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Expert skiing at Park City Mountain Resort ?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

What's PCMR like for experts? 

 

Are there any lifts that give you lots of sustained vertical?  

 

How are the bowls?

 

 

Thanks for any info!  I did already ask about Brighton, and I appreciate the replies.  I'll try to stop at this post for my Utah homework  smile.gif

post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpskier View Post

What's PCMR like for experts? 

 

Are there any lifts that give you lots of sustained vertical?  

 

How are the bowls?

 

PCMR is certainly a “different” mountain. Here’s my take.

 

First, outside of Jupiter, PCMR is a collection of ridges, not mountain peaks. Lifts such as Bonanza, Payday, King Con and Motherlode angle over the ridges E to W, so a lot of your riding off these lifts is Traverse-Slope-Traverse. There’s not a lot of direct fall line action here. The bottom half of the mountain doesn’t get much snow, so conditions there are quite variable.  

 

In regards to expert terrain, the best terrain is Jupiter Bowl and McConkeys. The lines are short with a flat section after, but there’s some steep stuff if you hike to the peak. The terrain off Pinecone Ridge is a pretty good hike, but really fun.   

post #3 of 21

After spending a day at PC looking all over the mountain for "expert" terrain I came the conclusion that it is an over priced waste of time to ski there for an expert.  Yeah, they have some fun stuff and lots of great intermediate cruising, but they are almost completely lacking in sustained steep pitches.  Considering that Alta or Snowbird are so close by with innumerable options for 1,000- 2,000 ft. vertical steep shots I don't know why an expert would spend more money for a lift ticket to ski PC.  PC is a great area and has it virtues, but expert terrain is not one of them.

post #4 of 21

It's a fun mountain, but Jupiter Bowl is the only thing that approaches gnarliness.  It's way in the back, so it's a race in the morning to get back there if there's any new snow.  I haven't been back there in awhile - do they still have the crappy double chair that whacks you in the elbow every time?  If you are skiing with others of not so exhalted skiing ability, it's well worth hitting PCMR.  I've never had a bad day there.

post #5 of 21
Quote:
Considering that Alta or Snowbird are so close by with innumerable options for 1,000- 2,000 ft. vertical steep shots I don't know why an expert would spend more money for a lift ticket to ski PC.  PC is a great area and has it virtues, but expert terrain is not one of them.

Throw in the usually vastly superior snow conditions and this is a concise summary of most advanced/experts' view of Utah skiing.  I have skied 155 days in Utah since 1981 and 3/4 of them have been at Alta or Snowbird.

 

So it really depends on the OP's prior Utah experience and/or philosophy of resort skiing.  I always like to ski new places and form my own opinion.  So if the OP has never been to Utah and he's going for a week I'd be inclined to spread the time among various places to check things out.  If it's a short trip or it's earlier than  mid-January or later than mid-March then I would more heavily concentrate on the Cottonwood Canyons.

post #6 of 21

I've had some great days at Park City. McConkey's, Puma Bowl, Jupiter, Scott Bowl, Blue Slip Bowl. My favorites lines were Six Bells and Fortune Teller. There's more lifts and named runs now but I guess it's still the same hill.

 

Snowbird and Alta might be better but not on the days I skied them. My best day in Utah was at Solitude, second best PCMR.

 

Tony Crocker is correct, Little Cottonwood Canyon has longer steeper runs and gets more snow than Park City

 

It doesn't have extremely challenging terrain, but in my opinion an expert skier can have a good time at Park City. The first time I was invited to go there at the expense of an extremely generous ski school client, I thought "Oh No, Park City!?" I thought it would be all intermediate cruisers, but it was not.

post #7 of 21

Park CIty is good for a mixed ability group.

I do like Jupiter Bowl, too.  We had a great afternoon with the "Who's going to be there" unofficial gathering a few years back.  It's worth a day or two, definitely, even though the cottonwoods are better.  PC does take a long time to get around, though. 

