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Snowbird March 18th–22nd

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
We have our first trip planned out West ever this year… March 18-22nd. We have rented a house; ski in/ out on Snowbird. The weather seems to be awful this year. Should we try to cancel or postpone our trip until next year? Or should we just go and try to enjoy the mountain. Thanks.
post #2 of 20
Go for it. A bad year in LCC is better than an average year most places.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks...just wondering if any of of the "good stuff" will be able to be skied. The reason why I have been looking to go out West for so long. I just despise groomers.
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason View Post

We have our first trip planned out West ever this year… March 18-22nd. We have rented a house; ski in/ out on Snowbird. The weather seems to be awful this year. Should we try to cancel or postpone our trip until next year? Or should we just go and try to enjoy the mountain. Thanks.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason View Post

Thanks...just wondering if any of of the "good stuff" will be able to be skied. The reason why I have been looking to go out West for so long. I just despise groomers.


Where do you usually ski?

post #5 of 20

I am gonna say cancel.  You want your first trip west to be special.  You want this white stuff I've heard of called snow.

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
We have a small place at Sunday River, Maine..... go to every weekend in the winter. The season has been particularly good, but even with all the snowfall it seems in the East at least get skied off very quickly and are left with hardpack/ice. I am always in the trees or on a bump trail. Groomers always find to be boring and at least in the East pretty icy...that's why I was so excited to go out West. Everyone I spoke with seems to say they don't get the ice compared to what we get in the East. I was looking forward to trying some chutes, steeps, and small cliffs. I don't think that is going to happen with their conditions… but I am not sure.Thanks.
post #7 of 20

Thinking I might have been a bit hasty and too negative. I just checked Snowbird's 10 day forecast... Temps look pretty mild, mostly mid 40's - low 50's. However a peek at their webcams looks like they have better coverage than I thought.  Still, Snowbird would not be my ideal place for spring skiing and is not really what you put your $ down for when travelling west.  Stay home and come join us at the Eastern gathering over in VT.

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm definitely thinking about it… Can't believe we are actually getting better conditions than out West. Figures, the one time I decide to go they have one of the worst seasons ever.
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason View Post

We have a small place at Sunday River, Maine..... go to every weekend in the winter. The season has been particularly good, but even with all the snowfall it seems in the East at least get skied off very quickly and are left with hardpack/ice. I am always in the trees or on a bump trail. Groomers always find to be boring and at least in the East pretty icy...that's why I was so excited to go out West. Everyone I spoke with seems to say they don't get the ice compared to what we get in the East. I was looking forward to trying some chutes, steeps, and small cliffs. I don't think that is going to happen with their conditions… but I am not sure.Thanks.

 

Hmm . . . tough call.  I spent a couple days at SR in early Dec for the first time.  As well as a day at Wildcat.  The scale of Alta/Snowbird is certainly way bigger in terms of the terrain you want to play in.

 

Have you been following the regional thread or the Snowbird thread?

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/132147/2014-2015-utah-weather-discussion

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/130283/snowbird-2014-2015

 

For what it's worth, I'll be meeting up with friends at Alta Lodge in April for our annual get together.  Obviously it will be spring skiing but I've had a lot of fun since I started going regularly in 2008.  Helps that by now my ski buddies and I know the place pretty well.  We won't be on the groomers all day long but in warm temps won't be worrying about being ready to ski right when the lifts open.  I have a sense of how things are this season because I skied LCC in early Feb.

post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Honestly… Just depressing. I'm sure I could retrieve some of the money I put down. Lift tickets are already paid for as well as airfare and the place we are staying. I just don't know which way to turn. I have been following the weather thread very close, hoping for some snow fall before or while we are there but doesn't seem to be panning out.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason View Post

Honestly… Just depressing. I'm sure I could retrieve some of the money I put down. Lift tickets are already paid for as well as airfare and the place we are staying. I just don't know which way to turn. I have been following the weather thread very close, hoping for some snow fall before or while we are there but doesn't seem to be panning out.

I think you're likely being way too negative about the conditions there. It hasn't been a great season, but they still have an 80-ish inch base, and just about everything is skiable.

