or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › EpicSki Community › Trip Reports  › Cottonwood Resorts 1/28-2/2/08 Report
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Cottonwood Resorts 1/28-2/2/08 Report

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
A group from the TripleCitiesSkiClub in upstate New York ventured out to Salt Lake City for a week of skiing. We were buried almost daily and those resorts broke a record for the most snowfall in one week. This report is from my perspective which is a Senior Ski Patroller at Greek Peak, but someone who has never skied out west.

Monday we headed to Alta. We were the last and only UTA bus to make it past Snowbird, and when we arrived, the bus driver was told to park it there. He said that we may all be staying the night. Alta had received 27” and had 70 mph winds. Visibility was poor, but who cares, because I paid for an epic trip and I was going to ski no matter what. Only Collins and Wildcat chairs were open, but they had enough terrain to satisfy my hunger for powder. We had different skiing abilities on this trip, but most everyone had a good time. I made one run with the group which took 1.5 hours to get down, so I kindly excused myself for some skiing.

We had a great day there, and we finally allowed to load back on to the busses at 5:30 and got back to our hotel at 7:30. Crazy trip going down, because the Sheriffs allowed the bus down, but we were stopped by the Avalanche guys below Snowbird because they were still blasting. We had to turn around and wait at Snowbird until the road was clear…..poor communication boys.

Tuesday, I excused myself from the group and skied at Snowbird, while they went to Solitude. It was a bluebird sky in the morning, and I met two guys on PMGear.com boards. Nice guys and we skied Peruvian and Mineral Basin for some laps. Later we hit the Gadzoom area. Very nice day, and had lunch outside by the Snowbird Center in the bright sun. By around 2 pm, the sky changed and it started dumping again. The bus ride home was particularly miserable, and there was standing room only. Completely exhausted from the day’s activities, I had to wear my Transpack and hold my skis and poles in the back of the bus.

It continued to dump snow all night and into Wednesday, and we were told that the buses most likely won’t be running because the roads will be closed after 6am for more avalanche control. I think that I have 4 numbers stored in my phone for different contacts who reported the road conditions and bus operations. I was able to speak with the UTA bus supervisor, who put me on her call list if the busses were going to run. When she called my back, we had 10 minutes to get ready to head out the door. We headed to Solitude that morning, but sat on the bus from ~9am to ~11:45. By the time we got up there, we were hungry for lunch, and waited for a couple of minutes to get the ½ price lift ticket.

My impression of Solitude is that it is more of a local area than Snowbird. All the employees are friendly, and I mean it. We skied in the Navarone area in Honeycomb canyon in 18” of fresh snow. Only 4 of us made the trip, and one of the better skiers on the trip broke off with me to do some damage. I loved Solitude, but only skied the Eagle Summit Express and the Honey Comb Canyon chairs. Video linky below.
Scott skiing:
Tim skiing:

Thursday, the group headed out to Snowbird, and we all made one run together. Tim and I broke off and headed over to the bookends in Mineral Basin. The visibility was very poor because of winds, so our pictures weren’t so hot. We made one run there, and then decided to head back to the Gadzoom area. Our goal was to head to the Gad2 chair, but I had to play in the Carbonate area. I made a mistake in going to far skiers right and ended up at “gate 3” I was later told. There is a friggen rope tied to a cottonwood tree, and I used it to belay myself into this stashy area! That was the only part of the trip where I thought I might be in over my head. I missed the cutover to that chair, so I had to make another run to the Gadzoom chair. Eventually, I made it back over to Gad2 and hit S.T.H., and S.T.F. I’ll keep it PG-13, and let you fill in the blanks, but the S=Steeper, and the T=Than. What a day, and then it started snowing again in the afternoon.

Friday, we avoided the buses, and one of our friends now lives out there. He picked us up, and we headed up to Solitude again. We had a blast hitting everything on Summit and Powderhorn chairs. There is some amazing terrain there! It is a beautiful resort and the photos don’t do it justice. The best part about it is that it isn’t crowded like Snowbird. Too many Frenchies at the Bird for my taste, but that’s just because one tried to steal my helmet 3 times.

The last day, we headed back up to Alta. They received another 18” overnight, and it made everything look new again. This time, we hit everything that we didn’t hit the first day. I stayed pretty much at the Supreme lift area, and hiked into the Catherine’s area. What amazing powder shots they had over there. In the afternoon, I was able to hit Greeley Bowl and Eagle’s Nest areas. Alta was fantastic, and it was only a little crowded at the Collins lift first thing in the morning. Everyone spreads out pretty quickly there.

Amazing trip overall, and I am hooked on skiing Wasatch Powder! I think if I had to pick a favorite it would be Solitude with Alta being a tight second, and Snowbird being third. Personal opinion, and Snowbird has some gnarly terrain, but the it is much more expensive, and the guests aren’t as friendly.

I am trying to post pictures of this amazing trip, but am having difficulty with the allowable size limit, etc, and need to head to work so I can afford to move out there!
post #2 of 2
Not friendly guest at snowbird? really? *sarcasm*

the chute you did is get serious 3 the rope isnt even nessacry anymore.

Mineral is the last place you should go at snowbird. Next time at snowbird like anywhere going with a guide/instructor will make the crowds not matter and you will get great snow all day on a powder day.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Trip Reports
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › EpicSki Community › Trip Reports  › Cottonwood Resorts 1/28-2/2/08 Report