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1 day sampling versus 4 days in one place, which is better for a new region?

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 

(I didn't want to derail the thread where the OP was asking for advice about choosing Brighton/Solitude over Alta/Snowbird.)

 

How do you all feel about visiting a new resort every day of a trip, or sticking with just one and getting to know it really well?

 

I like to visit new resorts, but often feel like I waste some time by not having local knowledge. How to navigate around the resort on the lifts and trams, where the halfway houses are, were the best runs are, how to get to them, short cuts, bowls, circuits, where the grooming is, where the powder is. Although it's fun to explore, I sometimes feel like I get less runs in, or get stuck on ones above or below my level, at a new resort. Sometimes on a trip, I feel like I spend the morning learning the resort, the afternoon enjoying it, then the next day we move on and have to start all over again. I really max out my time at my home resort because I know where to go and how to get there. 

 

So, if you had a four day trip to SLC, would you prefer to hit all four Cottonwood resorts, or just go to one, like Snowbird, and really get to know it well?

 

Note: title changed by a Mod at OP's request

post #2 of 52

I would do just Alta/Bird... Unless I'm familiar with other resorts, I also feel like it might take an entire day or days to really know the place and enjoy with no time wasted! Next trip you might choose to do a different resort, then at some point you are gonna be familiar with some of the resorts in the area and be able to do multiple resorts on the same trip with no time wasted!

post #3 of 52

I think you keep your options open and you don't need to plan ahead and decide in advance.  If you get bored or if it doesn't match what you want in skiing then move on to the other resort.  If things are going swell, especially if snow and conditions are in your favor then keep going at the same resort.


I went last year to snowbird for first time 4days.  Snowbird keep me interested for over 4 days; plus if you do get antsy you can switch it up with a day or two alta without having to replan.  So really you don't need to choose, and this is enough terrain and flexiblity for 4days.

 

As far as picking up knowledge, the resort does have a guided orientation tour each morning.  Or you could pay for a guide.  Part of it is also your personality and if you are a social outgoing person you can chat up staff or locals on the chairs or even ask to join up with other people if they seem friendly.  

 

As far as time, i went with a ski+stay @snowbird package, so that helped with the maximization of time and reducion of fatigue.


Edited by raytseng - 10/15/13 at 8:34pm
post #4 of 52

Based on what I know of Alta and Snowbird, which is a fair amount as an advanced but not aggressive skier who first skied both as an intermediate quite a while ago . . .

 

My recommendation for an advanced skier who has never skied LCC/BCC and traveling solo, I would suggest staying in a dorm room at one of the lodges at Alta, and skiing Alta on Day 1, Snowbird on Day 2 to start with.  Then can decide where to ski the other two days based on conditions, what was fun, and what others at the lodge were doing.  The ideal is to sit at the table for those interested in making friends and find a ski buddy for a half-day or day.  Personally I like Alta Lodge, but have heard good things about all the other lodges as well.

 

Assuming the traveler has full energy the first day, the Adult Workshop at Alta in the afternoons is a good way to get introduced to off trail fun stuff.  Essentially more of a guided tour than a lesson, but do get a few tips during the 2.5 hours.

 

If the tram is closed due to weather at Snowbird, then plenty of fun to be had at Alta.

 

Obviously can do the same staying in a motel in SLC at the base of the canyon.  But staying up at Alta means not worrying about road closures if lucky enough to catch a storm.  Being able to talk with others in the lodge is a really good way to learn about where to go.

post #5 of 52

I am going to offer the opinion of skiing as many different resorts as possible.

If money isn't a big concern you could do the Interconnect Tour.

Up to six resorts in one day for $295.

Here is a link:

https://www.skiutah.com/the-interconnect-tour/

I haven't done this yet, but it is on my to-do list. 

 

Solitude and Brighton offer a combined ticket. Alta and Snowbird also offer a combined ticket.

(The Alta/Snowbird ticket is part of the Mountain Collective Pass - I'm looking forward to at least a couple of days of skiing both resorts on the same day this winter.)

 

You could sample at least four of the resorts on your first one or two days using the above ideas and then return to your favorite(s) over your last two days.

