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OK I've searched but still have a few questions/comments on SLC first week of March..

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I just switched my solo ski trip from Lake Tahoe to SLC. I figured LT was more of a "family" destination where I would be happier with my wife & daughters. This is a skiing only trip so I thought SLC more appropriate.

That said here is my itinerary...

Sat 3/4 arriving SLC from JFK via Jet Blue ($260 r/t) around midnight. Returning same route Wed 3/8 leaving at 11:30 pm redeye.

Staying 4 nights in Midvale La Quinta ($52 night...BJ's promo rate).

The PCMR promo for a free day is not valid when I am there so I decided on the following mountains to visit. I am an advanced intermediate who prefers on-piste blues and easier blacks with blue bump runs & glades thrown in (don't bust my chops!)

Sun...Snowbasin
Mon & Tues...Deer Valley and ??? (or vice versa)
Wed...Snowbird

Any suggestions for the fourth resort? I was thinking Alta (maybe too similar to Snowbird?) or PCMR/Canyons. Or perhaps a Big Cottonwood Canyon resort? I checked the trail map at Snowbird and there seems to be enough blue/easier black terrain that I won't be genuflecting before every run!!! I plan on buying my lift tickets when I arrive so I will have the ability to change my dates to follow weather, etc. Am I correct in assuming my hotel will have access to discounted lift tickets? I will be skiing weekday (except for Snowbasin Sunday) which I know will be great for lack of crowds but will all the lifts be turning? Here in the East and during the week some resorts close some of their lifts. Does this happen in the SLC resorts and does the Snowbasin Sunday plan seem to make sense? How is my order...leaving Snowbird for the finale!

Plan on taking in a Utah Jazz game on Monday night, 3/6. Any experience in buying from scalpers at the game? I would think the tix would NOT be going at a premium. There are plenty of tix available online but I was wondering if anyone had advice on where to buy?

Finally the rental SUV situation is CRAZY!! When I was renting in SFO for a week it was going to cost me $175 after taxes and fees. In SLC it comes to $325 or so for the same time period! Any advice for better prices or do I really need an SUV? I could always get a smaller car and then if the roads are impassable I guess I could take the bus. Is the bus a hassle from Midvale or is it worth the extra $ for the SUV...remember its only me! I am definitely going to rent a car...its a question of how much I want to spend. I can actually get an Alamo mini-van for close to $200 all in which I am contemplating.

Any other advice/tips for a solo traveler to SLC? It is going to be a crazy whirlwind few days, not to mention going to work after an all-night redeye flight but I am sure it will be worth it! I booked the trip yesterday and actually had trouble sleeping last night thinking about it!!!!!

Lots of questions so thanks for the help,

Marc
post #2 of 22

SLC solo trip...

Discount lift tickets: Stayed at that La Quinta in Dec and Jan. They did not have tickets, but Canyon Sports has discounts (ask at the front desk for directions).

Rental: try Affordable rental (Grand Am size car - with fold down backseat). Unless the Big/Little Cottonwood Canyons are closed (then park at entrance and take the bus up.

So many choices with only 4 days, but would say Alta and Canyons - although difficult to suggest which one of your existing to drop.
post #3 of 22
Given your description of skills you might enjoy Alta more than Snowbird. They are very different, so I would not hesitate to do both, especially if you are solo. You'll get ALOT of skiing.

I'd also take a chance on the non-SUV. If it does snow and you get shut out of the CC's it is an easy drive over to Canyons, which actually has great powder terrain for mortals.
post #4 of 22
you left out some important agenda items:

join the LDS church
visit the main Temple
help thin the early-Sunday crowds by attending Worship
deride the existence of full-strength beers and ales
visit the cow hacking plant just NW of SLC
visit BYU and see the strangely Aryan student population
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by gores95
I just switched my solo ski trip from Lake Tahoe to SLC. I figured LT was more of a "family" destination where I would be happier with my wife & daughters. This is a skiing only trip so I thought SLC more appropriate.
You do understand the irony of your statement don't you? SLC/Utah is about a "familiy" as you can get. The mormon church and it's dominating culture in Utah is very "family values" oriented. Now Park City is another story

Powdr
post #6 of 22
Marc,

I just got back form my first trip to Utah. Here's my impressions. Based on your location, I'm sure we've ski'd similar areas out east.

