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Your expert advice please [driving from CA to UT, WY, MT]

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
Please kindly review my itinerary below and provide suggestions for improvement. I'm open to refining it further per your feedback as needed. Thanks a lot.

Today - currently en route to Alta from L.A.
Monday - Alta
Tuesday - Snowbird / arrive in JH, WY
Wednesday - Jackson Hole
Thursday - Jackson Hole
Friday - Jackson Hole / arrive in BS, MT
Saturday - Big Ski
Sunday - Big Ski / head back to CA

Goal - hit all the major runs at least once during each visit

My rationale
1. The selected resorts are less than 5 hr drive away from one another
2. All have base depth > 100"
3. All MC resorts except Big Ski - never been to MT--any of these states for that matter--and only 3 hrs away from JH
post #2 of 68
Big Sky
post #3 of 68
Thread Starter 
Typo. That's it? smile.gif
post #4 of 68
That is a lot of consecutive days skiing on some big mountains. If you aren't used to skiing mile long runs you may get warn out by the end. I'd take a day off in there and rest my legs. Also I'd take it easy early on at Alta and Snowbird. Don't go crazy the first couple days and have no legs left for Big Sky.
post #5 of 68
Okay. My goal wouldn't be this hit all the major runs madness. Hit the stuff that interests you and is fun. If you liked it, hit it again. The goal sounds like some kind of crazy notching of points, maybe by skiing all the groomers or something. This should be fun, not some race. Less obsession, more enjoyment.
post #6 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post

Please kindly review my itinerary below and provide suggestions for improvement. I'm open to refining it further per your feedback as needed. Thanks a lot.

Today - currently en route to Alta from L.A.
Monday - Alta
Tuesday - Snowbird / arrive in JH, WY
Wednesday - Jackson Hole
Thursday - Jackson Hole
Friday - Jackson Hole / arrive in BS, MT
Saturday - Big Sky
Sunday - Big Sky / head back to CA

Goal - hit all the major runs at least once during each visit

My rationale
1. The selected resorts are less than 5 hr drive away from one another
2. All have base depth > 100"
3. All MC resorts except Big Sky - never been to MT--any of these states for that matter--and only 3 hrs away from JH

How late do you plan to ski at Snowbird before starting to drive?  Same question for JH.  Do you have lodging set up already?

post #7 of 68
What if it starts snowing when you're at one of those places? You're not gonna drive away, are you?
post #8 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

What if it starts snowing when you're at one of those places? You're not gonna drive away, are you?

hahahaha good one Bob

post #9 of 68

On first Monday night I would sleep in Ogden, and ski Powder Mountain on Tuesday.  Powder mountain is North of Salt Lake, closer to JH, and its a great mountain to ski.   I would leave Powder Mountain no later than 2:30pm for the trip north to JH. 

post #10 of 68
Thread Starter 
5-6 hrs of skiing on a travel day I reckon. The plan is to be on the road by 3-4 pm at the latest; go to sleep by 10 pm for good night rest everyday--my usual bedtime. Hotel reservations have been made with 6pm arrival day cancellation, which allows for last minute change, except JH--day advance. I will be monitoring/rerouting around storms as necessary but I don't see any major coming in the forecast as of now--maybe a little snow in Alta for Mon/Tue. Being in the late of a season, my legs are pretty well conditioned.

What are your thoughts on my "time distribution" across the resorts or even order--ie Alta/Snowbird?

Thank you.
post #11 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by catskills View Post

hahahaha good one Bob
Haha..
But I don't get the joke.
post #12 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by catskills View Post

On first Monday night I would sleep in Ogden, and ski Powder Mountain on Tuesday.  Powder mountain is North of Salt Lake, closer to JH, and its a great mountain to ski.   I would leave Powder Mountain no later than 2:30pm for the trip north to JH. 
do you mean do both alta and snowbird in one day or just give up Snowbird? If the latter, is SB just not worth it, inferior to powder in your opinion, or else?
post #13 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Okay. My goal wouldn't be this hit all the major runs madness. Hit the stuff that interests you and is fun. If you liked it, hit it again. The goal sounds like some kind of crazy notching of points, maybe by skiing all the groomers or something. This should be fun, not some race. Less obsession, more enjoyment.
Thanks man. I thought about going all the way up to whitefish to say hello and get epic free lessons from sibhusky but maybe next time. :-)
post #14 of 68

Hopefully, with enough snow overnight Monday, LLC should be skiing its best on Tuesday. Without sun, Monday could be interesting since it was so warm and sunny today. Right now, it looks like Tuesday could be a half-ish storm day, so I would choose what Mtn you want to ski with limited visibility. 

post #15 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post

Haha..
But I don't get the joke.

