What makes Snowbird so special is the top to bottom expert skiing that is available across almost the entire mountain. 3,000 ft of vertical with innumerable ways down, hundreds of nooks and crannies to explore. And then there are the Experts Only gates, does anyone know how many of them there are. Most of them are quite skiable by the average advanced skier, but each one has its' own unique character and geography. The only one I stay away from is the one under the Gadzoom, I'll leave that to the real experts. Then there are the major features like Little Cloud Bowl, the Cirque, Mineral Basin on good days and tucked inside is Gad II. The place is a never ending playground of good fun of most days.
Consider the snowfall, which averages 2 feet per week in season. I suppose it is the same as the other Cottonwoods, but there is nothing lift served comparable to Cottonwood snowfall. And I can assure you that the Bird doesn't exaggerate their totals. Add the tram, the sweetest lift I have ever rode. Almost the entire mountain is faces north, keeping the snow sweet for many days after a storm. Alta doesn't have that geography, both sides of Greeley get the sun, and the only true north facing skiing is in the nooks and crannies of Supreme, but suffer the runout for the short vertical, and Wildcat, which a few days after a storm becomes a mogul skiers delight.
There are entire areas that an expert skiing Snowbird might miss, like looking up, the far right above the Baby Thunder lift. Don't miss the curves of the Black Forest, which I never miss. How about the snow and pitch under Gad II, the snow is always perfect for you to show your skills to lift riders. And there is no need to worry about runout at Snowbird, almost right across the mountain it is steep right down to the bottom 50 ft of vertical. The best way to ski the Bird is to simply follow the tracks into the unknown off the main runs. Left left left, right right right we call out, and slow down until ours pals behind can see the faster skier disappear off-piste into the unknown. (although the word off-piste doesn't translate well to US skiing like it is defined in Europe)
The best time to go is from Jan through the end of February. I have made over a dozen trips the weekend after President Day and the snow is ALWAYS good. But there is signs of danger. The sun is getting higher every day and driving down the canyon after a day of skiing you can feel that the warmth of spring is soon to come. The higher sun and longer days of March brings not only the Spring Break crowds, but also the threat of ruined snow by a warm front with sunny days. The freeze thaw cycle begins, which you won't find earlier in the year. The cycle begins Much earlier in the Park City resorts, and while skiing PC the same late Feb week, i am always shocked by the difference in snow quality between PC and the Cottonwoods. Don't book a PC trip after March 10th unless you want to experience the strong likelihood of skiing in slush. It can happen in the Cottonwoods too, even though the snow cycle continues strongly until mid-April.
I have my $47/nt hotel room booked traveling with my spring break daughter and friend. And once again I booked free Delta tickets. This year will be my shortest trip ever, 2 nts from the East coast. But I have never been delayed from my 10:30am arrival which usually has me waiting for the 12:30pm lift ticket window. And doesn't the Bird/Utah have the most inexpensive tickets considering the discounts? The last day we ski until 2pm to leisurely catch the 5pm back to Newark or Philly, that is after we do the parking lot Salt Lake City shuffle, usually in the commuter lot at the bottom of the hill. (same on the way up). I have about 4 dozen SLC shuffle's under my belt.
I never get tired of skiing Snowbird! I remember one year we booked a house in Park City, but ended up driving to the LCC every single day after the first day. The last morning we woke up in PC to a light dusting of snow and clear skies. But at Snowbird that morning we skied literally 2 ft of new powder that mysteriously fell overnight. I can still remember those turns on the Blackjack side in 2 feet of fresh powder. The only thing I think that can be improved at Snowbird is the food.