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Advice: Season pass in Utah? [moved from Europe]

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 

Hi all. I'm writing because I need your advice. 

 

I recently moved to UT from Europe. I live between Little and Big Cottonwood Canyon and I can't decide where to get my season pass for this winter. 

 

I have never skied in UT. I have visited the resorts to get an idea of the terrain, I have read in forums, but it is difficult to decide!

 

I am a decent skier. I am used to skiing steeps and crappy snow in the Pyrenees mountains, and for that reason the terrain at Alta and Snowbird appeals to me. However, I will only be able to ski during the weekends, and I am afraid of AltaBird being crowded.  

 

Also, since I'm not a local, the first months I won't know what's going on and where the goods are, and I guess that I will ski little fresh snow in AltaBird, since I have heard that the locals have an amazing ability to ski the fresh snow in a few hours. Maybe al Solitude/Brighton I might have a better chance? Night skiing at Brighton seems to be god, and that's a plus for getting the pass there. 

 

Any advice?

 

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 46

You may find all you need to know in this recent thread.  Maybe a ski buddy too.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/121099/first-season-in-utah-where-is-the-place-to-ski-in-the-wasatch

 

There will be a bunch of EpicSki characters skiing in LCC the first week of Feb for the EpicSki Utah Gathering.  Hope you'll join the fun.

post #3 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapelli View Post

Hi all. I'm writing because I need your advice. 

 

I recently moved to UT from Europe. I live between Little and Big Cottonwood Canyon and I can't decide where to get my season pass for this winter. 

 

I have never skied in UT. I have visited the resorts to get an idea of the terrain, I have read in forums, but it is difficult to decide!

 

I am a decent skier. I am used to skiing steeps and crappy snow in the Pyrenees mountains, and for that reason the terrain at Alta and Snowbird appeals to me. However, I will only be able to ski during the weekends, and I am afraid of AltaBird being crowded.  

 

Also, since I'm not a local, the first months I won't know what's going on and where the goods are, and I guess that I will ski little fresh snow in AltaBird, since I have heard that the locals have an amazing ability to ski the fresh snow in a few hours. Maybe al Solitude/Brighton I might have a better chance? Night skiing at Brighton seems to be god, and that's a plus for getting the pass there. 

 

Any advice?

 

Thanks in advance!

Where have you been skiing?  Where have you skied in North America?

post #4 of 46

If powder is the priority, go to Sol/Bright.  If long runs are the priority, go to Snowbird.  Snowbird also has the advantage of giving you days at Alta, Park City, and Deer Valley though.

 

But if you just want powder/trees, Sol/Bright will get you more untracked runs.

post #5 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

Where have you been skiing?  Where have you skied in North America?

I come from northern Spain, the Pyrenees mountains. I used to ski a place called Candanchú, famous for its steeps and the, sometimes, icy snow. 

 

 

I have never skied in the US, I have been here for three weeks only!

 

The crowds worry me :)

 

And thanks for the link, marznc. 

post #6 of 46

Sapelli,

 

Pretty picture!  I haven't skied in Europe.  Did spend some time driving around the Dolomites one summer vacation with my family long ago.

 

If your fear of crowds at Alta/Bird is mostly from reading EpicSki threads, the issue probably not nearly as bad as you think.  Especially if you won't be joining the powder hounds after a mid-week dump.  Although skiing in BCC is fun, I think you would be much happier at either Alta or Snowbird.  If you meet up with some EpicSki folks early on, learning where to go won't take long.  Another way is to do the Adult Workshop once or twice.  2.5 hours for $65 that's essentially getting a guide for exploring all over the place, together with a few ski technique tips.  It's for advanced skiers.

 

Note that there is a new BCC combined pass for $999 that is worth considering if you decide to go that way.  Note that night skiing at Brighton is limited to a few trails.  If you don't want to play in the park, I can't see going that often.  Honeycomb Canyon is fun once you get there, but a complete loop requires riding 2-3 lifts.  Definitely easier to find fresh powder days after a snowstorm.

post #7 of 46
I would get a premium pass at Snowbird which will also get you 3 days at Alta, Park City and Deer Valley. Alta is right next door but Park CIty and Deer Valley are very different. Throw in a day at Snowbasin and you willl have a pretty good feel for skiing in Utah. You can even get 50 percent off at the Mountain Collective areas if you want to take a road trip. Snowbird will get skied out more quickly than other areas but you will learn where to go as the season progresses. Longest seasonin Utah means you can probably ski into June.
post #8 of 46
Quote:
I used to ski a place called Candanchú, famous for its steeps and the, sometimes, icy snow.

