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Seeking advice for a family ski trip to Park City in President Day week. All advanced skiers.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Happy New Year !

It's time for me to plan our annual family skip trip outside Tahoe, and after such a great help from Epicski community for planning our trip to Colorado in 2014, obviously I'm turning to Epicski community once again for the advice.

 

For 2015, we decided to visit Utah. We're a family of 4 (two teenagers), heading to Park City in Feb 15-22. We plan to ski 5-6 days, from Monday to Saturday. We have Epic pass, and will stay in Park City within walking distance to PCMR's Town Lift. So, naturally, we plan to ski PCMR and Canyons. On top of that, we want to visit at least one other resort.

 

My family can comfortably ski any single black diamond runs in all Tahoe resorts (Squaw/Kirkwood/Heavenly/Northstar), and my kids and I can ski some of the double blacks or equivalent runs in those resorts that doesn't require mandatory air or dodging rocks in the steep - i.e. we don't / can't do Palisades at Squaw, but my kids and I enjoy e.g. West Face / Chute 75 / North Bowl / GS Bowl at Squaw, and Wagon Wheel Bowl / Thunder Saddle and various chutes off the Saddle / Eagle Bowl / Palisades at Kirkwood. My wife doesn't do any double blacks (or equivalent), but she can handle all single black diamond runs.

My daughter is very fond of tree skiing and fresh pow, vs my son likes moguls and steeps.

 

Here's my questions:

 

1) PCMR

 

How are the double black runs off Jupiter ? Does it have any run that's mostly just steep, or do they all have rocks and mandatory airs (we don't do the latter kind) ? And, the trail map doesn't make it very clear, but is there some easy (i.e. a single black diamond) run from top of Jupiter ? My wife avoids most of double blacks, so if there's no "easier" way down, we'd need to know in advance to plan it out.

 

2) Canyons

 

Iron Mountain / Dream Peak side looks more isolated than the rest. Would we miss much if we ignore that part of the mountain ?

 

3) Deer Valley ? 

 

Other than PCMR and Canyons, we are considering three other resorts - Snowbird, Alta, and Deer Valley. However much I want to try them all, given both the time and also the expense, we're not going to ski all three. So I think we'll have to pick one or two of those three. 

 

My wife wants to try DV for the "experience" (with all those glowing reviews of their services, food, etc). However, DV just doesn't seem to have a lot of skiing to offer for me and my kids, given it's more heavily geared toward intermediates with less choices in expert terrain. Basically I wonder my kids and I will get bored if we go DV, as DV looks similar to Northstar where we get bored quickly (unless it's a powder day), due to lack of run variety (all backside runs look similar) and lack of challenges (no real steeps).

 

4) Snowbird or Alta ?

 

Would we miss much if we ski just Snowbird for one day but not Alta, or vice versa ? If we have to pick only one of them, which one should we go ?

Alternatively, would it be feasible to get an Alta-Snowbird pass and ski both resorts in a single day (obviously we won't be able to cover as many runs in either resort), or would that just waste time traversing ? FWIW, although it's because we're very familiar with the mountain, my family can cover highlights of the advanced/expert runs in Heavenly or Squaw in a single day, and I think the skiable area of Heavenly or Squaw is comparable to Alta + Snowbird. For example, we can start at one resort, finish at the other, and take the shuttle bus back after skiing. Would that be worth trying ?

 

5) Breakfast / Dinner

 

Any recommendation for good breakfast / dinner spots in Park City ?  

And a dinner spot or two in SLC ? My quick search found Bambara as a reasonably priced choice, and Forage as one of the best. Any opinions on them ? How easy would it be to go straight to SLC after skiing in Snowbird ?

 

6) Sightseeing

 

If there's any fun tourist places we should visit, we're open to skipping skiing one day (or cut it to a half day) and do something else.

Homestead Crater tour sounds fascinating. Is that worth a visit ?

Anything else around SLT or Park City within an hour or two drive that's interesting ?

 

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 15

Sightseeing?  Go to the Olympic Park & Alf Engan Museum or go X/C skiing.

 

Alta and/or Snowbird should be visited. 

 

Don't worry about cliffs anywhere in PC.

