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Utah SLC area quick question?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
My buddies and I are going to do 3 days between Snowbird & Alta and have a 4th day to ski anywhere else in the Southeast region of SLC.

Which of the Brighton/Solitude & Big 3 Park City resorts would offer up the most difficult/challenging terrain, as well as what might offer the best tree skiing?
post #2 of 36

no way you can get up to Snowbasin?

post #3 of 36

^^

That would generally be my recommendation too,  depending on snow conditions. 

post #4 of 36

Forget the PC Big Three - the terrain is okay, but crowded, expensive and unreliable snow due to elevation.  Snowbasin is great if there is fresh powder, but it's a long drive.  

 

Brighton is the best choice, close by, inexpensive, not crowded.  Great terrain off of Milly chair - fall line or hike skier's right.  Some great side country if the gate is open to skier's right off of Great Western chair too.

 

http://www.brightonresort.com/downloads/mountain/brightontrailmap12.13.jpg

 

Solitude can be good too:  Hike out along Honeycomb Canyon or skiers right to headwall forest off of Peak chair.

 

http://www.skisolitude.com/downloads/winter_trail_map_2010.pdf

post #5 of 36
Check out Snowbasin if they have decent coverage. If you consider an hour drive from SLC a long drive, then don't go there, and take the short drive up to Brighton. As usual, YMMV....
post #6 of 36

Brighton has tree skiing.  There are free Mountain Host tours that are worth doing.  But if there is good visibility, a drive to Snowbasin is well worth it for the views and as challenging terrain as you can handle.

post #7 of 36

Solitude & Brighton both have tree skiing, but for the most part it is tight and steep tree skiing with very big conifers awaiting you, catch an edge and you'll find yourself plastered against a tree.  Snowbasin has the longest continuous fall lines of any SLC resort, with lots of expert skiing, but you'll also find yourself cruising down long blues quite a bit.  I like Solitude and Brighton for half days on my travel days. 

Snowbasin #3 after Bird/Alta.  Sol/Brighton better snow than PC resorts, but smaller mountains, less lifts. 

post #8 of 36
Solitude and Brighton are even right now with current terrain availability and snow coverage. But neither are stellar until another 12-20 inches falls (hopefully this weekend). So I'd advise caution. Brighton has had some serious injuries to deal with this year - stumps and rocks catching people off guard.

Canyons has some fun spots - but I wouldnt attempt for another few weeks still...

Hope that helps. Enjoy!
post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by oswaldr2 View Post

My buddies and I are going to do 3 days between Snowbird & Alta and have a 4th day to ski anywhere else in the Southeast region of SLC.

Which of the Brighton/Solitude & Big 3 Park City resorts would offer up the most difficult/challenging terrain, as well as what might offer the best tree skiing?

When is this trip?

post #10 of 36
Thread Starter 
1/24 - 1/28
post #11 of 36

I'd head to Park City for a day and ski either PCMR or Canyons assuming there is decent snow (right now all of Utah and CA could use a lot more snow).  There is plenty of decent expert skiing at both resorts.  Canyons has 9990 and tree skiing spattered throughout the resort.  Why ski around Park City and not Snowbasin?  You might enjoy checking out a ski town, checking out the Olympic Park and Engen Museum, the building going on, etc.  

post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by oswaldr2 View Post

1/24 - 1/28

If you have any interest in skiing with others besides your group, come to Snowbasin on Jan. 26 or 27.  I'll be there with a group that includes plenty of advanced skiers, some of whom know Snowbasin pretty well.

 

Where else have you and your friends skied out west?

post #13 of 36

Don't know where you are coming from, but all of the mountains mentioned are great.  Agree with many on here that Snowbasin is the hill but it is a slog compared to the other 5 mentioned.  

 

So I'm another advocate for The Canyons or PCMR.  Get there early get away from the base and the crowds should not be a very big factor.  Canyons are a Vail area if anyone has a reciprocal pass.  If you don't get new snow PCMR has amazing grooming.  The Canyons is HUGE. Both have really good skiing.

post #14 of 36

If you go to Solitude, Evergreen mountain has some great tree chutes and most skiers miss the gate. Take the Summit Chair and stay skier's right. Follow the signs for the SolBright trail. Just at the crotch where  the SolBright trail veers right to go around Evergreen Mountain and the main trail goes left, you will notice a gate going to a tight tree lined traverse. This is Evergreen Mountain. Multiple chutes with great sun-protected snow peel off to the left. Pay attention to the lake at the bottom. You want to take the traverse before you descend all the way to the lake to avoid hiking out. These are my favorite trees in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

post #15 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

If you have any interest in skiing with others besides your group, come to Snowbasin on Jan. 26 or 27.  I'll be there with a group that includes plenty of advanced skiers, some of whom know Snowbasin pretty well.

 

Where else have you and your friends skied out west?