Snowbird is famous for its steeps, but also for its consistently excellent snow conditions.  If you want steep terrain Snowbird is a no-brainer for your season pass.  Remember, on a fixed weekend schedule 75% of your days will not have much powder anyway.  There are specific situations like delayed LCC road openings, where you'll want to ski somewhere else.  But over the course of a whole season you will want to be at Alta or Snowbird ~80+% of the time.

post #9 of 46

Hi as a skier used to European crowds you will not have anything to fear in the States, even on a powder day the lines are shorter than an average midweek day in January in Europe.

 

I spent some weeks in SLC on a bucket list ski trip this year. My choice would be Snowbird. I might be slightly biased as I don't/can't ski off piste much nowadays and the new bowl makes the on piste run choice better.

 

I was there Feb/Mar and do not remember ever having a serious lift line. Most days most times it was ski down and get right on the lift.

 

One thing that will blow you away if you are used to Europe is how good the boarders are and how polite. No boarder collisions one skier collision this year.

 

I enjoyed my visit so much I may return to SLC but France and a nostalgia trip to the Portes du Soleil is calling.

post #10 of 46

Get the pass at the Bird

 

This really is a no-brainer

 

And yeah you are gonna slip outta work midweek, especially if you live there

post #11 of 46
Thread Starter 

Thanks everybody for the replies. 

 

In Europe you can get stuck in enormous lift lines, but only at the mega-resorts. There are gems around where only locals go. 

 

Boarders in Europe suck, really, so it is good to read that in the US they are more polite and civilized. 

 

My firs pick was Alta. I don't know why, maybe because of the "soul", the "mountain experience" and other intangible things. But the Bird really has the goods. I guess I'll go for that :)

post #12 of 46

Don't forget you can get an Altabird pass for both

 

Really depends on how many days you intend to ski

 

And what you can afford

post #13 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapelli View Post
 

In Europe you can get stuck in enormous lift lines, but only at the mega-resorts. There are gems around where only locals go. 

 

 

In Utah you can get stuck in enormous lift lines, but only at Alta and Snowbird.  There is Solitude around where only the locals go.  ;)

post #14 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobMc View Post
 

 

In Utah you can get stuck in enormous lift lines, but only at Alta and Snowbird.  There is Solitude around where only the locals go.  ;)

 

Don't tempt me :D, it is a difficult choice :D

post #15 of 46

I live here in Utah and am lucky enough to have passes to both Alta and Solitude. The first thing you need to figure out is how many days you figure to ski this coming winter and be realistic. One of the best deals might be for you to buy a Gold Card at Alta and a ticket pack at Solitude. The gold card gives you half off each day you ski at Alta. Since daily lift tickets at Alta are $79, with the gold card you pay $39.50 per day and you don't have to wait in line to buy that day's pass. If you're  going to ski less than 25 days at Alta over the season, the gold card is a better deal than a season pass unless you qualify for one of their special deals. At Solitude you're best off buying a 15 day ticket pack at $39 per day. Whatever days you don't use roll over to buying your pass for the next year. This way you can choose where to ski each weekend and you don't have to worry that you have too much money tied up in a season pass to try some of the other resorts.

post #16 of 46
Thread Starter 

Hey Zman. Thanks for the info. Didn't know about that gold pass thing. 

 

Realistically, I will ski about 50 days this season, although a few more will be touring. So season pass will be the way to go. Where? Still deciding :)

post #17 of 46

Snowbird/Alta if you want expert level terrain.

post #18 of 46
If youre not an expert theres a lot at the Bird you want even want to try. Brighton and Solitude have powder in the trees for days after a storm. Its gone pretty much by lunch at Snowbird. Theres not really any expert stuff at Brighton though without major hiking. Solitude has some pretty crazy stuff though... just a lot less than Snowbird.
post #19 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by near nyquist View Post

Get the pass at the Bird



 



This really is a no-brainer



 



And yeah you are gonna slip outta work midweek, especially if you live there

 



BCC and LCC ski areas are all fun, but you're coming from Europe and who knows if you'll have another full winter opportunity like this? The Alta/Bird combination pass would be my recommendation and provides access to some of the most beautiful and renowned advanced ski terrain in the US and though not as extensive as some of the giant resorts of the Alps, still keep most mortals nicely entertained for 50 ski days.
post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

BCC and LCC ski areas are all fun, but you're coming from Europe and who knows if you'll have another full winter opportunity like this? The Alta/Bird combination pass would be my recommendation and provides access to some of the most beautiful and renowned advanced ski terrain in the US and though not as extensive as some of the giant resorts of the Alps, still keep most mortals nicely entertained for 50 ski days.

