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Cottonwood questions

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
We're going to Solitude (yet again) for our annual four days of skiing.  (No discussion about that choice since the kids love love love the outdoor pool and my husband loves loves loves the lack of lines.  And I love love love the reduction in hassle of having kids in a pedestrian village where we never have to worry about what they are doing right slopeside.)  However we have three questions for all of you:

1) The last so many years we have had the ski salt lake city ski pass and were about to get the 4th day free through travelocity or orbitz.  It seems to me that this year they have tied that only to a lodging deal, judging from the visit salt lake website and the lack of the offer on the travel websites that have the ski passes.  Is that right?  We've been spoilt with that...

2) We have been spending a day at Brighton for the past few visits which we all enjoy very much.  It became clear to us last year that our older daughter - then 12 and now 13 - is reaching what you might call the "adventurous age" as is the same age son of the friends we go with.  They're both very athletic good black run & delighting to ski off piste skiers.  Of course this coincides with her parents reaching the less adventurous age...  This gap between our pleasures and hers is obviously going to widen quickly.  My husband started to worry about them skiing in the trees all the time to keep themselves entertained (I know some of you ski in the tress all the time but it makes us nervous) and is starting to think we should go to Alta to provide them with a wider variety of challenge out of the trees... So we're thinking we might try going to Alta for the day to give it a try as a possible prelude to a revolutionary shift to Alta next winter.

But here (sorry for the long lead in) is the question - how long would it take to ride the ski bus down from Solitude, change and back up to Alta?

(We've thought about other options like going there the first or last day but we want to have our ski legs first and don't know what to do with our luggage if we do it the last day - plus the kids like starting and ending at Solitude...)

3)    Also have any of you had your kids in the day long teen free ride program at Alta or the holiday teen explorer program at Solitude.

Thanks so much for your help.
post #2 of 10
I've never taken the bus, but driving from Solitude to Alta will take a good 40-45 minutes (if the weather is good and the roads are clear).  Alta is my favorite place in the Cottonwoods, but I feel that you can lots of "adventurous" skiing at Brighton and Solitude.  Yes, it will probably involve going off-piste and perhaps into trees, but tree skiing does not have to be fast and scary.  Even at the level that I currently ski, some of the most fun that I have is picking my way down unfamiliar terrain in trees and traversing until I find something interesting to descend.  If the adults have at least some comfort in varied terrain and snow depth, then the Big Cottonwood resorts can provide all the adventure that the kids need (and fairly safely as well).

Having said that, I have taken my family to all of the resorts around SLC (except for Sundance and Brian Head), and we would all go back to Alta in a heartbeat.  I have been going there with some friends each winter for over 10 years, and despite befriending a few locals, we are still discovering new things about the place.  Definitely a skier's mountain -- no night life, no "village", and can be a little pricey to stay there, but IMHO: worth it.  A day there will barely give you taste of what Alta has to offer skiing-wise.
post #3 of 10
Texastrips, Why don't you let them spend a day at Brighton with a guide/instructor showing them around. Evrey mountain school should have at least 1 person who knows their mountain, all the great little stashes, ways to get around, times of day to hit certain places . Don't set it up for a lesson but more of a guided experience, they will learn plenty just by getting out in the terrain. Other plus for Brighton especially with teens is it has some of the best park and pipe stuff around that all kids like to try out. They have stuff for every ability level with their parks. It probaly won't be cheap but there is enough stuff at Brighton along with its side country skiing that is easily available that your kids will be challenged.
post #4 of 10
I would get a car. Often times, the difference in price between a car and shuttle for everyone isn't that much. The convenience is worth it IMHO. I would take them to Alta or Snowbird just for the experience if nothing else. 
post #5 of 10
I have taken the bus (once) from Midvale.  It took a long time.  It was crowded.  Lots of snow on the road and thus lots of people on the bus.
At the very best, it would take a good hour to go down BCC and back up LCC - but 2 hours is more realistic.  My guess is that you could change busses as there is a parking lot at the base of the mtn and I believe it serves both canyons.   Your best bet would be to call a hotel or look on line for a current or rather a winter bus schedule.
Good luck.
post #6 of 10
It will take an hour to drive form Solitude to Alta given good conditions. The whole point of staying on the mountain is to avoid daiily driving. I would try to find a better option for lessons or guided skiing at Soli or Brighton.
post #7 of 10
I was debating this same question.   We are booked for 4 days of skiing over New Years at Solitude - never been there but have done park city area resorts.  I kind of wanted to do a day at Alta (never done that either) but feel paying the price for slope side lodging and then getting in the car to drive an hour for skiing didn't make a lot of sense to me.  Factor in the cost of 4x4 rental during that time ($1,000, insane) and the bus option just seemed like too much work with two kids...and a day at Alta really didn't seem to make sense. 

