I've been having a blast this season at Snowbasin--conditions are worlds better than last year (or April 2014, for that matter), and having the time to really get to know the mountain helps a lot too.
Snowbasin has been pretty busy this season, with the parking lots filling up fast and lots of people on the hill. But, as noted in the Utah thread, lines really haven't been too bad--usually less than 10 minutes for Needles or the tram, and between ski-on and a few minutes for Strawberry, Becker, Middle Bowl, and John Paul. Porcupine's generally ski-on, and a very charismatic porcupine has been hanging out in a tree just to the right of the chair as you head uphill--lots of people taking pictures. Wildcat is really a treasure, and I'm thrilled that they've been running it and grooming it this season--and for whatever reason, it seems to stay pretty empty.
I'm still a little frustrated with the bottlenecks on the mountain, especially on days when City Hill and Women's Finish are closed off for racing. Grooming under Wildcat helps tremendously--there's a bottleneck on Bear Hollow, but instead of everyone staying compressed there, they disperse again on Wildcat Traverse, Stewart's, Stein's, Becker Face, Harold, and School Hill. The top of both gondolas are also problem spots... Sweet Revenge, in particular, seems like it could benefit from some sort of more aggressive surface management to keep it in good shape all the way to 4:00. But overall the grooming has been phenomenal.
Overall, I'd say the blue runs at Snowbasin tend to be on the challenging side. I've noticed big crowds of people on the easy roads down from the top of Needles (switchbacks to Porcupine Traverse to Middle Bowl Traverse to Boardwalk to either Herberts or Blue Grouse). I think the popularity of this path, despite its overcrowding, is a good indicator that less confident intermediates are being scared away from many of Snowbasin's blue runs. Personally I really like a lot of the steeper runs, but I'm a bit cautious to recommend Snowbasin for timid intermediates. And for that matter, I occasionally really enjoy big, long, wide, gently rolling cruisers... the kind you find at Powder Mountain or Lift 10 at Telluride or the frontside of Keystone. And my only real complaint with the Snowbasin terrain is that they don't offer such a thing.
Thanks, everyone, for your comments, suggestions, and feedback!
I think that depends largely on how far you go. My boyfriend and I had dinner at Mariposa in the Silver Lake Lodge tonight, and it was superb--easily one of the top restaurants I've ever experienced anywhere. It was expensive to be sure, but I agree that the prices were fair... what I'd expect from any restaurant of that caliber. And we'll definitely be back to try some of the other restaurants. But they're pretty much all less than an hour drive from home for me and accessible without paying for a lift ticket. Given the decent possibility that my ski day at Deer Valley last month might end up being my only day ever skiing there, I think I made the right choice to get all the skiing in that I could. However, for tourists visiting Utah, I agree that they really should enjoy lunch at DV.
I mostly agree. But it's frustrating to be at the top of Little Cloud wanting to head to Peruvian. And the soupy/choppy crud that forms around the base of the Baldy Lift is very offputting to lower-skill skiers... I wish the bottom of Baldy was another 150 feet or so higher.
Snowbasin is my favorite mountain ever. It's just good. Even on a busy snowbasin day, its not very busy. Plenty of terrain for all preferences and skill levels whether you like the tree skiing on JP, the open bowls in strawberry, park laps on needles, or super fast groomers on strawberry, snowbasin had it. I'm a pass holder. Shoot me a PM if you want to know some of the hot spots for powder have been. Only downside is the visibility at the top during storms but thats what you get for higher elevation amazing view skiing.
Note: last year was a terrible year for everyone so conditions were not up to Utah par. This year is much better
Good points--I really am enjoying Snowbasin at my current ability level, and there is no shortage of areas on the mountain that I look at and think "one of these days I'm going to be able to ski that!" It really is a phenomenal mountain, and it certainly has grown on my this year!