 




We've mostly skied mostly Vail, Keystone & A-basin over the last 5 years. It's time for something different though.....
post #16 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcmaxwell View Post

If you go to Solitude, Evergreen mountain has some great tree chutes and most skiers miss the gate. Take the Summit Chair and stay skier's right. Follow the signs for the SolBright trail. Just at the crotch where  the SolBright trail veers right to go around Evergreen Mountain and the main trail goes left, you will notice a gate going to a tight tree lined traverse. This is Evergreen Mountain. Multiple chutes with great sun-protected snow peel off to the left. Pay attention to the lake at the bottom. You want to take the traverse before you descend all the way to the lake to avoid hiking out. These are my favorite trees in Big Cottonwood Canyon.


 



This sounds confusing! I feel like I'll end up in the lake.
post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by oswaldr2 View Post

Which of the Brighton/Solitude & Big 3 Park City resorts would offer up the most difficult/challenging terrain, as well as what might offer the best tree skiing?

Solitude has the most challenging terrain but has a bad layout. Brighton has the best trees for sure. Unless you're a tried and true expert you will have a ton of fun there. The spacing is perfect and the snow is always fresh as the canopy blocks all the direct sun.
post #18 of 36

I'm a firm believer in placing recent weather events high on the list of factors for a question like this. Rather than picking a mountain this far in advance, I would wait and make the decision last minute. Really, any of these mountains offer something fun, however the snow quality/quantity can push any one option over the top. Remember, there are almost a dozen mountains within an hour of the airport, however the snow totals vary quite a bit depending on from which direction the storm arrives.

 

If you are spending the bulk of your time in LCC, I assume you are staying in SLC or LCC? If that's the case, you probably have transportation already lined up? Follow the weather the days before your free day and if you're lucky enough to have a storm, head to whatever mountain is reporting the best snow.

 

There's a lot of opinions on what is the best mountain, but honestly they are all pretty good for their own reasons, especially if you are there for only a day. So if you experience a Utah storm, I feel the question should be "where's the best snow" instead of "where's the best mountain."

post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by healy4 View Post
 

Forget the PC Big Three - the terrain is okay, but crowded, expensive and unreliable snow due to elevation.  Snowbasin is great if there is fresh powder, but it's a long drive.  

 

 

 

Actually during his dates, Park City is pretty quite. The town will be experiencing a post-Sundance hangover, which generally isn't a busy time.

post #20 of 36
Should have mentioned in my previous post- Brighton has the best int/adv tree skiing in Utah. The very while small is just about right when you're in the glades all day long. If you find the Gad area trees a little intimidated you'll like these as a step down.
post #21 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post



Solitude has the most challenging terrain but has a bad layout. Brighton has the best trees for sure. Unless you're a tried and true expert you will have a ton of fun there. The spacing is perfect and the snow is always fresh as the canopy blocks all the direct sun.

 




Is it worth getting the combo lift ticket to go to both Sol-Bright in one day? The acreage on both mountains seems on the smaller side....
post #22 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post

Should have mentioned in my previous post- Brighton has the best int/adv tree skiing in Utah. The very while small is just about right when you're in the glades all day long. If you find the Gad area trees a little intimidated you'll like these as a step down.

 



I definitely enjoy advanced glade skiing, so Brighton sounds pretty awesome. Are there specific runs I should look for?
post #23 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParkCity4WD View Post

I'm a firm believer in placing recent weather events high on the list of factors for a question like this. Rather than picking a mountain this far in advance, I would wait and make the decision last minute. Really, any of these mountains offer something fun, however the snow quality/quantity can push any one option over the top. Remember, there are almost a dozen mountains within an hour of the airport, however the snow totals vary quite a bit depending on from which direction the storm arrives.



 



If you are spending the bulk of your time in LCC, I assume you are staying in SLC or LCC? If that's the case, you probably have transportation already lined up? Follow the weather the days before your free day and if you're lucky enough to have a storm, head to whatever mountain is reporting the best snow.



 



There's a lot of opinions on what is the best mountain, but honestly they are all pretty good for their own reasons, especially if you are there for only a day. So if you experience a Utah storm, I feel the question should be "where's the best snow" instead of "where's the best mountain."

 



I agree with what you're saying, but if people overwhelming suggest a certain mountain then I'd probably try to buy lift tickets in advance to save time and money.
post #24 of 36

JoeSchmoe might have other ideas, but skiers far left off of the Milly chair has some great mellow trees between the trails.  Work your way right for steeper.  There are good trees all over that mountain though, just poke around between the trails. If you want steeper stuff, hike skiers right off of Milly or fall line in middle of mountain.

 

As I mentioned in earlier post - side country gate at top of Great Western chair is a great option if you like the steep double diamond stuff -  chutes that funnel down into easy trees.  But work your way left to get back in bounds. If you miss the tracks back to the chair and end up in the road you gotta hitch hike back to the resort.  

post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by oswaldr2 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParkCity4WD View Post
 

I'm a firm believer in placing recent weather events high on the list of factors for a question like this. Rather than picking a mountain this far in advance, I would wait and make the decision last minute. Really, any of these mountains offer something fun, however the snow quality/quantity can push any one option over the top. Remember, there are almost a dozen mountains within an hour of the airport, however the snow totals vary quite a bit depending on from which direction the storm arrives.