Never leave good snow, to find good snow. Anyone of these could be the best skiing in the world on the right day.
Your itinerary is pretty aggressive, but if it works for you. I just wouldn't leave one going off, just to notch another resort.
post #16 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post

5-6 hrs of skiing on a travel day I reckon. The plan is to be on the road by 3-4 pm at the latest; go to sleep by 10 pm for good night rest everyday--my usual bedtime. Hotel reservations have been made with 6pm arrival day cancellation, which allows for last minute change, except JH--day advance. I will be monitoring/rerouting around storms as necessary but I don't see any major coming in the forecast as of now--maybe a little snow in Alta for Mon/Tue. Being in the late of a season, my legs are pretty well conditioned.

What are your thoughts on my "time distribution" across the resorts or even order--ie Alta/Snowbird?

Thank you.

So these are all new mountains to you, correct?  Where do you usually ski?

 

I've skied all these mountains. Alta/Snowbird many times.  First time at Big Sky a few years ago, first time at JH this season.  A Big Sky trip and the JH trip started by meeting up with ski buddies in SLC and driving from there.  Given my experience, I would prefer at least two days at any of these places for a first trip.  I would say make use of the MCP and save Big Sky for another time.  Driving to Big Sky and not having time for Bridger . . . would be missing out on some fun for sure.

 

If you want to check out another mountain, could stop at Grand Targhee after JH.  Or as suggested, ski in the Ogden Valley on the way to JH.

 

Definitely want to stay flexible.  5-6 hours of skiing followed by 5-6 hours of solo driving makes for a long day.  I just did something similar for a little safari in the east last week.  The mountains were substantially smaller than the MCP ski areas so the skiing was not that intense.  For the new mountains, I was skiing with friends.  Made it easier since I didn't have to think about learning a new place.

post #17 of 68

I think it's doable and if it's what you want then go for it.  I like to ski safari myself and if conditions are all similar then there is no reason not too.  If JH, for example, happens to get 2' of powder and the snow is Utah is a week old I wouldn't be sticking to the "plan".

post #18 of 68

It will be a fun trip.  

 

A full bore half day morning skiing without a break should be a nice ski day on travel days, eat, shower with a late checkout of 2PM and nice drive in daylight to the next one.

 

My only caveat would be make sure you can do late checkout so you can shower and eat before driving and to drive in daylight.

 

Pull over for power naps if you need them.

post #19 of 68

Umm I'd hightail it to Jackson hole. Looks like they are gonna get a good amount of fresh mon/mon night and they have colder temps than Utah. Then Big sky. Then work your way back. Chase the pow Nochaser!!!!

post #20 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post


do you mean do both alta and snowbird in one day or just give up Snowbird? If the latter, is SB just not worth it, inferior to powder in your opinion, or else?

I was suggesting Powder in place of SB.  Snowbird is awesome mountain and much bigger  than Powder Mountain.  I just wanted to get you further north for the drive to JH. Powder Mountain is not well known but my friends and I like it before we drive to JH. 

 

If you do ski Snowbird I would recommend getting their early and going right to the top on their TRAM. 

post #21 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by catskills View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post


do you mean do both alta and snowbird in one day or just give up Snowbird? If the latter, is SB just not worth it, inferior to powder in your opinion, or else?

I was suggesting Powder in place of SB.  Snowbird is awesome mountain and much bigger  than Powder Mountain.  I just wanted to get you further north for the drive to JH. Powder Mountain is not well known but my friends and I like it before we drive to JH. 

 

If you do ski Snowbird I would recommend getting their early and going right to the top on their TRAM. 

