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Alta Utah in December

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I could not wait and I scheduled my Utah ski trip starting Dec 10.   Do you think that is too early for powder snow or I have nothing to worry about.   I have never been to Utah, so I do not know and the closer the date the more I worry.  Daily pictures showing on Alta.com seem a little shady to me :)

 

What's you guys think?


Edited by awegrzyn - 11/15/12 at 4:48pm
post #2 of 16

If I remember correctly my first big powder day in UT was December 10 (or right around there) back in '08. That said, it is still way early in the season so it may be terrible. We did have a big storm last week, so there's a good base so far.

post #3 of 16

Your first day is my last day of a trip. whether you ski powder or not is really dependent on whether fresh snow falls right before you get there or while you're on your trip. We are too far out to know what the weather will do in December. Nothing major in the 10 day forecast, but who knows after that. You should be ok for sking as long as there's a couple of decent storms between now and your trip. If nothing, then you have a problem. But that would be unusual. 

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:

If I remember correctly my first big powder day in UT was December 10 (or right around there) back in '08

 

What do you mean by that?  The first powder day in UT you ever saw was Dec 10 and that was an exception?  If that's the case, tell me what is the norm. 

post #5 of 16

Jeez! The norm is the luck of the draw. it snows more often and deeper than about anywhere else. However, like anywhere else, you can get a period of time where it doesn't. Who knows what it will do around Dec. 10. No one. On average, Alta gets a lot of snow in December. If you're there for a month, you're guaranteed to get snow. If 1 week, you may and you may not. I would consult an 8 ball.  

post #6 of 16

Even mid-season, a lot of luck involved for a pre-scheduled trip.  A few years ago there was rain at the top of Collins in Jan.  For what it's worth, Alta Lodge has a multi-day clinic for advanced/expert skiers Dec 9-13.  Presumably they expect to have fun.

 

If you want to keep up with Wasatch conditions, check this out:

http://www.wasatchsnowinfo.com/

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by awegrzyn View Post

I could not wait and I scheduled my Utah ski trip starting Dec 10.   Do you think that is too early for powder snow or I have nothing to worry about.   I have never been to Utah, so I do not know and the closer the date the more I worry.  Daily pictures showing on Alta.com seem a little shady to me :)

 

What's you guys think?

post #7 of 16

It's always a crapshoot. I think it was '98 that we got 20 powder days in before Christmas. Forgot how to ski groomers. Unlike last year, we got a good start. Come out and ski whatever mother nature offers...

 

P.S. My Avatar is Baldy Shoulder shot from the Collins chair. tasty, eh?
 

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by awegrzyn View Post

 

What do you mean by that?  The first powder day in UT you ever saw was Dec 10 and that was an exception?  If that's the case, tell me what is the norm. 


I'm not sure where you got the exception part from, maybe something in the translation?

 

There is no "norm." And it wouldn't help you this year, even if there was a norm. Every year is different, especially if you're talking about that early in the season - at least if you were talking February, you could expect most or all of the terrain to be open. You may get lucky with a huge storm or you may have very little to ski.

 

Last year was awful early in the season; the year before was great; don't really remember the year before that, so it couldn't have been particularly great; and 2008 was good around December 10. This year is off to a very good start, as I said before. Then again, it's been intermittently sunny and spring-like. There, you figure out the norm from that.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

Got ya. 
 

post #10 of 16

Alta today, opening day: Surprising amount open. Powder with occasional (or not so occasional) rocks, Great groomer zooming.

1000

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

Tricky.  I can only fly in 2 pairs of skis.  My plan was to take my powder Rocker 2 and my 6th Sense park ski.  Now, I'll have to watch the conditions carefully.  Please keep posting pictures :)
 

post #12 of 16

Leave the park skis. Take the cannolies.

post #13 of 16
Originally Posted by awegrzyn View Post

Tricky.  I can only fly in 2 pairs of skis.  My plan was to take my powder Rocker 2 and my 6th Sense park ski.  Now, I'll have to watch the conditions carefully.  Please keep posting pictures :)

How long are you going for?  Right now the base is 29".  You will have decent skiing with that, but if it doesn't snow, the base is going to go slowly down.  Anything can happen in 3 weeks.  If it ends up at 30" with no snow forecasted, take a pair of skis that you don't mind dinging up on some rocks.  I made a couple of early Dec trips that were saved at the last minute by big storms.  When you schedule before Jan that's the chance you take, on the other hand, it is really nice to get in an early Dec trip.  The odds of good skiing are in your favor.  But if you are only there if 4 days the "odds" of powder are not in your favor.

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
post #15 of 16

Thanks for the TR follow up.  Jealous! 

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 

Interesting, it's been a month since I was in Utah and the base is only 10" - 15" more.  I'm super glad I did go.  I hope this winter does not turn to be like last year, because here in New Jersey we have like 50F.
 

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