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TR - Finally Hit Utah at the Right Time

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
3/4 Arrived SLC 8:30 AM, Headed to Solitude. Snow was falling most of the day. I mostly skied the upper mountain. While I like terrain, the lift service could be better. Went to sleep expecting a decent amount of snow but woke up to...

3/5 a very powder starved city in which everyone decided to head up to the cottonwoods where about 18 inches had fallen. It took me 2 hours to get off of 215 and up LCC to Alta. Met up with polarlinks who was kind enough to ski with me the rest of the day. Almost every gate was closed so the rest of the mountain was very choppped, but suprisingly easy to ski considering that this was my first day of "real" powder skiing.

3/6 had to take a day off to rest and pay some social calls in SLC.

3/7 Headed to DV to ski with my brother. I love the tree skiing at DV and there was tons of soft stuff in the trees especially ontario bowl and centennial. I also found a good bit of untracked under lady Morgan.

Here's a rather bad video of me in Ontario bowl


3/8 back to Alta where there was plenty of enjoyable snow, I really enjoyed finding different lines down east grealy? (not sure exactly, the gate behind the collins lift)

3/9 To be continued then a late flight home
post #2 of 19
glad you got the goods!!!

This coming weekend is the spring fling party at Crystal mountain.  You should come up and join us for the fun!
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'd love to, unfortunately I need to head to New York this weekend.
post #4 of 19
am going to solitude last three days of march with my son, if you could elaborate on why the lift system is inadequate or what are its shortcomings, would appreciate it.
thanks

ps: the entire area is getting a lot of snow, now, hope it continues into our arrival..
post #5 of 19
To get to the summit you have to take two chairs neither of which is particularly fast. Sunrise triple, which is way left and furthest from where most folks park, then ski down to bottom of Summit double and take that to top..

Or you can take the Powderhorn high speed quad, hang a left off of that and ski down to the Summit double. That's challenging terrain, plus to get to the Powderhorn lift you have to catch one of three lifts from the base.So that route a total of three lifts.

I like Solitude but am surprised they haven't addressed that. Or maybe they want to keep the skier traffic to the summit a certain level, which that does accomplish. Doesn't stop me from going there though. I just started skiing the stuff off the summit last trip. Lots of challenging terrain and not a lot of skiers. Which is maybe the plan.......
post #6 of 19
If it doesn't make any sense.
Well thats the sillytude plan.
I loved that place for a long time and still kind of do,
but firing the 20+ year snow safety director on xmass was lame and now they seem to have issues opening the good terrain, be that the new snow safety director, budget or some other factors I really don't care but the bottom line is the quality terrain isn't opening like it used to.
Dropping summit from phorn bring the "a" game they don't call it terrorchute for nothing
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
3/9 - Back at Alta for what started as a bluebird day. Nice runs off ballroom and grealy, razorback. Then it started dumping, about 3-4 inches from noon to 4 pm. My last few runs down were therefore in increasing amounts of soft stuff. I also had a productive afternoon workshop with Sid who helped me with balance and stance issues.

I had a very hair raising trip down the canyon road in a krappy kia rental that included a small low speed spinout. Special thanks to the nice local who held traffic so I could turn back around.

Weather in SLC is really unique. Went from heavy snow almost all the way down to Wasatch, then very heavy rain until just north of the city where it was totally dry. The airport had zero precipitation. I guess the mountain areas really create a microclimate.

Until next year, I'll be missing UT.
post #8 of 19

I had same kinda ride with a rental not long ago down the LCC. I think mine was a Hyundai but maybe a Kia. Accent whatever that is. Tires about the size of a frozen pizza from the supermarket. Missing a couple of hamsters under the hood too. What a piece of crap!
 
I never have gotten such a bad car in SLC even if it is a compact or economy. Hope it was just that agency. Will see what we get Friday.

Glad you made it down ok and had good snow.Some of those drops off the side of the canyon road scare the hell out of me.

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yeah, If I had known it was supposed to snow that much I would have taken the bus up. Seriously, I can do without ABS and stability control, and still control most skids, but the tires on that piece of junk would not hold, period- and I was not going over 11 mph at the time. That drive could have ended very, very badly. If anyone observed a white kia rio with hazards on crawling down at around 5pm and letting everyone pass, that was me
post #10 of 19
conz-thanks again, you just seem unable to leave the SLC mountains, lucky man. appreciate the word to the wise on the trail complications and degree of difficulty off of powderhorn...and skifish - thanks "terrorchute" ..hmm...probably will give it a pass, am working on improving my skiing, tackle slopes slowly and improve carefully which means the obvious..
post #11 of 19
just curious since we have already skied Alta and are going back to ski DV, then Solitude and finally Alta starting Mar 26 (the snow better keep coming, the N-East is getting drowned out by rain this weekend, and a grilling with the warm temperatures all week!). Which is the best intermediates mountain, or how would you rank them...anyone?
post #12 of 19
For intermediates, i'd rank them as follows:

1. PCMR
2. DV
3. Brighton
4. Solitude
5. Canyons
6. Alta
7. Bird

I left out the Ogden resorts and Sundance.  I'm sure someone will love to skewer this list, so I can't wait to wake up tomorrow and see who takes the first shot!
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dustyfog View Post

am going to solitude last three days of march with my son, if you could elaborate on why the lift system is inadequate or what are its shortcomings, would appreciate it.
thanks

ps: the entire area is getting a lot of snow, now, hope it continues into our arrival..
 

