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Thinking about going out west... Alta???

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
So I got a few questions...
When is the best time to go to someplace like Alta between rates and still having some great snow?

If the rest of my family who skis mainly intermediates and begginner trails, would they get board at a place like Alta? Not that I would be going there for grooming but the other people in my family seem to like the groomers more than me, how are they?

Do they groom any steep trails?


Is the powder as good as they say? Way better than the cement powder here in the East?


Also, any reccomendations on where to stay?

Thanks!
post #2 of 31
The family won't be bored and you will be in heaven.
http://www.alta.com/pages/groomed.php
post #3 of 31
-for rates and good snow, try beginning of April after rates go down. bargains plus great chance of good snow, till maybe 3rd week of April.
-personally, i get bored anyplace after two days, why not see new scenery eveyday. lots of people stay in SLC city, 45 min's from 8 world class resorts, no boredom there, it's cheap as it gets, anywhere!
-Alta is a big mountain, i don't think it's really the greatest for intermediates for along time, they get funneled into the same runs alot. but many people are happy to ski only there.

>Do they groom any steep trails?
-some, but steep trails by nature bump up if it hasn't snowed, unless groomed daily
>Is the powder as good as they say?
-as good as anywhere, maybe in the world for lift served. but if it doesn't snow, you won't have powder, it doesn't snow everyday, but averages about 2 feet per week Dec-April. It's about 50/50 for some powder skiing on a 5 day trip. But it if hasn't snowed for a week, there will only be short "secret" stashes available. The snow is ~almost always at least decent Dec-mid April

Don't forget about Snowbird, right next door. Acreage is listed the same but it skis much, much bigger. Scenery incredible at both places.
post #4 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee
...Don't forget about Snowbird, right next door. Acreage is listed the same but it skis much, much bigger. Scenery incredible at both places...
Funny, I always thought the opposite. Then again, my handle isn't snowbirddevotee.

And to ILOVE2SKI: Yes, it is as good as they say it is. You will not come across a better combination of steep & deep anywhere else in the world (well a select few come close...). Add to it a consistently good chance of not getting skunked out on snow any given week of the season, and you won't go wrong.

Powdr
post #5 of 31
If you are skiing with intermediates try Brighton. Prices are good, and good terrain for all. FWIW.
post #6 of 31
Snowboarders @ Brighton.
post #7 of 31
Ditto on the knuckle draggers at brighton. Consider Snow Basin and stay in Ogden.
post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by carbonissimo
Snowboarders @ Brighton.
Some derisive laughter when I teleboarded under the lift but besides that, the kids are alright.

Alta is not known for steep groomers. Solitude had some fast steep groomers when I visited there. Funny that a guy from the Poconos gets bored with Alta after 2 days, but SnowbirdDevotee has a good idea, to stay in SLC (less expensive motels) and sample the many ski areas within a short drive. On the other hand, staying on the mountain at Alta is said to have a special appeal. It's not a hopping club scene, more like dinner, then a good book by the fire sort of thing, early to bed, ski well rested, etc, if that appeals to you (it does me). Just hearsay, I never stayed there. I don't think I would get bored at Alta even though they don't allow snowboarding.
post #9 of 31
Do it, Alta looks sooo sweet! (Not including the fact of....NO BOARDERS)

Or if your at all into freeriding u could try Jackson Hole, WY

Thats where i would go but im a freeride nut.
post #10 of 31
Yeah dude, the freeriding is sweet at Jackson!
post #11 of 31
Thread Starter 
So anything else to know about Alta? Good places to stay etc?
post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILOVE2SKI
So anything else to know about Alta? Good places to stay etc?
As for places to stay (in Little Cottonwood Canyon), you've got the Peruvian lodge, Gold Miners Daughter, The Alta Lodge, the Rustler Lodge and the Snowpine. There are also many condos between Snowbird and Alta. Many folks also stay at Snowbird (the Cliff Lodge). However, a vast majority of our visitors stay down canyon in the Salt Lake Valley, where you get much better rates.

