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Alta or Snowbird: Which is more crowded on weekends?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Apart from the tram line, which, in general, has longer lift lines on Saturday and Sunday?
post #2 of 12
When we've been there, I've always found Snowbird to have more crowds (perhaps due to no boarders at Alta?).

If you'd like the same snow as Alta and Snowbird, with no crowds, head to Solitude. It's on the other side of the Canyon in BCC. You can actually see the other resorts from the back of Solitude's Honeycomb Canyon - they're that close.

The snow's the same, but there's no stampede, and fresh lasts days instead of hours.

I lived in SLC for a year, and we decided on passes to Solitude. The lifts are old and slow (like Alta), but it's an all-you-can-eat buffet of powder.
post #3 of 12
My own experience has been different from Capt, Strato's.

I think I've skied significantly more QUALITY vertical at Snowbird than at Alta on snowy weekends.

To me, Alta's somewhat slower lifts, less skiable terrain (without interminable traverses), and higher ratio of flats to steeps adds up to a greater vertical weekend experience at Snowbird than at Alta. Just my opinion, of course.

And I'll take Snowbird's boarder culture any day over Alta's prevailing local Alta-TUDE (get OUT of my way on the High Rustler or Devil's Castle traverses or I'll run you over, you gaper!).

Midweek is different, of course.
post #4 of 12
Saturdays both crowded even if not a powder day. Snowbird no lift lines anywhere except the tram and MBX(only if its sunny). Alta collins and sugarloaf can be quite crowded

Sunday both less crowded snowbird way less crowded, more utahn mormom families at the bird who dont come on sundays.

Dont buy into the BCC BS the reason why the snow last longer at solitude is because the lifts are slow and not well thought out. I got 45,000 vertical feet of skiing in on monday, most of it untracked powder. Good luck breaking that number anywhere in the country.
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
Dont buy into the BCC BS the reason why the snow last longer at solitude is because the lifts are slow and not well thought out. I got 45,000 vertical feet of skiing in on monday, most of it untracked powder. Good luck breaking that number anywhere in the country.
This is true. Solitude's lifts are slow and they're not well laid-out. There's no way you could hammer 45K of vert at Solitude. Snowbird is steeper, with faster lifts, and more terrain. It's a true adventure destination - a la Jackson Hole and Whistler. Taken soley on mountain merits, Snowbird wins - hands down.

But....the hordes of lemmings that converge on Alta and The Bird barely know Solitude exists. Hence, you can long frolic in fresh at Solitude, while Alta and The Bird are quickly trampled.

When we lived in SLC 4 years ago, I had a pass at Solitude, and staked-out personal stashes. I almost ONLY skied on fatties, because the fresh never wore out.

Whenever we went to Snowbird, I felt I was in a feeding frenzy. You could feel the tension rise as the tram docked at the top, and people silently began snapping their buttons and zippers. When the door opened, it was survival of the fittest.

I'm less used to The Bird culture, and the race for fresh. I'm sure some love the heat of competition for pow.

I'll take the laid-back vibe of Solitude, the peculiar lift layout, and less extreme terrain. The payoff is calm, run-after-run of fresh, until your legs are spent.
post #6 of 12
I caught second chair on Collins Saturday and there was a very large line there until noon. Wildcat never had a line. Supreme and Sugarloaf did have lines most of the day.

The tram line was out the door. Both Mineral and Little Cloud had full mazes most of the morning. Peruvian and Baldy Express never had any line that I saw. I never went over to Gadzoom or Gad2.

After a run on Collins, I didn't want to get back in line, so I rode up Wildcat.
Just getting to the top I saw patrol open Keyhole. Keyhole to Peruvian to Baldy Express and back to Germ was a nice way to avoid any lines.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
I got 45,000 vertical feet of skiing in on monday, most of it untracked powder. Good luck breaking that number anywhere in the country.
45K is not that much. There are lot's of places that you can beat that.
post #7 of 12
Capt. Strato - you got me thinking. I haven't headed up BCC in years (2000 to be exact), or tried out the Honeycomb Canyon lift. Sounds like a plan (if it don't rain on Saturday).

I think Snowbird is more crowded, especially on Saturday. It's a longer walk to the lifts for sure.

I prefer Snowbird - with or without the crowds. The vibe at the tram dock base in the afternoon is pretty special. My ski buddy is an Alta-holic though, so I hardly ever ski the Bird. I usually get there only in the late spring when Alta is closed and the Brid is open on weekends. Bring on the slush!
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
I caught second chair on Collins Saturday and there was a very large line there until noon. Wildcat never had a line. Supreme and Sugarloaf did have lines most of the day.

The tram line was out the door. Both Mineral and Little Cloud had full mazes most of the morning. Peruvian and Baldy Express never had any line that I saw. I never went over to Gadzoom or Gad2.

After a run on Collins, I didn't want to get back in line, so I rode up Wildcat.
Just getting to the top I saw patrol open Keyhole. Keyhole to Peruvian to Baldy Express and back to Germ was a nice way to avoid any lines.





45K is not that much. There are lot's of places that you can beat that.
BW only got 45K vert because he spent the afternoon with myself and my 10 year old son exploring the mountain. He guided a group in the morning that racked up about 25K than he kindly skied with my son Jonathan and me for the rest of the day. We were not hitting any land speed records. So if BW was really trying he probably could have cranked out 60K. This was on his day off with about 2' of fresh and I was hitting shots up to my chest in places. Thanks for giving of your time. Jon and I had a blast.
To the OP I would go check out Brighton in BCC, there is plenty of untracked at that place and very little lines. Just hunt a little and you will find it. There are a lot of boarders but they mostly are on the main Mt and in the park. Stay on the 2 sides, Great Western and Millicent and you won't see many people.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prosper View Post
Apart from the tram line, which, in general, has longer lift lines on Saturday and Sunday?
i was shocked at no tram lines and no crowds whatsoever at Snowbird, last Friday and a local told me that he thought crowds were way down this season. (?).

Snowbird is so much of a better place to grab steep vertical than Alta. At Alta you are forced to either traverse, hike or ski bottlenecks. Wildcat lift is never crowded, could be 100 people waiting for Collins at 9:30a and 3 at Wildcat.

Supreme is a nice lift, but crowds up right away, better to visit first and then after 2pm, I hate the Supreme runout, again and again. Sugarloaf is basically an intermediates lift and was very very crowded all day last Saturday.

Seriously, I figure that the Bird has at least twice the amt of good terrain than Alta does, maybe more. I go to Utah because I like the feeling of gravity, and gravity is NEVER far to find at the Bird. But I like skiing Alta too, and usually will not miss it on a trip.
post #10 of 12
Bump to ask how are the crowds this late in the season. I am still trying to decide whether to ski only Snowbird this weekend or go one day to Alta too (First time skiing Utah).

SnowbirdDevotee, I enjoyed reading your terrain advice for Snowbird in this old thread http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=35116
Anything you want to add to that?
post #11 of 12
If you've never been to Utah, you pretty much have to hit Alta. I would bail on the free ticket to PC, before I would miss Alta.

Crowds shouldn't be too bad. It's April, most people are done.
post #12 of 12
Shredhead, given that Friday will be a powder day, I decided to take your suggestion and bail on the free ticket. My new schedule is bird/alta/bird for Fri/Sat/Sun. Can't wait!
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