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Planning a trip for March...where's the best snow right now?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm beginning to plan a trip for four guys out west somewhere, b/c we'd like to have at least one good weekend of skiing this winter. VT has left alot to be desired this year.

We'd rather not have to rent a vehicle. We're all good skiers, so difficulty isn't an issue. We like our beer, so we won't be going to bed early.

So far we're considering the SLC area, Jackson, Vail, and Steamboat. However I'd like to go wherever the snow is best this year. I've heard that Vail is having a banner year, but one guy in the group has been there already this year.

Any suggestions?
post #2 of 18
Just some thoughts You wonld not needa rental car if you came to Park City. Free bus service all over town and 3 major resorts to pick from all with in 5 to 10 mins from just about anywhere in Park City. Good Brew Pub at the top of Main St Now if you want more challenging terrain Alta/Snowbird would be a better choice. There isn't any night life up in the Cottonwood Canyons. You would be off with a rental car so you could stay in Sandy and hit some of the local places in the Salt Lake Valley. Jackson Hole would be the most challenging place on your list. I don't think you would need a car to get around Jackson Hole. They also have some pretty good brew pubs. Those Wyoming Cowboys do like thier Beer and Sheep. ( I know bad joke. )
I'll let the Colorado Bears give you the heads up for that neck of the woods.
post #3 of 18
don't trust Jackson Hole for the "best snow" in March, the mountain faces south, and can get baked at that time of the year, if it is not a good snow year, you can easily be skiing "slush" or worse on the bottom half of the mtn. take your chances elsewhere in March, esp later mid to late.
post #4 of 18
All of the choices on your list are having great years this year. It depends on how late into March you're considering to figure out how current conditions will relate at that point.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. This would be for the first or second weekend of March.
post #6 of 18
The National Weather Service says Park City is having a 150%+ year. I have been in Park City in mid march and had a bad week (as much as you can call it that, just a little slushy after 1:30) and I have been in Park City in Early April and had it just be awesome...

It's really a crap shoot as to what's going to be melting and who's going to get a recent snow in that week.

I guess as the guy said with JH being southern facing would be something to consider.

EDIT: Thanks Tony Crocker for correcting my mountain facing for Park City.
post #7 of 18
Deer Valley is mostly north, Canyons is mostly east, and Park City a mix. But all are lower than the Cottonwoods and will be much slushier if it's warm.

Jackson's exposure is deadly in March if it's not dumping a lot. My first trip in late March 1986 the base was 110 inches and it was still so bad we left after one day and spent the rest of the week skiing AltaBird.

Steamboat has bad exposure too. But it's not as steep so they can groom more.

Vail's back bowls get the sun, but there's plenty of front side and Blue Sky Basin (also Beaver Creek) terrain that faces north. So the back bowls can be timed for right time of day, with lots of options at other times.

With 4 people in SLC (best choice for snow) you should certainly have a car for maximum flexibility. Vail you can get along without one.
post #8 of 18
If you go to Park City, the cost of the shuttle back and forth to the airport for 4 people is going to offset a good chunk of a rental SUV. You'll also have much more flexibility to hit Alta/snowbird, etc. with a vehicle. I missed Snowbasin on my trip and am regretting it. It has gotten raves from everyone and the pics in the Gathering thread look very nice.
post #9 of 18
Not getting into the transportation issue, the first week or two of March will be incredible anywhere in the Rockies from Crested Butte north. The southern Rockies are not having a good year. Winter Park has had 279 inches so far this season and the snowiest part of the year is just beginning.

Predicting weather though should be left to the people on television. Never have so many been paid so much to be so wrong.

It has been a warmer than average winter and weather patterns may change in the west but who knows. It will still be winter in the Rockies in early March.

About the Jackson comment: nothing like re-frozen slush at 9:00 a.m. on a 35 degree pitch. How many ways can you spell pucker.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Alright, so we've decided on the SLC area from March 8-12th. We're all advanced skiers, so I'm leaning towards Alta/Snowbird. But this may throw a wrench into our "no rental" policy. Is there decently challenging stuff at Park City and/or the Canyons...like hike-to or off the beaten path? We'd like SOME nightlife, which I think that main road in Park City will offer us.

