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Early December Park City conditions?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I want to beat the crowds and arrive early December; is there going be a lot of snow at Deer Valley, Park City and the Canyons? Thanks.
post #2 of 22
I've been thinking a lot about this lately. My wife would say obsessing a lot. I now own a condo there and would like to see it sooner rather than later. However, I'm waiting to buy ticket until I see some kind of base building. Looking at historical records, you're probably ok if you're willing to drive to Cottonwood Canyons if necessary. Park City areas can be great by then, but can definitely still be light on snow. I've been keeping an eye out on the 16 day forecast. For next 10 days forget about it. Perhaps a pattern change beginning in November, but definitely not certain. As I'm sure you'll hear, who knows. But historical odds are good for Cottonwoods at least.
post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesX521 View Post
I want to beat the crowds and arrive early December; is there going be a lot of snow at Deer Valley, Park City and the Canyons? Thanks.
Maybe.

I recomend you wait. Try to push your plans as late in December as possible and don't reserve until a week or so out. I think going somewhere with more predictable early snow... like targhee would also be a wise idea.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Actually, for me, airplane tickets are involved: I'll be flying from Florida. I was thinking 2-3 weeks before Christmas. So, hopefully by early November I want to have purchased the airline ticket.

Or, I might just wait and suffer till January/February to assure better snow.
post #5 of 22
I think your suffering will be worth it.
post #6 of 22
Forget about PC in December. You can stay in Sandy and ski Alta/Snowbird with pretty good confidence in mid-December. Orbitz shows fox rentals at $12/day. It is insane not to get a car. If it is snowing and you can't get up the canyon, just get to the bus stop at the bottom early enough to get an easy ride up. I'm sure you'll be first in the lift line anyway.

I skied there the last two years 2nd weekend in December and the conditions and amt of open terrain were quite good both years. But last year I was saved by 4 or more feet of snow starting the evening before i arrived. Skiing was Great! The year before I caught the rope drop at Mineral Basin. You can do this trip cheap and get the best skiing and greatest snow on earth at the same time, and no crowds whatsoever. Also, it is just a great feeling to be on the hill in December and a super way to start the winter.

You can still ski the first half day for Free at PC(if they offer it then). Also, don't know where you are coming from, but if your flight leaves leaves after 2pm, you can easily ski 1/2 day. Stay 4 nts, get 5 days of skiing in, that should be plenty. I have at least 2 dozen 3 nts trip in at SLC. I see Delta from Orlando has those magic early morning and late afternoon returns that should do you good.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Yes, from Orlando. But I skied Snowbird in April, and wanted to experience the other side of the mountains, which I haven't been to.... Plus, Deer Valley ranks #1 in grooming, and that's what I'm looking for.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
One more question: Are there less crowds early January, as opposed to Christmas till New Year's?
post #9 of 22
You have to be kidding, right. The week between Xmas and NY is one of busiest of year at ski resorts.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
No, I wasn't kidding; I don't live near ski resorts... but was thinking that between Christmas and New Year it's always busier everywhere.
post #11 of 22
Barring a horrible year for the entire Wasatch front, the three Park City areas will have snow in early December. I lived in Park City for 15 years and while Thanksgiving was always iffy, the weeks following were often some of the best uncrowded powder days of the year. The Christmas crowds will start to arrive in force the weekend of 12-20 this year but up unitl then it's wide open.

As others have noted, a rental car is a great idea. Not only can you access the Big & Little Cottonwood ski areas but Salt Lake is worth exploring.

Finally, if the worst case happens, you can do what we did over Thanksgiving three years ago when there was very limited snow. We went to Moab and had a ball mountain biking. There is so much to do and see in Utah, particularly coming from the Southeast. Go, enjoy and have fun!!
post #12 of 22
A weather update. I've been following weather pretty closely as I also want to go early December. The weather has been unrelentingly sunny for a while. However, computer models show a potential pattern change beginning in 5-7 days. Of course, further out you go, the more uncertain the forecast. At least it's hopeful.
post #13 of 22

GFS Looking Promising

Latest GFS 18Z Run:

http://ggweather.com/qpf/qpf_gfs_18z_loop.htm

Storminess potential on the:

1st (Nov)
2nd
3rd
5th
7th
8th
9th
10th
11th (could be a big one)

Note: models increase in granularity after day 7.

Lookin' alot better.

Tele
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by XC BIKER View Post
...I lived in Park City for 15 years and while Thanksgiving was always iffy, the weeks following were often some of the best uncrowded powder days of the year...
I will ski Park City, but mostly I am interested in trying Deer Valley's groomed terrains, since they were rated #1 in grooming. In early December, is powder or grooming better at Deer Valley?
post #15 of 22
JamesX521, given the nature of your posts, you are either getting a laugh out of this or you just like groomed runs and are not too familiar with ski resorts. You are fortunate that you did not post this thread on TGR forums. Unless there is gargantuan dump, there will be plenty of groomed runs at DV. However, there are plenty of groomed runs at Park City and the Canyons as well. In early
December, once again, no one knows what the weather will be like. Could be stormy, could be sunny. I plan to be there and will hope for stormy. One of us may be disappointed. By the way, Snowbird (if you're judging all of the resorts except DV by that experience) is totally different than the Park City resorts. PCMR and The Canyons are more like Snowbird than they are Deer Valley.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maui Steve View Post
You are fortunate that you did not post this thread on TGR forums.
Okay - - I'll be naive: what's TGR???
post #17 of 22
Teton Gravity forums. Also, known as the home of the Maggots. They have a bit of a different attitude over there in how they respond to certain kinds of posts. I can't help but laugh thinking how JamesX's posts would be received. However, I'm still not certain that there's not some trolling going on here.
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
I don't see what's too funny; I like groomed snow with little carving and mostly just flying down as fast as possible on the blues and greens. In the West, I've been only to Squaw, Alpine, Mt. Rose, Winter Park and Snowbird, but am looking forward to skiing at the ones that ski magazine rated highest score in grooming.

I also enjoy watching pro skiing as well, especially downhill, and just couple of weeks ago saw the movie Steep, and really enjoyed it as well.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesX521 View Post
I am interested in trying Deer Valley...were rated #1 in grooming. In early December, is powder or grooming better at Deer Valley?
As soon as it comes down as powder, they rush out and flatten it all out all year long - that's why they're #1 in grooming!

Apparently you like that kind of thing, so DV will be where it's at - but early December? I'd certainly wait a few weeks.
post #20 of 22
James......Deer Valley is fantastic for what you are looking for.

If the snow flies you will enjoy your trip.
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Are usually all runs open in early/mid December for Deer Valley, Park City and the Canyons?
post #22 of 22
It is hard to say because of the vagaries in the weather but I would bet that a significant portion of Deer Valley will be open and skiable by early to mid-December. Park City and the Canyons would also have a lot of groomed boulevards open in a normal year. As far as percentage open, I would bet Deer Valley and Park City would have more open.

For what you are looking for, early December should be fine unless the weather gods don't coooperate and the crowds will be light. To be safer, I would try the second or third week of December (still before Christmas).
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