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Telluride vs. Alta/Snowbird in Late March

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi I'm planning a week long ski trip and late march and debating between Telluride and Alta/Snowbird. Which one would you recommend? I can handle most of what Alta and snowbird can offer and my wife sticks to the easy blue groomers. I know the terrain is better at Alta/Snowbird, but is there enough for my wife on the slopes? Also, are there enough restaurants/things to do at night (were in our late forties).

Where would the conditions be better?

Thanks a lot
post #2 of 24
My brother just came back from Telluride and raved about it. There is no real night life or ski town culture to speak of at Alta or Snowbird, except what you might find inside your hotel.  You have to weigh the options.  I would think the odds of good snow are still on your side in Telluride in late March, but they are a little better at LCC.  There is also more terrain and resorts in Utah, of course.  But then a quaint(or so I hear) mountain town with a pretty good hill might make a better trip for husband and wife.  At Telluride you will be in a remote corner of the state with true high mountain culture around.  I want to get to Telluride someday.
Edited by SnowbirdDevotee - 1/27/10 at 3:03am
post #3 of 24
 So far this year the southern half of Utah and Colorado are really getting hit with the snow. So Telluride might turn out as the place to be, but I wouldn't bet against Alta and Snowbird. As far as terrain goes, your wife won't have any problem at Alta as there is plenty of terrain for her level of skier--a little less at Snowbird. As far as night life, it really depends upon where you're staying and what you want to do and expect. If you stay in the valley then you've got all that SLC has to offer so that should be plenty, but it is not the same as the resort experience that you get elsewhere. Overall it's a toss up, but maybe for this year I'd go Telluride.
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the posts

Its good that there is enough at Alta for my wife, but in terms of steeps, trees, snow conditions and views what would be better, Telluride or Alta/Snowbird?

Also if I choose Alta/Snowbird, which resort has the better trees?
post #5 of 24
 While I haven't been back to Telluride in some time, I think that if you're considering Telluride, this is probably a good year to go there. That said, I am an Alta skier. Better trees? Again, I'm partial to Alta, but Snowbird is a bigger place with some great terrain. You need to check out both of them on multiple days and report back here on which you liked better and why.
post #6 of 24
Chutes and steep open areas and the great snow are the big draw in LCC.  Each area has some great tree runs but If you focus only on trees you will miss most of the stuff that makes LCC special. For trees recomend you ski off of Wildcat lifts at Alta and pay special attention to the Gad2 lift at the bird.

I prefer trees at a bit lower elevation than LCC beucase they have more biodiversity and more complicated interesting lines. I actually think the trees in PC areas and snowbasin are quite a bit better than in LCC. I love the glades at my home hill of Beaver Mt becuase they have even more variety... The mahognay trees in particualr are not something I rarely see further south...
post #7 of 24
I echo what the others have said. If you're just interested in skiing, book a trip to LCC and rest easy. Chances are, the skiing will be great. If you want a resort experience, Telluride is a better bet, but conditions are likely to be more variable. Both great ski areas, in their way.
post #8 of 24
Trees?  I don't think that is the reason you go to LCC.  Why take the risk of hitting trees, when you can ski chutes, between the trees, or bowls?   I don't think either area has much of what might be thought of as classical tree skiing, where ever? that might be found.  Snowbird Gad II has tree skiing and so does Alta Wildcat, but is more of steep narrow glades between trees.  Solitude has tons of gnarly steep tree skiing!  (skier beware)
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by billabilla View Post

Its good that there is enough at Alta for my wife, but in terms of steeps, trees, snow conditions and views what would be better, Telluride or Alta/Snowbird?

In March, it has been typically good snows at Tellurdie, but you never know (though it's dumping again). Either would be worth going to and for some reason Alta and Telluride remind me of each other in some ways.

Regarding views, Telluride wins, IMO. Regarding Telluride trees, here's one shot that doesn't do it justice:


Edited by Alpinord - 1/28/10 at 6:38am
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys Im leaning toward Telluride-----Ive heard good things about Silverton, is it worth the day trip?
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by billabilla View Post

Thanks for the posts

Its good that there is enough at Alta for my wife, but in terms of steeps, trees, snow conditions and views what would be better, Telluride or Alta/Snowbird?

Also if I choose Alta/Snowbird, which resort has the better trees?

Interesting question.....Alta/Snowbird vs. Telluride.


I skied 5 different Utah resorts in '07. Alta and Snowbird have all of that.!!!!.....steeps, trees, conditions and scenery. I found the scenery at Alta was absolutly out of this world. Snowbird also has awe inspiring high alpine scenery. The pictures I captured in Utah are priceless.!!