 

Canyons: You won't ski it all in a day.  I've posted before where to find great runs missed by almost every tourist. That side of the mtn. can be empty on some days.

post #3 of 15

For the first time to LCC, whether or not to ski both Alta and Snowbird depends somewhat on the status of Mineral Basin.  If Mineral is open, then getting a combo pass and getting a taste of both is certainly possible if that's of interest.  Mostly because then it's easy to get back to whatever parking lot you start out at.  Not worth it otherwise.

 

Check out the EpicSki Unofficial Guides for Alta and Snowbird.  Might help you make a preliminary decision.  A final decision should wait until you are in Utah and know what conditions are like.

 

If your wife doesn't get to ski at DV, my sense is that she would be much happier at Alta.  The Supreme lift is a good area for a mixed ability group.  She could stay on the groomers and easily meet up with the rest of the family.  The harder terrain off Supreme is short compared to elsewhere in LCC, but definitely can be a challenge.

post #4 of 15

IMO the Snowbird/Alta combo ticket isn't worth it as you wouldn't have time to even sample all of the "highlights" between the two areas.  Those "highlights" for me would be anything skiers left off of Wildcat, Greeley, West Rustler, Catherine's and everything else off of Supreme at Alta.  For Snowbird it would be The Cirque, all of Little Cloud, trees off of Gad 2, Mineral Basin and West Baldy that doesn't require the hike.  Keep in mind that I'm a regular advanced skier who does some DB runs with basically the same caveats as you and 20% of the steep stuff at Alta and 40 plus percent at Snowbird is off limits for me currently.

 

As for DV, it's overall much steeper than Nstar and IMO definitely worth a day,  The Bald MT and Empire areas should be a blast for you, your kids and your wife.  There are steep groomers, steep ungroomed, trees and some good medium to smallish sized bowls in those areas.

 

Have fun!

post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by skispark View Post
 

 

 

Here's my questions:

 

1) PCMR

 

How are the double black runs off Jupiter ? I think if your gang is comfortable on single blacks at Squaw and Kirkwood you're good on Jupiter.

2) Canyons

 

  Big place, you could ski several days here.

 

3) Deer Valley ? 

 

Since wife sounds like a great sport, probably should accommodate her with a day at DV, plus plenty of challenge for the family.

 

4) Snowbird or Alta ?

 

My recommendation would be just to visit one so you are not in "chicken without a head mode".  Alta has some great stuff, but not so accessible to first time tourist without a guide.  Snowbird is more overtly spectacular, so maybe that would be the one to pick for a single visit.  

 

 

6) Sightseeing

 

Park City, IMHO, is more interesting than any spot in Tahoe unless you're a big gambler.  Devote your off day to strolling around town and window shopping, dining, etc.

 

Thanks in advance. I may be skiing PCMR and Canyons Feb 17 -19.  Think snow for Prez' Week!

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post
 

Sightseeing?  Go to the Olympic Park & Alf Engan Museum.

Thanks for the suggestion. I didn't encounter those in my cursory search, but definitely looks like something we'd want to check out.

Don't worry about cliffs anywhere in PC.

 

Canyons: You won't ski it all in a day.  I've posted before where to find great runs missed by almost every tourist. That side of the mtn. can be empty on some days.

I found one of your previous postings that mention Grande - Red Pine. Is that somewhere around that the patch of no tree areas in:

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.6693562,-111.5846885,840m/data=!3m1!1e3

 

?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

For the first time to LCC, whether or not to ski both Alta and Snowbird depends somewhat on the status of Mineral Basin.  If Mineral is open, then getting a combo pass and getting a taste of both is certainly possible if that's of interest.  Mostly because then it's easy to get back to whatever parking lot you start out at.  Not worth it otherwise.

Thanks. I'll keep that in mind. Is the chance of Mineral Basin opening low enough to worry about this in Feb ? Or, is it due to western dry spells ?

 

Check out the EpicSki Unofficial Guides for Alta and Snowbird.  Might help you make a preliminary decision.  A final decision should wait until you are in Utah and know what conditions are like.

Already checked out the unofficial guides before the post - I wasn't decide which one to give up after reading the guide :(

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgiddyup View Post
 

IMO the Snowbird/Alta combo ticket isn't worth it as you wouldn't have time to even sample all of the "highlights" between the two areas.  Those "highlights" for me would be anything skiers left off of Wildcat, Greeley, West Rustler, Catherine's and everything else off of Supreme at Alta.  For Snowbird it would be The Cirque, all of Little Cloud, trees off of Gad 2, Mineral Basin and West Baldy that doesn't require the hike.  Keep in mind that I'm a regular advanced skier who does some DB runs with basically the same caveats as you and 20% of the steep stuff at Alta and 40 plus percent at Snowbird is off limits for me currently.

