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Utah - 2/5 - 2/13 - multiple questions

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Arrive SLC late 2/5. Picking up rental car Sat morn (2/6) and we leave Sat 2/13.

Plan is to ski at least 6 days, maybe all 7 (depends on group and conditions). Staying in PC.

Would like to at least do Alta 2 or 3 times, Snowbasin, Deer Valley, maybe Powder.

Have a variety of questions:

1) Weekends vs weekdays -- where is the best weekend skiing in terms of avoiding crowds / long lift lines?

2) I'm skiing a pair of K2 PE's (186) and my wife is on some Rossi Bandit model (I forget which specific one). I've skied the PE's in 16" of powder and been happy, but I dont' think the Bandit's are the best tool for her in powder -- and in fact I'd like to get her on something else anyway. Where is a good place to rent her something like a Prophet 90 for the week?

3) Instruction - my wife would like to take some lessons, she just decided this past weekend. Locally it won't happen - we are getting buckets of rain right now and we have only one weekend between now and when we leave. Any recommendations for instruction for her in Utah? I'd rate her a solid intermediate, but timid. I think a half day, or a couple half days would be best.  If you can recommend a mountain / instructor, etc - that would be great. 
post #2 of 16
Saturday is the busiest day, Sundays aren't as bad.   Snowbasin or Deer Valley would probably be good for your first day.  They both have effecient lift systems,  with more mellow terrain.
post #3 of 16
We were just there for a long weekend. There were no lift lines for us at Snowbasin, Deer Valley or Alta. Alta we did on a Monday, but the other 2 were Saturday and Sunday. Deer Valley had more people hanging out in the lodges than on the slopes! It was great. They have a free mountain tour, and they separate the groups into mellow and aggressive intermediates, so your wife could have a good time in the mellow group. I took a private lesson at Snowbasin and they were very reasonably priced (as far as ski lessons go)--Deer Valley on the other hand was prohibitive. My teacher was Ryan and I liked him a lot, but unfortunately I don't know his last name. I saw that Alta had some very inexpensive group lessons (so did Snowbasin).

If your wife is a timid intermediate, will she be venturing off groomers where she'd need powder skis?
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy319 View Post

We were just there for a long weekend. There were no lift lines for us at Snowbasin, Deer Valley or Alta. Alta we did on a Monday, but the other 2 were Saturday and Sunday. Deer Valley had more people hanging out in the lodges than on the slopes! It was great. They have a free mountain tour, and they separate the groups into mellow and aggressive intermediates, so your wife could have a good time in the mellow group. I took a private lesson at Snowbasin and they were very reasonably priced (as far as ski lessons go)--Deer Valley on the other hand was prohibitive. My teacher was Ryan and I liked him a lot, but unfortunately I don't know his last name. I saw that Alta had some very inexpensive group lessons (so did Snowbasin).

If your wife is a timid intermediate, will she be venturing off groomers where she'd need powder skis?

Thanks for the info.

When I say timid - I guess I'm using her self-assessment. She feels like she is often "holding back" -- and I guess she means she sometimes doesn't commit to her line or her turn, doesn't always have confidence. I'd say her skills are high-intermediate, but her confidence level is timid -- so maybe that is more accurate. She is happy to go off-piste, likes trees if the pitch isn't too much to handle. She doesn't really like steep -- and by steep I'll say black runs at an average large mountain, especially if they are groomed and firm. I think she just doesn't like the feeling of looking down that way.

I'm going to wait until I see the forecast for the week, then see if we might want to ge her something a bit wider than she is on.
post #5 of 16
You may want to check out Solitude up the BCC. People forget about that place, lol.

Good terrain, reasonable lift tickets ($64) and no lift lines or crowds. I mean NO lift lines and NO crowds!!! It was freaky and this was during some great powder days as well.

If you're a good skier you can hit Honeycomb Canyon. So some nice bowls too and tree skiing down Gary's Glade. Lots of intermediate stuff. Laid back bar at base and real laid back mid mountain restaurant with an outdoor grill.I sat there for like an hour just soaking sun and listening to Zappa, The Dead, Oasis. Really nice hippie vibe. Not that I remember those days.......
post #6 of 16
I certainly hope that Snowbird is on your list for one or two of your days in UT!  Great place with tons of fun skiing.  Make sure to head over to Mineral Basin for some runs when you are there.

Many others here have also said that Solitude is a great place for weekend days, though I haven't been there yet.  Snowbasin is fun with a wide variety of terrain and the most beautiful lodges (and toilets) in Utah.  Powder Mountain is also on my list for my next trip there.  I think I'd like the retro, no frills attitude of that place.

Have fun where ever you end up!

Mike
post #7 of 16
I wouldn't worry about your wife's skis.  You might not even have fresh snow and if you do, it might not even be greater than the about 8" to really call it powder skiing, and if she is a timid intermediate skier, she probably won't be that interested in skiing off the groomers in bumpy, mashed up powder.  Although Utah skiers get plenty of powder in their travels, it usually isn't that "dream virgin powder" that you see on the web site daily photos, unless you are skiing in a blizzard.  You can find and ski that stuff for sure, but you usually have to work for it and get off the beaten path a bit.  You probably won't be doing too much of that with your wife.  Her biggest worry is the moguls, not the powder!

I ski on Rossi Bandits and have no trouble with powder, I think you are complicating things by renting her a new pair of skis, it is not going to change much, even if you get >1ft.  Just go with the flow and let her learn to turn what she has.  In many places, you can ski the edges or harder way down, while she can ski the groomer, keep in sight and meet up.

You probably won't have that much crowds, but if want to avoid them, ski Solitude, Brighton or Powder Mtn on the weekend, and the others during the week.  For the most part you can add, Snowbasin also on a weekend.  If it is snowing hard, there may be problems and delays getting up the Cottonwood Canyons, that would be a good day to hit a Park City resort.

I have rarely found the lines to be worrisome in Utah, except for the Snowbird tram line.  Hit the Bird later in the week and enjoy the tram and mineral basin together, and of course Alta too.  Best high mountain scenery is in that canyon.
post #8 of 16
So from the post above, Snowbasin would be better on a Saturday compared to Deer Valley?
post #9 of 16
Saturday, DV or SBasin. I think that's a tossup. Saturdays do tend to attract a lot of locals in Ogden area at Snowbasin. Still, usually not packed. One advantage of DV is I think most of local kids tend to get their season passes elsewhere. To me, the weekends make less of a difference at DV than elsewhere. I agree on your wife's skis. Unless it's over 18 inches, I would just use the bandits. Assuming you get light powder (or at least not thick) I think it's easier to learn to ski Utah powder than many places. It just doesn't feel heavy or thick, the way it does a lot of places. Usually. Re Solitude, if you do get powder, I think it's a pretty good place to learn as it doesn't get as tracked up as a lot of places.  
post #10 of 16
 Check this out for your wife [http://www.alta.com/pages/womenclinics.php]  February 7 & 8, 2010

Description:

The Alta Blue Angels is a two day program designed for intermediate women skiers, who ski on blue and green runs and are looking to improve their confidence and style. Developed by women instructors of the Alf Engen Ski School with women in mind.

Goals

  • Become more relaxed and confident on your skis.
  • Be less defensive.
  • Add more gliding and flow to your skiing.
  • Have more fun, more of the time and look good doing it.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Zman - thanks, I'll check that out.

I think I'm not being fair describing her as a timid intermediate.  She skis with the skills of a high interdmediate - for example, when we were in Steamboat a couple years ago and got 16", she skied some of their tree runs (Shadows, the trees off the Pony Express Lift) and did it pretty well. So she was skiing black tree runs -- when there was powder - she would not have skied them without the 16" dump.  I know those arent' the hardest tree runs in the world, but they're pretty respectable.

SnowbirdDev -- yes, she is def not super comfy in bumps. Moderate bumps on a moderate pitch she can do if they are soft and not icy.

