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Snowbird blue runs?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I have posted an earlier thread about blue runs in Snowbird. But after reading some older threads about how there are no intermediate terrains in Snowbird I am freaking out right now. I am going to Utah on 4/1-4/4 with some friends, staying at Sandy. Everything paid for and no turning back now! I went to ski at Belleayre in NY yesterday to get my muscle memories back for the big trip. To make a long story short it was great (I discovered the edge for the first time on my skis, I started to stop skidding!), and I really enjoyed 3 blue runs called Dot Nebel, Yahoo and Belleayre Run. Any NYers know what runs in Snowbird are on similar level of steepness as those runs? I've heard that the blue runs in the east are a joke compare to the ones in the west. In general I perform better when I ski on a wide run without crowds (I have a real fear of running into some kids and killing them - no having to worry about that makes me conquer my fear much better). I have also skied on hard-packed/ice for my whole life, never skied on powder!

I would prefer to go to Snowbird since we are staying at Sandy (only 10 mins away). Can't go to Alta since we have a snowboarder in the group. If Snowbird really turns out to be too difficult for me I might either persuade my friends to drop me off at Alta for a day, or we all go to Solitude or Brighton instead. (I am the weakest skier in the group, everyone else are level 7/8 skiers - everything but moguls and double-blacks) One person in the group prefers to snowboard so we can't go to Alta as a group

Also just to make sure, Alta/Deer Valley welcomes skiers on snowblades correct? I have a friend that owns snowblades but not skis.

post #2 of 15
How does one ski powder on snow blades?

I skied Snowbird today. Thoughts from a mid-westerner.

Conditions: soft snow, but pretty tracked out.
The place is huge, but not as big as Vail. The groomed runs can be easily handled by everyone, but it is true that most of the mountain appeals to strong skiers. Mineral Basin has most of the easy terrain, but the fun stuff is black.
I haven't skied in N.Y. in awhile, but I would think the blue runs are mostly comparable. The problem I had with the groomed runs was that it was so easy to build up speed, I was scaring myself.
Hope you are good in moguls.
There are a lot of good skiers and boarders here. Follow them if you are up to it.
Oh, I almost forgot. I thought I was in pretty good shape before I got here. Forget it. Skiing in powder takes effort, esp. if it is new to you. Make life slightly easier and rent some powder skis.
post #3 of 15
Don't sweat it. I ski Belleayre, have a house up the road, and Snowbird, Alta,etc, love Utah. If you stick to the blues you should be fine. I take it you didn't ski Belleayre from the top. The top of those runs better represents a blue out west. Not all runs at the Bird have moguls, they groom a lot. If you can turn and stop well you won't have a prob. If you get lucky and get a nice powder dump, more the better. The only way to learn powder is to ski it. If you fall, and you will, it will be a lot better than falling on Eastern hardpack. One thing you will find out west though. They make most Eastern runs feel tiny, because they are in comparison. As far as wideness. They have areas that are wider than all of Belleayre, and 4 times as long. Think about it. Belleayre has about 150 acres, Snowbird over 2000. Go for it.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Re: snowblades - Yeah I don't know. You have a good point, I never thought of that. Well I'll tell her and it's up to her to decide if she will rent skis or not. My only job is to make sure she will not be kicked off the mountain if she brings her snowblades. So snowblades are ok though?

Re: snow being tracked out - Not sure what that means since I have no reference points. Usually there is only 2 types of snow where I ski - ice patches or man-made. Does tracked-out mean hard-packed with some small bumps?

Re: Not skiing top of Belleayre - Yes I usually unload right before the peak so I only do the blue part of the run. I did the black part once, I can do it but I am in survival mode the whole time - forms, stances, turns etc all out of the window. Starts skidding everywhere. Not what I call fun!

Re: Powder - If there is any left by April 1, I will take a lesson when I am out there.

