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Snowbird/Alta/Park City?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi. I'll be skiing in Utah for 4 days for the first time (hopefully, not last) next week. In 4 days (based out of PC) which slopes should I hit besides Alta?

I'm an advanced skier used to CA skiing.

Thanks for any help,
post #2 of 11
we've discussed the merits of different Utah resorts before, but I have no idea where to find the thread. Snowbird is pretty great; it's much like Alta terrain wise but not as laid back. Some people love yo yoing the tram just to rack up vertical.. a lot of "A" types. Cant' really go wrong. I buy the chairs only tickets for less and ride the Gad and Little Cloud Chairs. Solitude is pretty great. Low crowd factor, great terrain , Same huge snowfall as Alta. The drive up Big Cottonwood is the most outrageous sceanery in northern Utah. Bargain Ticket, too. Skip Brighton. Canyons; havn't skiied it much, people love it; good cruising and if you know where to go, there's powder days after a storm. P.C. my favorite all purpose mountain. Good place to cruise when there hasn't been a dump for a couple weeks. Good on a powder day if you can't get to the Cottonwoods.
Deer Vally is just a total hoot. Very Posh, best food, best services, big mansions all over the hill, lovingly groomed, pretty place. No boarders,please. Locals swear by it on a pow day as the guests stay inside by the fire. Sundance is small and charming, a beautiful unpretentious gem. But definately a side trip better for a longer stay. Maybe some of the other folks have some thoughts. Have fun..
post #3 of 11
I was in a similar situation last month, so I'll give you the benefit of my experience:
On your 4 days, you should visit Alta, Alta, Alta, and Alta. Seriously. From Park City, you can get there in an hour. The difference between Alta and the resorts in Park City is like night and day.
post #4 of 11
There is no night life in the Cottonwood Canyons. Park City has it all,( slc some) as shown on tv during the games.
It's a matter of personal perferance what type of terrain you want to ski. Utah has it all to offer. Just stay in PC, if you want good eats and some great Bars.
No Name Saloon, O'Shucks Mullegans
Enjoy your trip out here.
post #5 of 11
I just returned from my second four-day trip to Utah this season (this time, to Solitude, Snowbird, and The Canyons)... and I'm a huge fan. There's little if anything to dislike about Utah's ski areas, and as I mentioned in an earlier thread, the only reason that the SLC area is not completely overrun with skiers is a lack of marketing initiative.

Solitude is friendly, inexpensive, full of snow, and -- even on a Saturday afternoon -- almost completely empty. It makes for a perfect half-day warm-up after arriving on a morning flight from the East Coast. About the only complaint is the somewhat odd lift layout, and -- with the exception of one high-speed quad -- slow uphill capacity. So I was happy to see that they're planning to install two new lifts for next season: a high-speed quad to replace the slow-poke Moonbeam lift out of the main parking lot, and a lift to get you out of amazing Honeycomb Canyon, thus eliminating a really long runout back to the front of the mountain.

Snowbird reminded me of a smaller version of Jackson Hole, both in topography and attitude. It's a high-testosterone ski area, with lots of local gunners jumping off cliffs and smoking through tight chutes. Although much of the ungroomed terrain resembled a hard, lunar surface (I left three days before the big dump on Thursday), I had lots of fun doing laps on the two high-speed quads in Mineral Basin.

For some reason, I went to The Canyons expecting to hate it (my longstanding bias against big destination resorts), but it's an absolutely fantastic area... not to be missed. It's really unlike any other ski area I've been to... instead of one main mountain (or two), it consists of nine separate peaks with dozens of canyons, ravines, meadows, Steamboat-like Aspen groves, and rolling, narrow New England-esque trails running through the pine trees. You could spend weeks exploring all the amazing off-piste terrain, and if it there hasn't been any fresh snow for a while (unfortunately, the case for my trip), it'll take several days to exhaust all the marked runs.

The rap against The Canyons is that, due to its layout, you really can't nail the 3,000+ vertical in one shot (most of your runs will consist of 1,000 - 1,700 ft. vertical), and that many of the runs end in LONG run-outs. True, but the tradeoff: a jaw-dropping amount of terrain, lots of high-speed lifts, and no lines. Just remember to wax your skis and you'll be fine.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great feedback. Hopefully, more fresh snow will dump by Thursday.

post #7 of 11
All the above advice is right on the money.But I do have a question what type of terrain do you like? Are you looking for steeps? Groomed runs? or are muguls and chutes more what your looking for?How about tree skiing? All The Utah Ski Mountains have their own feel. Doing 3 days on the Park City side of The Wasatch and one Day at Alta,would be the easiest thing to do. All The Park City resorts are with in 10 mins from anywhere in Park City.There are free buses and shuttles to anywhere in Town and there are shuttles that will run you over to the Cottenwood Canyons. or try Snowbasin.Snowbasin is 45 mins North of Park City and a great mountain.With 8 Mountains Oh wait make that 9 Mountains if you add Powder Mountain all with in an hour of each other you'll just have to come back to sample them all. By the way we got between 8 to 18 inches of snow on Friday and another storm is due on Monday.The skiing is really good right now.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
I like steeps, some moguls and chutes and (because of CA skiing) I'm not really familiar with tree skiing.

post #9 of 11
Solitude is my favorite place on earth. No crowds is big plus, of course. The odd lift layout mentioned above is what makes Solitude so awesome to me. There is a ton of inbounds terrain that is not lift served. Most people would say its a bad thing, but its an awesome thing 'cause that inbounds terrain stays fresh for WEEKS. Lazy people don't hike. And I'm not talking about long hikes; take the lift up, hike for 20 minutes and you have fresh snow top to bottom. Enjoy your trip.
post #10 of 11
Noodles (possibly my favorite epicski handle -- I'm going to name my next cat "Noodles") is correct. I was there recently with a (lower-intermediate) girlfriend who had no business hiking anywhere for freshies, so the lift layout was not optimal for us under those circumstances, espec. going from skier's left to skier's right. But if you want fresh tracks weeks after the last storm (and aren't there with a slowpoke girlfriend), Solitude delivers -- long after Alta & Snowbird are tracked into submission.

Does anyone know why more people don't go there? I've been there on two different Saturdays, and on both occasions, it was a virtual ghost town. Is it because they don't offer season passes? Is it a former Superfund site?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 13, 2002 02:32 PM: Message edited 2 times, by jamesdeluxe ]</font>
post #11 of 11
With 4 days in Park City, definitely take a day to check out Snowbasin. You'll find lots of chutes and steeps. Don't miss skiing the men's downhill (Grizzly) and women's downhill (Wildflower). You'll never see it all in a day, but you'll get a feel for what you want to ski on your next trip to Utah. Also try the the (expensive) combo ticket for Alta/Snowbird so you can see why so many people love Little Cottonwood Canyon. You'll be back to Utah.
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