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Anyone been to Alta yet?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Looks like Ballroom is open as of today that piqued my interest. Looking at the weekend before X-mas to come  out for a few days.

Whats the word?
post #2 of 17
I was there last Thursday. Ballroom was open then, traverse was sketchy but there were lots of places to ski. New snow needed, but I think they're getting some.
post #3 of 17
segbrown: What was the off trail terrain like? Did you have to stick mostly to the groomers or was there a decent amount of terrain you could take side routes from?

Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

I was there last Thursday. Ballroom was open then, traverse was sketchy but there were lots of places to ski. New snow needed, but I think they're getting some.
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jclay2 View Post

segbrown: What was the off trail terrain like? Did you have to stick mostly to the groomers or was there a decent amount of terrain you could take side routes from?
 


 

No, I barely skied on the groomed. But if you are picky about your skis, you might want to. Here, I'll cut-n-paste my TR posted on SkiDiva, b/c I'm lazy:


Well, that was really fun. I previously had a marvelous tune on my skis (thank you, Precision in Frisco), which I shot completely to hell yesterday. But I wasn't going to Alta to stay on the groomed.

Very cold, very clear, very few skiers there. Boilerplate on some of the groomed, grass and rocks here and there (they obviously open far more terrain than, say, Copper would have under such snow conditions, but I'm glad they did), some nice fresh manmade powder ha ha, and mostly just old-ish rotty snow, but it was all good, at this point in the year (where, after my previous 7 days of skiing, I've been on approximately 4 different runs, all green or blue groomers).

Skied off Wildcat on some pretty fun stuff -- all things considered -- and traversed into Ballroom for a half dozen different lines. Once I braved the Shoulder Traverse (that's where I really ruined the skis) to ski this long straight chute that I bet doesn't even exist under later-season snowpack? (Paging locals) Catastrophe was averted when a ski popped off right smack in the middle of the chute ... I didn't fall, maybe it hit a rock or something, but when I stopped, I saw the ski sliding past me, pointed STRAIGHT down. It slowly stopped, barely balancing on the brakes. The snow wasn't exactly hardpack, but it was definitely frozen and smooth, with nothing for the brakes to catch onto. I gingerly made it down and around below without knocking the ski loose, somehow got it back on, and continued on my merry way. So that was the drama for the day.

New experience: I've only been there once before, so it was a little intimidating at first, being there alone and not really knowing the mountain and how to navigate under those conditions. I spent a LOT of time scanning the ground from the lift, trying to figure out what looked skiable and/or marginally safe. The only times I can remember being in unfamiliar resorts under poor conditions, we have had guides. (And at Whistler, even the guide cliffed us out once. Idiot.) But it only took an hour to pretty much figure it out, so I didn't die or anything.
post #5 of 17

 That is good to know. By the time I get out there, (14th of dec), I am sure the base will be around 12''-15'' higher than it was when you were there. Good thing I was planning on messing up my skis:).

post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post




No, I barely skied on the groomed. But if you are picky about your skis, you might want to. Here, I'll cut-n-paste my TR posted on SkiDiva, b/c I'm lazy:


Well, that was really fun. I previously had a marvelous tune on my skis (thank you, Precision in Frisco), which I shot completely to hell yesterday. But I wasn't going to Alta to stay on the groomed.

Very cold, very clear, very few skiers there. Boilerplate on some of the groomed, grass and rocks here and there (they obviously open far more terrain than, say, Copper would have under such snow conditions, but I'm glad they did), some nice fresh manmade powder ha ha, and mostly just old-ish rotty snow, but it was all good, at this point in the year (where, after my previous 7 days of skiing, I've been on approximately 4 different runs, all green or blue groomers).

Skied off Wildcat on some pretty fun stuff -- all things considered -- and traversed into Ballroom for a half dozen different lines. Once I braved the Shoulder Traverse (that's where I really ruined the skis) to ski this long straight chute that I bet doesn't even exist under later-season snowpack? (Paging locals) Catastrophe was averted when a ski popped off right smack in the middle of the chute ... I didn't fall, maybe it hit a rock or something, but when I stopped, I saw the ski sliding past me, pointed STRAIGHT down. It slowly stopped, barely balancing on the brakes. The snow wasn't exactly hardpack, but it was definitely frozen and smooth, with nothing for the brakes to catch onto. I gingerly made it down and around below without knocking the ski loose, somehow got it back on, and continued on my merry way. So that was the drama for the day.

New experience: I've only been there once before, so it was a little intimidating at first, being there alone and not really knowing the mountain and how to navigate under those conditions. I spent a LOT of time scanning the ground from the lift, trying to figure out what looked skiable and/or marginally safe. The only times I can remember being in unfamiliar resorts under poor conditions, we have had guides. (And at Whistler, even the guide cliffed us out once. Idiot.) But it only took an hour to pretty much figure it out, so I didn't die or anything.

