EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Need advice on trip planning..
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Need advice on trip planning..

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hello folks..

My wife and I are from the Atlanta area.  Last December we went "out west" for the first time.  We spent three glorious, awesome days skiing at Loveland in CO and we plan to go again this December before Christmas.  We are both teachers so that's really the only time that works for us.

At this point we are thinking that we would like to go to Utah but we have NO IDEA where to go.  As for ability levels, we are still pretty novice skiers - I skied some of the easier blues at Loveland but my wife stayed mostly on the greens.  We really loved the non-resort atmosphere of Loveland.  The lifts were kind of slow and it was COLD but overall it was a great experience, especially for our first time doing "real" skiing.  More than anything we enjoyed that Loveland was not as crowded as the other places.

We really don't care for the resort thing - we hung out at Keystone and Breckenridge but rented a condo in Silverthorne and drove to Loveland each day.  I would like to do something similar in Utah if that's possible.  We would probably be interested in going to different ski areas as well if that's possible.  We will probably spend 4-5 days in the area and ski at least 3 of those.

Thanks in advance for any info you can offer!
post #2 of 17
I expect that you will get a lot of recommendations for the usual places such as Park City, The Canyons, Solitude, Brighton, maybe even Deer Valley given the level of skier that you are.  However, I am going to point you in a different direction to Powdermountain and Snowbasin.  They are not the usual resort experience.  I went to Powdermountain this past winter and stayed on the mountain, but there are no restaurant or shopping on site.  It is very old school with only 1 high speed quad and the rest fixed grip chairs.  Very fun experience and there is a lot of terrain to meet your level.  It would also probably be less crowded over the holidays.

Snowbasin is different.  It is very modern with gorgeous lodges, great food, modern lifts.  There is no lodging on site but you could stay in Huntville, 10-15 minutes away.

I am not sure how the relative early season snow is at either place but they would definitely be a different experience than the classic resort.
post #3 of 17
As noted above, Snowbasin / PowMow are the ticket for what you want. For diversion you could spend a day watching the junkshow at DV, or enjoy the awesomeness at Altabird, but Snowbasin / PowMow fit your description perfectly.
post #4 of 17
I don't know about early season at PowMow, but Snowbasin is not normally very good before Christmas.   I would book something in Sandy and ski Alta and Solitude. 
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

I don't know about early season at PowMow, but Snowbasin is not normally very good before Christmas.   I would book something in Sandy and ski Alta and Solitude. 

Agree with Shredhead regarding potential conditions before Christmas.  However, for the type of skiing the OP is looking for, Snowbasin should be fine. Conditions will typically improve through the month of December, and have been pretty good by Christmas the last 2 years.  If there is a lack of natural snow, they have excellent snowmaking coverage on most every green and many blue runs.  PowMow has no snowmaking.
LCC/BCC will receive more natural snow early in the season, but they will also be more crowded.
post #6 of 17
Good is relative. We're talking green and blue trails here. Still, the smaller resorts don't have the snowmaking infrastructure to guarantee good coverage conditions before xmas. My recommendation would be to stay in Ogden, drive up to Powder and Snowbasin (20-30 minutes) and also try Beaver in Logan (60-90 minutes?). Personally, I'd book the airfare as soon as a good deal comes around, but wait until after Thanksgiving to book a room. By then you'll know if the Northern UT resorts will be iffy and could fall back to SLC resorts (recommend Brighton and Alta and stay in Midvale).
post #7 of 17
 No Matter where you go Snow conditions in mid Dec could be iffy.  Some years have been great others no so good.
 s others have said Powder Mountain does not make any snow. Still staying somewhere in The Ogdan Valley would suit your needs You can drive to either Snowbasin or powder Mountain. There is Grocery store ski shop and a few places to eat in Edan UT or Huntsville.  Check out the Ogdan Valley Chamber of Commerce for a listing of Lodgings and Restaurants in The Valley.  When in Huntsville a must do is getting a Burger and a Beer at the Shooting Star Saloon.  It is the oldest continusly operated Saloon in Utah.  Chances are Butch Casidy and Sundance may have had a beer or two in The Shooting Star.
 Personally I don't like Midvale or the Sandy UT area.  They are just another suburb of Salt Lake City with the usual strip malls and Fast Food joints.  No charm or grace what so ever.  For a fun day go to Park City. Old Town Park City still has some charm. Lots of Buildings miner shacks from the hay day of silver mining in the 1880s.
post #8 of 17
Last year Powder Mountain was good at Christmas, but the top of the mountain is about the same elevation as the bottom of Snowbird and Alta.  I would not plan a trip betting on early season good conditions at Pow Mow.
post #9 of 17
 Based on your comments about not needing to be in a hopping resort village I think it would make the most sense to stay in the Sandy/Midvale area.  It's basically a suburb with no resort feel but you can find inexpensive lodging and dining, and it's convenient to get to lots of skiing.  Personally, I don't think Snowbasin would be a great choice if you're looking for green trails.  There's just not much green terrain and what there is gets pretty high traffic.  The lodges are amazing and it's a great place if you're comfortable on blues.  Though somewhat limited in scope, Alta has some very gentle greens and the blues off the Sugarloaf lift coming back towards Alf's are friendly for early intermediates.  And if you're comfortable on those you can pretty much go all over since there are groomed blues off every lift.  Snowbird has very little true green terrain, Big Emma is wide but would be rated blue at almost every other resort.  I think you'd also like Solitude.  As I recall the PC resorts aren't great in terms of green terrain either.  The Canyons has very little true green terrain though there are some easy blues.  The greens at Deer Valley can attract quite a bit of traffic.  Not sure what's at PCMR.  If the snow is good I also think you'd like Powder Mountain.  But I think you'd be better off staying in the SLC area and driving to Powder Mountain a day or two than staying in the Ogden area.
post #10 of 17