Thanks so much for that list ! I understand one day isn't enough to cover both Alta and Snowbird *properly*. But given time/budget constraints, if we spend one day at DV, we can only afford one day at Snowbird or Alta, and under that scenario, we may choose to give up some parts of both mountains, to taste some from both - the question is whether that's worth the trade-off (vs just choosing one).

As for DV, it's overall much steeper than Nstar and IMO definitely worth a day,  The Bald MT and Empire areas should be a blast for you, your kids and your wife.  There are steep groomers, steep ungroomed, trees and some good medium to smallish sized bowls in those areas.

 

Have fun!

Awesome. At this point, I'm mostly convinced we should visit DV. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
My recommendation would be just to visit one so you are not in "chicken without a head mode".  Alta has some great stuff, but not so accessible to first time tourist without a guide.  Snowbird is more overtly spectacular, so maybe that would be the one to pick for a single visit.  

In the past I used terrain view with GPS, and had reasonable success in new resorts (flat paper trail maps almost always have some terrible projections with very misleading results).

 

Looking at Alta, https://www.google.com/maps/@40.5752337,-111.626582,15z/data=!5m1!1e4

 

I can see how long High Traverse would be and that it can be a pain thanks to effectively a large blind corner, since it looks worse than Sentinel / Palisades traverse at Kirkwood:

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.6841667,-120.0768906,15z/data=!5m1!1e4

post #7 of 15
When I mentioned the possibility of Mineral Basin being closed, I was thinking about high wind or very low visibility situations. I tend to ski LCC in late season so don't have much experience during Feb.

Not convinced that the cost of a combo pass for all of the family is worth it. May be more obvious whether Alta or Snowbird makes the most sense based on conditions for the day that fits in your schedule.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by skispark View Post

Here's my questions:

 

2) Canyons

 

Iron Mountain / Dream Peak side looks more isolated than the rest. Would we miss much if we ignore that part of the mountain ?

The Iron Mountain pod has some very nice steeps that you can lap with few to no crowds. Dreamcatcher has a fantastic steep bowl/face, but the lift is slow and just painful in the cold. Since you can ski Canyons for free, I think it's well worth taking the extra time to explore them.

 

Quote:

4) Snowbird or Alta ?

 

Would we miss much if we ski just Snowbird for one day but not Alta, or vice versa ? If we have to pick only one of them, which one should we go ?

Alternatively, would it be feasible to get an Alta-Snowbird pass and ski both resorts in a single day (obviously we won't be able to cover as many runs in either resort), or would that just waste time traversing ? FWIW, although it's because we're very familiar with the mountain, my family can cover highlights of the advanced/expert runs in Heavenly or Squaw in a single day, and I think the skiable area of Heavenly or Squaw is comparable to Alta + Snowbird. For example, we can start at one resort, finish at the other, and take the shuttle bus back after skiing. Would that be worth trying ?

 

Check out http://www.alta.com/boardingpass/

 

I'd say that Altabird tickets for $54 each that first Monday are a great deal, and you're not too likely to get even single-resort tickets at that price otherwise. Probably don't stress yourselves out trying to see everything at both in a single day--but trying at least a bit of each might give you a better idea of whether you want to do a second Little Cottonwood day this trip.

 

Quote:

5) Breakfast / Dinner

 

Any recommendation for good breakfast / dinner spots in Park City ?  

And a dinner spot or two in SLC ? My quick search found Bambara as a reasonably priced choice, and Forage as one of the best. Any opinions on them ? How easy would it be to go straight to SLC after skiing in Snowbird ?

My boyfriend's and my favorite spot in Park City is No Name Saloon, which has excellent chili and burgers, but I think it might be just 21+ (I can't remember about during the day--but definitely at some point at night it's 21+ only).

 

The drive from Snowbird back to Park City goes through SLC... any particular restaurant might be a bit out of the way, but definitely very doable. If you're going somewhere that requires reservations, don't schedule it too tight as there's a chance of traffic (in the canyon and/or in town), but most places you'll be fine walking in when you get there. My favorite in Salt Lake so far is Del Mer al Lago--the best Peruvian food I've found outside of Peru. Also maybe worth a try is Iceberg or Arctic Circle drive-ins... make sure to try their "fry sauce," which seems to be a Utah staple.

