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TR: LCC/BCC/Pow/SB 12/28-1/7 (Long)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Got back a week ago but it took a while to catch up on everything. It took a week just to get the pictures off of the camera and uploaded.

We booked an early flight from philly to slc on delta so we could get a half day in at one of the slc resorts. I guess this was wishful thinking. The flight was supposed to leave at 7:00am but the pilot came on and said the plane had a flat tire. OK they had to change it, better they caught it now. About 15 min later, he told us there was another flat tire! Did someone drop a box of nails on the runway? Well they got them both changed and we were on our way around 9:30. We were supposed to land around 10:30 and I figured we would drop our stuff at the hotel and be at one of the mountains around noon, but no such luck. We landed around 12:30 and by the time we got our luggage and picked up the rental car it was already after 1. I guess one of the baggage handler's didn't like my wife's boot bag and decided to put a 4" gash right through the side of it. We got a claim form and the lady at the delta counter was very nice and said we would be reimbursed.

The rental car was a bit of a hassle as well. We rented a midsize and they gave us a chevy impala. Great right, but the rear seat doesn't fold down so we can't load our ski bags into it :. I go back to the counter and they are well aware of this so they put me in a pontiac grand prix. What gets me is that they saw me with two ski bags and knew the seat situation so why didn't they give me the grand prix in the first place? : Oh well.

We got to the extended stay in midvale around 2 so we decided not to waste the money skiing for only 1 or 2 hours. The hotel was nice, clean, and had a great shower (pressure like you couldn't believe). The only drawback to that type of hotel is the lack of hotel amenities (hot tub/pool/housekeeping...and when we tried to get a couple more pillows were blown off three times before being successful)

It seems as if the slc areas keep missing out on the big snow. The couple of days before we were supposed to get there they were expecting a big storm 12-24" I remember was forecasted. Well it was only 6-10" and the PC resorts got more snow than LCC/BCC.

Day 1: Alta

Anyway we skied Alta on the 29th and it was pretty nice. There were crowds but nothing crazy. We were able to find lightly tracked out off of supreme towards patsy marley and nice lines off of wildcat. High T was pretty boney and a lot of exposed areas were windblown or hard crust. Only one pic since it was our first day out of the season and we weren't in the best of form.

A note on the pic: my wife commented as the fog rolled in that it really smelled (like sewage). She didn't believe me when I told her it was the smog cloud. :

Day 2: Solitude

Solitude was great. No crowds even on a saturday and it was during the Christmas break. Headwall forest was great and we even found untracked.



Me near to top of headwall forest.

Honeycomb was great and even though it was warm, the snow was still dry and light. We never encountered heavy slop or crud the entire time we were in UT.

Mrs. GrizzlyFD somewhere Black Forest.

Day 3: Snowbird on New Years Eve

Another bluebird day, wilbere bowl seen from the top of thunder bowl/tigertail.

Smiles still to be had (and some untracked as well)

We were expecting some crowds but really no wait at the lifts. The only wait was for the MB express because it was getting a little cool with the wind and the visibility was low out of the sun.
Day 4: Snowmobile PC New Years Day

We spent three hours snowmobiling that afternoon and had a blast. I would recommend it for anyone with a long stay and wants to break up the skiing. (Don't get me wrong, if there was fresh snow on the ground there's no way we would have been away from the mountains )

Day 5: Brighton

We woke up and got out the door early this morning because we didn't ski yesterday and were anxious to get out on the hill when what happens? The car doesn't start. : The starter tries to turn the engine over but nothing. There's gas, the battery is ok...what's going on. Call National, explain the problem, they send someone out to jump the car. I explain it's not the battery and to just send a replacement. NO! The lady think's it's the battery...ok...so we wait. Someone comes and tries to jump it...lol it doesn't start what a surprise :. Call National again, they'll send someone out. They will be there in 1-2 hours. 2 hours later they drop us a new rental and take the old on away. We head up to Brighton. (luckily we can ski into the night so we didn't waste the day skiing)

Wow! What a surprise. We wanted to try Brighton, as we hadn't been there before because we always heard it was a snowboarders hang out. That was 100% true (rider's outnumbered skiers probably 3 or 4 to 1 here). But the terrain was great. Better coverage than any of the other resorts (alta included) and some nice terrain. Doesn't have the steeps of snowbird or the open areas of alta, the trees and solitude of well solitude, but it does have a lot of great little features all over the place. The lifts are fast and there was no one there. From lookers left to right there are three main areas, great western, snake creek/crest , and millicent. The best snow of the day was in the woods in the snake creek area. The open bowl under great western was starting to turn a little heavy (emphasis on a little) and there was some exposed rocks but it was still a lot of fun.
We skied into the evening and were still skiing the trees till almost 6. It got a little too dark so we stuck to the light trails after that and called it done by about 7:30-8.