Just for an option, how about Bozeman, MT?  Bridger, Big Sky, and Moonlight normally will have fair snow by then especially if you don't have to deal with the upper mountains. 

Bozeman is still a collage town first, so there should be room at the inn.  There are enough good restaurants to keep you sustained.  They even have talking picture shows there now.

The down sides would be one more airplane ride to get there, and a little longer driving to Big Sky and Moonlight. 

If it were my vacation would do the Ogden Valley, haven't done that yet.

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
WOW!  This is some great information - there's a lot to digest here.  I will start to do a little research on my own and let you know what I come up with.  We would prefer to rent an apartment or condo for the time we are there - that's what we did in Silverthorne and it was especially convenient because we could have our breakfast and dinner at home and eat lunch on the slopes.  I guess we're probably a little cheap hahahaha.  But, I would rather spend the money on good skiing than fancy restaurants or overpriced food and drinks.

Again, thanks to all for the suggestions.  I have some reading to do.  I am especially interested in the Montana idea - that is something we haven't even considered.  I have no idea what typical airfares from Atlanta are.
post #12 of 17
Lot's of nice condos available in the Ogden Valley.  No one has mentioned a third very economical option there...  Wolf Mountain, formerly Nordic Valley is a small 1000' vert. area.  It is lower elevation, but they do have some snow making.  Great for a warm up day or night skiing.  I would agree that Snowbasin doesn't have much true green terrain, but lots of great long blues with state of the art snowmaking.  Powder Mountain although not as high as SLC resorts, is 8000' at the bottom of the beginner chair as well as many low angle open runs off their high speed quad.  Very low key & not crowded.
JF
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post

 For diversion you could spend a day watching the junkshow at DV"

Junkshow? forgive my ignorance.  Does that mean, one piece, bogner type gapers?  

 I agree on the above at Sandy. Have not stayed in the ogden valley, but have been to the shooting star a few times.

I think the long cruisers off strawberry at snowbasin would be a nice place for a day at the basin, and certianly less crowded then the other side of the mountain. 
post #14 of 17
We are also looking at a trip to Utah in early January and are looking for recommendations.  Our situation varies a little from the original post so I would like your take on where we should go.  We generally go to Summit Co, Colo, and are looking for something different this year (not that we don't love Colo, we just thought a change would be nice).

First, we want to go some place where there is good snow early in the season.  Pow rules!
Second, most of our party ski blues and blacks and my son is a snowboarder  and he rides mostly blues.  I understand there are some resorts in Utah that don't allow riders (which is generally a good thing but not if your son is a shredder). 
Third, my wife still stays on greens only.  She broke her arm last year and has been tentative ever since. Since we generally try to ski for 5 or 6 days in a week, she likes to stay in town where there is shopping, restaurants and bars a day or two of the trip.

