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First ski trip to Utah March 19-24

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

My family typically ski's in CO, but this year we decided to try Utah.  We based our trip with 2 nights in SLC arrival and departure nights.  2 nights in Huntsville by snowbasin and 2 nights at Solitude.


Our first day skiing was Sunday and we chose to Snowbird, it had been warm and we were looking for a high mountain without a million people on a Sunday.  I should say that I am a 50 year old mom traveling with my snowboarder 22 year old son and 18 year old snowboarder daughter.  Snowbird was mostly really hard, icy skiing in the morning due to refreeze.  Mineral basin was really crowded but I don't know why anyone went down there more that once, conditions were not great and the lift line was about 20 minutes.  We were happiest on the Gad 2 runs.  Snowbird is a bit too difficult for me. 


Day 2 was at Snowbasin.  Snowbasin was my favorite.  There were so many great areas to ski and so empty!  It was warm on Monday and it didn't refreeze very hard overnight so it was warm and sunny and soft!


Day 3 was a POWDER day!!  Snowbasin got about 11 inches of powder.  The morning was quite blizzardy..so viability was awful but the snow was amazing!  It cleared up about 11 and was fantastic everywhere all day.  Our favorite area was the trees and powder under the porcupine lift.


Day 4 we were at Solitude.  The cottonwoods got their snow a bit later than Snowbasin so we were hoping for another epic powder day.  And we got it but there were a ton of people there and most of the main areas were totally tracked out by 9:30-10 am-crazy.  However it was still great in Honeycomb and mostly off the Summit lift area.  We spent most of the day there.  Those areas were our favorite.  The problem I see with Solitude is that most of the easier stuff is at the bottom and it gets very busy down there on a powder day with day trippers for SLC. (and their families)  Lots of kids.  Solitude had lots of bald or icy spots by the end of the day.


Day 5- after much debate we decided to head back up to snowbasin for our final day.  We thought they might still have some nice snow left and we knew that Solitude probably would not be so lucky.  We found Powderhound bowl of porcupine chair which must not have been opened the day before because it was untracked and deep!  2 days after the snow!  We looped that a few times.  Then we headed to the John Paul lift and then all the way to the top on the tram.  We made it back down to the bottom on a very fast, groomed run.  We then headed to Strawberrry but it was windy and icy over there. 


We had a great time, my favorite resort by far was snowbasin.  It has a lot of variety.  I like sking in the powder and in the trees but not when it is really steep!  Snowbasin had more of that than the others.  I imagine Deer Valley and Park City offer more of that as well but we did not get there.


Since I am a CO skier from Michigan, I will give my comparison.  Snowbasin is a bit like Snowmass or Steamboat.  Snowbird like Aspen Highlands, Solitude ... I guess I don't have a comparison for that one.

post #2 of 5

Wow, Ive never heard of Solitude being crowded, especially midweek!!! Spring break for Utah schools?

post #3 of 5
Originally Posted by agreen View Post

Wow, Ive never heard of Solitude being crowded, especially midweek!!! Spring break for Utah schools?


Wednesday was a powder day.  Powder days are the biggest drivers of crowds in the Wasatch.  A big powder day will be far busier than a no snow holiday.  (When they intersect is when the real trouble happens, heh.)  I had friends at Solitude that reported the same thing.  It was just lucky that the LCC road didn't have avalanche control work, that would've made Solitude even busier. 


BTW, Snowbird was mobbed as well.  But, as usual it cleared out about noon when most of the folks headed back to work.  Mineral opened at 1:00, heh.

post #4 of 5

Janet, there are some things you can do in the mornings to mitigate the freeze skiing at Snowbird.  It's usually the Westerly aspects that are scary, ie Regulator and anything that faces that way.  Never head out Regulator on a spring morning! (That was sunny the day before with no new snow)  A lot of people are tempted to drop into Mineral first thing in the morning, that system works fine, but you have to be out of there by 10:30 at the latest.  Any later than that and the line builds up till it tends to thin by 1:00 or so.


The Peruvian side of the resort seems to ski better in freeze thaw conditions.  I skied Sunday as well and banged out the first six blue boxes, all of them coming down the Peruvian side.  Silver Fox, Primrose, and upper Chips all were still holding winter chalky snow.  Andersen's aka Think Young was lovely as well.  Try to ski runs where you're facing the mountains across the street or Alta, not looking out over the valley.


Glad you had a good time in Utah!

post #5 of 5

Was in UT the week before you and we had great conditions.  Skied Brighton Sun, Mon & Tues and they had 30 inches on those 3 days.  Fantastic ski experience, did some out of bounds off Wren Hollow and all the trails off Great Western on the very far right side of the lift (looking up) there were huge pillows.  Short lift lines and hooting and hollering the whole time.


Snowbasin the 16th and 18th - first time here and I did not expect as much snow as the Cottonwood Canyons (as they daily and YTD totals were nowhere near) but boy was I wrong.  Was shocked how much untracked snow there was - both days.  Place was huge, uncrowded and a delight to ski.  Nice easy 60 min. drive from SLC.  Great lift system and epic bathrooms and lodges!  My new favorite UT resort!


Soliture on St. Patt's day - Honeycomb was closed till about 1030 as they were bombing back there.  When it opened up the power was great, overall on a powder day Soli does get tracked out pretty quickly as alot of locals head up there for a half day to get the snuff.  The frontside groomers were pretty solid with some ice on windblown trails but no complaints at all


Had a great week and sounds like you did as well.  Next trip and I'm heading over to Powder Mt. If the conditions are good, have heard many good things about that mountain.

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