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3 Days to ski... Alta?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm taking a quick 3 day weekend on March 12th, 13th and 14th to Utah. I'm lodging at a chain hotel along the ski bus route up to Alta/Snowbird and Brighton/Solitude. Should I just bag B/S and roll with Alta the whole time? I'd love to take a lesson on Friday (12th) at Alta based on all the amazing things said about their ski school. Would it be cheaper to buy discount lift passes at Canyon Sports or combine with a lesson up there? I need to find the old post on Alta's recommended instructors. Anyone willing or patient enough to ski with a 2nd year intermediate who's trying to step it up a notch? It would be great to meet some bears and down some beers. Thanks y'all!
post #2 of 21
Here's a thread that recommends a few Alta instructors.

As far as Brighton and Solitude, I've never skied out that way but have many friends who have on many occasions. Alta is their favorite, but they also like these 2 resorts, especially when Alta/Snowbird are seeing crowds. Supposedly, Solitude and Brighton have some great intermediate terrain.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
That's what I needed Coach! Thank you. I see you're getting out of the area soon as well. Have fun! I'm going to Big Sky with Ski Chalet in early April.
post #4 of 21
You will for the most part get less crowds at Solitude on the weekends then at Alta. You may want to contact our vary own Yanar for a lession. He is an excellent Instructor. He teaches at Deer Valley, however most resorts allow ski instructors from other resorts to teach on thier mountain. I see Deer Valley/ The Canyons/ Park City Instructors teaching all the time at other mountains. Drop him a PM and see what you can work out It is well worth your time.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Is it likely to be very crowded this time of year? How common are these area's for spring breakers? I skied Killington last weekend and while it was crowded, it wasn't too bad. It doesn't get anything like that, does it? I do like the looks of Solitude for one of my days; most likely Sunday.
post #6 of 21
Skiing 3 days?
Friday @ Snowbird- wknd. will be a zoo
Sat. @ Solitude- should get less crowds than LCC
Sun. @ Alta- Save the best for last!

2 days?
Fri. Alta
Sat. Solitude

Also, if you arrive before midday, you should go ski free in Park City.
post #7 of 21
Watch the storms, go where they go.
post #8 of 21
I would hope that you'd get the combo pass at least one of the days so you can get some real skiing in at the Bird.
The Bird is steeper, has more varied terrain, has more than 1100 additional feet of vertical, three detachable high-speed quads (Alta has only a low-speed access quad in their beginner area), and more than 1300 additional acres.
If I spent my only 3 days in Utah at Alta and then later found out I could have skied directly from Alta's Sugarloaf chair into Snowbird, I'd kick myself for not checking it out.
Over the years, I've had dozens of friends come to ski with me in Utah. Once they ski Snowbird, that's where they spend their ski days on future trips. They occasionally check other places out of curiousity but spend the majority of their trip at the Bird. Seriously.
But you've got to be in shape and you gotta like vertical. A full day at the Bird can kill your legs. We typically average 40,000 in day on steep terrain/glades at Snowbird without even thinking about it, whereas you can only get about half that in a day at Alta what with the slow chairs, flat runouts, and endless traversing.
ALL of my out-of-state buddies (male and female) have ended up feeling this way. I can't think of any exceptions.
Just thought this might help with your planning. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #9 of 21
My wife and I just got back from SLC - and I'm headed back for a couple of days this week (a long trip from New Hampshire). I plan to spend one if not both days at Snowbird - though I am considering the pass that lets you ski both Alta and Snowbird for at least one of the days. We would agree with Endlessseason's description. I would also recommend Snowbasin for one of the weekend days (Saturday) - it has a *lot* of intermediate terrain (it's a big modern place), zero crowds, great lifts, and the best lodges on the planet (we're talking marble bathrooms, with cushioned stools, etc. - I don't know what everyone elso goes to ski areas for, but this does it for me#$%^&*).
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Bearberry - Man, I would love to get over to Snowbasin. I went there in January and it turned out to me one of my favorite places. Problem is, I'm relying solely on public trans and I don't know of a way to get to 'Basin from Midvale. If you know of some way or someone headed that way I'd gladly tag along, pay for gas, etc. Who knows?