 

P.S. I have skied all four of the Cottonwood Canyon resorts. Each has a different personality and appeal. They are all on my to-do again list. 

post #6 of 52

Would pick one canyon and stick with it.  Like you would rather learn an area and play with it.  Same as a golf trip, would rather play a couple of good courses a couple times, then screw up 4 rounds on 4 courses.

 

I could spend a lifetime at the Bird (or several other mountains) and be very happy.

post #7 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
 

Would pick one canyon and stick with it.  Like you would rather learn an area and play with it.  Same as a golf trip, would rather play a couple of good courses a couple times, then screw up 4 rounds on 4 courses.

 

 

 

Well, I wasn't going to do the golf analogy thing......

 

We used to take frequent trips to Alabama to play the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. At first it was fun to play a new course each day, but your score does suffer for it. On subsequent trips we just stuck to our favorites and enjoyed the better play that familiarity sometimes brings.

 

At my level of skiing I do find challenge in new runs, but tend to be a little defensive the first time down them. Before I cut loose I need to know what's around the corner and over the rise. So to get the most out of a new resort I need to spend a little time there becoming familiar with the terrain. I found Brighton fairly easy to get to know but could spend weeks exploring Alta.

post #8 of 52

The fact that you say that you like to get to know the mountain a little bit tells me that trying to do four mountains in four days is just too much. The resorts vary in size, but they're all plenty large for a four-day trip. I'd say focus on Little Cottonwood Canyon. Snowbird is the biggest resort there, and you should have plenty to keep you entertained, assuming you're comfortable with black and double black terrain. If you feel like it, Alta is right next door. 

 

If you had two weeks, maybe it'd be worth trying all of them, but doing one each day seems more about crossing resorts off a list than about enjoying the skiing. The only reasons to do a resort-a-day trip are a. the resorts are small, dull and/or half-closed, b. shifting weather is bringing the best conditions to a new resort each day, or c. you're totally ADD/OCD and can't enjoy one resort without wondering what you're missing. 

 

Also, if you've already skied at all or half the Cottonwood resorts, shouldn't you know the answer to your question? Which resort(s) did you enjoy most and want to revisit? 

post #9 of 52

If just limited to 4 days, I say get your lodging up in Alta or the Bird and enjoy the experience of staying slopeside. There is plenty to ski there. Grab the shuttle buses at the airport, and, avoid the hassle of renting cars and commuting. 

post #10 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

 

Also, if you've already skied at all or half the Cottonwood resorts, shouldn't you know the answer to your question? Which resort(s) did you enjoy most and want to revisit? 

 

Well yes, but it was a theoretical question using the Cottonwood area as an example only. The presumption that I am actually taking a trip to SLC and seeking advice has erroneously crept into this thread. I was really interested in peoples preferences as to the structure of a trip with regards to the pros and cons of visiting a new resort every day. My bad, I probably should have worded it more clearly.

post #11 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

 

Also, if you've already skied at all or half the Cottonwood resorts, shouldn't you know the answer to your question? Which resort(s) did you enjoy most and want to revisit? 

 

Well yes, but it was a theoretical question using the Cottonwood area as an example only. The presumption that I am actually taking a trip to SLC and seeking advice has erroneously crept into this thread. I was really interested in peoples preferences as to the structure of a trip with regards to the pros and cons of visiting a new resort every day. My bad, I probably should have worded it more clearly.

There aren't that many places where it's possible to ski at four places in four days and still sleep but it did seem like you were asking especially about LCC/BCC.

 

Last season, a few friends and I did a circuit from SLC.  We spent a day at Grand Targhee, then a couple days at Bridger, followed by several days at Big Sky, and finishing up with Alta/Snowbird.  Ir was the first time at 3 out of 4 places for some.  Certainly would not do that in 4 days.  It was however, lots of fun over two weeks.  If only 4 days available for skiing for places that involved that amount of driving, I would stick to one place without question.

 

For Tahoe, I wouldn't want to ski at more than two places in 4 days.  At the same time, would want to check out more than one place on a first trip, even if only for a day.

post #12 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

There aren't that many places where it's possible to ski at four places in four days and still sleep.

 

I know one. :cool

 

In fact you can ski all four from top to bottom and take free public transportation between them in a single day.

