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TR: Utah 1/5-1/8 (pics)

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'll try to recap my whole Utah experience here and hopefully give some tips to those planning trips in the future. This was our first time skiing in Utah.

The whole trip was great. We were lucky to arrive right as the first decent storm in a while was blowing through. Excellent snow the whole time and tons of great terrain to explore.

We arrived Thursday the 4th to heavy snow and a few inches on the ground already at the airport. A great sign of things to come and the resorts were modestly reporting 10" throughout the day. We rented a 4x4 but did not encounter any restrictions on the roads traveling to the resorts. A car would have done fine but there were restrictions on the canyon roads the day we arrived. We stayed in a very luxurious condo at the redrock resort right near I80 in Park City. This was the only bad aspect of the trip. We had some problems with the accommodations and the management company, All Seasons Resorts, was difficult to deal with.

We purchased a 4 day superpass through travelocity which I would highly recommend for convenience and the low price.

Skiing Day 1, Friday 1/05: Snowbird
Powder Day At the bird, I think the report of 10" was very understated in most spots. We got started late because my buddy lost his superpass voucher. I think we got on the tram for our first run around 10 am. The line for the tram was outside of the building but moved steadily. This was our only wait of the day. Visibility was very bad on the upper mountain and especially in mineral basin making it more difficult for us to find our way around. The best run of the day was in the thunderbowl/tigertail area. We found fresh snow, at least knee deep and some face shots. This was an easy traverse from Gad 2. Other memorable runs were lower cirque and off of road to provo. The cirque traverse was very rocky. We did encounter some rocky spots off piste but very few. We found mineral basin difficult to navigate and the snow to be better on the front side. Main trail got very cut up and fairly icy by the end of the day, Great day to kick off the trip.

Day 2, Saturday 1/06: Solitude
We elected to ski solitude on saturday figuring it would be the busiest day for the resorts. It had snowed lightly the day before. We got on the lifts right at 9am and were rewarded with a few great highspeed corduroy runs before we headed off piste. Best run of the day was fairly far down the traverse on the Black bess side of honeycomb canyon. Some sidestepping involved but not bad. We were rewarded with excellent, untracked snow. Headwall forest was also very good. The steep stuff off of powderhorn was closed and the only access to honeycomb was the summit chair. Unfortunately we only got one more run in the canyon as it was closed later due to high winds. The lifts are slower here but crowds were non-existant, there is plenty of challenginf terrain and we had a very fun day. There were a few rocky areas off piste. I guess much of alta and snowbird were closed this day due to winds but all lifts were open at solitude.

Honeycomb Video:

Day 3, Sunday 1/07: Alta
We had a local friend guide us around alta for the day. This was a very nice thing to have here as I don't think we would have gotten to anything near as interesting without help. It had snowed heavily the day before and I guess most of the mountain was closed in the afternoon. Very sunny, beautiful day. The only real wait for the lift was the first ride up collins. The topography of the mountain is very tough to read and the trailmap does it no justice. We did alot of traversing and sidestepping, you have to work here to get the goods. I'm not even sure what we skied here but some nice areas were catherine's, trees off supreme, ballroom, "thirds", and something in the area of north rustler and eagle's nest. Soft and deep snow all over the place. The high traverse was rocky and getting around in the rustler area was also a bit messy.

little cliff vid off of Wildcat

Day 4, Monday 1/08: Back to Snowbird
There was no fresh snow today so finding great snow was a bit tougher. A lot of areas were crusty windbuff or heavy. There were very low clouds again shrouding the top of the mountain but they broke up later on. The thunderbowl area again offered the best snow. Other great runs were off of the high baldy traverse and lower gad chutes. The baldy traverse is a pretty serious and exposed trek but was well worth it. No lines or crowds to speak of. Very fun day again to end the trip.

This is what happens when you get a little overconfident in the terrain park

Little chute video in Peruvian Gulch

I ended up with two deep shots in my bases and some dulled edges so watch out for the low snow conditions. Hopefully that concern will end soon enough. Snow conditions off piste were mostly great, some rocks around. Groomers get very torn up as the day goes on.
post #2 of 6
Great TR !!!!!!
post #3 of 6
Nice TR! Thanks for sharing.

I'm gonna go feel sorry for myself now...

post #4 of 6
Nice report! Sounds like you skied a lot of stuff in the time ...
post #5 of 6
The recording from Honey Comb, what was the name of the run.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hard to say where exactly it was, we went pretty far out and were told it was one of the longer runs. Somewhere around prince of wales on the map would be my guess. We came out near the letter J at the bottom of the canyon if anybody is familiar with the area.

first snowbird pic is tigertail or nearby. not sure where the second one was.

I'm pretty sure both solitude shots are off the powderhorn lift.

the rooty traverse at alta was in the vicinity of north rustler and eagles nest

not sure what the area is called in the first of the last day pics, next is lower gad chutes, top of the tram and hiking the high baldy traverse.
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