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First time at Alta Guidance? - Page 2

post #31 of 34
Originally Posted by dchan View Post

Since the MCP is a dual mountain pass already, talk to some locals, or patrol people when you get there. One thing that is worth a quick run or two is dropping into mineral basin if the snow is good. Very little traversing to get in and out and it's not much time spent getting back and forth.


Also MCP does include hopping on a local MTA bus so if you do get stuck on one side you can still get back to your vehicle without too much trouble.


That being said, unless I'm meeting someone over at Snowbird, my choice is Alta every time. I love the small mountain feel. It's just a little higher overall in elevation so the snow tends to be a little lighter many times.


There's just so much charm there.


One thing that's a must do at Alta especially if you are starting to get up in age (I think the OP said 61) is to go meet the "Old Wild Bunch" they are a great group of Sr's that meet almost every day late morning for lunch at Alf's Just go say hi and be inspired!



The Old Wild Bunch are easy to spot at Alf's.  Start by looking for someone with a badge that is for "70+", then look around for those with the "80+" badges.  Great fun to hear the discussion outside from a Wild Bunch group trying to decide which trees to hit based on where they skied before taking a break.  Or a few fussing in the spring because things hadn't softened up yet off the groomers.


If the OP does decide to start at Snowbird on the first day and visibility is good, could head over to the Alta side from Mineral Basin for a quick preview by taking a ride up Sugarloaf.  Can see more than enough of Supreme trees in the distance, Devil's Castle, and the Backside to have some impression of how much fun there can be.  Especially if can spot a few folks heading down to sense how far away they are.

post #32 of 34
If you see people lining up by a closed gate, get in line. These are locals who know the timing on gate drops. You may end up waiting a short time (not ideal since you only have two days), but scoring fresh tracks in these areas is an experience you'll never forget. It also means you got lucky on timing and you are skiing Alta soon after a storm.
post #33 of 34

Alta and Snowbird are large and cannot possibly be covered in 2 days.  The two mountains ski quite differently from one another and have a very different feel about them.  They are both great but, in general, Snowbird is more technically demanding than Alta.  It is up to you but you should not feel a need to ski both in 2 days.  You can't even do one of the mountains justice in 2 days, so why spread yourself thin?


Given that you like Deer Valley, I'll assume that you are not too financially constrained.


I highly recommend that you stay at the one of the base lodges at Alta.  They are all inclusive, have a great vibe, friendly, and the convenience is super. 


The best of both Alta and Snowbird are not that obvious to a new skier on the mountain.  I recommend that you hire a guide for both days.  I would also pay for the Early Bird lesson option where you can ski an hour before the lifts open.  So you will have the mountain to yourself with a guide.  Let the guides show you around.  I guarantee that you will see and experience so much more with a guide than if you just try to follow the trail map around the mountain. 


Eat at the Collins Grill at the Watson Center for lunch.  They have a nice white tablecloth table service and they give you slippers so you can take your boots off for lunch.


I could name a number of runs at Alta and Snowbird to try.  But its all good and if you have a guide or friend show you around - you'll have a blast anywhere you go.  Make sure to try to do the many traverses at Alta because they lead to the good runs at the end of them.



post #34 of 34
Originally Posted by green26 View Post

don’t want to waste a moment orienting by myself!

You are going to have to, unless you have an experienced guide to show you around.  You are going to have to put in your time dealing with less challenging slopes to figure out the lifts and the general layout.  It is impossible to ski a mtn like a regular unless you put in your time to learn the basic layout, which can only be done by skiing it.  It is better to start off skiing slopes where you can see that you are comfortable with what you are getting into on the way up. 


At Snowbird you won't have any trouble finding challenging slopes - much of it is in your face as you ride up the lifts.  It takes a little more effort in general to find gravity at Alta, but it is there and fairly easy to find.  It is going to take a dozen days at either of those resorts to get familiar with the secrets, and even then, there is always more to explore.


To feed you anticipation - you might want to read - A Powder Hounds Guide to Alta and Snowbird Secrets.  I would definitely spend a day at Snowbird.

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