 

And you forgot the trees under the Pioneer lift. 

post #8 of 21

If it's a decent snow year, there's some excellent glading off the Crescent Chair that is one of PCMR's hidden gems (IMO) as everyone runs up to the top of the mountain. Also, the runs off Motherlode - Lower Single Jack through to Glory Hole have good pitch, decent vert and hold the pow very nicely...to the bowls, they may be shorter, but if you gauge the storm angle correctly you can definitely find plenty of high quality turns and Jupiter Peak has some fun, but not too scary exposure.

post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphrrt View Post

If it's a decent snow year, there's some excellent glading off the Crescent Chair that is one of PCMR's hidden gems (IMO) as everyone runs up to the top of the mountain. Also, the runs off Motherlode - Lower Single Jack through to Glory Hole have good pitch, decent vert and hold the pow very nicely...to the bowls, they may be shorter, but if you gauge the storm angle correctly you can definitely find plenty of high quality turns and Jupiter Peak has some fun, but not too scary exposure.

Yes it is! Very Steamboatesque.

 

PCMR had the best racer type carvers in Utah too IMHO.  A lot of their "signature runs" are a hoot when you open the throttle a bit, really well groomed.  If you let yourself enjoy the variety of terrain and experiences you will have a ball; if it has to be big bad and burly to make you happy, you won't. 

post #10 of 21

The really big dogs go to Snowbird. If you get stuck in Park City, make do.

 

 

Pinecone Ridge

 

 

 

O zone off Jupiter Peak

 

 

 

 

Dead Tree, Jupiter Bowl

post #11 of 21

My perspective on your question: Park City is unfairly maligned because of its location, both in terms of terrain and snow. It's definitely not an expert's mountain, but the terrain it Jupiter Bowl and such compare pretty well to a lot of resorts. It also gets a respectable amount of snow. But since the Cottonwoods are over the ridge, its reputation is mellow terrain and low snow. Put it in Colorado and it would be viewed differently.

 

If it works out in other ways, like you're looking for off-hill activities or have a mixed ability group, an advanced skier (no offense, but I have trouble thinking of anyone that asks these types of questions as an "expert") should have a good time - unless maybe he's totally jaded by skiing Chamonix, Verbier, AK, JH, etc. If the most challenging skiing is the entire basis of your UT trip, however, don't go to PC - Cottonwoods or Snowbasin would be much better.

post #12 of 21
Quote:
My perspective on your question: Park City is unfairly maligned because of its location, both in terms of terrain and snow.

All ski resorts need to be considered within their regional context.

Quote:
Put it in Colorado and it would be viewed differently.

Yes, Park City in terms of scale, terrain and snowfall (excepting the extension of the Cottonwood microclimate to Jupiter Peak) is similar to a lot of Colorado resorts.  Maybe a bit better for early season, often sloppier than Colorado late season due to lower altitude, warmer temps and a lot of east exposure.  Actually the whole group of 3 areas in Summit County Utah are quite similar in terrain/snow to the 3 big areas in Summit County Colorado.  Skiing is often more pleasant in the Utah group because they get half as many skiers on about the same acreage.

Quote:
Cottonwoods or Snowbasin would be much better.

I like Snowbasin as clear cut #2 for terrain in Utah.  Brighton/Solitude are obviously #2 for snow.  So in the high standard Utah regional context the Park City group are third tier areas IMHO even though on an absolute scale there's lots to enjoy there.

post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

 its reputation is mellow terrain and low snow. Put it in Colorado and it would be viewed differently.

 

 

 

Mellow terrain and moderate snow?   If you plopped someone down on a run in either Summit County, they couldn't tell the difference between the two? 

Don't kid yourself, it would still be a 2nd tier resort.  Maybe if you moved it to NE?

post #14 of 21
Quote:
All ski resorts need to be considered within their regional context.

Yeah and no. When it comes to hypothetical vacation planning on a message board, ski areas compare across the spectrum, and they compare against the traveler's needs, not necessarily regionally. I do agree with everything else you said.

 

 

Quote:

Mellow terrain and moderate snow?   If you plopped someone down on a run in either Summit County, they couldn't tell the difference between the two? 

