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Great Utah Conditions

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We just got back from Utah after a four day jaunt. The skiing was great. Wed - Sat inclusive. PC-Solitude-PC-DV. We have friends in PC who work at PC Mountain which was one of the reasons why we were there twice. They had a decent snow that Sunday and Monday and conditions were excellent I thought. Any time I mention bumps, they aren't the hard Volkswagon size bumps. They weren't that developed.
PC hadn't groomed everything by Wednesday, but by Friday they had gotten ready for the weekend and knocked down some of the bumps. It was kinda cool because the mountain skiied differently the two days. Friday was busy, but Motherlode and Thaynes weren't as busy as some of the other lifts.
Solitude was awesome. Nobody was there, nearly literally. Never a wait. Solitude has some great wide open steep groomed blues with powder and bumps on the sides. It's a great place to play and practice in the bumps and have an easy escape route if they get to be too much. Got up into Honeycomb but didn't venture too far in before bailing down to Honeycomb return. Powder was a bit much for me. The mountain was so unskiied and unspoiled. Favorite run there was probably Challenger. It was at the far right of the mountain. A reasonably long black run that no one but us was skiing .
Sad to say that on this trip, I liked DV the best. I had been there before, but not skiing at the level I'm at now so I missed much of the mountain that this time I experienced. Even though the visibility sucked due to fog, and even though there was a wet snow the night before, I still had the best time there. I like the fact there are long runs that challenge an advanced intermediate without killing em. They're even marked double blue. Steins way to the first chance over to Perseverance is nice run. Any run off Empire was pretty good and challenging, but my favorite on the mountain was Tycoon. It was the run that didn't end. Fairly steep at the top and moderately bumped out and good and long. At the end of the day, even the green runs were getting bumped up because a light snow kept falling.

I'd rate in the order of difficulty based on runs as marked.
I stayed off most of the black runs at DV and found the double blue runs there at least as or more difficult than the blacks at PC. Solitude was closer to DV, but I skiied all their groomed or recently groomed blacks. Their bumpy blacks were tough for me but usually you had a way to bail mid run that you didn't always have at other places. Like I said, a great place to test yourself and learn but have an escape route if needed that isn't full of trees. All in all, I enjoyed all three mountains as each offers a little something different. Best groomed runs were at Solitude. Beautiful corduoroy, probably due to the light traffic.

If anyone cares, lockers at PC were $6.00, as was the bag check. DV lockers were $2.00, bag check $4.00. Solitude lockers were $0.75.........
post #2 of 9
Thanks for the report. I'll be there next Tuesday!
post #3 of 9
Just going to ad a powder alert dumping as I type So far PCMR is reporting 18" snowbasin 14" I'm sure the cottonwood canyons are 24" or better. Thats it This reported has to go test this snow............. seeya
post #4 of 9
Sounds like you had a great time! Heading out there with my wife nexxt Thursday and the 10 day forecast is looking quite favorable! I'm so jealous of anyone skiing today. Looks like everywhere got no less than a foot of more! Damn. Keep it coming.
post #5 of 9
I just got back from a week in Little Cotton Wood (SB and Alta). We got 31 inches of snow over the week feb 5 to feb 12th. - The conditions are great right now. On Wednesday last week I skiied with the Wastach Powderbird Guide - Heliskiing outfit. That was the best day of skiing I have ever had. A blue bird day with knee to chest high powder and face shots on every run. Gotta love UTAH. Conditions are great right know. I hope everyone has as much fun as we did.
post #6 of 9
Went around to Alta yesterday- it was epic- they reported 13" of new snow but by that yardstick I'd be three feet tall- it was easily kneedeep everywhere and I never hit bottom. Face shots all morning, clouds of superlight cold smoke flowing over everyone's head. Interesting crowd- there seemed to be a lot more young eager beavers into the Alta "extreme" thing. I rode up with some characters (off duty patrol? clever opportunists?) who had a radio tuned to the patrol frequency and heard the backside was opening just as we got there....

During the late 90's and early 2000's skier visits were down. The core gang was aging Altaholics (old clothes with new skis, telemarkers, etc.} and a sprinkling of 20-somethings that worked at Goldminers and the shops. I was actually getting worried that they would have to resort to letting in boarders, selling out, etc. No problem anymore. New problems with more people, but we all should have such problems... It was a five or ten minute liftline early on and by noon all the locals were gone and the mountain was pretty cut up- even some "secret" spots that used to linger- thanks to the new Collins lift.

Still, although the hikes (more like hops & runs) were crowded- lot's of people up top; everyone had a blast and I saw several ski school classes on Greely Hill learning to ski powder for the first time. Lots of ear to ear grins.
One tip for novices- never cut laterally across a mountainside except on designated traverses cut by the patrol- ski straight down the falline as best you can. Good powder skiers leave lovely consistant arcs straight down. Great powder skiers "farm " their tracks laying them side by side like furrows. Lateral cuts disturb the rythem and wreck the fresh lines. West Rustler was trashed by 10:00 from people traversing like a pack of kook boarders- ugly.

Ballroom and the Shoulder never opened and neither did Devil's Castle.
Even though the entire mountain was pretty shredded by noon, thanks to Collins lift- the afternoon was deserted and there was slightly cut up giant fluff crud to ski that was almost as good as fresh pow with fat skis. It was easy to cross tracks and carve the arcs in the fresh snow between for the rest of the day. And then the clouds parted and the sun came out! :
post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by Mr. Crab
Ballroom and the Shoulder never opened
they opened yesterday and it was fantastic.
Both Alta and Solitude are skiing amazing right now.
EVERYTHING is filled in and covered, we are almost to are yearly total and the season is only 1/2 done.
Plus it keeps snowing.
if you can make it, do.
post #8 of 9
Utah Locals, any word from the 'Bird' on how long they are planning to stay open.
Any guesses?
I say july4th.
post #9 of 9
Tks stljrs! My favorites at Deer match exactly with yours, except overall I find the mountain too short and un-challenging in the steep blue/double blue and black GROOMERS. Your praise of Solitude in this regard has left me wondering, for next year... Is Solitude really comparable to Stein's and Tycoon? BTW, next time don't miss The Canyons and Snowbasin, fantastique!
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