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How to enjoy Solitude and Brighton (or Snowbasin)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Dear Skiers


I'm going to visit Utah ski area on 26 Feb ~ Mar 2. I have 4 days to ski from Wed to Sat. I posted "President ski in CO or UT" several weeks ago, and many people gave me good advices. The initial plan was visit UT during President week with my 9 year old daughter without my wife. However, there's some change in plan. We are going there the following week of President's week and my wife is also with us. We had a blizzard about a week ago, and received 23 inches in a day (I live in CT). Last Sunday, I fell down on a bump, I got partial tear on my left knee ligament(I had the same injury before), fortunately, I can ski, now with slight pain. I was confident I'm a pretty good skier even thought I posted I am an intermediate. Now I totally lost my confidence about my skiing ability... I reconsider Park City area again because my wife will ski just 1 day or not ski at all. However, I decided to stay Sandy and visit Solitude, Brighton and Snowbasin (if possible) My daughter is an upper beginner (she can ski black diamond in "Stratton" but mostly ski blue in other eastern resort). And I'm an "true intermediate" now. Please give me some information how to enjoy Solitude and Brighton or Snowbasin for intermediate skiers. I'm afraid to visit Alta or Snowbird. I'm not telling Solitude and Brighton are easy. I want to visit there because those ski areas have less people with great snow. As I posted before, this is my first and probably the last chance to visit Western ski resort (I'm leaving US soon for a while). Any information especially lift tips will be very helpful. For my wife? She will enjoy her reading in the lodges (that's why I want to visit Snowbasin...) and her dinner with us in fancy restaurants....

post #2 of 5

I would drop Brighton from your list and add Alta. Brighton is a good mountain, but attracts loads of high school snow boarders on the intermediate runs. You can guess how that often works out. Alta is a good intermediate mountain and has plenty of blue runs that you can enjoy, plus it has a very good ski school.

Solitude: If you're coming up from Sandy then you'll probably park in the main parking lot and start by riding the Moonbeam Express lift. If those runs are fine, then you can head over to Apex and ride that. From there, ride the Sunrise chair and try those runs. If those are fine, then ride Sunrise to the top and take the trail over to the Summit lift. There are blue runs from Summit that will take you all the way down to Apex. You can also work your way to the other side of the mountain to the Eagle Express lift and ride that terrain. The only lifts that you should wait on before riding are Powderhorn and Honeycomb Return (you have to ride down into Honeycomb Canyon to take that lift and even going down through the Summit gate might be more than you want to try--you'll have to see how it goes on the regular blue runs). My advice to anyone first skiing here is to not go through any marked gate unless you can at least ski black runs and then the only gate that you should first try is the Summit gate down the main Honeycomb trail. Solitude is a very nice ski area that has fewer skiers and boarders than any of the other Cottonwood Canyon resorts. I assume that your wife, if she is not skiing, will prefer to be at the Village at Solitude which offers access to Apex and Sunrise lifts. There isn't much, if any, parking there, so if she isn't skiing, drop her off there first before coming back down the mountain a short distance to park in the lot by Moonbeam.

Alta: Check out this page for some good information on Alta (the Solitude page is not as good): [http://www.epicski.com/products/alta]. I think you should park by Albion Lodge. I really encourage you to sign yourself and your daughter (and wife) for ski lessons. If not, then start by riding Sunnyside chair. Once you are good with those runs, ride Sunnyside to the top and ski down to Sugarloaf lift. Ride those runs from Sugarloaf until you want to go somewhere else. I would then take EBT from the top of Sugarloaf over to the Collins side and ski there for awhile. As intermediate skiers, I would avoid Wildcat lift and would only ride Supreme after you've explored the rest of the mountain. Supreme has some nice areas for intermediates, but is more limited for them than off Collins or Sugarloaf.

Hope this helps. Enjoy your visit. Based upon the snow we've already had this week and the forecast for this weekend, there should be good snow for your visit.

post #3 of 5

For "true intermediates' and "upper beginners" , I'd recommend Alta and Brighton over Solitude.  Alta is known for it's amazing steep and deep conditions, but the blue cruisers are pretty mellow, and the green trails off the Albion base are quite tame.  Blues at Solitude are noticeably steeper than at either Alta or Brighton.


Brighton can be crowded with unruly snowboarder kids, but as long as you avoid it on Saturday you should be fine.  Since you are arriving on a Wednesday, I'd say hit Brighton on your first day as it has generally the easiest terrain among the major SLC resorts.  Work your way up from there.


Snowbasin is a good choice.  Don't go to snowbird - it's more of an experts-only hill.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks Zman & Walt for the detailed advice


I'll be landed at SLC airport around 11:00 PM. I hope I can join Alta ski school on Wednesday with my daughter. I want to visit Deer Valley on Thursday with my wife (hopely she is in boots and skis). People say the scenery and on mountain lodges are beautiful even for non-ski-loving persons and she can also enjoy the ambience of Park City. I'll definitely avoid Brighton on Saturday (Brighton on Friday). Now, I have another (last) day to ski, but it's Saturday. Which ski area do I have to go on Saturday before I leave Utah?


By the way, do you know any event for a 9 year old girl on Saturday 4~10 PM in SLC area ?? (My departure flight is 11:59 PM) Most of museums close around 5 PM... Do I have to stay at a restaurant as long as possible ? Is there any other place to have fun in the evening ?

post #5 of 5

I'll weigh-in on Snowbasin.  Based on how you describe your skiing level and knee injury, Snowbasin may be a good choice.  I ski there every year and was just there a few days ago.  Snowbasin has a top to bottom layout, consisting of many long blue/black runs of good variety.   Many groomed (everywhere), some ungroomed and moguled  blue and black runs (John Paul side).  The pitch of the blue groomed runs is such that you can ski fast and in control or just cruise if you want to.  Off piste you can ski pretty much whatever you can see, and get as mellow or as gnarly as you want.  Its a really great place and would be very fun for intermediate/advanced-intermediate skiers.  Snowbasin also has much nicer lodges than Brighton, Solitude and Alta.  Have fun!

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