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SkiUtah Interconnect?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Has anyone ever done the Interconnect? If, so how was it? We are talking about booking the Snowbird based Interconnect. Are you are actually doing out of bounds/backcountry runs to get to the next resort? Or is all of the out of bounds stuff traverses?
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
UPDATE - Meant to post last season.

We went on the Ski Utah Interconnect Tour out of Snowbird. We started out with nine people in the group and the first thing we did was to take an inbounds run at Snowbird to get to the Alta gate. After seeing the group ski for the first time, it was obvious that we had 3 stragglers who could potentially slow down the group in the backcountry. Luckily, the guides decided to kick out the group of 3 out of shape, beginner telemark skiers and refund their money.

The remaining group consisted of a couple of guys (intermediate skiers) from Chicago and our group of four (all advanced/expert skiers w/backcountry experience) from CO. The backcountry conditions were great with a foot to knee deep powder and the snow pack was rock solid. I used my AT skis, however, they were not necessary and I never unlocked my heels during the whole trip. Unfortunately, the backcountry runs that we took were not very challenging (short and flat) despite a stable snowpack. We spent a fair amount of time backcountry traversing and even the inbounds runs were flat. We did have one 400 foot section of steep pow that was awesome, however, it only took a few seconds to ski and we were back to traversing flats. Overall it seemed like we spent most of our time traversing versus skiing. While it was nice to get away from the resorts, we all thought that the Interconnect tour was a complete waste of $175.
post #3 of 9

Had a great experience with the Interconnect

We started at Deer Valley on the 6 resort circuit. The party was me, my wife (strong skier with reasonable amount of powder experience), 2 friends of ours (married couple both of whom of intermediate ability with no powder experience) and 2 east-coast skiers (both of whom were strong skiers, one being exceptionally strong). We had 3 very memorable long untracked backcountry runs. There was 12-18" of fresh, very light snow on top of a very deep snowpack. Backcountry runs were the Big Cottonwood run from PC down to Solitude, an extra run (after approval from Brighton patrol) from the gate at the top of Millicent (flanks of Wolverine), and the amazing run from Solitude down the head of Little Cottonwood down to Alta. All three required some hiking/traversing, the last traverse across Highway to Heaven being the most strenuous. Our intermediate skiers didn't hold the rest of us back too much - their only true struggle being that final traverse (at altitude). Overall, it was a great experience - to ski 6 resorts, have 3 long completely untracked backcountry runs, have a decent lunch, and share the fun with friends and strangers you quickly bond with. The guides were great as well. The trip is a cost-effective alternative to a heli-trip. You get at least a third the backcountry runs you'll get via a heli trip for 1/5 the price and you get to contrast/compare 6 resorts. IMHO it's the best way for a family guy like me to experience some backcountry in a relatively safe manner.
post #4 of 9
I've done it. It is a lot of traversing at high altitude so you need to be in shape. People have died doing it just because of the exertion. It's worth it if you've never done any BC and want an introduction. The conditions when I went were dicey in places for avvies (meaning there were fissures in the snow pack etc). For this and other reasons I was glad we had guides. You realize how much you use lifts when you start doing this stuff - it's a lot of work for sure.

One of the cool things is being able to ski 4 (on some days 5) resorts in one day without driving anywhere. You also realize how close places are up there - it's just over that ridge ... but then it takes a while to get anywhere in the BC ....

There was one nice drop over past Catherines we did (with the cracks in the snow) where there was bottomless light powder with no tracks on it which I got to ski - for that it was probably worth the trip.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
We chose the tour option because we wanted to hit Utah to ski some deep pow. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get hooked up with a heli, so we figured we try to get booked on a cat. After doing some research, we found that there weren't many cat options in UT (guess there's no need given how much pow they get compared to CO) so we figured we'd try Interconnect. After you throw a tip in for the guides you're pretty close to $200 which is about how much you can pay for a day in a cat. I think if we paid $100 we wouldn't of been so pissed.

ct55...Good point about the elevation. Living and doing backcountry in CO, it was nothing for us, however, the flatlanders were having difficulties on the climbs.
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jay_p
We chose the tour option because we wanted to hit Utah to ski some deep pow. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get hooked up with a heli, so we figured we try to get booked on a cat. After doing some research, we found that there weren't many cat options in UT (guess there's no need given how much pow they get compared to CO) so we figured we'd try Interconnect. After you throw a tip in for the guides you're pretty close to $200 which is about how much you can pay for a day in a cat. I think if we paid $100 we wouldn't of been so pissed.

ct55...Good point about the elevation. Living and doing backcountry in CO, it was nothing for us, however, the flatlanders were having difficulties on the climbs.
if you can hook up with a local to show you around Snowbird alone has vast areas of sidecountry when open. Basically get to top to the twin peaks, then choose your poison from the top. Many run that you can choose have vertical drops in the 4500-6000 foot range. I got to do a run know as Long John Silvers this past May. Short TR here http://www.dcski.com/ubbthreads22/sh...0&page=4#26785
45min of hiking got our group 5000 feet of vert spread out over 2 miles of smooth corn snow, view that were amazing and for me an experince of a lifetime so far.
post #7 of 9
I did it too. It was fun to do once, there is so much in bounds to hit, IMHO, it is not worth the extra $125.00 or whatever it is now.
post #8 of 9

now you did it

Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA
if you can hook up with a local to show you around Snowbird alone has vast areas of sidecountry when open. Basically get to top to the twin peaks, then choose your poison from the top. Many run that you can choose have vertical drops in the 4500-6000 foot range. I got to do a run know as Long John Silvers this past May. Short TR here http://www.dcski.com/ubbthreads22/sh...0&page=4#26785
45min of hiking got our group 5000 feet of vert spread out over 2 miles of smooth corn snow, view that were amazing and for me an experince of a lifetime so far.
Oh consarnit ... please don't tempt me - it's 100 degrees out today and now I'll be thinking of this for 5 months or so ... (seriously - thanks - always looking for some pointers to new experiences like this : .

Not to side track it but anyone get the book by Andrew Maclean on skiing Utah BC/steep Wasatch skiing? There's a list in there that would keep anyone busy for a lifetime ....
post #9 of 9
JayP, I think you should have hooked up with PC Powder Cats. They head out to the Uintahs and although it probably will wind up double what you were paying you're definitely getting something like five or six times the turns with absolutely no crowds!
I have to agree with several of the other posters in that I feel that the interconnect is worthwhile only for the unique aspect of being to to ski up to six seperate resorts in one day. Whether that is worth what they charge is up to you, but I feel that they should sell it as more of a backcountry tour than a backcountry ski experience.
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