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Canyons? [Christmas/New Years 2015]

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Considering the Canyons for Christmas/New Years 2015. I know that is the worst time to go, but juggling three different college breaks, that is all we can manage.  Concerned about catwalks and crowds based on some reviews.  Have skiied Snowmass for several years and love it, but are thinking we might try something new. Our group includes intermediate and expert skiers and snowboarders.  We were in Steamboat years ago and love the mountain, but were disappointed with development/crowds  ---- 30+ minutes for lifts and impossible to find food without an hour wait. Comments?  Thanks!

post #2 of 15
If I were going to Utah around Xmas I would try to keep my options open as to resorts. The best chance for snow is the Cottonwoods, especially early in the season. I understand that you may have your heart set on the Canyons, perhaps because of the Epic Pass, but would still watch the weather and stay flexible if the quality of skiing is important too.
post #3 of 15

I went to Steamboat a few years ago at Xmas and it was too crowded.

 

If you want next to Zero Lines go to Sun Valley, Idaho. Best snowmaking system on the planet. Ketchum is a beautiful town, and the slopes are great.

 

I am thinking of going to Canyons, but I might be going the week before Christmas.

 

Christmas week is a killer. I am from California and Tahoe should be avoided at all costs

during Christmas week.

post #4 of 15

PC hasn't had good conditions at Christmas for quite a while and now it's on the Epic Pass. 

 

Pick a remote resort and go out to eat early.

 

Sun Valley

Big Sky

Telluride

Whitefish

post #5 of 15

Another place to consider is Grand Targhee.  But not much to do there besides ski.  In theory, could fly to SLC and drive from there.

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Looking at Grand Targhee because of early snow and lack of crowds, but much less developed resort than we have been to in the past --- as far as slopeside lodging and amenities that make it easy.  We have skiied both big sky and telluride.  Cannot beat Telluride other than tough to get to.  But, it is a wonderful mountain - I will look at transportation again. Does it get good early snow?  Big Sky was beautiful but so cold and no sun. Wonderful runs and outstanding people.  But, when were were there it was in the negatives the whole time and it is getting dark by 4:30 or so.  

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

I will look at Sun Valley -- thank you!

post #8 of 15

Canyons has the worst snow record in Utah, thus not the ideal home base at Christmas.  The new interconnection into Park City is an attraction but might be a choke point for lines during the holiday season, though overall the Park City resorts get about half the skiers per acre as the most popular Colorado destinations.  The issue here is the same as at Big Sky.  If your kids are really expert, the double black terrain is not that likely to be open at Christmas

 

If you go to Salt Lake, you should be based in Salt Lake to ski the Cottonwood areas for more reliable snow, unless you want to pay up to stay in a lodge at Alta or a condo at Snowbird.   I recall answering this question similarly a couple of years ago.

 

These may not be the answers you want to hear, but there are reasons those of us who ski a lot avoid that week. The key issues are crowds/prices and inadequate coverage of advanced/expert terrain.  Thus you will tend to get recommendations for places that get a lot of snow and perhaps have more difficult access to cut down the crowds (no surprise nearly all your respondents tout Targhee).  Salt Lake is an exception regarding the access issue because there are so many areas and thus some pretty good ones (Solitude, Snowbasin, Powder Mt.) aren't that busy even during the holidays.  A key reason they aren't busy is precisely because they don't have much on-mountain accommodation.  With little kids maybe it's important to be on the mountain.  Expert teenagers, like expert adults, should place more priority on avoiding crowds and having interesting terrain open to them. 


Edited by Tony Crocker - 6/21/15 at 12:26am
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

You are exactly right.  Thank you for your comments.  Hopefully someday we can get back to skiing end of February.  I think Utah sounds like a good choice this Christmas.  I will look at options at Solitude - I had crossed it off my list thinking it was skiier only like Deer Valley, but I just looked and it isn't.  Thanks so much!

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post

If I were going to Utah around Xmas I would try to keep my options open as to resorts. The best chance for snow is the Cottonwoods, especially early in the season. I understand that you may have your heart set on the Canyons, perhaps because of the Epic Pass, but would still watch the weather and stay flexible if the quality of skiing is important too.


This is how I'd roll if I were planning a trip to Utah. 

 

We were at Canyons/Park City in March and had a blast, lots of terrain variety and good snow. 

Not sure how much snow they usually get for the holidays but there are lots of options in Utah to ski if Canyons is a bust. 

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

You are exactly right.  Thank you for your comments.  Hopefully someday we can get back to skiing end of February.  I think Utah sounds like a good choice this Christmas.  I will look at options at Solitude - I had crossed it off my list thinking it was skiier only like Deer Valley, but I just looked and it isn't.  Thanks so much!


This is an old thread from 2010 about a Christmas stay at Solitude that includes a TR towards the end.  Might learn something useful.  It's one of the threads listed under the Christmas Vacation tag link (under Topics Discussed in right hand column).

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/96140/solitude-at-christmas-yes-updated-with-tr

 

One advantage of SLC is being able to easily get to another great ski area, either driving, by shuttle for a day trip, or public bus.

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks - that helps alot!  We have decided on SLC - will stay flexible with where we are skiing until we see what early snow and crowds dictate.  I am certain we will spend at least one day at Solitude.  I appreciate your advice and will post a report upon our return!  

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by joycelan View Post
 

Thanks - that helps alot!  We have decided on SLC - will stay flexible with where we are skiing until we see what early snow and crowds dictate.  I am certain we will spend at least one day at Solitude.  I appreciate your advice and will post a report upon our return!  


For the 2014-15 season there was a regional thread for SLC as well as an ongoing thread about Snowbird.  Most likely there will be one for 2015-16.  Regional threads are a good way to find out the latest from people who are local.

 

Really hard to go wrong flying to SLC for a ski trip. :)

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by joycelan View Post
 

Thanks - that helps alot!  We have decided on SLC - will stay flexible with where we are skiing until we see what early snow and crowds dictate.  I am certain we will spend at least one day at Solitude.  I appreciate your advice and will post a report upon our return!  


Looks like you made the right call.  Check out the update on 12/20 from a Park City local in the ongoing Utah regional thread:

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/142301/2015-16-utah-weather-news-conditions-discussion/180#post_1953129

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

Just returned home from Park City.  Here are my thoughts for future travelers:  Park City had record crowds, probably due to what everyone was calling "The Vail Effect" of linking the two resorts (Canyons and PCMR).  Even though this was the case, we never waited more than 5 - 7 minutes in the lift line, and there were only a few runs that stayed crowded, so it really was not an issue.  The Canyons side is difficult to navigate simply because it is so sprawling.  You need to pick an area you like and stick there, or you will spend lots of time riding lifts.  We felt (and heard other skiiers commenting as well) that the blue/intermediate runs on the Park City side were easier than the Canyons side.  Some of the intermediate runs on the Canyon side were more like double blue or even easy black at Snowmass or Steamboat.  If you are a confident intermediate skiier, Canyons is good for you.  If you are a strictly average intermediate skiier, stick to Park City side, or pick another resort. The better skiiers in our group felt like the blues were harder than typical, but black slightly easier. (As compared to Steamboat, Snowmass, Beaver Creek)  In general, 3 days at Park City was just too short to figure it out and really enjoy it -- we needed at least a week.  If you are a tree skiier, there are nice trees off the Saddleback Express (the Pines and Aspens) on the Canyons side. Fun, very easy blues (almost green/blues) are off silverload/motherload lift in Park City.

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