 

 

 

If you are spending the bulk of your time in LCC, I assume you are staying in SLC or LCC? If that's the case, you probably have transportation already lined up? Follow the weather the days before your free day and if you're lucky enough to have a storm, head to whatever mountain is reporting the best snow.

 

 

 

There's a lot of opinions on what is the best mountain, but honestly they are all pretty good for their own reasons, especially if you are there for only a day. So if you experience a Utah storm, I feel the question should be "where's the best snow" instead of "where's the best mountain."

 



I agree with what you're saying, but if people overwhelming suggest a certain mountain then I'd probably try to buy lift tickets in advance to save time and money.


When talking about LCC alternatives I'm sure there are overwhelming suggestions for any/all of the mountains, depending on the time of day. Passionate opinions are a dime a dozen out here. Truth be told, any of the major mountains can be fun given the right conditions. Just about the only thing folks seem to agree 100% on is deeper, better snow is always best.

 

You can get discount lift tickets at most of the rental shops in SLC. They stay open late and open early, so you could swing by and pick them up the night before or morning of your trip away from LCC.

 

Really, this entire conversation could be pointless if you happen to be here during a nice prolonged lake effect storm. Assuming you're staying in LCC, I double dare you to leave Altabird during a few-feet storm cycle.

post #26 of 36
Thread Starter 
If we are getting dumped on them I'm sure you're right, all will be well in the eyes of Euler.

Also I wasn't aware the snow conditions varied that greatly between BCC, LCC and PC. I guess I just assumed they would be relatively similar every day given the close proximity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParkCity4WD View Post


When talking about LCC alternatives I'm sure there are overwhelming suggestions for any/all of the mountains, depending on the time of day. Passionate opinions are a dime a dozen out here. Truth be told, any of the major mountains can be fun given the right conditions. Just about the only thing folks seem to agree 100% on is deeper, better snow is always best.

You can get discount lift tickets at most of the rental shops in SLC. They stay open late and open early, so you could swing by and pick them up the night before or morning of your trip away from LCC.

Really, this entire conversation could be pointless if you happen to be here during a nice prolonged lake effect storm. Assuming you're staying in LCC, I double dare you to leave Altabird during a few-feet storm cycle.
post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by oswaldr2 View Post

If we are getting dumped on them I'm sure you're right, all will be well in the eyes of Euler.

Also I wasn't aware the snow conditions varied that greatly between BCC, LCC and PC. I guess I just assumed they would be relatively similar every day given the close proximity.

 

I know it seems tough to believe, but the difference can be substantial. All in the same storm I've seen 6" in LCC, 10" in BCC and 22" in PC. I've also seen 36" in LCC, 22" in BCC and 3" in PC. Also, sometimes the northern storms will dump a couple feet on Snowbasin and miss the other areas entirely.

 

Today, for example, a foot and a half fell at Snowbasin while only 3 inches fell at PC.

post #28 of 36
Thread Starter 
Very good to know, thanks for the information. I'll just play it by ear then. Hopefully it's dumping everywhere though, I've been batting in the .150 range on my last few trips to Colorado so I could use a big dump!
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by oswaldr2 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post

Should have mentioned in my previous post- Brighton has the best int/adv tree skiing in Utah. The very while small is just about right when you're in the glades all day long. If you find the Gad area trees a little intimidated you'll like these as a step down.

 



I definitely enjoy advanced glade skiing, so Brighton sounds pretty awesome. Are there specific runs I should look for?

Start with the trees between the green and blue runs off the snake chairlift. They're the easiest. After mastering those work your way over to Milly... Lots of fun getting there from the crest lift. Skiers right off Milly or skiers left off snake are your true advanced stuff... Anywhere on the ridge off great western is steeper too! Wish i were there now! Fun, fun, fun!

Brighton's the best because any and all the trees between runs are skiable and in my experience hold snow better than anywhere in Utah (though I've never been to powmow). Worst case, you might have a short hike on a flat section in the crest area but you can scout those spots from the lift.

Don't bother with the solbright pass. I guarantee you you'll find a few runs at Brighton you'll want to lap over and over. Before you know it its quittin time!

Also in my initial post I meant to say vert not very. Darn auto correct!
post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by oswaldr2 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post



Solitude has the most challenging terrain but has a bad layout. Brighton has the best trees for sure. Unless you're a tried and true expert you will have a ton of fun there. The spacing is perfect and the snow is always fresh as the canopy blocks all the direct sun.

 




Is it worth getting the combo lift ticket to go to both Sol-Bright in one day? The acreage on both mountains seems on the smaller side....

Given that you don't know the mountains, you'll find plenty to do at either one for a day.  Especially if you are doing Honeycomb at Solitude.  Plenty of fun but getting back to the top takes a bit of time since need to ride more than one lift.

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