

 

I too am curious to know what the expected tip is for a half day lesson at Alta (powder day and non-powder day)

post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

 

That's a bit of a presumptuous, entitled attitude. Don't instructors make an actual wage (not like the $2 or whatever that waiters make that gets offset by tips)? If not, forget what I'm saying. But if so, why should an instructor expect a proper tip (whatever that is)? I only took one lesson when I was younger and I'd have no idea what a proper tip is. Maybe someone doesn't know what to tip (it's not like ski lessons are universal like eating out) or maybe he thought the lesson itself was underwhelming or a ripoff.


It's not presumptuous, just commercially necessary.  It's the same as my business: I drop clients whenever I find others who pay better.  If I worked all year for my ski instructor wages, I couldn't pay my rent.  That's why I'm in my office today on one of the last busy days of the year.  If someone doesn't know what to tip, 20% is a good starting point for a good-but-not-outstandiing lesson.  If your lesson were "underwhelming", why would you want another one with me anyway?

 

BK

post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Govnor View Post

Wow.....No tip good = no 2nd lesson. Never thought I'd see that. LOL

 


Busy instructors refuse clients all the time, but not usually the ones that tip well.

 

BK

 

post #22 of 28

OK, 20% is a good guide. thanks

post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post


Busy instructors refuse clients all the time, but not usually the ones that tip well.

 

BK

 



Question for you. Do you know if you've given a good lesson, or not given a good lesson? Do have an idea in your head at the end of a lesson what tip you're expecting?

post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Govnor View Post



Question for you. Do you know if you've given a good lesson, or not given a good lesson? Do have an idea in your head at the end of a lesson what tip you're expecting?


I never know what to expect for a tip, but I know when I've given a good lesson.  I also know when I've given a lesson that addresses skills the client needs to ski better but the client just doesn't buy it.  Sometimes the best tips come form the worst pandering, not the best learning, which is why the low-pay-plus-tips model isn't right for education.

 

BK

post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post


It's not presumptuous, just commercially necessary.  It's the same as my business: I drop clients whenever I find others who pay better.  If I worked all year for my ski instructor wages, I couldn't pay my rent.  That's why I'm in my office today on one of the last busy days of the year.  If someone doesn't know what to tip, 20% is a good starting point for a good-but-not-outstandiing lesson.  If your lesson were "underwhelming", why would you want another one with me anyway?

 

BK



I don't really know that dropping clients the minute you get a better one is great business in any profession. And a tip is just that. You're getting paid too, no? Just because the wage isn't great doesn't mean the client has to make up for it. He's already paying decent money for the lesson.

post #26 of 28

Just as an FYI: my daughter is a 1st year instructor at a large resort.  She earns $10.50/hour -- when she teaches.  For an adult half-day group lesson, that's $42.  For that same lesson, the resort charges $99/person, and lessons usually have 3-5 people.  That's $300-500 income to the resort.  The problem is the very large disparity b/w what the pay is and what the charge is.  Few skiers of modest means feel like dropping another $20 on something that already cost $100.  But the issue is that the instructor gets the short end of the stick.

 

post #27 of 28

10.50 an hour, jeez.

post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post

Just as an FYI: my daughter is a 1st year instructor at a large resort.  She earns $10.50/hour -- when she teaches.  For an adult half-day group lesson, that's $42.  For that same lesson, the resort charges $99/person, and lessons usually have 3-5 people.  That's $300-500 income to the resort.  The problem is the very large disparity b/w what the pay is and what the charge is.  Few skiers of modest means feel like dropping another $20 on something that already cost $100.  But the issue is that the instructor gets the short end of the stick.

 

Seems like a more regularized work schedule would help. Or maybe since you only get paid when you're teaching, you should get a certain amount of each lesson purchase. No students = 0, 5 students x $20 each = $100?

 

I'm not sure if more pay is the answer, though, because it's such a competitive position. Any business charges a lot more than it pays its staff, and resorts have particularly large overhead that goes into making that lesson possible (lifts, snowmaking, patrol, etc.).

 

I agree that expecting every person to drop $20 on top of a $100 lesson, $75 lift ticket (+ $400 plane ticket, $150/night room, and so on) doesn't seem all that realistic either.

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › 2 Days in UT - First time skiing out west. Need help!