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Advice for 4 day Utah trip- all terrain mountain

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
How do I best suit all ski levels for a 4 day mid-Feb first trip to Utah? I am the only advanced skier in the group. Typically on a tough mountain, like A-basin, I'll ski blues, blacks, and a few double blacks. I like to challenge myself with tough terrain, but I'm not really good enough to do expert terrain all day long. The rest of the group are all intermediate level and may not want to leave the blues all day.

From reading these forums for awhile, I'm pretty hyped to try ALta/Snowbird/ and/or Snowbasin- but I'm concerned that some of our group will be miserable if they are confined to just a couple runs they can really ski. We have 4 days and are up for all suggestions - haven't even booked lodging yet.

My question is, should we go for a Solitude, Deer Valley, Canyons to get everyone a little practice and then try Alta or Snowbird? Can early low intermediates have fun skiing the tougher resorts? Any help appreciated.

(Also, is there a good intermediate mountain that also has good advanced terrain and glades?)
post #2 of 25
The Only mountain I would not go to is Snowbird. Don't get me wrong Snowbird a great mountain. They do have runs that your friends would like. However for low level skiers you have to use a lot of cat tracks to navigate Snowbird. Most low level skiers are uncomfortable on these narrow tracks. Ad is aggressive skiers and riders. Well you get the picture. All The other places will be fine. Your friends will love Alta. It has lots of runs that they will enjoy. Every other mountain will have lots of stuff to challenge you and great runs that your friends will fell right at home on. Have fun and enjoy Utah.
post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
(Also, is there a good intermediate mountain that also has good advanced terrain and glades?)
Snowbasin is right on the money for that.....
post #4 of 25
I have only limited experience (we visited The Canyons, Deer Valley, and Alta). On our drive to Alta I wondered if we'd be able to ski much of it with any degree of comfort, but, as middlin' intermediates we loved Alta. There are easy greens near Albion base, the blues off Sugarloaf are comparatively gentle. Alta offers a groomed blue or two off every lift. We skied from every lift and the layout of Alta gives you a chance to dabble in off piste terrain without getting far from the groomed. Looks like we'll soon be sampling more of what Utah has to offer.
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
RISkier, how would you compare The Canyons to Deer Valley? Do they both have good tree skiing?
post #6 of 25
Both have good tree skiing. One of Deer Valley's secrets is the excellent tree skiing That can stay untouched for days. Canyons also has some fun tree skiing but Can be more tracked out.
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
RISkier, how would you compare The Canyons to Deer Valley? Do they both have good tree skiing?
I'd put more trust in Utah49's response. We were primarily groomer skiers when we were in Utah so I'm really not qualified to answer. We enjoyed our whole trip. My perception is that Alta has a reputation of being just for advanced and expert skiers but there's definately terrain that's suitable for all levels. I know that I'm not ready for the best that Alta has too offer, but there is terrain for all abilities. I recall walking through the parking lot after our first day skiing at Alta and saying "this was the best day of skiing I've ever had." And nothing has yet changed that opinion.
post #8 of 25
Agreed on Deer trees. If the snow is good head to Olympia bowl for some more advanced slopes and trees.

Canyons has a lot of great terrain up near the top but it's a bit more difficult to navigate. I think intermediates would be happier at Deer, although others may disagree.

Park City Mountain has lots for intermediates as well, with Jupiter Bowl and McConkeys for the more advanced.

Then again there's Solitude - so much to choose from. I hate to choose - I'd rather extend the trip .
post #9 of 25
I find Alta to be very overrated for intermediates. It is certainly fine for the day but the variety is not there. Seriously, as an intermediate you will funneled into the same runs. Looking up, on the right side(Collins lift), of the mountain there is a nice double blue bowl that you should enjoy, then you take the same run down between the steep areas every time. On the left side you will be taking up the Sugarloaf lift and again you will take the same run down everytime. The other lift you will take is the Supreme lift and again, you will be taking the same run down. Looking up to the right of the lift. Saying that, the place is plenty big and you will be skiing Alta, beautiful scenery etc., but for variety there is TONS more terrain in the PC resorts and Snowbasin too. Much of the harder terrain at Alta an intermediate won't be able to ski even with "a little practice". All the resorts in Utah are nice and big and fine for all, it is the snow quality that makes the big difference for the advanced/expert skier skiing off the major runs. Snowbird can be a little hard to get around and an intermediate can definitely get into trouble over his head with the wrong turn, but it is a extremely beautiful huge place and can certainly be enjoyed by an intermediate, just keep a close eye on the map!
post #10 of 25
Alta, Solitude or Deer Valley would be my picks for your group. Like Utah49, I do not recommend Snowbird for intermediates, it's just too intimidating for many folks. All three of the resorts I think you should consider have less crowds, wonderful intermediate terrain and some nice advanced terrain you'll feel comfortable venturing into alone. If you like tree skiing, you'll get your fix at all three. Keep in mind that Deer Valley gets less snow than the two resorts in the Cottonwood Canyons (but they do get less tracked out on the ungroomed terrain compared to the other Park City resorts).

Not sure if this matters, but Park City is great for folks who want off-slope activities and an overload of choices for dining and apres-ski/nightlife, while the Cottonwood Canyon resorts are very quiet and secluded. So it depends on whether you want to relax after skiing and stick close to where you're staying (Cottonwood Canyons), or hit the streets of a former silver mining town (Park City).