 

 

6) Sightseeing

 

If there's any fun tourist places we should visit, we're open to skipping skiing one day (or cut it to a half day) and do something else.

Homestead Crater tour sounds fascinating. Is that worth a visit ?

Anything else around SLT or Park City within an hour or two drive that's interesting ?

 

Homestead Crater is pretty cool, but IMO not worth missing a day of skiing for. Part of an evening there would be nice for sure, though. The State Capitol and Temple Square are pretty and worth taking a few extra minutes to drive by when going through Salt Lake. On a clear day/evening, the drive from Park City to Sundance is really beautiful--the best views of the Wasatch that I've found so far. And Sundance itself is beautiful, with great food at various price points. And you might get the pleasure of explaining to your kids who the heck Robert Redford is ;) They do night skiing some nights, so if you can't get enough skiing, that might be a good option. The Owl Bar there is definitely a fun option if the kids are up for night skiing.

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by New2Utah View Post

 

Check out http://www.alta.com/boardingpass/

 

I'd say that Altabird tickets for $54 each that first Monday are a great deal, and you're not too likely to get even single-resort tickets at that price otherwise. Probably don't stress yourselves out trying to see everything at both in a single day--but trying at least a bit of each might give you a better idea of whether you want to do a second Little Cottonwood day this trip.

Wow. Many thanks. Registered. I didn't realize it's within 24h of arrival - I heard about this program, but I remember it as "the same day" (which I assumed meant the day of arrival). Looks like we'll have to ski LCC on the first day :)

The Iron Mountain pod has some very nice steeps that you can lap with few to no crowds. Dreamcatcher has a fantastic steep bowl/face, but the lift is slow and just painful in the cold.

Duly noted. 

Homestead Crater is pretty cool, but IMO not worth missing a day of skiing for. Part of an evening there would be nice for sure, though. The State Capitol and Temple Square are pretty and worth taking a few extra minutes to drive by when going through Salt Lake. On a clear day/evening, the drive from Park City to Sundance is really beautiful--the best views of the Wasatch that I've found so far. And Sundance itself is beautiful, with great food at various price points. And you might get the pleasure of explaining to your kids who the heck Robert Redford is ;) They do night skiing some nights, so if you can't get enough skiing, that might be a good option. The Owl Bar there is definitely a fun option if the kids are up for night skiing.

Looks like a visit to Homestead Crater followed by the drive to Sundance and dinner can be a combination. Another option to consider ! Thanks.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

We just spent two days at PCMR, and one day at Canyons. Thanks to many advices from everyone on this thread, we had fun despite challenging snow condition.

 

At PCMR, we mostly stayed in McConkey and Jupiter. Jupiter had the best snow - War Zone (?) (that open bowl ~half way between Jupiter Peak and the top of Jupiter lift) had soft-ish snow, so steeps were fun. Main Bowl and nearby runs off Jupiter were decent too. Top of McConkey Bowl had bushes and rocks. Likewise, Sunrise. Once dodging those, McConkey Bowl had enough snow to make it enjoyable. Moguls below Thaynes lift were ok. Everywhere else in PCMR was basically ranging from super hard packed to icy to downright ice (i.e. translucent kind), not really worth spending much time on.

 

Canyons had generally better snow everywhere - we hit all lifts north of Peak 5. 9990, as expected, had the best snow. Red Pine Bowl had the best soft snow (though, there were a few spots with spotty coverage with bushes and rocks once dropping down below the bowl). 94 turns was crud, so we only skied it once. Generally it was easy to navigate the resort, except we made one mistake - we didn't realize skiing Magic Line would have no way back to 9990, so the family got split briefly as my wife was waiting for us at the bottom of 9990 after skiing Fright Gully (or whatever run slightly right below the lift line) which was a bit too much for her, so she decided to rest/wait at the bottom of 9990 while the rest of us do another lap.

 

We scrapped our plan to hit DV - looking at DV runs from PCMR, and PCMR's snow condition, I can't imagine DV being better in any meaningful way. We'll ski Canyons Thu - there's still a few lines under 9990 that we want to try.