Endless - I'm just working my way up to the higher intermediate/lower advanced ranges of skiing (pure speculation on my part) but I'm certainly willing to test myself at the Bird. I'm in decent shape but I have no idea what 40,000 vert would do to me! Anyhow, thanks for the advice. It's going to be a fun three days. Hopefully meet some cool folks to ski with!
post #11 of 21
I gotta chime in on the Alta/Bird combo pass.

It's a waste, IMHO.

The only purpose I could see for it, is if you're just gonna be there for a day, and you want a taste of both (or you wanna be able to SAY you've skied both).

Each one provides way more skiing than you can handle in a day. There's really no reason to pay the premium to be able to cross the boundary.
And actually, if you're an intermediate, you could really get by with a chairs-only ticket at the bird.

My .02, having skied Alta 2 days, and Snowbird 3 days during a week vacation last April.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
When I was out there in Jan. I was told the same thing. I'll probably take your advice on the 3 day plan. With the predicted mild weather towards the end of the week I'm guessing the snow will be like tasty creamed corn! In any case it's going to be 100 times better than what I get out here. Still thumbing for a ride to Snowbasin if anyone out there is reading this!! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #13 of 21
Make sure you get over to Solitude. I headed over to the US a few weeks ago. Had big plans for Alta/Snowbird and thought we may not get to Solitude. We did and it was great. The terrain was steeper than expected -good news! and we were finding more stashes of the untracked stuff than at Alta -depite having made efforts to hike at Alta.
Solitude also offered some great easily hikable terrain if you are that way inclined. From our experience you are almost gauranteed to get tracks without too much effort.
Can't comment on Brighton as we missed that, but a day at Solitude is definitiely worth it. Even with over half the worlds skiing as easily accessible to us as Solitude is, the consensus was very much that 'We'd be back!'
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Solitude is definitely on the agenda and the only thing stopping this is if I can manage a ride to Snowbasin...
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'll eventually make it back to Snowbasin but I know I'll be more than satisfied sticking around the BC and LC canyons! There is a chance of snow on Saturday night, so maybe Sunday will turn out to be filled with pow... crossing my fingers!
post #16 of 21
Didn't get to make the trip to Snowbasin myself, but the news from the two of our guys who did was that they preferd Solitude.
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Final shout before I roll - leaving for SLC in about three hours! Going to hit Alta tomorrow and will mostly like take the "Beyond the Blues" workshop in the afternoon. Heard that it'll be snowing on Saturday. Should I leave my hotel as early as possible to get on the bus and head up to Solitude? Anyone bears going to be skiing the area this weekend? Let me know and perhaps we could meet up! Thanks for all the advice/info, it's been very helpful. Cheers!
post #18 of 21
eep an eye on the weather. If we have any real snow at all avalanche conditions in both littel and big cottenwood canyons could be a factor. They close the roads up untill they are deemed safe. This could take an hour or all day. You may want to see about a back up plan to get over to the Park City side of the Wasatch just in case. It all depends on The conditions in the morning. The last few days have been warm and we have had a freeze thaw cycle snowpack is not vary stable right now. There was an avalache that closed LCC the other day.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Will do, Utah49. Any idea of buses or shuttle services up to PC? Taxi could be damn expensive! Is there a tv or radio station to tune in for avalanche/road closing updates? Thanks for the heads up!
post #20 of 21
Bus route to Solitude is easy & manageable, get there early.

Big cottonwood canyon rarely closes ( 2x this year of EPIC snow ) so you should be fine, I drive it darn near daily

post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Rock on! Thanks Matt. I'm all over it.
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