+1

 

Day tickets for Solitude or Brighton are less expensive than Alta/Bird, so you can check them out a few times.  Better to go with someone who knows the harder terrain at Soli or Brighton well after you've had a chance to make some friends in SLC.

post #21 of 46
The OP said he was a decent skier. I don't translate that into wanting extreme stuff. My impression is that a non-expert European used to big vert poor snow would be happiest on fresh powder runs. As a weekend only skier who can't call his days he'll see more untouched in BCC.

If my translation is wrong though, and he's a true expert, or if extreme terrain is more important than snow... stick with LCC.
post #22 of 46
Thread Starter 

Well, just a quick note:

 

I have only one day to decide about the pass before the prices go up. Still don't have a clue. 

 

First world problems, I know :D

post #23 of 46

If I were you, I'd go for the Bird...longest season, great terrain and snow. Personally, I like Alta better, but the possible extra month plus of skiing is hard to beat. Especially when some of the best days were in extra time. I had an Alta pass last season, but I am throwing down for the Alta/Bird so I can spend some more time at the Bird.  

post #24 of 46

Pull The Trigger ON The ALTA/BIRD PASS

 

you wont regret this

post #25 of 46

+1 for Snowbird or Alta/Bird from a fanboy from the state to the East.

post #26 of 46

My vote is always for Alta.

post #27 of 46

I love Alta, I'd be tempted by Solitude for less competition, I wouldn't worry about crowds, not compared to Europe.

post #28 of 46

I bought a season pass at Snowbird at the early season rate of $999 and it came with  3 x complimentary tickets to Alta • 3 x complimentary tickets to Deer Valley Resort • 3 x complimentary tickets to Park City Mountain Resort •Unlimited 1/2 price tickets to Whistler/Blackcomb, Aspen/Snowmass, Mammoth Mountain, Squaw/Alpine and Jackson Hole • Friends & Family discounts on select Snowbird lift tickets and Mountain School • Ride the UTA Ski Bus for free. •  and a One-year subscription to SKI magazine.  The early season rate on the Solitude Pass was only $200 cheaper and the only perks are a UTA ski bus pass and 3 free days at Telluride.

 

I figured if I use the 9 free days at the other Wasatch areas, and do the 4 hour drive to Jackson for a few days of skiing  during the season I'll have saved almost as much as the entire price of the Snowbird pass, even if I never ski the Bird.  When I told my Colorado buddy about the cost of the Bird Pass and all the skiing that comes with it his response was, "Wow, that's cheaper than one day of heli-skiing!"

post #29 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapelli View Post

Hi all. I'm writing because I need your advice. 

I recently moved to UT from Europe. I live between Little and Big Cottonwood Canyon and I can't decide where to get my season pass for this winter. 

I have never skied in UT. I have visited the resorts to get an idea of the terrain, I have read in forums, but it is difficult to decide!

I am a decent skier. I am used to skiing steeps and crappy snow in the Pyrenees mountains, and for that reason the terrain at Alta and Snowbird appeals to me. However, I will only be able to ski during the weekends, and I am afraid of AltaBird being crowded.  

Also, since I'm not a local, the first months I won't know what's going on and where the goods are, and I guess that I will ski little fresh snow in AltaBird, since I have heard that the locals have an amazing ability to ski the fresh snow in a few hours. Maybe al Solitude/Brighton I might have a better chance? Night skiing at Brighton seems to be god, and that's a plus for getting the pass there. 

Any advice?

Thanks in advance!
post #30 of 46
Look into the Epic pass from Vail Resorts which includes the Canyons and Brighton. Also look into the Ski Salt Lake Superpass and the Mountain collective pass.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Advice: Season pass in Utah? [moved from Europe]