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Why Ski Utah in April?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Starting with a super powder day on Thursday (and today wasn't too shabby)

IMG_3123.JPG


Here's the upcoming 3-day Alta forecast from NWS:

Tonight: Snow. Low around 15. Wind chill values as low as -3. Breezy, with a west southwest wind between 21 and 28 mph, with gusts as high as 41 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of 12 to 18 inches possible. 

Saturday: Snow, mainly before noon. High near 27. Wind chill values as low as -2. Blustery, with a west wind 23 to 26 mph decreasing to between 14 and 17 mph. Winds could gust as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible. 

Saturday Night: Snow likely. Cloudy, with a low around 18. West southwest wind 8 to 13 mph becoming south southeast. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible. 

Sunday: Snow likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 35. South southwest wind between 8 and 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. 

Sunday Night: Snow. Low around 23. Windy, with a south southwest wind between 31 and 40 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible. 

Monday: Snow showers. Some thunder is also possible. High near 32. Windy. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible. 

Monday Night: Snow showers. Low around 12. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible. 



I love living in Utah 
post #2 of 15
 It has been sick.       
post #3 of 15
I was at Alta yesterday. Bluebird powder day. Unfortunately, a transformer blew and no power. Stood in the Collins line for a 30 minutes, then jumped to the Wildcat line when they changed to the backup diesel power. However, they only did that to unload the people on the lift. Stayed in that line for an hour hoping they would eventually up-load skiers. Never happened. Word was that they got Sunnyside going so jumped down to yet another line for the rope transfer to Albion base. Finally got there and it was the largest lift line I have ever seen anywhere! In that line for an hour and rode up. Skied over to Cecret lift which was also going but no good terrain of of that lift. Skied down to Alf's at the base of Cecret and Sugarloaf and took a lunch break since it was now almost noon!  Bought a pitcher of beer and had a glass with my two friends. Suddenly the Sugarloaf got started and after about 20 minutes they started to upload skiers. Threw on the jackets and gloves, left the beer for someone else and jumped on the lift. Got a few runs of untouched pow!! Then the board by the lift said they got Collins going and took the EBT return over to Ballroom for more Pow. The rest of the day was great and after a ride up Collins, took the High T out to High Rustler. Steep, soft bumps, utterly fantastic.  What started out as a bummer of a day turned out to be great since the place had emptied out by the time the lifts were going. They never did get Supreme going but still a great day after all!
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
 Was at Solitude ($39 lift tickets) on Friday and heard about the power problems at Alta and Brighton. Hit Alta on Saturday and now I know why there was so much untracked powder and excellent conditions, especially off of Supreme. General Conference held down the crowds and I think some were scared away because of Friday's problems. In any case, Saturday was another very good day though cold. Kids and I had a blast. Plenty of fresh tracks and great snow through the gates. Next week is spring break for the kids and I'm taking some vacation days so I know what we're going to do 


Alta had 8 more inches last night and here is the upcoming 3-day NWS forecast:

Today: A 50 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 31. West wind 8 to 17 mph becoming south. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. 

Tonight: Snow likely, mainly after midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 22. Windy, with a south southwest wind between 23 and 32 mph, with gusts as high as 46 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible. 

Monday: Snow. High near 26. South southwest wind between 13 and 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible. 

Monday Night: Snow. Low around 14. Wind chill values as low as -1. West wind between 15 and 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 6 to 10 inches possible. 

Tuesday: Snow showers. High near 21. West northwest wind between 13 and 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible. 

Tuesday Night: A 30 percent chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 10. Little or no snow accumulation expected. 
post #5 of 15
Was at snowbasin yesterday. Went into the sisters right as they dropped the rope. It was nice to get some fresh snow under the boards for the first time in about 2 months. It wasn't powder but it was good. 
post #6 of 15
You are getting some good weather and for this season consider yourself lucky. 

I was up there from March 25 - 31st and the conditions were not so nice.  Yes, Thursday brought 13 " of powder, which is awesome for everyone except those who have little or no experience in powder.  Those of us who don't have any experience found it extremely hard to ski in, especially while trying to get reacclimated.  However, I can't complain about that.

The thing that sucks about spring skiing IMHO is that you will find that alot of the times the day will warm up to 40 degrees or beyond and at night it will get below freezing.  This will produce what I had to deal with 4 out of the 5 days I was there: ICE!  Yes, it will melt and get mushy after about 11:30am, but that is half the day wasted waiting for better conditions.  I can't tell you how hard and fast the surface was at Snowbird and especially Alta those days.  It was murder.  Everytime I fell I slid for at least 25'.  That is why I am going to start a thread titled "What's all this hoopla surrounding skiing about?" because it is NOT all its cracked up to be and its very hit or miss.  At least that is this beginners opinion (please don't flame me for expressing it).  Not trying to be a downer.  Yes, Spring skiing can be great. It CAN, be that does not mean it WILL.

Enjoy the weather and happy skiing. 

If you live in the area, its great because you can drive up when it is good.  However, I for one, will never plan a ski trip past the 1st or 2nd week of March.
post #7 of 15
UT skiing in April >>> UT skiing in December.

"Spring skiiig" in UT is often done in Mid winter conditions (as we have been having this week). Other times its in more spring like conditions. When you have a freeze thaw cycle is good to ski where the sun is shining.

Also, ski conditiosn are really a matter of taste. Firm fast snow mihgt be just what you are looking for if you are on a GS race ski going 50 mph down empty groomed runs late in the season.
post #8 of 15
Why Ski Utah in April?

This morining at Solitude:

Previous 24 hrs         30"

Overnight since lifts closed   20"

Addition snow during the day   8"

Storm total so far  48"

Forcast for  tonight   7-11"

I rest my case!  
post #9 of 15
I have been out there in April before and had the best powder skiing of the season, maybe my life.  Anybody who is out there this week, working around road closures and planning for the big openings, is going to have one heck of a life-changing experience.  Makes me happy to think about, even though I'd rather be there!
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by esumsea View Post

The thing that sucks about spring skiing IMHO is that you will find that alot of the times the day will warm up to 40 degrees or beyond and at night it will get below freezing.  This will produce what I had to deal with 4 out of the 5 days I was there: ICE!  Yes, it will melt and get mushy after about 11:30am, but that is half the day wasted waiting for better conditions.  I can't tell you how hard and fast the surface was at Snowbird and especially Alta those days.  It was murder.  Everytime I fell I slid for at least 25'.  That is why I am going to start a thread titled "What's all this hoopla surrounding skiing about?" because it is NOT all its cracked up to be and its very hit or miss.  At least that is this beginners opinion (please don't flame me for expressing it).  Not trying to be a downer.  Yes, Spring skiing can be great. It CAN, be that does not mean it WILL.

All true though I have to say a shift in the head can help you enjoy the day. Was up at Sugarloaf a few weeks back. They had just gotten a few inches of freezing rain, then 5 inches of snow, then 60 degree day then it was 5 degrees (before windchill). The surface was beyond hard and precarious to say the least (esp since I scheduled the trip for that Frozen in the morning Slush in the afternoon sort of snow because I love all the corn in the middle and the beers on the beach late). It took some getting used to and I had to ski unlike I had ever skied before. All my difficulty ratings got knocked down a notch due to just how hard and impossibly fast it was. And my normal 95%/5% leg split went to more of a 60/40 or 70/30. Never used the inside ski so much! I would have killed for some soft bumps. They were just mounds of ice sadly. Even half the groomers were just fields of death cookies. Got a good foot massage out of a couple of them!

Anyway, it ended up being a fantastic trip despite the rough conditions. So it wasn't as good as my Utah trip (which was during conditions people considered horrible out there but were the best of my life) but it was still really good and I think I'm a better skier because of it.

There are good days and there are better days. But you know I'm kinda feeling like there really are no "bad" days. At least conditions wise. Seems like everyday I feel like the snow is "bad" it turns out after a few more runs of skiing it differently changes my mind.
post #11 of 15
Why ski Utah in April?

Snowbird has received 97" in the past 7 days! Nuff said.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
It has been an excellent week. Mid-winter as well as spring skiing conditions. Heck of a storm on Tuesday then bluebird today. When it comes to spring skiing, the thing is that you have to adjust your technique to the conditions. I see too many skiers who only know one way to turn, one way to ski, and they're the ones who have trouble. Just remember that this is supposed to be fun so take it easy, enjoy the sun and wait for the snow/ice to soften a bit, then enjoy the slush. It's better than being in an office, isn't it?
post #13 of 15
The last weeks storm will help what is looking like drought year in N. UT.

11h36s.out&WATERYEAR=2010&wy.line.multi.plt

Down in the cottonwoods is a different story.

11j42s.out&WATERYEAR=2010&wy.line.multi.plt
post #14 of 15
Just got back from 5  ski days  in Utah ( March 31- April 5) . 3 at Solitude , 1 at Brighton and 1 at ALTA. IT WAS MY BEST TRIP EVER ! 7+ inches everyday and no crowds. Solitude and Brighton were great for my 7 and 5 yo kids. Can't wait to go back.
post #15 of 15
Spring skiing freeze/ thaw cycles create corn snow. Corn is fun as it thaws but can get too mushy. That's when bump skiing gets fun. It hardly every gets too mushy in the bumps. Getting splashed as you explode mushy bumps is refreshing. It's best when it drops below freezing to firm up the snow and sometimes it makes sense to get a late start and then ski till the lifts close. Of course if it dumps powder, then you're skiing mid winter conditions. I'm going to sbird next week and hope I catch a little bit of everything.

Why go? Cheaper flights, cheaper lodging, smaller crowds, tee shirt skiing, did I mention cheaper lift tickets? And the 7' of snow Snowbird/Alta just got, I doubt there are any bare spots. My only problem is being able to bring enough skis. Long GS skis to carve fatties at mach 1 down a deserted steep groomer, fat skis for powder, and mogul skis. But I have to choose the fat skis I guess and make do.
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