Snowbird - not to be missed. The terrain can be challenging, but pay attention to the trail maps and you'll be fine. By the end of the day, I was skiing stuff I wouldn't have considered that morning.

Didn't ski Alta or Deer Valley as I was with a snowboarder.

Canyons/PCMR - I really liked Canyons, althought you'll find many split opinions on this resort on the board. The place is huge and has a wide variaety of terrain - if you go, spend a whole day here - it will take most of the morning to get your bearings. Overall, PCMR ski'd much more like an eastern resort with defined cut trails, excluding the bowls (albeit a much bigger resort than almost every eastern resort), where Canyons had more of a wild, less defined feel to most of the runs.

Although I only had one trip to these areas, I thought my perspective, being similar to yours as a first time visitor might be helpful.
post #7 of 22
BTW - I skid during the week at all the areas - all lifts were running. And, many times, me and the person I was with were nearly alone on the trail we were on, especially when getting away form the resort's "hubs" (base areas, centers of trail maps, traverses, convergence of lifts, etc.)
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks Dave (& everyone else).

DRB mentioned above that Snowbird and Alta are much different, which I am SHOCKED to hear. I thought since they share the same terrain pretty much they would ski similarly. I know the lifts/lodges are different but can someone elaborate on how the skiing actually differs?

Thanks again,

Marc
post #9 of 22
Sounds to me from your description of what you're looking for that you might just want to ski the three areas at Park City, which is located just about in between Snowbasin and Alta/Snowbird, so probably a lot less driving involved. You can buy the Silver Pass (which I think has to be bought in advance), which is good at either PCMR, Deer Valley, and the Canyons, is convenient, and saves you a few bucks off the regular ticket price. Far more intermediate and advanced lift served terrain than some of the other areas that you mentioned, and just enough expert runs to keep it interesting. I have never been to Snowbasin, although I've heard a lot of good things about it. I found that when I skied Alta, most of the major lifts serviced a lot of intermediate/advanced groomers that everbody seemed to congregate on, which made it feel fairly crowded for a weekday. I found that most of the expert terrain was more difficult than the average skier was looking for, and was often hard to get to. I kind of felt like I needed a guide or a local to lead me around. It seemed like the majority of skiers were just content to stick to the groomers, although the ungroomed conditions were quite variable, as they hadn't had any new snow in a while, which might have contributed to that.
post #10 of 22
The Utards would explain this better than I, but I'll give it a shot. Alta and Snowbird may be next to each other but they sure don't "share the same terrain". (Except Mineral Basin obviously). Alta is at the high end of the canyon and has more rolling terrain (not that there aren't plenty of steep shots as well). Snowbird is farther down-canyon and has more sustained pitch, but intermediates are accomodated by wide trails and switch-backy routes.

Both are much fun.

I'd also agree that there is plenty in PC to keep you busy. Snowbasin is a great mt. but its an hour drive, so maybe save it for your next trip. (You will be back).
post #11 of 22

La Quita Inn Promo Rate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gores95

Staying 4 nights in Midvale La Quinta ($52 night...BJ's promo rate).
I might be in SLC from March 3rd to March 7th. May I ask where you found the promotional rate for La Quinta Inn? The website has a rate of $65/night. Much appreciated.
post #12 of 22
I stayed at the Discovery Inn which is located directly across the street from the La Quinta and got a AAA rate of $43/night. They have a free continental breakfast including MYO Waffles and the place is clean and modern. Very convenient access to the highwway, too.
http://www.national9saltlake.com/#
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle crud
you left out some important agenda items:

join the LDS church
visit the main Temple
help thin the early-Sunday crowds by attending Worship
deride the existence of full-strength beers and ales
visit the cow hacking plant just NW of SLC
visit BYU and see the strangely Aryan student population
My old neighborhood of Rose Park and the airport are just NW of SLC. There isn't much else.

The cow hacking plants moved. In the 19th century.

You're from the state that has more white separatist militias than we have liquor stores and you're hating on BYU for having a strangely Aryan student population?
post #14 of 22
for the first time visitor, you may not notice all that much difference between the terrain at Alta and Snowbird, there is something for everyone and they are right next door to each other. For me, looking for variety of expert terrain to ski all day long, I give thumbs up to Snowbird.

I wouldnt' ski at Park City resorts only. Because there is a HUGE difference between the PC resorts and the grandeur of the Little Cottonwood Canyon resorts. First of all, except for during a good snowstorm, when it might be good everywhere, the skiing conditions will always be much better at LCC. Not sure what type of skier you are, for an intermediate that might not matter, but if you are looking to work on your skills on steeper terrain, it will.