 

Some friends of mine do this every year, but I suspect they may be using supplements.

 

I have some other friends who do this every year without any help from buses or cars, but they must be on something else.

 

jl

post #13 of 52

I suppose it depends on what you feel you enjoy more. I personally like exploring a mountain and getting to know its nooks and crannies, finding the stashes that aren't easy to find. So in my mind, one resort for a 4 day trip would be preferable. On the other hand, I know a lot of people like the new challenge of a new mountain, so bouncing around is their ideal trip. I think the big thing is feeding your need.

 

I feel like the ideal way to go about it is to meet up with a local on the mountain when you're going from mountain to mountain. That way you can get some of the local knowledge, and still get to bounce from mountain to mountain. I think of how the Epic Gatherings are structured, with local 'guides' volunteering to show people around their mountain. It's getting the best of both worlds.

post #14 of 52

This is the classic vacation decision -- go to a specific resort, stay there & enjoy all it has to offer, -OR- go to a region and explore many possibilities. Neither choice is right or wrong, it's all based on your personal preference. For me, I'm the "what's over the next hill/what's around the next curve" type, so I usually opt for the "explore" choice.

post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowsport View Post
 

This is the classic vacation decision -- go to a specific resort, stay there & enjoy all it has to offer, -OR- go to a region and explore many possibilities. Neither choice is right or wrong, it's all based on your personal preference. For me, I'm the "what's over the next hill/what's around the next curve" type, so I usually opt for the "explore" choice.

 

I agree, it works both ways. And flexibility is key.

 

I like to go without locking myself in. I pick a place I think has a high chance of thrilling me, and then I ski it. If it blows my mind, and the conditions prevail, I'm likely to stick around for the next day or days and really start getting a high run-to-fun ratio. It definitely takes at least a day, if not a trip, to figure out where the best spots are (particularly if you're looking for off-piste powder)-- and the best sequence to poach those spots over the course of a day (storm, after storm, or otherwise). If, however, the first mountain doesn't thrill me, or the conditions haven't changed in order to thrill me there, then I'll move on to the next option. 

 

The extremes-- the easy cases-- are when you feel like either:

 

I'm missing out on something elsewhere! OR This cannot be beat, I don't want to miss this by going elsewhere. 

 

Between the extremes the difficult guessing game comes into play. If I'm right in the middle I try to visit whatever options are on the plate at the beginning of the trip. Then, depending on conditions, partners, and my own desires I tend to zero in on the area(s) I know I'll enjoy most. 

post #16 of 52

EIther I am missing something or nobody mentioned SNOW!  I am similar to the OP in that I like to check out a variety of areas but I also like to get to know an area.  However, conditions can vary widely even within a small region.  Example:  last February we skied Powder Mtn. UT 4 days in a row.  Wanted to go to Snowbasin just a few miles away but with Pow Mow getting snow totals of 4 - 8" a day and Snowbasin getting 0 - 2" the decision to stick with Powder was easy.  Thought about skiing Alta or Snowbird but the snow totals were double at Powder with a lot less competition for fresh lines to ski.

 

It is not always the case that mountains will have vastly different conditions in a region but when it is - you go with the snow.

post #17 of 52

What can make this type of choice especially hard is when you want to buy your tickets in advance to save some $$.   For example, it's really cheap to ski copper mountain if you buy three day passes, but never having been there, I don't know if I want to ski 3 days there, or maybe just 2 days and 1 more at Loveland or Keystone.

post #18 of 52

If everyone in your group are true experts then one area per day is not an issue and the way to go for your first time in SLC.

post #19 of 52
Incorrect answer. For all the reasons already discussed. Being an expert doesn't change them.
post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
 

I suppose it depends on what you feel you enjoy more. I personally like exploring a mountain and getting to know its nooks and crannies, finding the stashes that aren't easy to find. So in my mind, one resort for a 4 day trip would be preferable. On the other hand, I know a lot of people like the new challenge of a new mountain, so bouncing around is their ideal trip. I think the big thing is feeding your need.

 

I feel like the ideal way to go about it is to meet up with a local on the mountain when you're going from mountain to mountain. That way you can get some of the local knowledge, and still get to bounce from mountain to mountain. I think of how the Epic Gatherings are structured, with local 'guides' volunteering to show people around their mountain. It's getting the best of both worlds.