And to address this (I love Solitude btw):

The lifts are mostly slow and you need to know how to work the mountain to get around sometimes... which actually means squat bc unless you are expecting to do laps in Honeycomb Canyon (you still can btw), you'll love it and never stand in a lift line all day long.

Do a little homework ahead of time with a trail map, and go to Solitude and expect to love it.
post #14 of 19
thanks Redg - appreciate the list and Solitude inside line, am still a long way from attacking the harder and hardest slopes so good to hear lots to ski..
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reddgabe View Post

For intermediates, i'd rank them as follows:

1. PCMR
2. DV
3. Brighton
4. Solitude
5. Canyons
6. Alta
7. Bird

I left out the Ogden resorts and Sundance.  I'm sure someone will love to skewer this list, so I can't wait to wake up tomorrow and see who takes the first shot!

Prior to my last trip to SLC 2 weeks ago, I'd probably have agreed with putting Snowbird last for intermediates. But on this last trip I took my girlfriend who was on skis for the 10th time. Now, she's athletic and has taken to skiing really quickly but she's still early intermediate. We were a little worried about taking her to Snowbird, but she ended up having an amazing time. It was probably her favorite resort (we hit Alta, Bird, Basin, and Soli).

If you're an intermediate skier you should have no problem with Snowbird. Stick to the Gad Valley trails - Bassackwards, Bananas, Lunch - for some long smooth runs. Mineral Basin, even though it's mostly black, is easily doable for an intermediate. Peruvian Gulch is a lot harder, obviously. I've never been a huge fan of Chip's Run (I hate cat tracks). 

My point is, don't discount Snowbird just because you're not an expert. Personally, I prefer the Cottonwood Canyons resorts to the Park City resorts any day, and I think you may be surprised how much you love Snowbird. The area is just spectacular. Take a look at the Snowbird wiki on this site... there are a few reviews from less than expert skiers who absolutely love the place.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dustyfog View Post

Which is the best intermediates mountain, or how would you rank them...anyone?
 

The concept of "ranking" or "best" doesn't really means a whole lot without proper context.

All of the Utah resorts are big enough for skier of ANY ability level to have fun for a day, or two. As reddgabe observed: "don't discount Snowbird just because you're not an expert".

It's only when talking about 3 or more days that the difference starts to emerge.

 

I haven't been to ALL of the places mentioned (I've only been to the bottom half). But of those I've been, I'd agree with the "order" by kauffee. There're MORE, and/or more VARIED terrains in some of the Park City side resorts than say, Snowbird.

On the other hand, because the PC side and Cottonwood Canyons can have very different weather, the difference in condition may change that "order" list completely! 

post #17 of 19
Exactly right.  An intermediate could have fun at all of them, but will find more total available runs for sampling at the top half of the list.  Let's face it- Park City and DV are well-known for their grooming, which screams blue blue blue.  But you can find excitement at any of them at an intermediate level, and should try to get to them all sooner than later!  Leave as few as possible for "next year" each year- it's like golfing- I don't play the same course all the time!
post #18 of 19
Whoa... hold the phone there... At least for me the terrain at Alta and the Bird is far more appealing than anything Park City side... and conditions are 9/10 better at Alta and the Bird..  I would agree that the Bird is NOT a good place for beginners to low intermeds..  most will not have fun... only those really interested in challenging themselves will enjoy the Bird... high intermeds and up will fall in love with it.  Alta is great for ALL levels...

PC is probably my least fav... boring.. high intermeds and lower will have fun there... anyone who is not liking groomers anymore is going to be missing the Bird/Alta.
For me the Canyons is above PC but as the lowest in the area gets the worst snow by quality and quantity.. it has great variety for everyone but the high end skier..
DV... what to say... love it .. hate it.. love it ... hate it..  on a powder day this place is a blast cause the richy ritzy skiers go inside and you have the mountain to yourself...  great variety... best known for groomers ... some ok trees... ya gotta have money to go there and not enough tough terrain but still... love it hate it..  above PC for sure...
post #19 of 19
Yakski, of course they Alta and Bird are.  The question was about best intermediates mountains... the farther down that list you go, the better they are as Expert mountains.  The top half offers more grooming and easier options as a whole.  But really, I think they are all worthy destinations eventually, depending on that day's snow report!  Variety is what makes SLC so great!
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