Just look at the bases. During marginal conditions, they are vastly better. ALso, the scenery at PC just doesn't do it for me, except up on top. (Jupiter Bowl is awesome skiing! and the top of the Canyons too), otherwise I find much of PC and the Canyons to be ho hum. Intermediate groomers with cut runs here and there. Also, I don't like the layout of the Canyons, funny all mixed up layout, you are caught all the time wasting elevation being forced to take a groomer to the lift.
post #15 of 22
If I had only four days of skiing, given your stated level, and I was staying in Midvale, I would do the following:

2 days Alta
1 day Snowbird
1 day Solitude

That would be a perfect SLC sampler...

Go to dinner in Park City, but save your skiing for Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons!

SC
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjcoll
If I had only four days of skiing, given your stated level, and I was staying in Midvale, I would do the following:

2 days Alta
1 day Snowbird
1 day Solitude

That would be a perfect SLC sampler...
That does sound perfect for where you are staying.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by gores95

Plan on taking in a Utah Jazz game on Monday night, 3/6. Any experience in buying from scalpers at the game? I would think the tix would NOT be going at a premium. There are plenty of tix available online but I was wondering if anyone had advice on where to buy?
I'm too lazy to look up their schedule. Who are they playing? Unless it's the Lakers or the Cavaliers, tickets should not be a problem.

I am pretty sure that you can buy Jazz tickets at Smithtix in Smith's grocery stores. Or, if you have to drive downtown, you can buy them at the Delta Center box office.

You might want to take Trax (light rail) to the game. Even though Jazz games don't sell out very often, it can be a hassle to park and Trax stops right in front of the Delta Center.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powdr
You do understand the irony of your statement don't you? SLC/Utah is about a "familiy" as you can get. The mormon church and it's dominating culture in Utah is very "family values" oriented. Now Park City is another story

Powdr
Unfortunately, the Park City police just arrested the town hooker. All over the news...
post #19 of 22
I forgot you are staying in Midvale in which case I change my vote, definitely need to try both Alta and Snowbird. I still think PC is worth a day. In marginal conditions CC's will be much better than PC, but I don't think that will be an issue in early March. Just don't forgot to buy discount tix at Canyonsports.
post #20 of 22
Just got back from Utah last weekend. Starting on 2/4, we hit Park City, Canyons, Snowbird, Snowbasin, Powder Mtn and Alta. Snowbird & the Caynons were our favorites, but that may have had more to do with the fresh pow we had those days. After that, everythig got more & more tracked/sun-crusted due to the bluebird skies and warm temps last week.

Snowbasin was a surprisingly nice mountain. Great terrain, great lifts, and the nicest lodges I've ever seen. Hitting Pow Mow the next day was almost comical in it's contrast. Enjoyed them both though.

By the time we made it to Alta (my snowboarding friend decided to rent skis the alst day), it was tracked & moguled pretty bad and our legs were spent, so we didn't love it there. I'd like to get back there with better conditions (& legs) though to make the most of it.

We did go to a Jazz game while we were there. Great game against the Bulls (Jazz won at the buzzer in OT). We just showed up at the Delta Center right before game time and bought tickets at the box office. Nice seats for around $40 - Unless it's a big game, I doubt you'd even have to bother with scalpers.
post #21 of 22
I see no reason to ski where they get 350 inches of snow a year as opposed to 500; unless of course the place with 350 inches of snow annually has just gotten a huge ammount of snow. If you're planning your trip ahead of time, deffinitely the Cottonwood Canyons. Nothing else in the us (outside of alaska) comes close to the snow in Alta/Snowbire/Brighton/Solitude.
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the relplies. I am going to buy tix while I am there so I can be flexible and follow the snow/vonditions!

So my four right now will be: Sun (Snowbasin), Mon (Alta), Tues (DV) & Wed (Snowbird).

The only question is which one PC resort is best to try? I am thinking about substituting Canyons for DV. Also does my order sound OK? Leaving S'bird for the finale! I just hope these 38 year old legs will hold up by day four!

I hear the Utah resorts have been (and will be getting) more snow. Nice freshening up before I arrive on 3/4!

Marc
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › OK I've searched but still have a few questions/comments on SLC first week of March..