L
post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thanks... Anyone else here?
post #14 of 31
I go to LCC once or twice a year -- I have been there and skied Alta and Snowbird with skiers ranging from middle intermediates through experts, and everyone had a great time on the mountain(s). I like to stay in the canyon, because I like to be near where the lifts are -- none of the people in my group(s) care for much nightlife, so the relative lack of nightlife in LCC is fine for us. When I go with my friends, I stay at Goldminer's: reasonable rates, decent food, and a short walk to the lift. When I go with my family, we stay at Hellgate condos: relatively inexpensive (for LCC), very friendly and accomodating staff, funky but very functional housing, and centrally located between Alta and the Bird. The downside of Hellgate is that it is situated in a slide prone area, so some mornings there is a delay in getting outside until the avalanche control folks have done their job -- with my family this has never been a problem, since they are content to get out on the mountain late. Hope this helps.
post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbinder
I go to LCC once or twice a year -- I have been there and skied Alta and Snowbird with skiers ranging from middle intermediates through experts, and everyone had a great time on the mountain(s). I like to stay in the canyon, because I like to be near where the lifts are -- none of the people in my group(s) care for much nightlife, so the relative lack of nightlife in LCC is fine for us. When I go with my friends, I stay at Goldminer's: reasonable rates, decent food, and a short walk to the lift. When I go with my family, we stay at Hellgate condos: relatively inexpensive (for LCC), very friendly and accomodating staff, funky but very functional housing, and centrally located between Alta and the Bird. The downside of Hellgate is that it is situated in a slide prone area, so some mornings there is a delay in getting outside until the avalanche control folks have done their job -- with my family this has never been a problem, since they are content to get out on the mountain late. Hope this helps.
LCC? Sorry but what does that stand for?
Anyway I see you are from Massachusetts... Any mountains in the east you can compare Alta with? Do they get the ice like we do out here? Good powder etc out there? Difficulty ratings, if a blue here like a blue there (not that it really matter but I am just curious).
post #16 of 31
LCC = Little Cottonwood Canyon, home of Alta and Snowbird

Nothing in the east has the size or powder of Alta and Snowbird. Jay peak in northern VT has good powder for the east, but the powder out west is lighter and drier. Whiteface, NY (near Lake Placid) also has good terrain and snow for the east. I don't know where in the east you are, but if you are fairly far south and are going to get on a plane, go west. If you can drive to the north east, then it might be worth trying, especially with the good early season weather, unless money is no object.
post #17 of 31
Thread Starter 
I ahve skied and stayed at Jay a few times and it is great. The powder there is tremendous and so nice... so how does the light stuff ski compared tot he "eastern Cement" we get here?
post #18 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILOVE2SKI
I ahve skied and stayed at Jay a few times and it is great. The powder there is tremendous and so nice... so how does the light stuff ski compared tot he "Eastern Cement" we get here?
???????
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILOVE2SKI
I ahve skied and stayed at Jay a few times and it is great. The powder there is tremendous and so nice... so how does the light stuff ski compared tot he "eastern Cement" we get here?
It doesn't.:
post #20 of 31
OK, I'll give him the info he wants....

No, there is nothing in the east that compares to Alta. The terrain and snow are so completely different, there's no comparing. Vertical fett mean nothing. There are lots of ski areas in the NE that have more verts than Alta. After you get to Alta, you'll laugh at them. You haven't seen steep in the east that compares to Alta unless you've skied Tuckerman Ravine.

Even though Jay had that one epic year (~500 inches), the powder isn't the same. Can't describe it. The cliche for Alta pow is cold smoke. Not a bad analogy.

I stayed at the Goldminer's Daughter one year. It was a great experience, but I felt closed in at the end of the week. Ever since, we've always stayed in SLC and driven a rental car up or took the bus. Gave us the chance to try more than 1 area and could chase the local snow. There's a couple of Extended Stay America hotels that are notoriously cheap. We've also stayed at the Sleep in in Sandy. Also the Crystal Inn (a local hotel that is nice). The nicer thing about staying in SLC is the variety of food choices. Although the food was great at the Goldminer's Daughter, therre wasn't a lot of choice in entrees (2 per night).
post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILOVE2SKI
So anything else to know about Alta? Good places to stay etc?

Just got back East from Snowbird/Alta. My advice is to stay at Snowbird at the Lodge at Snowbird or the Iron Blossom and take the shuttle to Alta to ski. If $$ is no obstacle stay at the Alta Rustler and enjoy some darn good food after you ski. But, if you would like to keep the "family trip under $1000/day for lodging and food look to Snowbird or a motel in Sandy.

