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How does 9990 compare with Jupiter Peak?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I'm always looking for new challenges, hopefully without attempting something that is totally beyond my ability. I've been skiing for 22 years, but as I'm almost 63 I don't have the potential I might have had if I'd started younger.

My wife and I usually go to Utah every December, because it has proved to be so reliable for good early season snow. This past December was the exception and we canceled our trip at the last minute, but are finally heading to SLC on Saturday for a week.

While we ski LCC most often when in UT, we also like both Park City MR and The Canyons. On our last visit to The Canyons, in December 2006, I finally convinced myself to try 9990 for the first time. This was on Thursday of a week that had been unseasonably warm, and getting progressively warmer every day. The snow conditions were unpacked powder, badly chopped up, and more the consistency of mashed potatoes due to the temperature being close to 40.

When I got to the top of 9990, I didn't see any trail map or markings, but I asked another skier what would be the least challenging route down since it was my first time on that peak. He told me to follow him down a short distance on the left side of the lift, and then to cut right, go under the lift and then head down.

The first section was steep but nothing I couldn't handle, but after about six turns I lost a ski and fell, probably because the snow was so heavy and the ski got caught. I don't think the binding should have released, but it did.

By the time I got going again, the other skier was out of sight and I was on my own. I cut under the lift and proceeded down. The next section seemed similar to the top section of the main run down from the tram at Jackson Hole, but longer. It was quite steep and chopped up, but I had no problems getting to where there was a traverse where I had a couple of choices how to proceed.

This is where things got nasty. The two routes down looked very similar. They were both steeper than what I had just come down, and they both had numerous rocks and treetops sticking out of the snow. I needed a line that included lots of traversing, and there just wasn't one due to all the exposed obstacles. After several falls, I decided the only way I was going to get down that section was by side-slipping, which I did without incident.

At the end of that section, I encountered another skier and expressed my frustration with the problems I was having. She told me she had also been on 9990 on Monday of that week and conditions then had been much better, but on this Thursday she was having about as much trouble as me.

At this point, the run became much less steep, and on fresh legs I would have had no problems the rest of the way down. But by this time my legs were like rubber, and the very thick sticky snow continued to cause me problems.

As I said, we'll be in UT next week, and may ski Park City MR one day. I've never tried Jupiter Peak at Park City, but would like to. What I'd like to know, from skiers who have experience with both Jupiter and 9990, is how they compare. With similar snow conditions, is one significantly more challenging than the other? And how are conditions there right now, compared to what I have just described? Thanks!

post #2 of 2
I have only "limited" experience with those resorts. But I would think you might find Jupiter a little more user friendly. I recall 9990 being a little "tight", not a wide bowl, so the moguls can build up to be funky and steep if it hasn't snowed. I think you will find both to be challening enough.

Conditions "right now". It's snowing now I think, so I am sure conditions are good. I like skiing in good, crisp snow, in March there can big warm ups that destroy good snow, I have had to ski some slush every single time i was ove in Park City in annual end of Feb SLC trip, but that is only at the bottom. That can happen anywhere with warm weather.

Looking at these maps and recalling, Jupiter is much bigger and user friendly.

Park City Map
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