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TR: Snowbasin, UT 12/31/04

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
After experiencing the tough weather, slow lifts, lines, and lodges of Alta; we decided to go to Snowbasin. After an easy 50 min. drive from Sandy, I parked in the 1st row of the parking lot at 8:30am. Three staff members were there by the skier drop-off to greet and assist. They said hello to everyone with enthusiasm and conversation. They also provided small wheelbarrels for parents to haul gear across the heated walkway (without stairs) to the lodges. The Earl Lodge is right next to the Needles Gondola and the John Paul Quad. This might be the most convenient base facility in ski country. The lodges are very impressive, luxurious and roomy. Big arm chairs, tables, fireplaces and plenty of couches remind me of the Lodge at Sun Valley. Marble counters and the famous bathrooms complete the lodge scene. They even had lockers large enough to fit a 30 in. bootbag into.

Weather: 30's with snow and enough wind to keep the Strawberry gondola on hold all day. All other summit lifts ran despite near white-out visibility conditions. The snow wasn't as dry or as plentiful as Alta, it kind of reminded me of Colorado during a early December.

Skiing the Mountain: Snowbasin might have the best overall mixure of terrain for all levels at a single mountain in the SLC area. Despite some criticism of the Middle Bowl chairlifts, I think the lift system is excellent. The No Name and John Paul section has legitimate steeps with 3000 vertical and a wind-sheltered quad for easy access. The Grizzly and Wildflower Downhill runs are great trails! We found plenty of rolling top to bottom intermediate cruisers. The mountain only lacks a long beginner trail from the summit and more expert terrain.

The people at Snowbasin were fantastic, the lifts are great, the snow was fine, the food was excellent and we will be going back to Snowbasin ASAP!

TR to be continued....
post #2 of 4
Great report! And it's been snowing ever since you were there....
post #3 of 4
Too bad you didn't get to see the terrain in strawberry, alot of the good stuff is accessed from there. When you get off the needles gondy and look up and to your left, all of that is skiable.

Glad you had fun.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
We did go back to Snowbasin the next day and sampled the Strawberry area and really enjoyed the long runs there. The Strawberry side makes Snowbasin great for intermediates to cruise and explore the many ridge lines there.
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