Thumbs Up

Someone who attends the Utah Gathering from Feb. 1-4 would ski PowMow, Snowbasin, Snowbird, Alta.  All with people who know the place well.  Arrive Friday evening, fly out Tue evening or Wed morning.  For a first trip to SLC, hard to beat!

 

Bouncing around makes more sense for someone who knows they plan to return to the area in the future.  I would think that would be more likely for a 4 day trip.  Most people who plan a trip-of-lifetime to someplace on their bucket list would stay at least a week.

post #21 of 52

It really would depend on my mood, which could change.   Either way I would enjoy where I was and not fret about what I might be missing.

post #22 of 52

Generally when I take the kind of trip you're describing, I plan on two days per resort.  I feel like that gives me a chance to learn the resort day 1 and then focus on preferred areas day 2.  This would apply to most Utah, Colorado and Tahoe resorts I've visited.  There are resorts however where you might double the days for both discovery and sharpshooting, i.e. Jackson Hole, Mammoth.

 

That said, I would never commit to any plan in advance as you just never know how you'll feel or what will happen.  I don't want to waste two whole days at a resort I decide to hate.  I also wouldn't want to leave Snowbird or JH if I'd just learned it and there'd be freshies on day 3.

post #23 of 52

I have 500 + days at snowbird, I have yet to ski everything there I have wanted to ski.

post #24 of 52

But with just 4 days..choose an area (or region) and stick to it. Enjoy it and embrace it. The worst thing trying to get too much into a trip as that you never enjoy what you are doing at the moment, you are always thinking about where you need to be next. I like to have the option of skiing the same run more than once or even twice. I would have no problem staying slopeside at Snowbird/Alta and enjoying the trip. 

post #25 of 52

In theory it's nice to take the deeper look of a multiday visit at a good ski area, but in practice I usually seem to do something more like what King Grump talks about.  Six UT ski areas in six days:  http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=1285

post #26 of 52
Thread Starter 

It seems like the Cottonwood resorts are a in fairly unique area. You can stay in Sandy, buy a Superpass and use the Ski Bus to hit any one of four resorts as you please. You could take on a different one each day or just stick with your favorite for four days. No need to worry about advance ticket purchases or changing locations. I've heard that Brighton is meant to get and keep a little more snow than the others? I like how the geography of the area and the way Ski Salt Lake has set up the hotels/passes/transportation to give you a variety of options all in one package. I like the idea of exploring a new resort, but would also like a second day there to revisit my favorite runs.


Edited by MrGolfAnalogy - 10/18/13 at 10:15pm
post #27 of 52

I think it depends how often I am coming back.

 

If I don't know if I will ever get back again, I'm sampling, trying to get as much of the ski experience as possible.

 

If I'm coming back once a year or more, I'll focus on one area at a time. Unless I find I hate someplace, then I'm trying a different place the next day.

post #28 of 52
A resort a day is like speed dating. But if you really want to say you've been there, you have to spend the time. Most decent sized places out west require a day or more just to hit all the groomers. How're you going to find the real stuff in one day?
post #29 of 52

Using the example of Cottonwood Canyon and 4 ski areas, I'd try to be flexible with my days and get a local's perspective on what resort(s) are better with wind, snow, sun exposure and hit it on a day that's ideal for the weather of the day.  Then I'd embrace it and decide if I wanted to repeat or move on to another resort. 

Flexibility is my friend.....

 

It takes a lot for me to get bored with a ski area.  

 

Most likely, I'll just do what the guy in post #24 is doing

post #30 of 52

Seems like there are places in the northeast where sampling over 4 days would make more sense, especially for a first trip.  Suppose someone moved to Boston in January and wanted to go exploring in March.  Where would be a good place to start with 4 mountains within <3 hour drive in between?  How about the same scenario from New York City?

 

Not entirely a theoretical question because I'm going to be driving to Lake Placid several times in March in the next few years.  Only skied in the northeast in 1968-70 when I first learned to ski.  Have been flying out west for big mountain skiing in recent years.  Also, my nephew just moved to Boston.  He became a pretty good skier based on 1-week spring break trips out west from Chicago.

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