I live right at the entrance to Little Cottonwood Canyon. I'm fairly sure that Snowbird is the best resort in the area but I'm still undecided about getting a season pass or paying daily and looking for discounted tickets. The last two seasons, I was a ski bum in Breckenridge, Colorado as an instructor. Now I'm working a 9-5 real world job and will only be able to get out on the weekends. (I may get lucky and have my shifts change so I'm off Tuesdays and Wednesdays) But I won't count on that. I've heard that passes are about $1000 to Snowbird! That seems crazy expensive as opposed to the Colorado passes that got several resorts for 700 or so. I'm a snowboarder, so Alta is out of the question (at least until I learn to tele)
I consider myself an expert rider, I seek out the good snow and enjoy riding in the trees, cliff drops, freestyle terrain, and occasionally ripping groomers, but only when there isn't fresh snow to be found. I've heard that the Wasatch is much steeper than Co and people get humbled when they come out here. Regardless, I plan on riding from December to March at the minimum, and will probably get more than 35 days in. My biggest issue with having a pass to Snowbird is that it would lock me down to riding only at that resort. I like the idea of freedom to go to Park City or the Canyons, or really anywhere without feeling like I'm spending extra money to do so. I'm also interested in back country, especially now that I'm out of the Ten Mile mountain range, but I need to learn a bit more avalanches before jumping on slopes steeper than 30 degrees. I've got all the gear minus an avalung, snowsaw, and crystal card; but my experience is limited and now that I've taken awareness classes and read up on Avalanches I'm much more averse to risk.
I'm okay with spending slightly more ($200) to not be locked in with a season pass, but beyond that, what kind of deals can I expect to find? I've heard BYU sells buy one get one free tickets at some point. If I hunted for deals, what should I expect to pay per ticket? On another note, I actually work a 7 - 3:30 shift, so night skiing is an option. Is it even worth it though? I almost never went to Keystone for night skiing when I was in Summit County, Co because it was icy and skied out. Is this the case at Brighton as well?
One last question, when they blast the canyon on a powder day, what time do I need to get to the resort to make sure that I beat the road closure? I'll be driving a 2 wheel drive Hyundai this season, equipped with snow tires, and if necessary, chains.