But in general you think I might be a better fit ability-wise to do one day in Solitude or Brighton?

post #5 of 15
Eyeski covered it pretty well and by all means sample Solitude & Brighton. They're both smaller than Snowbird, but still huge by eastern standards and overall the terrain is easier than Snowbird. They do both have PLENTY of expert terrain if anyone in your group is up to it.
post #6 of 15
Be prepared at Snowbird, to not be able to see the trails very well if it is dumping-- and some runs can be disorienting when there are no trees which make slope and distance deceptive . I was in the Mineral Basin during a whiteout and I thought I was going backwards when I was standing still, which I realized when I looked at my tracks. And even some green trails, like Big Emma, aren't trails in the eastern sense-- just big green groomed spaces--
But that said, be careful, don't go out alone at first, follow the lines of other people 'til you get the hang of it and YOU WILL HAVE THE BEST SKIING OF YOUR LIFE
post #7 of 15
Originally Posted by Sharka
Does tracked-out mean hard-packed with some small bumps?
"Tracked-out" means it was powder a few minutes ago and it ain't anymore.
post #8 of 15
I think you will find that due to the better conditions, as in lack of ice, you will be able to ski things that are steeper than you are used to. The top of Belleayre is usualy pretty slick, or ice bumps. Utah snow is the best thing you will ever ski, no offense to any other areas, just my opinion. Off the tram is a run called Chips. It winds it's way down the whole way. It can be steep in parts and I would not recommend it if visibility is bad. If you have a blue bird day then it is a good run to see a lot of the mountain. I would stick to chair access first, once you are on the tram it is the easiest but only way you can get down.
post #9 of 15
Just to repeat what was said earlier. Brighton is probably a better choice for your group. There is an extensive intermediate trail and slope network, a park and pipe area, and it is very close to Sandy, up Big Cottonwood Canyon. You will have much lower lift costs, smaller crowds, and more appropriate terrain. Snowbird is a "must see", but it can be intimidating for intermediates that get funneled into the same runs.
post #10 of 15
if you stay in Sandy, Snowbird should be the closest in driving distance, Alta is just down the road. Solitude is the first resort towards BCC and Brighton should be the last resort in BCC. Eitherway, you could ski both Brighton and Solitude on the same lift ticket, but I don't think you have the time. One resort could take you two days to finish, unlike Eastern resorts.
post #11 of 15
Just get the "Four for one" ticket, or something like that-it is good at all the Cottonwood Canyon resorts. Also, I'm pretty sure that there is a lift that Alta and Snowbird share. So some of you can leave the boarder at Snowbird, ski Alta and then meet up later in the day with the boarder. I am a high intermediate skiier and I just found that I kept winding up on the same trails at Snowbird. Also, they had loads of traverses that are not fun at all running across the diamond trails. I LOVED Alta. Every blue trail had half groomed and half ungroomed so if you got tired in the powder (yes, this does happen to easteners) you could take it easy on the groomed part of the trail. Either way, you will have a great time. It is so much easier to ski in the west. You must go to
Alta because you will be able to experience what "bowl" skiing is like. It is just awesome!! I didn't get that experience on the blues in Snowbird. Don't miss Alta!! I just can't stress this enough!
post #12 of 15
I suggest Solitude. Brighton is nice, but heavily boarder-oriented. Snowbird, as you indicated, is concentrated more towards steep terrain. There's blue there, but it's not great.

Alta has a nice mix of everything, but no boarders.

Solitude, allows boarders, has lots of blues, isn't much further than Alta and Snowbird, gets all the great snow that Snowbird and Alta gets, and doesn't track out for days. Best of all worlds!
post #13 of 15

This is why I mention Chips run. It can be very good. Just watch the very top off the tram in poor vis. I went right off the edge once, fortunately not to the bottom.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Great pic! Yup vis looks low - I guess the safest thing is to follow skiers in front.

Thanks a lot everyone, you guys really got me pumped up right now! I hope it continues to snow next week! Save some powder for me!
post #15 of 15
Originally Posted by Sharka
Great pic! Yup vis looks low - I guess the safest thing is to follow skiers in front.

Thanks a lot everyone, you guys really got me pumped up right now! I hope it continues to snow next week! Save some powder for me!
Unless the skier in front is a lunatic:
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