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Where to ski in Salt Lake City when there is no fresh powder?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hello smile.gif,

My friend and I are going to SLC next weekend for 4 days of skiing. We've never been before and our plan was to stay in SLC and drive up to different resorts each day. I am an advanced skier, my friend is an intermediate. I do not intend to take her off-piste or into the glades, as I am not sure if she can handle that, so we will probably have to stick to the groomers. Originally I intended to check out Snowbasin, Solitude and Alta/Snowbird. However, now that I am looking at the weather reports it is becoming apparent that by the time we get to Utah there won't have been any fresh snow there for at least 2 weeks, and the forecast calls for bluebird days while we're there with basically no chance of snow. So my question is if there is a point in going to Alta/Snowbird when everything clearly be all skied out. Should we instead stick to resorts known for their groomed runs such as Deer Valley or PCMR?

Thanks in advance for your help, it's much appreciated!
post #2 of 22
Thread Starter 
Argh, sorry for the typo in the subject line! Noticed it a bit too late and can't figure out a way to edit it…

Moderator Note: fixed it for you. smile.gif
post #3 of 22

My wife just skied DV and said the groomers aren't the best due to no new snow.  Alta and Snowbird still have the best snow around due to the elevation, so they're still your best bet.  Our next band of real weather doesn't appear to be on its way until the end of the month, but there's a chance for a little something before you get here.

 

Check out some of the blogs concerning Alta/Snowbird and you'll see folks are still finding great snow.

 

T. - wasatchreport.com

post #4 of 22
Snowbasin has some of the best groomers in UT and was skiing great on Friday - actually a lot of fresh snow left.
post #5 of 22

I just got back from Alta and Snowbird.  The snow was better at Alta.  Can't really speak to the grooming thing though. Skied a groomer and it felt a lot like skiing in NE, meaning hard hardback.

post #6 of 22

For what it's worth, I skied Snowbasin as recently as yesterday, and its groomers are good...as far as groomers go.  Even fun to hike up to Middle Bowl Cirque, but the off piste skiing in general is gnarly.

 

T. - www.wasatchreport.com

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all that great info! I think we'll definitely ski Snowbasin on Saturday, and most likely Solitude on Sundayn (a lot of friends recommended Solitude). I just don't know what to do about Monday and Tuesday. I thought Deer Valley would be a safe bet when it comes to groomers, but based on what you are saying I am not so sure now...
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by alenchic View Post

Thank you for all that great info! I think we'll definitely ski Snowbasin on Saturday, and most likely Solitude on Sundayn (a lot of friends recommended Solitude). I just don't know what to do about Monday and Tuesday. I thought Deer Valley would be a safe bet when it comes to groomers, but based on what you are saying I am not so sure now...

I would not leave without going to Alta!

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

Snowbasin has some of the best groomers in UT and was skiing great on Friday - actually a lot of fresh snow left.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WasatchReport View Post
 

For what it's worth, I skied Snowbasin as recently as yesterday, and its groomers are good...as far as groomers go.  Even fun to hike up to Middle Bowl Cirque, but the off piste skiing in general is gnarly.

 

T. - www.wasatchreport.com

I am at Snowbasin almost daily (today included).  I ski both on & off the groomers, both are skiing fine right now.  Of course the more traffic & grooming without new snow, the more worn the snow will get.  Yes there will be some slippery patches on the groomers by late in the day but all in all it has been beautiful weather with great snow.  Although busy, the MLK weekend saw much less traffic than expected.

 

post #10 of 22
Hey 4ster, did it snow up there last week? I was away and under the impression it didn't, then shocked by how much fresh snow was around JP on Friday. Still some left today, albeit a bit harder to come by.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

Hey 4ster, did it snow up there last week? I was away and under the impression it didn't, then shocked by how much fresh snow was around JP on Friday. Still some left today, albeit a bit harder to come by.

Began snowing on Wed. the 8th, then full on blizzard Thursday.  The wind cranked till last Tuesday & continued to keep things fresh till the past few days.  It was a bit on the warm side today, but the snow is still doing fine.  The wind is what has kept it nice & smooth.

post #12 of 22
if you're interested in others to ski with - intermediates and advanced - there's a gathering of about 30 from TheSkiDiva forum at Snowbasin Sunday thru Wednesday.
post #13 of 22

Every resort out there has a competent grooming team.  You should be fine whatever resorts you pick.

