or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

the Denver Post says,,

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Found this in the Denver Post.
I'm kind of surprised they would write about Utah skiing.

Ski & Snow Preview: Steep and Deep

Utah has more snow and challenging slopes

By Scott Willoughby
Special to The Denver Post

Sunday, November 11, 2001 - Bribery scandals notwithstanding, there are plenty of good reasons Utah was selected to host the first Olympics of the 21st century. And we're not talking about the "new" liquor laws.

We're talking about skiing and, in most places, snowboarding. With 10 major ski resorts, seven cross country areas and the nation's only recreational ski jumping complex within an hour's drive of Salt Lake City, Utah may live up to its self-proclaimed status as the "Greatest Snow on Earth." The terrain isn't too shabby, either.

Top 10 reasons to ski Utah

1. More than 500 inches of snowfall annually

2. Tram at Snowbird

3. Downhill course at Snowbasin

4. The Utah Interconnect

5. Honeycomb Canyon at Solitude

6. The $5 one-ride lift tickets at Alta and Brighton

7. Deer Valley corduroy

8. Sundance Film Festival

9. The Winter Olympics

10. "Greatest Snow on Earth"

It's tough to top Utah's Wasatch Front from a pure skiing perspective. The resorts closest to Salt Lake City are buried annually by more than 500 inches of powder. That's about three feet more than Colorado's snowiest ski area, Wolf Creek (465 inches), and even less travel time (by air) from Denver. But the biggest difference is what you find when you get there.

Utah skiing won't be confused with Colorado's anytime soon. From the moment you walk up to the ticket window to find "buddy pass" prices on a daily basis, until you top out at Alta with a pucker factor 11, you'll know you've crossed the boundary. Intimidating, narrow chutes of 50 degrees surround the cirque of Little Cottonwood Canyon, creating an extreme skier's paradise of powder and long, continuous vertical runs.

Ever heard of an "interlodge"? That's when there's so much snow in the canyon that it's illegal to go outside and subject yourself to the avalanche danger. While Colorado has no use for such a law, it's common practice around Utah's best resorts.

That's because Utah skiing is steep, for the most part. Only a small handful of resorts will waste your time with the bland cruising terrain and draining horizontal powder pilgrimages so common to Colorado ski areas. Once you step off the chair or out of the tram at Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, Brighton, The Canyons, Deer Valley or Snowbasin, your next move is almost always down. Unless, of course, it's up.

Utah has an ambitious hiking policy that seemingly encourages skiers to seek out the upper levels of each resort by walking to boundary-hugging terrain too steep for lift service. In the case of the Interconnect Adventure Tour, skiers actually hike up and out of five resorts - Park City, Solitude, Brighton, Alta and Snowbird - and then ride the breathtaking backcountry terrain connecting them, all in a single day.

The good news is that you won't have to hike out of bounds to find untrammeled snow and quality terrain if you're planning a visit to Utah surrounding this season's Olympics. Ski Utah reports that a mere 2 percent of total skiable terrain at the state's winter resorts will be affected by Olympic events. And it's a safe bet the largest crowds will be crammed into that space, leaving many more than 20,000 skiable acres to the skiers.

Of course, not all of that skiing is of the steep and deep variety, either. With the Olympics comes resort upgrades aplenty, along with the realization that paying customers expect the grooming, services and amenities now standard to the sport of skiing.

Indeed, Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley have long been known for immaculate grooming and top-notch service, so good that Deer Valley unseated Colorado king Vail as the top resort in North America in Ski magazine's reader survey this season. Park City came in at No. 8.

If you are looking for smaller, family-oriented slopes along the lines of Loveland or Eldora, consider Powder Mountain near Ogden or Sundance, Elk Meadows, Beaver Mountain or Brian Head south of Salt Lake City.

Just keep in mind that the real skiing - real Utah skiing - is closer at hand. Little Cottonwood Canyon (Alta, Snowbird), Big Cottonwood Canyon (Solitude Brighton), Park City (The Canyons, Deer Valley, Park City Mountain Resort) and Ogden (Snowbasin) are all within an hour of the capital city. And once you cross that boundary and take the plunge, you aren't likely to turn your back on Utah skiing ever again.
post #2 of 3
They also had an companion piece on Colorado.

I think it is right on the money.
post #3 of 3
I wonder how much of that Olympic bribe money made it into that writers pocket
The story in tommarrows Denver post will be about Scott Willoughby being Tar and Feathered while skiing at Vail
Just doing my part to keep the Utah/Colorado rivalry alive. [img]smile.gif[/img]
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion