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Alta Utah or, Breckenridge, or Vail mid - late December - Page 2

post #31 of 48
Thread Starter 

Yes, I am planning to stay past Xmas day. I'm concerned about not having my preferred choices of rooms in each of these hotels also past xmas day. My dates were 12/16 - anytime before New years Day, probably 12/28 or 29.

 

Shred, I think you'd hit the spot. Planning this trip is the one thing I have to look forward to and it offers a pleasant distraction from the daily grind until Christmas Break. I've not got anything else to look forward to hah (not even thanksgiving!).

 

I must say - I am now genuinely considering steam boat.

 

How would you guys rate the ski conditions at Alta vs Steamboat this early in the season. Will Alta be THAT much better than steamboat that i should not consider Steam? Steam sounds like so much more fun and charming!

post #32 of 48

I don't think there is good flyfishign in December near Alta.  


Quote:

Originally Posted by cdw02 View Post

How would you guys rate the ski conditions at Alta vs Steamboat this early in the season. Will Alta be THAT much better than steamboat that i should not consider Steam? Steam sounds like so much more fun and charming!



No one knows what conditions will be like this year. ;)  

 

Here is a link you may find helpful. It provides a run down of resorts that historically have delivered early season.

 

http://webpages.charter.net/tcrocker818/earlysno.htm

 

 

post #33 of 48

>Steam sounds like so much more fun and charming!

going there would be a different kind of ski trip.  Maybe your gal would rather stay in a ski town where you have your choice of restaurants, and can go for an evening walk and check things out. 

Staying at Alta/Snowbird is all about staying in the mtns and skiing.   It's only 10 miles from civilization but you're isolated at the bottom of a canyon.  I love the place wouldn't want to stay up there too long.  Me, I like to ski at a different place everyday, except I can do Snowbird 2 days in a row.  Like the guys said there is no rush for lodging.

The odds of the snow being better at Steamboat than at Alta are not good.

Steamboat, you are skiing the same mtn the entire trip.

Why not rent a car, park it at Snowbird and then drive to Park City for the 2nd half of your stay, that way you have a change of venue to look forward to.  Cars are cheap and it's easy to navigate to Snowbird from the airport, plus maybe one day she wants to take off and visit SLC.  

 

Have you skied out West?


Edited by SnowbirdDevotee - 9/2/10 at 1:56pm
post #34 of 48
Thread Starter 

Out west I've skied at Whistler and at Jackson Hole. I was at Jackson in mid-Feb a few yrs ago, and for the 8 days I was there not once did it snow. And when at Whistler last December, for the 12 days I was there, it only snowed once to 8". Bah hum bug! So, I have never experienced the crazy powder you guys get out there that is the envy of every East coaster.

 

I grew up skiing in Europe in my youth and remember being buried in snow (in case you are wondering how I have evaluated myself to be expert). But Otherwise I live on the East Coast NYC.

 

Steam does sound a lot more enticing - but since this is now all a gamble - it might be safer to go to Alta/snowbird in the early season just by virtue of their greater snow fall - and go to Steamboat, one day in the future during the peak snowfall periods.

post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdw02 View Post

My plan is to stay in Alta/snowbird for 6-8days. I will probably stay in Alta and make a couple day trips to Snowbird. But I have yet had the chance to investigate the lodging options in snowbird.

 

Then I will move to PC for another several days. Per my post above, the question is which mountain to stay at? It seems like PC has more charm, but I think I'd prefer the nicer lodging available at Deer Valey (I prefer the modern elegant lodging instead of the rustic). What say you?

One thing to consider is the cross pass between Sonwbird and Alta ... you can buy 1 pass and cross back and forth via the ridge atop Mineral Basin to either resort.  One word of caution is depending on your friends skill level, she may find Snowbird to not be much fun .. It's a hard mountain.  I've been to Utah 4-5 times and The "Bird" is my least favorite place to ski.  I love to drive up to Eden at least once during our week long trip and ski at either Snowbasin or Powder Mtn. 
 

post #36 of 48

Don't let the naysayers scare you about the skiing in Park City.  It's biggest issue is proximity to Alta/Snowbird.  Little Cottonwood Canyon offers the best combination of easy access, consistent snow and great terrain of anywhere in the country.  So of course on a ski forum, where it's more about the skiing than the vacation, people are going to recommend LCC for skiing!  That doesn't make Park City or Breckenridge or Vail or Steamboat bad places to ski.  You'll find plenty of great terrain and usually good snow too at all those places, plus lots to do off the slopes as well (something you won't find in LCC).  Early season is a bit of a crapshot anywhere.  Which is why I'd stick with your original plan - spend a week in LCC (best odds of good snow) and a week in Park City (good odds of good snow - plus a great town). 

post #37 of 48

Don't let the naysayers scare you about the skiing in Park City.  It's biggest issue is proximity to Alta/Snowbird.  Little Cottonwood Canyon offers the best combination of easy access, consistent snow and great terrain of anywhere in the country.  So of course on a ski forum, where it's more about the skiing than the vacation, people are going to recommend LCC for skiing.  That doesn't make Park City or Breckenridge or Vail or Steamboat bad places to ski.  You'll find plenty of great terrain and usually good snow too at all those places, plus lots to do off the slopes as well (something you won't find in LCC).  Early season is a bit of a crapshot anywhere.  Which is why I'd stick with your original plan - spend a week in LCC (best odds of good snow) and a week in Park City (good odds of good snow - plus a great town). 