FYI Ballroom normally is just an open blue level powder/mogul/crud/chalk field. the chute you speak of is only early season.
post #7 of 17
I will post a brief TR this weekend if we deem conditions good enough to go down there. I don't like spending $$ on tickets early if the skiing stinks since its much easier to wait a week or two and get more for the money. They are calling for another little shot of snow this weekend. If nothing else the groomed runs should be in better shape from the natural.

I doubt there will be quality off piste until they get about 40-50" base.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well it looks like I won't be thee until 1/5. My mom has to have surgery. Probably best anyway airfare is cheaper and should be better conditions. The Cottonwood Canyon pager alerts are killing me though! Lol, every time I get one I feel like I am missing out.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post




 the chute you speak of is only early season.

 

That's what I figured. I've been in Ballroom in "regular" times, too. I didn't remember any chutes.
post #10 of 17
I am headed up to Alta from the 18th to the 25th, and I've really been sweating out this snow situation. However, it looks like a decent storm is on tap for this weekend www.wrh.noaa.gov/forecast/wxtables/index.php so hopefully that brings some good snow. Also, the latest GFS run showed some possible weather around the 20th. Fingers crossed, hope you (and I) have a good trip.
post #11 of 17
I am going the 14th through the 21st and I think the only additional snow for my trip is likely to be this storm on the weekend. Hopefully there will be a storm on the 20th. I too will be keeping my fingers crossed. Skiing is still skiing though and I am sure I will come back with a ton of smiles and no regrets. Good Lord, I can't wait until next year when my ski trip will last 3 months instead of 1 week. No more of this skiing my entire season in one week and going skitzo over weather forecast for 3 weeks. I will be able to be rest assured that snow will come and I will get my share of powder.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Euripides33 View Post

I am headed up to Alta from the 18th to the 25th, and I've really been sweating out this snow situation. However, it looks like a decent storm is on tap for this weekend www.wrh.noaa.gov/forecast/wxtables/index.php so hopefully that brings some good snow. Also, the latest GFS run showed some possible weather around the 20th. Fingers crossed, hope you (and I) have a good trip.
 
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by theconz View Post

Well it looks like I won't be thee until 1/5. My mom has to have surgery. Probably best anyway airfare is cheaper and should be better conditions. The Cottonwood Canyon pager alerts are killing me though! Lol, every time I get one I feel like I am missing out.

Conz, wait until the snowpack crosses 100".  Based on my humble Alta-expertise, that's when those of us on the east coast can start making travel plans.  Note that 100" still leaves a fair number of rocks showing, but at least the entire place should be open with a good margin.

I will probably shoot for mid to late January for my first trip opportunity.  There's a slight dip in lodging rates at the GMD around the end of January.  Might try for the Epic gathering at the beginning of February too.
post #13 of 17
Headed to alta tommorrow.
Skiing sunday to tuesday.
Hoping the 20-30 inch forcast comes to pass.
JCLAY2 shot me a pm if you want ot make some turns.
TROMANO says he's coming up sunday.
I'm staying at the snow pine saturday night.
skiball
post #14 of 17
I just used my season pass for the first time today and it's best to stay on trail right now as there are lots of rocks that are barely covered.  If it snows a lot like it's supposed to, it will improve, but it's still not going to be enough to open up a lot of the off trail runs.  In fact it will probably lead to a false sense of security for some people.  I would pay very close attention to where the instructors are taking their better clients and pick their brains when you get a chance. 
post #15 of 17
 Alta on Sunday was a groomer powder wonderland. Trip up and down LCC was a bear, but the skiing was much better than I expected once they got the slopes up and running. Avalanche danger is pretty high and you could see the fracture lines just riding Sunnyside over Vail. The whole mountain was like that so the ski patrol had a lot of work to do. Coverage is getting much better, but they really need 100 inches before it is safe to ski most anywhere. That said, getting 2 feet of powder did a world of good for the mountain and being how it was heavy and wet, it really was what they needed for a good base. Talked to guy who had skinned up Catherines and he said it was good there, but once you got down below Supreme, plenty of rocks were still showing. Supreme is still closed and they need more snow before it will be open. I know that much of the mountain is still not ready, but they're getting there.
post #16 of 17

lift line sunday at alta
monday sugarloaf lift
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hey 219! Good tip. Fromthe pics above looks like a few folks already had some nice pow runs.

My girlfriend is talking about going to Europe now. I dunno I don't know anything about Europe wouldn't know where to start. I am still looking at early to mid Jan for a trip to SLC, with  or without her.

Started a thread about first timers going to Europe I know eventually, probably sometime in Feb, I will have to go. Have read a lotoabout Solden, Austria. We'll see what I find out.
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