Powder Mountain can certainly be worth a stop.  The skiable acreage is actually at least twice as much as Snowbird.  However, Snowbird has more vertical by about 1200 ft.  Also, the OP wanted to make use of the MCP.

post #22 of 68
Quote:

Originally Posted by Eagles Pdx View Post

 

...drive in daylight.

 

 

This is a pretty important point.  You'll be driving through range land and the deer and elk come out at dusk and early evening.  If you're out driving in this kind of place as it turns dark there are very much increased chances of you hitting one of these big boys and ruining your trip, or even your life.  I speak from experience here.  Take care.

post #23 of 68
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. I just learned today the MC ticket is for A/SB combined only. Finished scanning the runs around supreme and sugarloaf. I'll be off to Collins and SB in the afternoon. I'll finish scanning SB tomorrow and be back on Wed for some powder skiing hopefully.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spooky View Post

Hopefully, with enough snow overnight Monday, LLC should be skiing its best on Tuesday. Without sun, Monday could be interesting since it was so warm and sunny today. Right now, it looks like Tuesday could be a half-ish storm day, so I would choose what Mtn you want to ski with limited visibility. 
definitely an "interesting" but familiar snow condition here!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Never leave good snow, to find good snow. Anyone of these could be the best skiing in the world on the right day.
Your itinerary is pretty aggressive, but if it works for you. I just wouldn't leave one going off, just to notch another resort.

Right - Changed my itinerary and will be here thru wed to catch some new powder.
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

So these are all new mountains to you, correct?  Where do you usually ski?

I've skied all these mountains. Alta/Snowbird many times.  First time at Big Sky a few years ago, first time at JH this season.  A Big Sky trip and the JH trip started by meeting up with ski buddies in SLC and driving from there.  Given my experience, I would prefer at least two days at any of these places for a first trip.  I would say make use of the MCP and save Big Sky for another time.  Driving to Big Sky and not having time for Bridger . . . would be missing out on some fun for sure.

If you want to check out another mountain, could stop at Grand Targhee after JH.  Or as suggested, ski in the Ogden Valley on the way to JH.

Definitely want to stay flexible.  5-6 hours of skiing followed by 5-6 hours of solo driving makes for a long day.  I just did something similar for a little safari in the east last week.  The mountains were substantially smaller than the MCP ski areas so the skiing was not that intense.  For the new mountains, I was skiing with friends.  Made it easier since I didn't have to think about learning a new place.
i spend most of my ski days in mammoth lakes CA. We get good skiing in CA. This trip is more of a due diligence on my part - just to see for myself what the fuss is all about with JH and Utah resorts that are consistently ranked high. I'm staying flexible. In terms of distribution of time and also the overall duration. Bridger, Grand Targhee, and Ogden. This is the second time someone bringing up Ogden - is that so good. My wife is accompanying me so drive isn't too bad for us at all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post

I think it's doable and if it's what you want then go for it.  I like to ski safari myself and if conditions are all similar then there is no reason not too.  If JH, for example, happens to get 2' of powder and the snow is Utah is a week old I wouldn't be sticking to the "plan".
Ditto!!! Snow in the forecast tonight here in Utah so spending one more day...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagles Pdx View Post

It will be a fun trip.  

A full bore half day morning skiing without a break should be a nice ski day on travel days, eat, shower with a late checkout of 2PM and nice drive in daylight to the next one.

My only caveat would be make sure you can do late checkout so you can shower and eat before driving and to drive in daylight.

Pull over for power naps if you need them.
Thanks for the safety caution. Will do!
Quote:
Originally Posted by agreen View Post

Umm I'd hightail it to Jackson hole. Looks like they are gonna get a good amount of fresh mon/mon night and they have colder temps than Utah. Then Big sky. Then work your way back. Chase the pow Nochaser!!!!
Haha nice rhyme there. Will do.
Quote:
Originally Posted by catskills View Post

I was suggesting Powder in place of SB.  Snowbird is awesome mountain and much bigger  than Powder Mountain.  I just wanted to get you further north for the drive to JH. Powder Mountain is not well known but my friends and I like it before we drive to JH. 