Top of Great Western. Several peaks are visible: Twins, Hidden, Baldy, Superior, Millicent, Wolvy

Can you see the birds?

Millicent and Solitude summit lift, Honeycomb cliffs and the backside of evergreen.

Mrs.GrizzlyFD in snake creek bowl.

and in sawbuck

Day 6: Back at Brighton

No new snow still, but still a lot of fun. We stuck to snake creek and great western as there was a group from a cali HS doing a senior trip. I've never seen so many spoiled kids with thousands of dollars worth of equipment just throw it around. There were piles of snowboards just left all over the place. People were stepping over and on them around the base area.

Day 7: Solitude: Finally some new snow!!

Well it was supposed to start the night before but there was nothing more than a dusting. It did pick up during the day and was coming down hard for a significant amount of time. Only took a few shots because the snow was so good.

Here be dragons:

There was still a significant amount of sketch in the woods so be careful. We were finding small rocks and shrubs and stumps all over the place. The snow was soft though so it was ok .

We used the bus and left the car at the BCC park and ride figuring the valley wouldn't get too much. WRONG. There was at least 6" down and still snowing. We didn't have a problem getting out and back to the hotel.

We left SLC and headed up to the red moose lodge in eden. Took a little over an hour because the weather was pretty bad. We pulled in around 9:30 and passed out.

Day 8: Powder at Powder mountain.

The ceiling had lowered to a couple thousand feet above the valley floor and them temps were close 0-10. The mountain was reporting high wind but 10" new. The road up was interesting to say the least. Light snow was falling and a lot of blowing snow. We were the first in a line of cars and the mountain layout is quite odd. I remember reading somewhere not to stop and the first base area and keep going. Ok we see one lodge and we park at the top. Complete whiteout. Wind howling. Visibility probably around 50 feet max. Not knowing where to even go we follow some people to the ticket window and finally to the slopes? No lifts to be seen but we do spot a moutain guide that offers to take us on a free tour! Great. We found some great stuff off of paradise. Visibility was poor the entire day so no pics, but knee and waist deep all day.
The mountain layout is quite odd. All of the steeper terrain is on the paradise lift and triple. The new HS quad accesses low angle stuff and there is a platter lift that take you out into cobabe canyon, and more low angle stuff. The cat was not operating, and powder country was not open.

Day 9: Snowbasin

COLD AND WINDY! and busy! First lot was packed before we got there. Second lot was packed when we left at 2. The lifty said it was brutal at the top and to cover exposed skin. He wasn't kidding. The Mrs. got a little frostbite on the nose and had to cover up a little better.
The line for the gondola was 20-30, singles a little better. It would have moved faster if they loaded them a little better, but 4-6 was the norm here. We moved over to the strawberry area were there was no wait but no cover from the wind. 25-35 with gusts to 60. I believe it. Only a couple good runs because of the conditions. Definitely needs more snow. Overall not very impressed even ignoring the conditions. Very bland terrain from what we saw. Didn't do any hiking up top because of the cold and wind. Lifts were ok, but the main gondola was awful because no one wanted to ride any exposed lifts. Definitely not as much snow as powder/bcc/lcc and crowds were killer. We were almost thrown out of the cafeteria for bringing our own sandwiches. Called it a day early. Maybe we'll be back under more tolerable weather.

Day 10: Powder again

A shortened last day because we had a catch a flight back to philly at 5. The clouds finally parted for the morning but started to roll in when we were packing up around noon.

James Peak and lightning ridge open

We didn't ride the cat due to time constraints but maybe next time. Once again they didn't get what they expected from this storm as they keep splitting. Hopefully they will get some more typical dumps when we're back in March.

post #2 of 7
Great report....thanks for sharing! I will be in SLC on 2/2 for four days skiing. Lots of time to get a few good dumps in!!!
post #3 of 7
Matt...thanks for the report.

Will be in Utah the first week in March. First time so these sort of trip reports are great!!

Thanks again!
post #4 of 7
nice TR. I was out there too but skiing the cottonwoods on your last three days. I need to go back...
post #5 of 7
love the TR. Love the powderhorn lift shot. one of my favorite line at solitude is under that lift. Also love the scenic shots that show the tram from brighton.

nice report on brighton I think I am night skiing there wednesday to try out the new sticks.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Night skiing at Brighton was surprisingly nice. It cleared out around 3 or so and we were basically alone in the snake creek area. Once it closed we hit up the trees under crest. I was really surprised that all terrain was fair game, well until it got too dark. Nothing was really ropped off. Is this how it usually is? Not that I'm complaining as the woods were nice (until it got too dark )
post #7 of 7
Thanks for that
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