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Please tell me where to go???

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Heading to Utah in Mid February for the first time. I am overwhelmed with the choice of hills. We are staying in Park City area. I realize snow is a factor, but I'm looking to narrow my scope a little here. We have 6 ski days, and I want the best in those days. We are advanced skiiers who venture o/b and backcountry often. However, if the good stuff can be found inbounds, we are more than content to remain there!: Steeps and bumps rule, but we're heading to Utah for the Pow baby! If I could get some direction, that would be great. I won't bother you all with specifics, but if somebody could get me on track, then I could post with them on exact runs and routes. Of course, I wouldn't expect any of you locals to give up your goods - cause if you were heading to British Columbia, I wouldn't give up any of mine!!!! (Unless I could show you them of course! )
post #2 of 23
1) Alta / Snowbird - 30-40 minutes away
2) Snowbasin / Powder Mtn. 40-50 minutes away
3) A distant third is The Canyons - close to Park City

The good news is that you're about mid-way between the first two areas, and close to the third.

Of course Deer Valley is down the street, and is #1 in some polls if grooming, food and service are what you want in a ski vacation : .

I'm in the same quanndry now as I'm booking my March vacation, and am staying at Kimball Junction, right off the highway so I can zip to #'s 1 or 2 when the snow hits.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks a ton snofun.....totally appreciated. I will look to you to guide me!!!
post #4 of 23

I'll tell you where to go!

Should I give the rather irreverent answer to your question??

Since it is your first time, you should see as much as possible. Plan to ski each day at a different place (Snowbird, Alta, Brighton, Solitude, Park City, Canyons, Snowbasin, etc). Have a special dinner one night at a restaurant in Deer Valley, this is a place you might skip for the ski experience depending on your ability and interests.

You'll probably want to return again, this way you'll know what you want to repeat next time.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Ya, I've heard Deer Valley is not necessarily the best for Pow or backcountry ungroomed. I guess we would better be classified as ski-bums then looking to be pampered. Thanks very much for the info; you guys are helping with the planning.
post #6 of 23
My first trip to Utah was 2 seasons ago. I was supposed to go again last season, but long story short I got stuck in Tahoe during the big February storm, crashed my truck, and had to scrap my Utah trip (i did get 4 days of powder in Tahoe, though).

At any rate, my friends and I took advantage of what we feel is a pretty sweet deal (heck, we were doing it 2 seasons in a row...they still went without me last season).

We stayed at the Midvale Best Western. They have an all-inclusive ski package that included room, breakfast, lunch, dinner, lift tickets and car rental. The year we first went it was something like $129 a person based on double occupancy. I think it may have gone up to $150. But that's a bargain considering that you get a room, 3 meals, a lift ticket and a rental car. The resorts it works with are the Cottonwood Canyon foursome: Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, and Brighton.

You might want to check into that deal as I think it's worth it as an intro to the area. Plus you can always schedule a side trip to Powder Mountain or Snow Basin (or Deer Valley, Park City, etc).
post #7 of 23
Even though the SLC ski areas are very close together they can get vastly different amounts of snow from the same storm, with Snowbird and Alta averaging the most every year. There is one snow report phone number you can call and get a 5:00 am report for all 7 areas, which will give you plenty of time to make a choice. If they report that it is snowing you can call the individual area reports around 7:00 to get an update. I have seen 0" new at 5:00, 4" when the chair opened at 9:00 and 12" by 1:00 at Alta, so don't just go by the early report if a storm is predicted. Sometimes the storms swing north and Snowbasin will get all the snow, which is an easy drive from Park City.

Your only problem will be if it dumps really big, Little Cottonwood Canyon (Bird/Alta) may be closed for blasting. They usually plan to reopen at 8:00, but if something slides big you may be shut out untill considerably later.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Nice mudfoot, that's the kind of thread I'm looking for.:
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by TJSKI View Post
Thanks a ton snofun.....totally appreciated. I will look to you to guide me!!!
I'm from the Ice Coast, but I usually do 15-20 days in SLC area / year for the past 10 years. I have two trips scheduled (Feb and Mar. so far) to SLC. What are your dates?

If you haven't already got a place, there was some good advice near the Cottonwoods already. You say you've got a good group - shame to waste it on the Park City area. Layton (Snowbasin/Powder) is a lot cheaper and the hills are real vs. Park City. The Cottonwoods are the things of legend.

BTW, I usually do 15-20 days / year at W/B and have some Ski Guide buds there. Maybe a hook-up could be in order both places.
post #10 of 23
You may go any place where I am not, and make sure all your friends go there as well...that way there'll be more powder for me!!
post #11 of 23
yeah if you're gonna ski LCC/BCC (don't forget about Solitude and Brighton) then I wouldn't waste $$ staying in Park City. It's more expensive than the valley and if you really don't care about fanciness or staying on the hill it's not bad. You can always head into SLC for pubs etc. Although Park City is nice don't get me wrong. It's a bit high end though - not as bad as say Aspen but it's expensive.

But if you're booked and such already that's fine too you can hop over the canyons in about an hour or less. First time I went there we thought we could take that road connecting Brighton to Park City (seasonal road though, had about 15 feet of snow covering it .
post #12 of 23
A search should get you a ton of stuff on this. I always liked staying in PC even if I drove to Alta every day because I like the sceanery up here better than SLC. Dookey posted a good deal in Midvale though...The Cottonwoods sound like what you want. You might pick up Andrew McCleans book just for fun. It's got lots of backcountry routes in the Cottonwoods.
post #13 of 23
к черту
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by TJSKI View Post
Ya, I've heard Deer Valley is not necessarily the best for Pow or backcountry ungroomed.
Then you heard wrong. It's certainly not what conventional wisdom will tell you it's known for, and it's not why the vast majority of its clientele go, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have more than enough ungroomed to keep you entertained for days. In fact, because it is known for its grooming, the off piste gets relatively little traffic.