The Lodge at Snowbird has a nice outdoor pool and Jacuzzi and is an easy (4-5 minute walk to the Bird Tram) and is right next door to the Iron Blossom which has decently priced casual food.
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILOVE2SKI
LCC? Sorry but what does that stand for?
Anyway I see you are from Massachusetts... Any mountains in the east you can compare Alta with? Do they get the ice like we do out here? Good powder etc out there? Difficulty ratings, if a blue here like a blue there (not that it really matter but I am just curious).
I hit one piece of ice my whole week in LCC, so I would say that is slightly less than the east Ratings are harder, but I think I got a good idea how good you are(probably the same as me), so youll be able to ski pretty much anything.
post #23 of 31
Thread Starter 
And about year a later we are planning again... we weren't able to make it out there last year. We are thinking staying @ Alta/Snowbird sometime mid February. Airfare (or at least to the extent we have looked at it so far) is very expensive right now.
post #24 of 31
you can't love2ski all that much if you find excuses 2 yrs in a row. SLC is an easy and cheap place to get to from most places and when you get there it is the cheapest place to stay/ski.
post #25 of 31
The only problem with Alta is the feeding frenzy on a powder day which can cause enough friction between you and the rest of your party (who won't be so keen on getting to the mountain an hour before the lifts open and will probably not have much fun and want to quit very early in any event) to ruin a whole trip. Staying right at the lifts can help alot with this and may be worth whatever it costs.
post #26 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
you can't love2ski all that much if you find excuses 2 yrs in a row.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesB View Post
The only problem with Alta is the feeding frenzy on a powder day which can cause enough friction between you and the rest of your party (who won't be so keen on getting to the mountain an hour before the lifts open and will probably not have much fun and want to quit very early in any event) to ruin a whole trip. Staying right at the lifts can help alot with this and may be worth whatever it costs.
That's why we were thinking staying at the Lodge at Alta... yes the price is up there, but that way the guys could ski together and the girls could quit whenever they want or can go and rest etc. As well as we could get out early while they stay in for awhile or whatever.

Thanks guys.
post #27 of 31
depending on how long you want to go for - try midweek, non-school vacation and it should be less crowded and the flights will be cheaper too.

Personally I'm fried after about 4 days of that stuff - I need a break. So I either go for a week or 3-4 days.

But really - you can't can't can't delay doing this another year. It keeps getting more popular and prices aren't going down. When I first went out there (sound like an old guy huh Alta was around $25-30/day lift ticket, although the lifts showed it.
post #28 of 31
Thread Starter 
If anyone wants to add some inspirational pictures, please do! (not that I need it... but due to the lack of snow on the East Coast currently, they would be nice.)
post #29 of 31
My advice is to stay at either the Cliff Lodge or one of the Condos at Snowbird- Iron Blossom, etc. The lodging at Alta is not super family oriented. It's a gorgeous pristine Alpine environment and really special. SLC is a city, much like Bayonne. If that's your thing... Also Park City is pretty great. Look up a package with a condo, cook your own meals and you'll save a ton. Stay at the resort center or in Old Town for the best experience.
Alta had a couple feet of pow today, Except for Ballroom and the Shoulder, mostly cut up- still blower- you pick it up, blow it off your hand and it floats up... PCMR absolutly rocked yesterday with about 20" from the last storm.
Either way, a rent a car will get you over to Solitude and Brighton,worth the drive for Big Cottonwood Canyon alone. Also PC or anywhere else. The sceanery is pretty great. Found a pic. This is how we dress in Utah, bring your one piece.
525x525px-LL-vbattach1045.jpg
post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILOVE2SKI View Post
So I got a few questions...
When is the best time to go to someplace like Alta between rates and still having some great snow?
March and April in april alone LCC see 6.1 inches of snow a day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ILOVE2SKI View Post

If the rest of my family who skis mainly intermediates and begginner trails, would they get board at a place like Alta? Not that I would be going there for grooming but the other people in my family seem to like the groomers more than me, how are they?
Alta has some of the best easy green and blue trails in the area, the grooming is freaking awesome and less wackos on the slopes than at say snowbird.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ILOVE2SKI View Post

Do they groom any steep trails?

not really snowbird grooms some steep ones. solitude has the best steep groomers out of LCC and BCC IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ILOVE2SKI View Post


Is the powder as good as they say? Way better than the cement powder here in the East?
I had faceshots more times than I could count yesterday. Even after it is tracked up you still get soft powdery snow all the time. one tip though fat skis will let you skis off trail in any soft snow no matter what happens to it.

Alta today....I have pictures from yesterday(12/17) that you cant see the skier in.



photo credit astropax@TGR



Quote:
Originally Posted by ILOVE2SKI View Post

Also, any reccomendations on where to stay?

Thanks!
nope I live here now....
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