 

We didn't go Snowbird/Alta on our first day - I figured snow wasn't worth it, but now that I skied 9990 and Jupiter, clearly high altitude north facing slopes (i.e. >9k ft) do hold decent snow. Looks like Snowbird/Alta are much higher in general - so I'm strongly considering hitting Snowbird/Alta on Friday/Saturday with storm in the forecast. 

 

A few question about Snowbird / Alta:

- How's the coverage and the snow quality there ?

- Where are the best snow spots in Snowbird / Alta ?

- Given we liked 9990, what are the runs in Snowbird / Alta that we shouldn't miss ?

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by skispark View Post
 

[snip]

 

We didn't go Snowbird/Alta on our first day - I figured snow wasn't worth it, but now that I skied 9990 and Jupiter, clearly high altitude north facing slopes (i.e. >9k ft) do hold decent snow. Looks like Snowbird/Alta are much higher in general - so I'm strongly considering hitting Snowbird/Alta on Friday/Saturday with storm in the forecast. 

 

A few question about Snowbird / Alta:

- How's the coverage and the snow quality there ?

- Where are the best snow spots in Snowbird / Alta ?

- Given we liked 9990, what are the runs in Snowbird / Alta that we shouldn't miss ?

Definitely worth a day in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

 

Check out the EpicSki Unofficial Guides for Snowbird and Alta.  (Look for link on top menu.)

post #12 of 15

After skiing in Park City earlier this week and today going to Alta for the first time, there is absolutely no comparison.  The skiing is more interesting and varied, the scenery more beautiful and the snow better.  I doubt I'll ever visit Park City/Canyons again when I'm in SLC.  It's the cottonwoods canyons for me!

 

For me, the Park City resorts feel very "canned" - with very static set runs.  Alta (and presumably Snowbird - I'm skiing there this weekend) are much more wide open and you can ski more or less anything you can see.  This feels fantastic and clearly sets the cottonwoods apart for me.  If this isn't important to you, then obviously your mileage may vary. 

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

Just got back from the trip. Again, thanks everyone on this thread for all the advices. We had great time. Especially thanks to New2Utah for the recommendation of driving through Sundance / 189 - it has truly a breathtaking view of Wasatch. We were thoroughly impressed - and we had group selfie galore from that drive :)

 

We skied Alta on Friday, and Snowbird on Saturday. Amazing resorts with fantastic snow. Now I understand why everyone raves about Snowbird and Alta, and how much Utah snow can be better than Tahoe. Alta's now my wife's favorite ski resort.

 

At Alta, we pretty much skied all major lifts. One of the memorable runs were Yellow Tail / East Greeley area, and also Extrovert - one of those runs had a pair of narrow but short chutes, and my family got split between those two chutes, which was my wife's first narrow chute experience :)

 

We - sans my wife - tried to ski Alf's High Rustler, but our traverse was maybe too high - we went across the ridge, and ended up skiing down High Greeley around those three/four rock bands, traversed across Greeley Bowl, then tried to traverse as far as we could, but my son's patience ran short and he started going down a very narrow chute. I *think* it was Regal Chute, but it's somewhat difficult to tell. It was one of the narrow chutes to the left (looking from the bottom) of Alf's High Rustler.  It's been quite a while I skied as steep and narrow chute - that feeling of chasing the snow you've dislodged was great, and my son's loud complaint of the pile of rolling snow I generated hitting him at the bottom of the chute was priceless :)

The picture I took from the right below of that chute:

 

 

My kids hated the long traverse, so we didn't do it again - admittedly, the traverse wasn't that easy with a lot of small rocks, etc. Is that normal or is it due to lack of snow ?

And, another thing I didn't like about Alta was lack of signs - my entire family ended up skiing a "cliff" (either Rock Gully or Wildcat Face, slightly to the right of Wildcat lift) - we were fine but I'd have preferred not to take my wife there (though, I have to mention that she's now very proud that she skied that down, so the end result is ok). I wish they put up a cliff sign before you have a chance to avoid the cliff, not after.

 

We didn't ski Catherine's area - it looked like it required a short hike/traverse, and we're too lazy to hike :)

Overall, Alta was simply amazing. The only real downside was long and short traverses - besides that high traverse, we hit many flat/slight uphill traverses. I suppose once you know the mountain well, most short traverses wouldn't be an issue, but the High Traverse seems painful no matter what. If only the traverse is half as long and less painful, Colins could have been the best lift I've ever skied. As is, it will have to be only one of the best lifts (along with Whistler's The Peak, and Squaw's KT).

