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What do I need to know about BCC/LCC closures?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi all,
First off I just want to say that I've done a search and I couldn't find a thread addressing this topic, so if it has indeed been discussed in the past and someone would like to link me to it instead of rehashing it all that would be great.

I'm thinking of heading to the SLC area in mid-january and trying to decide whether to stay in the valley or stay in one of the canyons. I stayed in the valley last year and the convenience of being able to get quickly to any of the four canyon resorts or up to ogden/PC was really nice, however it was bluebird 8 days in a row and so there were never any problems with canyon closures.

So what do I need to know if (and I can only hope) there's a decent storm when I am there? For example:

1. How often do the canyons actually close
2. How long does it take for them to get them open again/do they seem to open at a specific time or it just depends on the storm?
3. (essentially the most important) Am I likely to miss an amazing powder day if I don't stay in one of the canyons?
4. If both canyons are closed do the PC/ogden resorts get ridiculously packed?
5. Once the canyons do open are they safe to drive up in a POS rental car?

So yeah, would love to hear what everyone's experience has been and what they would suggest
post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceruleance View Post
1. How often do the canyons actually close
2. How long does it take for them to get them open again/do they seem to open at a specific time or it just depends on the storm?
3. (essentially the most important) Am I likely to miss an amazing powder day if I don't stay in one of the canyons?
4. If both canyons are closed do the PC/ogden resorts get ridiculously packed?
5. Once the canyons do open are they safe to drive up in a POS rental car?
1. Depends on the weather and the underlying snowpack. 2 years ago they closed, at least for a little while, about once a week. Last year, I think it was only a couple of days that things got backed up.
2. Anywhere from 1/2 a hour to a few hours to all day.
3. No. You can always buzz over to Snowbasin or PC if BCC or LCC is shut down. Parleys RARELY closes. There are also times when LCC is closed and BCC is open.
4. I don't know, I rarely ski those places.
5. Depends on the weather. My guess would be not really. The down side to that is that on those days the ski busses are usually PACKED! Rent the 4wd.
post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceruleance View Post
Hi all,


So what do I need to know if (and I can only hope)
if the road is closed---don't try to go up---

sorry couldn't resist!:

and by the way---welcome to epic
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
3. No. You can always buzz over to Snowbasin or PC if BCC or LCC is shut down. Parleys RARELY closes. There are also times when LCC is closed and BCC is open.
That's good to know. You wouldn't be misinforming me so you can keep all that fresh Alta powder to yourself, would you I wonder if anyone knows the statistics on the percentage of skiers that are staying in the canyon vs. driving in in the morning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
5. Depends on the weather. My guess would be not really. The down side to that is that on those days the ski busses are usually PACKED! Rent the 4wd.
Would love to hear some more opinions on this one. Not to be a cheapskate but an SUV rental is probably 2 or 3 times more expensive than your standard sedan so I would like to avoid it but also don't want to slam into any guardrails while i'm on vacation

Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j
and by the way---welcome to epic
Thanks! I've been browsing around for a few months, glad I found it, any forum where you can get an informed answer to your question in 5 minutes seems pretty great to me
post #5 of 17
you pay your money or not pay it and take your chances. If canyon is closed first thing in the am, then the 4 wheel drive sign will be flashing all day and your POS rental will not be allowed up. Try orbitz for Hertz Outback. Buses will be packed on powder day, but if you are an early bird, then i would think you chances are much better. don't show up at 9am! at the bus stop. If LCC is closed, then just go up BCC, we did that last year after crawling in line for an hour and had a terrific day at Solitude, same amt of snow. But almost always, during a storm the expectations will be less at PC resorts. So if a storm is dropping 24-30 at LCC you might only have 12-18 at PC resorts, but up top it'll be good, just less expert choices than LCC, when it is crisp top to bottom.

I like staying in the valley. Why not save a few bucks, dining choices are much better and without doubt, I rest much better and restore for the next day. Mild altitude sickness can be a problem if you sleep in the canyon and are skiing all out. So if you are going to stay up there, maybe you should take cash and get SUV. But then again, you miss beauty of staying in canyon and also, will ocassionally get completely skunked out and not able to get up, but there is always a good second option in utah.
post #6 of 17
As some have noted....if the 4WD or chains requirement is on, do not attempt it in a FWD rental.

I was in SLC in mid-March 2002 when LCC got 60 inches in 2 days. We just arrived at the park-and-ride by 7:30 am and had no problem parking and getting on a bus. Since we were on East Coast time, 7:30 seemed leisurely.