If you do ski Snowbird I would recommend getting their early and going right to the top on their TRAM. 
Ah.. I got it. It's a logistically advantageous. I'll definitely think about it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

Powder Mountain can certainly be worth a stop.  The skiable acreage is actually at least twice as much as Snowbird.  However, Snowbird has more vertical by about 1200 ft.  Also, the OP wanted to make use of the MCP.
Right that's one of the main d
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post

This is a pretty important point.  You'll be driving through range land and the deer and elk come out at dusk and early evening.  If you're out driving in this kind of place as it turns dark there are very much increased chances of you hitting one of these big boys and ruining your trip, or even your life.  I speak from experience here.  Take care.
post #24 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post

i spend most of my ski days in mammoth lakes CA. We get good skiing in CA. This trip is more of a due diligence on my part - just to see for myself what the fuss is all about with JH and Utah resorts that are consistently ranked high. I'm staying flexible. In terms of distribution of time and also the overall duration. Bridger, Grand Targhee, and Ogden. This is the second time someone bringing up Ogden - is that so good. My wife is accompanying me so drive isn't too bad for us at all.

Does your wife ski the same type of terrain?

 

Both Snowbasin and PowMow are worth checking out at some point, especially in good conditions.  Snowbasin is a fun day in pretty much any decent conditions where there is good visibility.  The view from the John Paul Lodge is quite fun.  As is skiing down the start of the Olympic downhill runs for those who don't mind steeps.  I was part of a group gathering in late Jan for Snowbasin/PowMow that included several Mammoth locals.  My impression is that they are eager to return in the future.

post #25 of 68
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

Does your wife ski the same type of terrain?

 

Both Snowbasin and PowMow are worth checking out at some point, especially in good conditions.  Snowbasin is a fun day in pretty much any decent conditions where there is good visibility.  The view from the John Paul Lodge is quite fun.  As is skiing down the start of the Olympic downhill runs for those who don't mind steeps.  I was part of a group gathering in late Jan for Snowbasin/PowMow that included several Mammoth locals.  My impression is that they are eager to return in the future.

Yes, she does more or less.

 

We'll definitely come back to Utah in a not so distant future to spend more time in other Utah resorts, Snowbasin being one of them. With many good options and limited time, compromise is inevitable. Plus, the Utah resorts east of Wasatch don't seem to have good snow base--most far less than 100'. Or maybe that's just the average base depth in that neck of the woods.

 

Overall, I enjoyed Alta today, didn't get to spend much time at Snowbird, but will tomorrow. Snow condition was fair to marginal, visibility was poor, so it was a bit difficult to really let it go and zoom-zoom at times, but still fun nonetheless. Alta has a different feel...different from Mammoth for sure.  Compared to what I'm used to, the terrains are a bit on the short side, contours change all the time without a lot of straight runs, and offer many different ways traverse everywhere. I can see that sidecountry skiing at this place can really come alive when it gets fresh powder. I think I'm gonna get lucky tomorrow.  Speaking of which, I'm seeing that both BS and JH are getting fresh powder as well.

 

With some snow early in the week and temperature hovering around 10-30's, I think I picked a good week for my maiden voyage.

post #26 of 68
Big Sky is forecasted to get 6" to 10" tonight.
post #27 of 68

I'd stick to your itinerary vs either chasing snow or sitting on it.  Idea is to check out the other ski areas for future trips and you hit a good spread there.

post #28 of 68

Just skied Bridger this weekend.  Fresh foot from Thursday and Friday, and a bluebird day Saturday!  (I haven't seen Bridger this well covered since the late 60's!)  Big Sky received about 9" as well.  Skiing at both places is outstanding!  It is snowing right now, and the ski areas are supposed to get from 12-16".  I also know the Hole has great snow, too.  In considering our snow conditions, head north, young man!  Do watch for moose, elk and deer as you make your way up!  The heavy snow totals have many of the local critters using the highways to move to food sources.

Bob

post #29 of 68
Critters on the road - no kidding! I was about 10 miles south of Pinedale on 191 coming back from Jackson Hole last Saturday night and ran into a river of deer. I can't believe I missed them, there was a whole herd crossing.
post #30 of 68
Thread Starter 

Quick question - is daily commute from bozeman to big ski reasonable..for three consecutive days?  Just too many critters on the road?

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