A few years back, the last time my wife and I spent a long weekend in Utah, we hit Alta on Friday. I absolutely love Alta on weekdays, when the weekenders aren't there and the lift system isn't overwhelmed, but weekends are just too crowded for my taste. We also took lessons to get insider knowledge of the more interesting terrain, and in that instance we also benefited from the light weekday crowds -- my three-person class consisted of a patroller from the Midwest on his annual trip, one of the best freeheelers I've seen, and me. Then we spent Saturday at Deer Valley to take advantage of capacity controls, groomer lemmings, and fantastic meals. The only letdown was the Canyons; I'm not a fan of the horizontal mountain layout there, and there wasn't much terrain that both my wife (then a developing intermediate) and I enjoyed skiing -- it was hard to find a trail that had enough challenge for me and enough comfort for her.

Call me an extremist, but my favorite hills in Utah remain Alta and DV.
post #15 of 23
first off, i've never been to Deer Valley.

with that admission out of the way, I'll second what AlpindDad said above me based on secondhand info/commentary from my buddy who skis in Utah every season and has been doing so for at least a decade and counting now.

"that doesn't mean it doesn't have more than enough ungroomed to keep you entertained for days. In fact, because it is known for its grooming, the off piste gets relatively little traffic..."

My buddy said the very same thing when we were out for dinner the other night and talking about the incoming season. He was talking about how Utah kicks serious hiney over anything Colo has to offer, so we got into a little light-hearted pissing match about all the places we'd each ridden and how they stacked up.

When DV came up I mentioned the groomer/chi-chi stereotype and he said that while that was true, what most folks of our ilk didn't take into consideration is that due to the overwhelming number of folks who go there for the grooming they have a ton of untapped off-piste stuff that virtually nobody ventures into. He said those untouched stashes were enough to make him totally dig the mountain and recommend it to anybody interested in hitting some solid stuff. he said it was all about knowing where to look and making sure to ski where the crowds don't.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
it was all about knowing where to look and making sure to ski where the crowds don't.
As it is everywhere. The contrast is just more striking at DV.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post
- shame to waste it on the Park City area. Layton (Snowbasin/Powder) is a lot cheaper and the hills are real vs. Park City.....
OK, I usually try to stay out of the fray on this (well - sometimes anyway) but these statements flat out show just how misguided you are.

The Wasatch Crest, which runs along the PC ridgeline and includes parts of Upper Mill and and the North canyon wall of BCC, has some of the most pristine, untrampled terrain in the Wasatch. With a combination of Empire, Jupiter, Pinecone Ridge, 10420, Guardsman Pass, Scott Hill, Desolation Lake, White Pine, Western Monitor, 9990, Square Top and Upper Mill, there is enough inbounds and BC terrain to keep anyone happy for quite a long time. All easily accessable from the PC resorts/lifts. I know, I spend days and days back there. I also spend more than my fair share of time in the BCC & LCC backcountry. I gotta say, I have more fun and more untracked areas along the Crest than I do in the hyper competitive Cottonwoods. I will also venture to say that if I brought you up to the Crest blindfolded, you would not know the difference between many Cottonwood locations.

TeleProphet
post #18 of 23
1st time in UT... Just ski everywhere you can. There are no bad ski areas (of the 7 that I have been to) in UT. All of the biggest resorts (DV, PC, Canyons, Alta, Bird, Soli, Brigton, Snowbasin, Powmow) are huge in terms of vertical and acreage and have plenty to offer. You can find awesome lines at just about any area for just about any type of terrain you want. None of the areas suck, none are even mediocre, all are good for anything you want to do.
post #19 of 23
well there you go!
post #20 of 23
On average snowbird and alta get the best/most powder. But all storms are different, and the amounts at the local ski areas can vary quite a bit from the same storm. IMHO, you need to check the ski reports the day before to decide which has best conditions ( but snowbird has the best powder/terrain combination, IMHO ).
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powdr View Post
With a combination of Empire, Jupiter, Pinecone Ridge, 10420, Guardsman Pass, Scott Hill, Desolation Lake, White Pine, Western Monitor, 9990, Square Top and Upper Mill, there is enough inbounds and BC terrain to keep anyone happy for quite a long time. All easily accessable from the PC resorts/lifts. I know, I spend days and days back there. I also spend more than my fair share of time in the BCC & LCC backcountry. .

TeleProphet
Look, it's the guys first time in the area for a few days, and I know the gates off of 9990 have some nice stuff. A quick-and-dirty intro to the area for good terrain is a lot easier right off the lifts at A/S or SB/PowMow than trying to figure out the BC stuff, unless you're offering to be the tourguide.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks all. Great input and I love the "jawing" back and forth.: I will take what you guys have told me and put it to use in doing some homework prior to leaving. Thanks again.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post
Look, it's the guys first time in the area for a few days, and I know the gates off of 9990 have some nice stuff. A quick-and-dirty intro to the area for good terrain is a lot easier right off the lifts at A/S or SB/PowMow than trying to figure out the BC stuff, unless you're offering to be the tourguide.
I'd love to, but am out for six months w/ shoulder surgery
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