I suppose that we will do Brigthon for a day instead.  Should we do the SolBrigth Pass or just purchase a Brighton lift ticket for that day.  With the Brighton lift ticket, how is transportation handled from Solitude to Brigthon- bus?

Also curious about things to do off the slopes.  Snowmobile, sled ride, etc while basing out of Solitude with no car.  Can anyone provide some guidance on Solitude blues from easiest to hardest?

Appreciate any advice.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by knoxski View Post

I was debating this same question.   We are booked for 4 days of skiing over New Years at Solitude - never been there but have done park city area resorts.  I kind of wanted to do a day at Alta (never done that either) but feel paying the price for slope side lodging and then getting in the car to drive an hour for skiing didn't make a lot of sense to me.  Factor in the cost of 4x4 rental during that time ($1,000, insane) and the bus option just seemed like too much work with two kids...and a day at Alta really didn't seem to make sense. 

I suppose that we will do Brigthon for a day instead.  Should we do the SolBrigth Pass or just purchase a Brighton lift ticket for that day.  With the Brighton lift ticket, how is transportation handled from Solitude to Brigthon- bus?

Also curious about things to do off the slopes.  Snowmobile, sled ride, etc while basing out of Solitude with no car.  Can anyone provide some guidance on Solitude blues from easiest to hardest?

Appreciate any advice.
 

Most of the blues at Solitude are pretty fun and easy.  The moonbeam area is the easiest so start there.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post




Most of the blues at Solitude are pretty fun and easy.  The moonbeam area is the easiest so start there.
 
I spent 3 days @ Solitude last march on a spring break trip with my wife and kids.  Moonbeam Express and Apex Express will be the easiest chairs for you to start on the easy blues.  From there you can work your way over to Eagle Express and lap those blues.  The upper portions of Gary's, Sunshine, Sundancer and Inspiration are more steep than the blues off of those other two chairs.  Likewise over on the other side of the resort, you can do a few blue/green laps off of the Sunrise chair.  Then, when you want get into a bit more challenging terrain, you can ride the Summit chair and then work your way down Dynamite / Broadway to Deer trail.  Beware, just below the entrance to the Summit chair is a bit of flat run out, so keep your speed up through there or you'll be poling and skating to get past the flat part. 

Loved Solitude.  There were no crowds.  Pretty diverse terrain [I did a few laps in Honeycomb Canyon].  And, I can't say enough good things about how good of an experience my wife and two kids had at their ski school.  We'll be back there...I hope to spend some time in Honeycomb on a powder day. 
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
 Thanks for all these comments and suggestions. I think we'll save Alta for another time.

Anyone got any idea about the Ski Salt Lake city pass and the free day with that this year?  Or is that a thing of the past?

Solitude in the evening - there's nothing to do.  It's very quiet.  A couple of bars and a couple of restaurants.  One year there was tubing but you had to walk your tube up the hill yourself.  Last year the big evening entertainment was watching the avalanche dogs do a demonstration.  There's no sledding or snowmobiling.  You ski all day until you're exhausted, then you swim, sit in the hot tab, do some apres ski relaxing. We like it far better than Park City but we're not night owls obviously.

Brighton is very fun for the day - catch the ski bus and it takes about five minutes. The Solbright run has never been open when we've been there (ie the last five years.)

The easiest blues are off Sunrise.  Many blue runs off Eagle Express but the pitch is pretty good for blue off the top  (Sunrise, Gary's Glade etc) which is a bit of a catch for a not so intermediate intermediate as the blue skiing you hook into back down to the bottom of Eagle Express (Hals Hollow etc) is rolling and lovely.  There's a long, beautiful wonderful blue off the Summit life with only a couple of steeper pitches - actually easier than off Eagle Express although more of a leg burner.







 
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