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Cottonwood early Dec conditions

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I've never been out to SLC in early December and I see a few free air tickets available. I follow the snowfalls every year but don't have personal experience before January. Is the chance of good all - open conditions at least 75% for the weekend of December 7th-10th for Alta/Snowbird?
post #2 of 9
As in your situation, I have never been to SLC that early. We go in March usually. I would think that the Cottonwoods would be better than any place else you could go because of the amount/quality of snow they get. They will be open about 3 weeks by then conditions permitting and it's after Thanksgiving, so I assume they will try to get as much terrain open as possible. I think you should be fine then, you won't have the base as later in the year or 100% terrain, but it's probably better than anywhere else you could go.
post #3 of 9
I've been that early several times. Chances are decent that at least a hefty percentage of terrain will be open, but you never know for sure. Alta and Brighton will have better coverage than Snowbird and Solitude b/c terrain easier to cover. If you can wait, I would. I went Thanksgiving about 4-5 yrs ago and it was great.
post #4 of 9
I have gone to Alta/bird every year - the first weekend in december. there has been plenty of snow every year except one ( I think it was 03-04, don't remember for sure).

alta - generally - all lifts will be open.
snowbird - mineral basin most likely will be the closed.

am planning to go this year also.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
thanks guys, it is looking real good for the trip, as far as travel goes, even though I'm a Birdman, I wanted to do a solo trip to Alta and stay "with the guys" at a lodge, but i have a bunch of freq fly Delta miles(they have some great offers and with two addresses, a business, and a wife, the offers add up quick! so I'm bribing my daugther with a tix for a friend or two, so I'll be staying down below at my usual, La Quinta in Midvale.
post #6 of 9
That timing is right on the borderline of when there will be decent coverage on average. MauiSteve is correct that Alta and Brighton will likely be best.

I'm usually at Snowbird in March but I was at the Alta Peruvian during a lean Christmas in 1986-87. Alta and Brighton were in decent shape and about 75% skiable. Snowbird had a 37-inch base and it was very difficult to get down the lower mountain without trashing your skis. 50-inch base minimum required at Snowbird IMHO.
post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
50-inch base minimum required at Snowbird IMHO.
More like 70" if you value your skis. Even then the Cirque traverse will still be pretty boney, same with the High T at Alta. I go to LCC early most seasons and generally it's pretty good. I usually don't take my top shelf skis.
post #8 of 9
Free flights????
post #9 of 9
Don't expect the entire mountain to be open, even if there is ample snow. Most destination resorts farm their snow for the all too important Holiday season. Also, staffing just isn't up to full capacity and there really aren't enough resources available to place pads, boot/ski pack runs, prepare signs etc. to open all the terrain. What *is* open usually has some of the softest snow of the season, though.

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