 

At Snowbird, snow was, of course, deeper due to snowing overnight. We had a few Mineral Basin powder runs toward the end of the day, and the last run in Mineral Basin (and the run back down to the car after that) was under complete white-out. Thankfully by that point I kind of knew the layout of the mountain, so navigation wasn't a problem, but we had to ski slowly. Mineral Basin reminded us of Vail's back bowls. The snow was mostly fantastic, though there was a middle steep section (Lone Star?) between rocks that were very icy, which wasn't fun. Silver Dipper / White Diamonds were better. And, of course, we skied Cirque - I think we did Middle Cirque. Snow was best there - we hit virtually no icy bottoms, just soft stuff (vs Regulator Johnson and all those west/south facing slopes were basically powder on top of icy hard pack, and every turn we hit the icy hard bottom). The traverse was a lot less painful than Alta, but there were some pebbles scattered in quite a few places. And, the steep section wasn't very long.

 

If I'm forced to pick only one resort in Wasatch, I'll have to pick Alta :) If two, Alta + Snowbird.

If there's enough snow, it looks like Canyons could be the runner up behind those two in LCC (as we really liked 9990, and some of the double blacks runs that were not open seemed they could be a lot of fun, with easy/fast access from the lift).

 

EDIT: looking at the GPS record on the picture, it was indeed Regal Chute.


Edited by skispark - 2/22/15 at 11:31am
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by skispark View Post
 

Just got back from the trip. Again, thanks everyone on this thread for all the advices. We had great time. Especially thanks to New2Utah for the recommendation of driving through Sundance / 189 - it has truly a breathtaking view of Wasatch. We were thoroughly impressed - and we had group selfie galore from that drive :)

 

We skied Alta on Friday, and Snowbird on Saturday. Amazing resorts with fantastic snow. Now I understand why everyone raves about Snowbird and Alta, and how much Utah snow can be better than Tahoe. Alta's now my wife's favorite ski resort.

 

[snip]

 

If I'm forced to pick only one resort in Wasatch, I'll have to pick Alta :) If two, Alta + Snowbird.

If there's enough snow, it looks like Canyons could be the runner up behind those two in LCC (as we really liked 9990, and some of the double blacks runs that were not open seemed they could be a lot of fun, with easy/fast access from the lift).

Thanks for the report!

 

Next time to go to Alta . . . seems pretty clear you will go back :) . . . take your wife on the Saddle Traverse.  Lots of different choices for where to head down.  All fun with no worries about ending up in a chute.  The traverse itself is also pretty straightforward.  As you've found out, it takes a while to learn where to go at Alta.  That's not likely to change, which is fine with me.

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

Thanks for the report!

 

Next time to go to Alta . . . seems pretty clear you will go back :) . . . take your wife on the Saddle Traverse.  Lots of different choices for where to head down.  All fun with no worries about ending up in a chute.  The traverse itself is also pretty straightforward.  

Duly noted. If I'm not mistaken, I think we did Spruces / Sunspot, but didn't traverse further.

 

And yes, there will be next time ! I don't know when but for sure we'll visit Alta again (though, I'm still going through my bucket list of ski resorts, so it may take some time).

 
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

As you've found out, it takes a while to learn where to go at Alta.  That's not likely to change, which is fine with me.

Yeah. For me, it's part of the charm of the mountain - the sense of exploration, and also snow preservation.

 

On the other hand, my mind is constantly comparing Alta with Kirkwood - both mountains have very similar feel and terrain, but Kirkwood is so much easier to navigate and traverse - somehow snow coverage at Kirkwood traverses are always ok, and it's so much easier to see because skiable areas at Kirkwood are on the concave side of the ridge line (vs both Colins and Supreme have many of the runs off the convex side). Now that I think about it, I didn't see a lot of cornice at Alta - is the prevailing wind during storm at Alta mostly north/south axis ? That would explain lack of cornices and the snow coverage problem around the ridge at Alta. I think Kirkwood mainly gets west wind during storm, forming large cornices and also preserving the snow on the traverse which are on the eastern side and slightly below the ridge.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Seeking advice for a family ski trip to Park City in President Day week. All advanced skiers.