She also hates wide open steep groomed runs. I remember taking her down Three O'Clock at Steamboat and she kind of freaked. Snow was firm, you had to work the turns aggressively to control speed. There were traverses you would slam into if you weren't paying attention. She just hated looking that far down a smooth, groomed run!

My characterization as "timid" is really her own words. She feels like she is holding back and has some fear that she should have lost long ago. But then...she feels that way when we MTB on fairly easy trails, and when we kayak Class II / III. 

Personally I think she does great at all this stuff -- but she wants to improve which is cool. Maybe we'll both sign up for separate lessons -- I'm certainly no expert skier, although my kids still believe I am...ha.

Thanks for all the comments.
post #12 of 16

I should have mentioned earlier that we did DV on the Saturday, and then Snowbasin on the Sunday. Never stood in a lift line at DV. Even at the base. We arrived at 9 at Snowbasin and still parked SO close to the base! Then around 11 or so there was a wave of people--maybe locals go to church first then go skiing?
 


Quote:

 Snowbasin is fun with a wide variety of terrain and the most beautiful lodges (and toilets) in Utah.


 
I keep hearing people rave about Snowbasin's lodges but I thought DV was better. Nicer bathrooms (free sunscreen!), better food, nicer lodges, better decor (all that brass at Snowbasin really needs to go).
post #13 of 16
Thoughts on powder... if we do get a dump, Powder Mountain has acres and acres of low angle powder fields and well spaced glades- it's pretty easy to learn powder there, and I bet ski school is a good deal. An instructor will also serve as a guide. Call ahead to Utah Ski and Golf on Park Ave. in PC and Cole Sport at the resort center and see if they have some Volkl Kikus, prophet 100's or similar to rent- go with what they recommend.If it's snowing, rent in the afternoon for the next day. Pow Mow is about an hour from PC but the drive is spectacular, past ranches, red rock buttes, lot's of wildlife, Bald Eagles, with the views framed by the east slope of the Wasatch. Snowbasin is on the same road. If it snows, Alta can get pretty high testosterone. The skiercross feeding frenzy the other day was a bit much even for a veteran.  If it's sunny, certainly go to Alta- heck, go to Sundance. Some of the prettiest places on earth. Solitude, DV and Park City are also great for intermediates. Don't worry about crowds unless it's a powder day, and if it is, Pow Mow is the ticket.     
Edited by Mr. Crab - 1/26/10 at 6:55pm
post #14 of 16
"If it snows, Alta can get pretty high testosterone"

LOL you can say that again!!!! So much for the laid back skier vibe then. Its more like "I'll sell my mom for a spot of the front of the lift line!" Really turned me off never thought I'd see skiers being that rude, getting on kids and newbies. Totally bad experience and no excuse for it.

Right on about PowMow. I spent a day there last year and they have powder all over long after a dump. I mean a week or more. All moderate terrain at best, wide open, some trees but spaced out. Perfect for someone (like me) who hasdn't skiied a lot of powder. Took a half day private there also was very reasonable.
post #15 of 16
For those of you who said that LCC is not crowoded beucase you were there on MLK weekend ... it was the tail end of about 6 weeks of high pressure. And not many locals and pass holders proabably came out to ski that weekend here in Logan and its not surprising that it was the same in Alta becuase frnakly the skiing wasn;t that good. Now that we have some winter conditions and snow it will be different.

DV is rarely crowded becuase their pass is so expensive and they limit sales anyway.

As for the people complaining about the feeding frenzy at Alta. You were skiing in the wrong place at the wrong time. People don't seem to need an excuse to get competitive over skiing powder in LCC. And for locals that may have been one of the first good powder days at the resorts all season. So its totally understandable that it would be like that... If you don't like that there are plenty of other places to ski in UT that actually are laid back.
Edited by tromano - 1/27/10 at 12:26pm
post #16 of 16
I have PE's and they are fine.  Also, Deer Valley is usually never crowded.  They have a great lift system.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Utah - 2/5 - 2/13 - multiple questions