I was there in January with a 70" base, and thought everything skied pretty well. Obviously a different set of conditions in March, but I'm heading there on the 25th, and it wouldn't even occur to me to cancel. Hopefully they'll get some snow between now and then, but even if they don't, I know I'm going to have a great time skiing awesome terrain in spring conditions.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason View Post

Honestly… Just depressing. I'm sure I could retrieve some of the money I put down. Lift tickets are already paid for as well as airfare and the place we are staying. I just don't know which way to turn. I have been following the weather thread very close, hoping for some snow fall before or while we are there but doesn't seem to be panning out.

I think you're likely being way too negative about the conditions there. It hasn't been a great season, but they still have an 80-ish inch base, and just about everything is skiable.

I was there in January with a 70" base, and thought everything skied pretty well. Obviously a different set of conditions in March, but I'm heading there on the 25th, and it wouldn't even occur to me to cancel. Hopefully they'll get some snow between now and then, but even if they don't, I know I'm going to have a great time skiing awesome terrain in spring conditions.

 

I was there last weekend.  Skiing was fantastic with good coverage.  Spring skiing is second best to powder, and what you should expect booking a trip at the end of March.  

 

It could dump.  It could be warm spring skiing.  Or, it could be refrozen coral reef.  You'll likely see a bit of each, so just go easy on the one or two crappy days of the week.   The terrain in LCC is very much worth the trip. 

 

Before I settled down I used to make an annual pilgrimage to Altabird for Alta's closing weekend party then MTB in Moab on the way back.  It was usually the second week of April back then.  Skiing was always fantastic spring conditions, and that was three weeks later.   Worst case, your late March trip will be like that... which is fantastic.  Just go!

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you!
post #14 of 20

Western "firm" conditions is not Sunday River firm.  You get a very "chalky" type surface that isn't exactly the grippiest stuff around, but it's by no means "New England ice" either.  That said, you probably don't want to be straight-lining chutes, dropping cliffs, or be in "you have absolutely, positively, gotta make that turn" in those conditions either.

 

North-facing slopes (i.e., coldest areas) will be your friend.  I seem to remember there's a substantial amount of north-facing at Snowbird, but I'm by no means a Snowbird expert.

 

I just got back from the Jackson Gathering where they're in a similar snow drought.  Yes, it's not what you dream of when you go "west", but it's not "that" bad either.

 

So it comes down to what's going to make or break for you?  If you have to ski tight chutes and drop cliffs, etc. for the trip to be "worth while", then you might come away disappointed.  If you're going to be happy skiing someplace new, poking around and trying to find good snow (that may not be very "extreme") -- while remembering that you're going to find some crap snow in the process -- you'll probably have a great time.

post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Great! I will make the best of it. Thank you for your time and reply.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason View Post

Great! I will make the best of it. Thank you for your time and reply.


Hope you'll report back how it goes.  There are probably plenty of others with spring break trips in late March and early April wondering what they will find.  For me, I've never regretted a trip to Utah.

post #17 of 20

Make sure you work the sun!  

 

The great thing about Snowbird in the spring is it has all different exposures.  Except on the very worst days, there is usually good snow on the mountain somewhere at any given moment.  Part of the fun is figuring out where based on the sun position, cloud cover, current temperature, overnight temperature, etc.    Even in a particular chute the side with sun can be drastically better or worse than the side in the shade.  You never really know for sure until you hit the snow.  When you find something good, stick to it... until it goes bad, then move on.  Lots of fun!


Edited by tball - 3/13/15 at 8:53am
post #18 of 20

I'm with Tball, I love spring skiing.   I think you'll have great skiing, but you might want to learn to like groomers.

Groomers usually soften up easier and Juniors in Mineral Basin,  is the first thing to soften up in the morning.

You might consider hiring a guide/instructor to show you the ropes on the exposures.

You're spending big bucks for your first trip out west,  $500 bucks is a drop in the bucket to ensure you have a great time.

Plus,  you'll cut the lines.

post #19 of 20

the Bird skied awesome yesterday - get on that plane with confidence - the sun is your friend like the previous posts noted.  

post #20 of 20

Snowbird has a free mountain tour in the mornings.  Although it's only on groomers, I assume the hosts are knowledgeable about the harder terrain.

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