 

With four days,  I'd say a day in LCC, a day in BCC, a day at Snowbasin, and a day at PC will give you a good sense of what SLC has to offer.  That way you can be a more informed consumer when you come back next time.

 

I think the park City resorts will give you a free lift ticket on arrival day if you show them your boarding pass.  If this fits your travel schedule, go for it.

 

As for specific resorts, don't take your intermediate friend to Snowbird, go to Alta instead on LCC day.

 

For BCC, Brighton has more/longer easy cruisers than Solitude, but tends to be a bit more crowded, especially on a Saturday. The only time Solitude is crowded is on a powder day when LCC is closed.

 

For PC, Park City Mountain Resort is the best of the three.  Maybe go to Deer Valley to see what it's (not) cracked up to be.  The Crayons is eminently skippable.

 

And of course Snowbasin is Snowbasin.

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks Vickie! We are actually skiing Snowbasin on Saturday, but perhaps we'll go back a day or two later to meet up with the group smile.gif.

Walt, I like your suggestion of checking out 4 different ski areas. Right now we're leaning towards Snowbasin, Solitude (possibly Brighton instead...), PCMR and Alta. I did want to check out Deer Valley, but it sounds like many people like PCMR better.

I really appreciate all the feedback! It made the planning process so much easier.

By the way, outside of Liftopia, are there any good ways of getting discount lift tickets?
post #15 of 22

Are you staying in a hotel? They may have the superpass at a discount. You should check.

 

I think it's close between DV and PCMR. I would do Alta for sure and probably Brighton instead of Sol.

post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Yes, we are staying at the Residence Inn the first two days and at a Marriott in Park City the second two days. Thanks for letting me know about the superpass, I actually wasn't aware of it. I don't think it will work for us, though,as we are only planing on visiting 2 of the resorts covered by the pass, and ski the two other days in Snowbasin and one of the Park City resorts. If I am reading the superpass info correctly, the minimum is 3 days there.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Alta and Snowbird still have the best snow around due to the elevation 

And higher proportion of north exposure.  The longer it has been without new snow, the more I'm inclined to be at Alta/Snowbird vs, the other places.   But that's from the perspective of skiing natural ungroomed terrain.

Quote:
Snowbasin, Solitude ..., PCMR and Alta  

Given parameters (first trip to Utah, skiing primarily groomers) those are the 4 resorts I'd pick to get a good sense of the region.

post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by alenchic View Post

By the way, outside of Liftopia, are there any good ways of getting discount lift tickets?

 

Pretty much any sporting goods store or grocery store in SLC has discount tickets.  I don't think you can get them in PC, so get 'em before you leave for PC.

 

Here's an example price list:

http://www.canyonsports.com/discount-lift-tickets/

 

Prices seem to vary by a buck or two depending.  I've not found it a god use of my time to run all over town to save a buck, just go to the convenient discount ticket vendor.

post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you! I guess we'll have to stop by some store anyway to rent gear for my friend (I'll be bringing my own).
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hmm, can't figure out how to quote somebody without quoting the whole message...

Tony Crocker- glad to hear my selection makes sense. And I do now strongly feel that Alta is a must, despite the lack of fresh snow. I do actually like ungroomed terraine when the conditions are good- loved the back bowls at Vail!- but I don't want to be responsible for my friend, who is definitely an intermediate. She is pretty fearless, though, so you never know smile.gif. Perhaps we'll venture out after all.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by alenchic View Post

Yes, we are staying at the Residence Inn the first two days and at a Marriott in Park City the second two days. Thanks for letting me know about the superpass, I actually wasn't aware of it. I don't think it will work for us, though,as we are only planing on visiting 2 of the resorts covered by the pass, and ski the two other days in Snowbasin and one of the Park City resorts. If I am reading the superpass info correctly, the minimum is 3 days there.


Ah I see, bummer!!

post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to thank you all so much for your help in planning this trip! My friend and I had a fantastic time, and can't wait to go back to Utah smile.gif.
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