Don't kid yourself, it would still be a 2nd tier resort.  Maybe if you moved it to NE?

 

BS. Tony knows a lot more about the intricacies of snow than I do, and I think he's traveled far more widely, so re-read for the answer. Or, you figure it out: Same size, comparable terrain, more snow and probably less crowds than Summit County, CO.

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

My perspective on your question: Park City is unfairly maligned because of its location, both in terms of terrain and snow. It's definitely not an expert's mountain, but the terrain it Jupiter Bowl and such compare pretty well to a lot of resorts. It also gets a respectable amount of snow. But since the Cottonwoods are over the ridge, its reputation is mellow terrain and low snow. Put it in Colorado and it would be viewed differently.

 

If it works out in other ways, like you're looking for off-hill activities or have a mixed ability group, an advanced skier (no offense, but I have trouble thinking of anyone that asks these types of questions as an "expert") should have a good time - unless maybe he's totally jaded by skiing Chamonix, Verbier, AK, JH, etc. If the most challenging skiing is the entire basis of your UT trip, however, don't go to PC - Cottonwoods or Snowbasin would be much better.

 

Pretty much. 

post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the info.   And pictures from mr crab, looks good.

 

We stay across the street from the canyons.  One day we usually go to snowbird, and we're always thankful we do, but the drive, fear of the snow tire police, traffic . . .  cause us to only get in a half day there.  But worth it.

 

I'll go to pcmr this year.  The shuttle will get me there.  The pics looked muy bueno.

 

Thanks everyone!

post #17 of 21
When I lived in SLC I had an Alta pass. I'll still drive over if there's a big storm. It's 45 minutes and a beautiful drive. I live in Park City now, four minutes from the Eagle chair. The PC resorts have great terrain too and miles of grooming for between storms. There's plenty of expert terrain. But the main thing is that Park City is a 19th century ski town. It's charming with a lot to do. Little Cottonwood, especially Snowbird, is, well, we used to call it Camp Pendelton. Us Altaholics love it , but I'm betting the wives & girlfriends will love Park City. Why choose? Everything is so close.
post #18 of 21

Park city has the amenities, and Alta the steeps.

 

For a family location or for a large group, stay in Park City and ski Alta and Snowbird.

 

http://thesnowreview.com/resorts/north-america/usa/utah/alta

post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

I've had some great days at Park City. McConkey's, Puma Bowl, Jupiter, Scott Bowl, Blue Slip Bowl.

^ agree with the above.  That being said, I don't always ski steeps in Utah, but when I do, I prefer Snowbird/Alta. 

post #20 of 21

They need to put a lift between Thaynes and Jupiter going up Pinecone Ridge.  That would change everything.  Maybe add a second lift near where Fool's Gold is going up the other way as well.  So much potential still untapped.

 

Jupiter needs a high speed lift.  I haven't been there for a couple years, but the double was still there last time.  Seems I'm always wanting to help that thing go faster trying to get another run in before it shuts down.

 

East and West face are both great skiing.  The pinnacle of the Park City 3 mountain area.  McConkey's is nice with snow.  I like the Scott's bowl.  Fun mini cornice over there.

 

I like Ontario bowl at Deer Valley. It has a noticeable convex slope with nicely spaced pines and good moguling.  The snow gets a bit thin sometimes- in my limited experiences there.

 

The Canyons has overrated their double blacks other than on 9990 (legit double diamonds).  Of blacks, I like Badlands and Super Fury and Devil's Friend and After Shock and Applande (double blue- but a workout).  I also like Diamond Ridge and Heavy Metal on the new mountain.  I'll admit that 9990 is a bit too tough for me.  I try to ski it, but it makes me look like a fool.

 

In my opinion East and West face off Jupiter Peak are the best runs in the three mountains.

post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 

thanks for all the info. 

 

i do like high speed lifts--i must ski as much as possible!  redface.gif

 

which high speed lifts should i stick too?  bowls would be nice, but any fun expert terrain will work.

 

thanks all!

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