Can you recommend a resort that has it all?  Do you think we would be better off in Northern California this year based on the weather predictions on some other posts?  http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/84945/09-10-winter-projection-great-for-ne-mid-atlantic-bad-for-rockies-nw

Thanks to all!  And check out my band's new CD (The Peace Corps) which will coming out next week on Not Records Tapes:  www.notrecordstapes.com
post #15 of 17
Greens Only - Alta "Beginners area Albion, Sunnyside, and Cecret lifts", access to Alf's restaurant on mountain. Tickets for this beginner area is $30 this year. Just hard to beat this area for beginners.
Snowbird next door (drive right by it going to Alta) allows snowboards, it has some serious steep. Not good for beginner's.
Also access to both areas through Mineral Basin,  use Sugarloaf lift Alta side to Mineral Basin and couple of different ways to access mineral basin from Snowbird side (see trail maps).
A word of caution Snowbirds greens are blues by Colorado standards. Both areas are big and time consuming to get around in without skiing them a couple of times to learn the routes.
Brighton is good for boarders and skiers - although beginner area is somewhat limited. but Solitude is next door has some good beginner trails.
Park City side, Deer Valley no snowboards, but the noon lunch buffet at Stein Ericksen Lodge is good for a day off of skiing. The Canyons is a different type of area (8 mountains), lots of trails, Greens here are somewhat limited do to separate mountains. Park City is Ok for all terrain and both skis and boards. Also the town of Park City is  a tourist town similar to Breck in Co. (Good to walk off the lunch at Stein's)
Snowbasin up north about a hour from SLC is another area might be a good one for your group. I seldom go there, just run out of time with the group I ski with.
SLC is interesting for a day off of skiing alot to visit there also.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAskiBUM View Post

We are also looking at a trip to Utah in early January and are looking for recommendations.  Our situation varies a little from the original post so I would like your take on where we should go.  We generally go to Summit Co, Colo, and are looking for something different this year (not that we don't love Colo, we just thought a change would be nice).

First, we want to go some place where there is good snow early in the season.  Pow rules!
Second, most of our party ski blues and blacks and my son is a snowboarder  and he rides mostly blues.  I understand there are some resorts in Utah that don't allow riders (which is generally a good thing but not if your son is a shredder). 
Third, my wife still stays on greens only.  She broke her arm last year and has been tentative ever since. Since we generally try to ski for 5 or 6 days in a week, she likes to stay in town where there is shopping, restaurants and bars a day or two of the trip.

Can you recommend a resort that has it all?  Do you think we would be better off in Northern California this year based on the weather predictions on some other posts?  http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/84945/09-10-winter-projection-great-for-ne-mid-atlantic-bad-for-rockies-nw

Thanks to all!  And check out my band's new CD (The Peace Corps) which will coming out next week on Not Records Tapes:  www.notrecordstapes.com


Bum,

Tahoe either gets it or they don't. Utah is a better bet if you're betting now. If you wait until mid-Dec, that's a different story. 

Just guessing, but .... It sounds like the wife would love the town of Park City. However, logistics for this kind of mix could get "interesting". Park City is a no brainer - everyone can have fun there. The Canyons would rate as great for everyone, except just ok for the wife. There are a couple of "dump off" options to consider. Wife would love Deer Valley, but you'd need to dump son off at PC or TC. That's not bad - they are about 10 minutes apart tops. As noted earlier in the thread - in the Cottonwood canyon areas, Solitude and Alta are good bets for beginners. But Alta is skier only. The plan would be to dump off the wife there and then travel 5 minutes down to Snowbird. At the bird, you can get an Altabird ticket and ski over to meet the wife for lunch. It's about 45 minutes to get from PC to the cottonwood canyon reosrts. It's a great day trip, but check the weather before you go. The Cottonwood canyon roads get closed fairly often due to avalanche. The odds are it won't happen to you, but it's a bummer if you drive around and then find the road closed. Be wary if there is more than a foot of fresh. Leave PC by 7AM for extra insurance at beating slides.


KG,
There are a bunch of "suite" hotels in MidVale that are reasonably cheap that are easy to book at the last minute as a backup to staying in Ogden.
post #17 of 17
For KG: Nice to hear about your good experience at Loveland.  It is a truly fine place for pre-Christmas skiing on a nice variety of blue/green slopes, provided you don't need resort type base area.  Plenty of good suggestions mentioned above about Utah.  You might also look into Solitude and nearby Brighton for less crowds, blue/green skiing and chances for good early season snow in Utah.

For Bum: no question, go to Park City for wife.  Enjoy the ski areas there, but save a day or two to commute over to Snowbird/Alta for the adventurous ones in your party.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Need advice on trip planning..