Thatsagirl
post #11 of 25
Are the trail maps that you get at Alta, Snowbird and other Utah areas more detailed than the trail maps you can download online??
post #12 of 25
>Are the trail maps that you get at Alta, Snowbird and other Utah areas more detailed than the trail maps you can download online??

no
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ct55 View Post
Agreed on Deer trees. If the snow is good head to Olympia bowl for some more advanced slopes and trees.

Canyons has a lot of great terrain up near the top but it's a bit more difficult to navigate. I think intermediates would be happier at Deer, although others may disagree.

Park City Mountain has lots for intermediates as well, with Jupiter Bowl and McConkeys for the more advanced.

Then again there's Solitude - so much to choose from. I hate to choose - I'd rather extend the trip .
Olympia Bowl? Where is this? Not at DV i know for a fact.
Onterio East off of Birdseye, Triangle Trees between Wastch and Sultan, off of Reward. Just to name a couple.
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post
>Are the trail maps that you get at Alta, Snowbird and other Utah areas more detailed than the trail maps you can download online??

no
And I think thats the reason both Snowbird and Alta can get to feel like you are always on the same runs. Both of these places, especially Alta though, really open up once you learn how to get around the mountains. Staying high on the traverses and knowing the spots to hike a few hundred yards easily triples how big the resorts feel. Some of the stuff, like many of Alta's bowls, offer easier options for intermediate skiers as well as challenging lines for more advanced skiers. If your group is the kind that likes to go for it even if it isn't always graceful, I wouldn't turn away from either of these places.

I remember skiing Alta a long time ago for the first time and it seemed like my only options were the same blue run or killer rocks. I could see stuff all over the place that I thought would be awesome to ski, or at least try, but I had no idea how to find it. Don't be afraid to stop by the ski school/patrol desk, service desk, bus driver, or anyone else who looks like they might know to give you some advice or circle some spots on the trail map to try.

Don't forget that the ESA did 4 full days at Alta/Snowbird last year and included many intermediate skiers.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Much appreciated advice to all. Its remarkable how many Utah ski days are represented here.

In my group, if I thought only of myself, I would ski Alta, Snowbird, and Snowbasin, with the 4th day a repeat of one of those. This comes strictly from reading the Bear forums and doing some trail map and stat research. However, I'll be doing a lot of skiing by myself as it is, since everyone else is in my group is much less experienced, and if I want to see any of them at all I have to compromise. Therefore, it looks like a day at Deer Valley and two days at Alta (but stay in Park City) would be good, with the option to make the drive to Snowbasin or any Park City resort for the 4th day.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by tahoetr View Post
Olympia Bowl? Where is this? Not at DV i know for a fact.
Onterio East off of Birdseye, Triangle Trees between Wastch and Sultan, off of Reward. Just to name a couple.
Sorry - Ontario - you are right. I'm talking about that place where you have to traverse through the woods - it's kind of hidden depending how you drop in
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ct55 View Post
Sorry - Ontario - you are right. I'm talking about that place where you have to traverse through the woods - it's kind of hidden depending how you drop in
Ahh,,
I preferd to ski the trees on the west side of Onterio, enter in from the Hiden treasure side, a little traverssing. ou can alos enter from the top of Hidden Treasure, up where the grooming starts.
post #18 of 25
How does one enter Glory Hole at Alta??
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugaree View Post
How does one enter Glory Hole at Alta??
straightline from sugarloaf lift and get as high as you can from the gate. then sidestep to the top. IT keeps the low landers away nicely.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
straightline from sugarloaf lift and get as high as you can from the gate. then sidestep to the top. IT keeps the low landers away nicely.
sorry to be slow on the uptake:

Are you talking up mt baldy (ballroom) or over towards Devil's castle?

thanks
post #21 of 25
All the mountains will have a little something for everyone, however, Snowbird tends to be more frightening. My mom and sister skiied Alta as beginners and did fine. You will also be plenty happy there. Deer Valley has good tree skiing and something for everyone, same with Park City. Also check out Snowbasin.
post #22 of 25
I will put in another vote for Snowbasin. Big variety of runs, lots of fun intermediate cruisers. Great facilities.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by tahoetr View Post
Ahh,,
I preferd to ski the trees on the west side of Onterio, enter in from the Hiden treasure side, a little traverssing. ou can alos enter from the top of Hidden Treasure, up where the grooming starts.
Yup I know where you mean. I think it's called Hidden Treasure. There's a little section at the top I like to refer to as a kids rollercoaster (couldn't find the trail name on the map) - blue or green trail through a bunch of little dips and flat turns through some easy trees. Then you end up at the top of a gully. You have to stay high skiers right and traverse through a cat track in the trees and find yourself at an opening to the bowl. There's the other side, where you can drop in relatively easily but it's not as much fun .

It's relatively easy tree skiing but there are trees and some steepness (and usually pow) in Ontario bowl. A neat offpiste style trail for a mostly groomed mountain.

I like to ski DV just for this section of trails - it's so much fun to do again and again. The skiout at the bottom can be neat too - about a 15 foot drop in places .
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugaree View Post
How does one enter Glory Hole at Alta??
As my buddy used to say "This ain't San Francisco ya know" (sorry off color remark .

One of my fave little pleasures down there is Glory Gulch - like a natural half-pipe. You end up in it after Glory Hole or Greely's.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by asland View Post
sorry to be slow on the uptake:

Are you talking up mt baldy (ballroom) or over towards Devil's castle?

thanks
pretty much straight down from sugarloaf
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