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Saturday at Alta/Snowbird

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I've only got one day to ski in Utah, and am thinking of hitting Snowbird/Alta. Since time is scarce, I'm also thinking of hiring an instructor primarily as a guide. I'm a level 9 skier -- any suggestions for someone?

post #2 of 5
Send me a PM with what you're looking for. I might be able to give you a name or 2. You could always do "diamond challenge" workshop at Alta for much cheaper....

post #3 of 5
Lonnie, what about the Mountain eXperience at Snowbird? In your opinion, is it worth the cost to get a day long guide around the mountain? 100 per person according to their website.
post #4 of 5
Originally Posted by Mom
Lonnie, what about the Mountain eXperience at Snowbird? In your opinion, is it worth the cost to get a day long guide around the mountain? 100 per person according to their website.
I've got no idea about the quality of that program, since I don't work there.

post #5 of 5

Snowbird Mountain Experience

I did the Mountain Experience about 2 years ago on a powder day (reported 12" overnight, skied more like 18-24" esp. in windblown areas). As with any group lesson or group program such as this it is very instructor and group member dependent. I did it because at the time I was relatively unfamiliar with Snowbird, wanted to ski some of their classic steeps and wanted lift line (specifically tram line) priviledges. There were about 10 advanced skiers doing the Mountain Experience. We skied one warm up run and then pretty much self split into 2 groups, one described as faster and more aggressive and the other as slower and a bit more laid back. I, along with 5 others went with the faster and more aggressive group and we had a Level III instructor as our guide.

I'm not sure if all instructors/guides run the Mountain Experience the same way but ours didn't really ask us what we wanted out of the day. He pretty much just determined where we were going to go and did very little instructing. It seemed like his goal was to find as much untracked powder as possible so we did a lot of traversing, poleing, sidestepping and bit of hiking. Most of the untracked lines were pretty short since everything gets skied out at Snowbird pretty quickly. We did ski a bunch of lightly skied runs but only did one run in the Cirque eventhough the snow was probably as good there as anywhere else we skied. I probably would've rather spent more time in snow that was a bit more tracked and more accessible than working so hard to get such little in less tracked snow. Overall, we skied around 20,000 vertical, which is not too much considering it was an all day program and that Snowbird is known for allowing a lot of vert to be racked up if desired.

I, as well as some others, were having some technique issues since we did not have a lot of experience skiing in deep powder. A few of us asked specifically for some instruction but the instructor did very little instructing. He pretty much sidestepped the questions by gave us some kinda lame answer like "yeah, it does take different technique to ski powder." I don't know if Mountain Experience is supposed to be mostly guiding and little instruction but the instructor came off as one of those all too typical high level instructors who is more interested in his skiing than his students. I usually tip my instructors but chose not to do so in this situation.

So, overall, I don't know if my expectations of the program were inaccurate or if my instructor just sucked but before signing up for Mountain Experience I'd call the ski school to ask exactly what the program entails.
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