They did close the road once we were at Snowbird, but got it open later in the day so we could get back down. This is the part that is more dangerous for someone without chains and 4WD doesn't help you stop.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceruleance View Post

1. How often do the canyons actually close
2. How long does it take for them to get them open again/do they seem to open at a specific time or it just depends on the storm?
3. (essentially the most important) Am I likely to miss an amazing powder day if I don't stay in one of the canyons?
4. If both canyons are closed do the PC/ogden resorts get ridiculously packed?
5. Once the canyons do open are they safe to drive up in a POS rental car?

So yeah, would love to hear what everyone's experience has been and what they would suggest
1.BCC didnt close one time last year, LCC closed a couple times

2.usually avalanches or avalanche bombing shut them down, not just snow on the road..

3. if your a late riser no, but if you get up early you will be able to get to some place open.

4.maybe but BCC is still pretty deserted during this time.

5.probably not, probably not even in a 4WD car in some case. I wouldnt trust 4wd with out snow tires.
post #8 of 17
rental car=Subaru Outback...I believe you can also request chains but we never did.
post #9 of 17
Just get a 4WD and chains and head up canyon at 4:30 am. They usually don't close the road until 5:30 or 6. Unless it was really nuking last night and interlodge was declared during the night. In this case it would probably be best to linger up-canyon the night before and get "stuck" up canyon instead of down in the valley. In this case it would be nice if you remembered to bring your toothbrush/contact case/sleeping bag.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiierx View Post
rental car=Subaru Outback...I believe you can also request chains but we never did.
The one time I actually asked, we were staying in Sandy for ESA Snowbird 2004, I was told, in no uncertain terms, they (rental agency) do not provide chains and if you damage their vehicle with chains you provide, and use, then you are on the hook for the damage.

Granted, that was just one company---and to be honest, I don't remember which one now. And it was not a 4wd vehicle either it was a Matrix as I remember.

We ended up not having any problems that week!
post #11 of 17
When LCC mouth is closed, and there's a giant line of cars waiting for it to open, tell the van driver to head back down to the last big park n ride, whereupon you all zoom into Starbucks (except the van driver who heads to McDonalds for his belated breakfast, he's been on airport duty since 2am). Get drinks. starbucks bring out little petit fours for you all, gratis. nice!

Then you phone work, and explain that you're stuck in the traffic and they mark off all your names. then you sit around chatting and drinking Starbucks Juice (the van driver is watchign DVDs in the van). Eventually someone gets the word that the canyon is opening, so you all hop in the van, and up you go.

God, it was hell, sitting in that line for HOURS....
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceruleance View Post
5. Once the canyons do open are they safe to drive up in a POS rental car?

So yeah, would love to hear what everyone's experience has been and what they would suggest
from

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=34642
posted when i lived there and drove the canyon everyday for work:


Quote:
Please please please do not drive a car w/o chains or 4wd up big or little cottonwood canyons.
Please park it and take the bus.
Even if it is fine going up these canyons, they can get feet of snow in a day.
Then you have to drive back down.

Please don’t endanger yourself or others.
I have dealt with this in every big storm the last few years.
Last week Solitude's parking lot was a mess because of this.

Also not mentioned, is that the County Sherriff will restrict the roads to chains/4wd during or after storms (for a reason!) they will ticket you.
Rental companies do not allow chains on their cars.

Also the last few years the storms have been coming in warm,
It will be rain or dry @ the bottom of the canyon and a mess at the top.

Please take this into consideration.
post #13 of 17
note: rented a Subaru Forester 4 wheel drive, Hertz, yesterday, at SLC airport, it cost $62/day.
post #14 of 17
last year when I stayed at Peruvian they said they declared interlodge the day prior. This means noone in or out for a time while they clear avvie danger. There was a slide think it was Tanners which went across the road.

It's a neat feeling in the canyon although there are stories about the VW on the roof and such that makes you realize how dangerous it can be too.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt_davis View Post
from

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=34642
posted when i lived there and drove the canyon everyday for work:
FYI
for any and all skiing the SLC
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt_davis View Post
from

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=34642
posted when i lived there and drove the canyon everyday for work:
REALLY? I drove a fwd cars up nearly every day up lcc from 06-08 I never once wrecked, and very rarely chained up even when there were flashing the signs. always did carry chain thoughs.

the laws are dumb and for the LCD of driver like every traffic law in this freaking everyone else is wrong but but me country.
post #17 of 17
FWD is not what is rented most, you also drove up every day, knew the roads, knew he choke points, slow areas, etc.

I stick with my statment
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