As was said, Alta has lots of groomed runs with powder all around (or should I say...off-piste all around). Mineral Basin at Snowbird is paradise on earth. Snowbasin is also very scenic though our ski day there was white out powder skiing in the trees all day....22". Would love to go back on a clear day for the scenery there.

Utah is very special in every way. Park City is a great ski town and the people in Utah are the best. Very pleasant area to visit.

Never been to Telluride but I understand that it is out of sight and groovey.!! Certainly world class scenery in the high alpine and a great town for apres' ski. Would love to ski there for a week.!!

The choice is up to you....can't go wrong with those choices. I would suspect that Utah is a better bet on snow conditions. Book the trip as late as possible to see how T-ride's conditions are. If favorable, I would be very tempted to go there.

Here's a shot from Alta and one from Snowbird....
post #12 of 24
You'll be happy at either Telluride or Alta.  The wife will be happier @ Telluride (great intermediate skiing, quaint town, great restaurants).  My rule is all things being equal, keep the wife happy.
 
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot, your posts have been very helpful, I just have one last question

Where would the crowds and lifts be better--at Telluride or LCC? (were going over a weekend plus 4 weekdays)
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by billabilla View Post
Where would the crowds and lifts be better--at Telluride or LCC? (were going over a weekend plus 4 weekdays)

The closest metro area to Telluride is Albuquerque which is 5 1/2 to 6 hours away. Denver over 6. Even on weekends the crowds aren't really an issue, unless during spring break or Christmas.
post #15 of 24
Have you skied high altitude before?

Telluride is over 1000-2000 ft higher than Alta.
I have never had altitude issues in Utah, but have at Telluride.
When in Telluride my home was at 10,000 ft. I had trouble sleeping
the first couple of nights and headaches. In Utah, even when I stayed
at 8300 ft, I had no problems. That 1700 ft made a big difference.
post #16 of 24
Altitude is something to seriously consider.

In fact, I chose Utah as my destination with a "lower" altitude in mind. I got stuck in powder (chest deep) on Alta at about 10,000. I never gasped for air like that in my life. And the headache that followed shortened my ski day.

Altitude sickness is a tough call. You may or may not be effected by it. Physical fitness has nothing to do with it. One trip you may be fine, the next, maybe not. Strange stuff but very real.

Which brings me to this point....My next trip will be Tahoe. Once again, no big altitude there. I want to ski and look at the scenery and take pictures so, I will probably never ski Colorado where the mountains are what....12 to 13,000ft.?? I think Squaw is around 9,000ft. 

If I were rich I could definately risk it but, I am not so, I take everything into consideration.

Have a great trip and report back.

Happy trails.
post #17 of 24

Telluride had sufficient skiing for my brother and sister in law whom range from an upper intermediate to an intermediate.  They did their first trip there this dec for 4 days of skiing (just before christmas and before fully open) and just raved.   They stayed in the mountain village but would take the gondola's to town. 

they noted there isn't really a night life but they we're there to ski and unwind.  They noted crowding is seldom bad due to remoteness.

Altitude is a consideration, but then it should also aid in keeping things fresh. 

with either destination, i doubt one can loose.   My perspective would depend if you want more slopeside destination, both said Telluride was hard to beat for an escape and unwind.

post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
I think Im going to choose Telluride

I heard that Silverton is awesome, should I make a day trip?
post #19 of 24
FYI:
 
In late March the only option at Silverton Mountain is guided skiing.  Unguided does not start again until April.
post #20 of 24
The ride from Telluride to Silverton is harrowing at best.  I've never done it in winter time but it scared the **** out of me in the summer and can't begin to fathom what it would be like in winter.  My advice is to stay in Telluride and ski.  The altitude concern is legit, but if you stay in town (Telluride) it is closer to 8500" and Mountain Village adds another 1000".
 
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks Everyone who posted,

I saw some cheap airfare to Reno, and I was thinking what would you recommend in late march--Heavenly or Telluride?
Edited by billabilla - 1/30/10 at 5:46pm
post #22 of 24

Dude you are seriously overthinking this.  Go to T-Ride!  Book it already!
If you go to Lake Tahoe in late March I would recommend driving south to Mammoth.  Kirkwood and Squaw would also be decent choices.  Heavenly might be a bit slushy.

post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Done.

Thanks to everyone who posted!
post #24 of 24
I forgot about this trip planner:


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