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Solitude, Alta, Copper Mountain (1/6 - 1/9)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
We're beginners so no poking fun. I went skiing with my girlfriend and her dad last week. They like to ski but want to go somewhere new every day. I wanted to stay at Alta for three days but that just wasn't happening. Beware, there are no black diamond, deep powder, or backcountry pics in this report. I did ski in powder and fell five times on one run though . At Solitude we had blizzard conditions, Alta was sunny and had over a foot dumped the night before and Copper Mountain also 16" the night before and snowed off and on while we were there.

The first day Utah closed the road to solitude and alta so we went to solitude using the ski bus and it was horrible. First of all we could've easily drove the road which wasn't bad at all, second it was like $9 per person round trip, third it was packed and took almost an hour to get from solitude to the first bus stop. But it was worth knowing we would make it back safely and who knows what sort of conditions could have been on the way home. Solitude was a decent place to warm up having not skied since last January. It was really snowy and we were a little disappointed because the runs we were on were really short. It was my least favorite resort, but in fairness, we didn't even go to the top.











ALTA has got to be the best place to ski, at least for beginners who are starting do blue runs. This place is beautiful, snow is great, the terrain is varied, cheaper, and just awesome. Blue Bell was a run full of powder that was up to my crotch, which I learned to stay above the snow after falling five times. But what a feeling making it out of there. At first we used the Albion lift, and then gradually made it to Cecret, and Sugarloaf. We also took the Supreme lift to the top and I thought that I was going to get blown off the mountain because the wind was so strong, but it was awesome to actually get up that high and still have blue runs to go down. I want to go back to Alta..I want to move to Alta and just learn how to ski the whole area.

For the non-expert tourist, I don't know how you can justify paying $30 extra for lift tickets and 2x for lodging going to Colorado. In SLC, we got a 3 star hotel for $64 a night on hotwire, lift tickets for $60. At Canyon Sports rentals we got two rentals for the price of one, got the "performance" package for the "sport" price, and even got $5 off a pair of those overpriced PhD socks which kept my feet toasty warm.












We also stopped in Moab on the way to Colorado (I have a degree in Geosciences).





Copper Mountain was pretty sweet. It was a Friday and was slower, I had a good time and was more comfortable on my skis than ever. I rented a 168cm ski instead of the 174cm and I liked it a little better because it was easier to control. I am 6'2" so that is sort of a short ski I believe, but I don't care it was fun. What else can I say it's Copper the runs are an hour long and it's beautiful.






post #2 of 12
Nice report/pics and welcome to epicski. It looks like you had great snow at all three mountains. Like you, I probably would have wanted to stay at Alta.

Just curious, why the 500 + mile drive to Copper when you could have gone to one of the other resorts right near SLC? Was it to see Moab? Was Moab worth the drive?
post #3 of 12
Wow. Fantastic report.

I like the report because you are very humble and I can just tell that you love skiing.....for all the right reasons.

Thanks for that.
post #4 of 12
Nothing to poke fun at, those are beautiful pictures. I especially like the one looking down the canyon.
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeg19_82 View Post
I rented a 168cm ski instead of the 174cm and I liked it a little better because it was easier to control. I am 6'2" so that is sort of a short ski I believe, but I don't care it was fun.
Nothing wrong with a ski that size at your level (any level actually)...the most important thing is having fun which seems to have been accomplished.

Thanks for the nice pics/report.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by liv4ski View Post
Nice report/pics and welcome to epicski. It looks like you had great snow at all three mountains. Like you, I probably would have wanted to stay at Alta.

Just curious, why the 500 + mile drive to Copper when you could have gone to one of the other resorts right near SLC? Was it to see Moab? Was Moab worth the drive?
I would've stayed in SLC and skied for two more days, but my girlfriend wanted to go to Denver to ski so we'd have a shorter drive home. I was just glad she wanted to ski some more so I was fine with it. So we stayed in Silverthorne, then Denver, and then went to St. Louis, so it was a 3700 mile trip in a 2 door Civic. So the drive home really wasn't shorter, but we saw a couple of cities we never visited. Denver and SLC were both really nice places. Denver's Natural History museum was almost up to par with the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in terms of Geology exhibits.

Moab was totally worth the drive. Arches and Canyonlands National Parks are within a couple miles of each other. We were also in Moab last summer, when it was full of Europeans (now I understand why they don't like foreigners), but this time of year is dead. We had Delicate Arch all to ourselves at sunset. Its a breathtaking place to visit and I absolutely recommend it. I don't get to see fossilized sand dunes or red Navajo sandstone ever here in Wisconsin where the rocks are sort of dull. It has smooth hiking trails and what seems to be some of the best mountain biking. All the "four corners" states are just amazing and I'm jealous of anyone who lives in them.

Thanks for the comments and I hope to have more impressive photos next time. Hopefully I can bribe someone to go sking with me here in WI or Upper Michigan this year!! Noone I know skis.


Jenny at Solitude


Scenic Hwy 128 just north of Moab




Gaper alert!!!!


Allosaur vs Stegosaurus
post #7 of 12
great report. I came to Alta as a total beginner too, twenty years ago. Fifteen years ago I packed my stuff and came for good, in a two door Civic...
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeg19_82 View Post
I would've stayed in SLC and skied for two more days, but my girlfriend wanted to go to Denver to ski so we'd have a shorter drive home. I was just glad she wanted to ski some more so I was fine with it. So we stayed in Silverthorne, then Denver, and then went to St. Louis, so it was a 3700 mile trip in a 2 door Civic.
I did not realize you were driving. I had assumed you flew into SLC. That changes things. I would have done just what you did. Hang on to that GF.

Are mountain bike rentals available in Moab during the winter or is there too much snow to ride?
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeg19_82 View Post
Blue Bell was a run full of powder that was up to my crotch,

Hahaa
awesome!
post #10 of 12
Nice report, keep them coming!
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Mr. Crab: talk about a leap of faith! With this job market, I might follow in your footsteps. Pack up and move to SLC? For Gods sake I'm about to apply for a 3rd shift wastewater plant operator at a slaughterhouse.

Liv4ski: I think they still rent during winter, the bike shops looked open when we drove by. There's only a trace of snow there now. I saw people base jumping, so I figure if they're going to do that in January, they'll bike. Moab's a cream dream, fossilized sand dunes for miles!
post #12 of 12
"For Gods sake I'm about to apply for a 3rd shift wastewater plant operator at a slaughterhouse. "

Jeez man, come out here. We still have an economy. Did you finish your degree? Even if you didn't you can finish at the UU. I'm an old cheesehead from UW Madison.
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