Jackson Hole has not completely been ruled out yet either.

Comments? Thanks.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by CP
Alright, so we've decided on the SLC area from March 8-12th. We're all advanced skiers, so I'm leaning towards Alta/Snowbird. But this may throw a wrench into our "no rental" policy. Is there decently challenging stuff at Park City and/or the Canyons...like hike-to or off the beaten path? We'd like SOME nightlife, which I think that main road in Park City will offer us.

Jackson Hole has not completely been ruled out yet either.

Comments? Thanks.
Early March is still a good bet for PC. Hike-to can be had in spades at both PCMR & The Canyons, nosomuch at Deer Valley.

Here's some images to show you the exposure of the resorts mentioned in this thread.


The PC resorts (The Canyons, upper left; PCMR, middle; DV bottom right). The Canyons faces primarily E, with some SE exposure. PCMR faces primarily N, with some NE/NW facing slopes. DV faces primarily N, with some NE facing slopes. Alta/Bird (not shown) face almost exclusively N, with some NW/NE/SE facing slopes.




Jackson Hole faces primarily SE, with some E/NE facing slopes. Grand Targhee (not shown) faces W.




Steamboat faces primarily E, with some NE/SE facing slopes.



Powdr
post #12 of 18
For four people it's going to cost you at least $200 to shuttle to PC from the SLC airport(roundtrip). Just rent a car with a ski rack and provide yourself the flexibility that others have mentioned. I like some Utah resorts better than others, but I LIKE all of them. Have a good time and if you've never been there before you're in for a treat.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well, after some deliberations and dropouts, it looks like we're headed to Park City, and we're down to just the two of us, with maybe another one or two people joining the party. Everyone is coming from different cities, so the rental car idea isn't going to work (different flights from different cities at different times).

Any suggestions on a place to stay that's in town (walk to skiing and bars), or a resource to find affordable lodging (links)? Are any of the shuttles between the airport and the resort recommended over others?

Are there any good skiers that would be willing to show us around any of the ski areas in the vicinity? We grew up skiing in VT, raced, went to UVM, ski every weekend we can (regularly drive from NYC and Boston to family ski houses in southern VT). I'd like to do some short hikes while we're in town too.

I figure a local can steer us right for this trip, which is why I'm asking all these lame questions. Thank you for any helpful comments. I appreciate it.
post #14 of 18

You may want to try the Utah Interconnect

Have you thought of the Utah Interconnect Tour? It's 6 mountians, 8 hours, mostly lift served backcountry routes into each area. I'm trying it in March for the first time. Something to consider... here's a good Epic thread to give you more info: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=35948
post #15 of 18
If you really want the best skiing in Utah, bag Park City. Just go to Alta/Bird.
post #16 of 18

Yarrow resort

Just returned from a stay at the Yarrow Resort in Park City. Reasonably priced (for PC) and centrally located. Couldn't be more convenient - Shares a parking lot with an Albertosns grocery store, chinese restaurant, Rite Aid and other stuff. Located basically accross the street from PCMR entrance (not walking distance) and about 5 min. each from Canyons and DV.

It's not a hyatt, but it is a true 3 star hotel - neat, clean and decent for the price. Also has a restaurant on site for breakfast.

Even so, we did rent a car and I strongly suggest you reconsider this part. The car gives you flexibility to get to LCC & BCC, which are worth the trip.

Both Canyons and PCMR (didn't ski DV) have some tougher uncut stuff with short hikes/traverses. But, you owe it to yourself to get to LCC and see Snowbird, too. I did see some stuff about bus trips from PC, but as stated, I'm not a big bus fan...
post #17 of 18

Yarrow Cont'd

Yarrow is not walking distance to bars, but is a short (3 min) drive/bus ride (free) to main street. If you want something on Main (less centrally located) where the bars and restaurants are, look at Treasure Mountain Inn. If I remember though, they had few if any rooms with more than 1 bed. How close are you and your buddies??:

Thats why I didn't go that route.
post #18 of 18
There's expert skiing at Deer Valley off the Empire lift. It's an easy hike and there's a bowl with a big cornice drop-in. Skiied it last week. Pretty good. Very lonely
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Planning a trip for March...where's the best snow right now?