post #38 of 48

Don't let the naysayers scare you about the skiing in Park City.  It's biggest issue is proximity to Alta/Snowbird.  Little Cottonwood Canyon offers the best combination of easy access, consistent snow and great terrain of anywhere in the country.  So of course on a ski forum, where it's more about the skiing than the vacation, people are going to recommend LCC for skiing!  That doesn't make Park City or Breckenridge or Vail or Steamboat bad places to ski.  You'll find plenty of great terrain and usually good snow too at all those places, plus lots to do off the slopes as well (something you won't find in LCC).  Early season is a bit of a crapshot anywhere.  Which is why I'd stick with your original plan - spend a week in LCC (best odds of good snow) and a week in Park City (good odds of good snow - plus a great town). 

post #39 of 48

Just a word on last minute travel that has come up on this thread.  I'm skiing January 6th-9th and just got shut out of using a frequent flyer ticket which was available a few days ago.  Even the 40K ticket for the flight of my choice is unavailable.  And I checked how many seats were open last weekend, the flight was wide-open, but now there are only less than 10 regular seats left!  This kind of thing has happened to me before, so sometimes it pays to make your travel plans early.  On the other hand, I remember checking and seeing if I could use a free ticket to hop on a plane at a moments notice to catch a big storm(dreaming again), and I have seen 25K tickets available for immediate travel.  So it can all be a crapshoot, but no doubt that 2nd week in December is a low time for ski travel. 

post #40 of 48

Alta/Snowbird, then move to Park City is reasonable.  For the fiancee Vail, then move to Steamboat is better.  I would stay out of Summit County CO for the possible toxic combination of more crowds and less snow.  Aspen gets about the same amount of snow as Summit County but without the crowds.

 

Quote:
 The odds of the snow being better at Steamboat than at Alta are not good.

 

Not sure I agree with that.  There's some steep stuff at Alta that requires a lot more coverage than Steamboat.  Steamboat rates to have a higher percent of terrain open than Snowbird due to all the steeps at the Bird.  This is the reason that Alta skis a lot better than Snowbird on a typical early season 4-foot base.  I agree Snowbird's preservation can be better, but that's a March and later issue.

post #41 of 48

Like a bad penny, I'm back.   I myself will be out in the LCC/BCC area mid-late December. Have to burn a couple of weeks vacay before year's end.

 

Never been to Colorado so can't comment on those resorts. Have spent a lot of time skiing the LCC and BCC the last 3 years though.

 

If you go Atla/Bird why stay in the canyon? Not much to do once the lifts close. You can stay down in Midvale at quality hotels for half the price with all the hotel amenities, and be at the parking lot of Alta, Bird, Solitude, etc. in 15-20 min. Yes, you have to rent a car but you can drive to DV or PC in about 30-40 min also from Midvale. Lots to do after skiing in the valley or PC/DV. You will enjoy the freedom of having a car, believe me.

 

If you go to SLC make sure you visit Buca di Beppo. Make friends and go as a group if you can. The food is great and its served family style. But you can go as a couple I have with my girlfriend and they will gladly accommodate you.

post #42 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by theconz View Post


 

If you go Atla/Bird why stay in the canyon?

 

I can answer that in one word -> "Interlodge"
 

post #43 of 48

Bucca di Beppo. Brings back memories from last season.

post #44 of 48
Thread Starter 

Hey guys:

 

JHo: I just looked up what "Interlodge" meant. And thanks to you now I know what it means! Hilarious! Never ever heard of anything like that before!

 

Does anyone know from experience how often Interlodge happens? Usually more in Feb/Jan? Does it rarely happen, if at all, in December?

 

I was also wondering if anyone had feed back on the "Interconnect Tours". I'll be skiing out of the Snowbird locale.

http://www.skiutah.com/winter/adventures/interconnect

Sounds like a great way to tour Utah. Anyone experience this specific trip before?

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theconz View Post
If you go Atla/Bird why stay in the canyon?
post #45 of 48

3 of the last 5 times i've been to Alta'Bird, i've had at least one day of interlodge. when i was there for this storm ( i was there days 3-7), we had a daily interlodge. if you are staying down the canyon, you will be waiting at the mouth of the canyon to get up to Alta or Snowbird, while the peeps up in the canyon will be ripping the fresh pow. interlodge can happen at any time they get a big storm or any time of cumulative snow.

 

i haven't done the interconnect, but it does seem like a very fun day.

post #46 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdw02 View Post

Hey guys:

 

JHo: I just looked up what "Interlodge" meant. And thanks to you now I know what it means! Hilarious! Never ever heard of anything like that before!

 

Does anyone know from experience how often Interlodge happens? Usually more in Feb/Jan? Does it rarely happen, if at all, in December?

 

 

I was in LCC for that same storm as well. Those were still one of the best few days I have had in UT. Storms like that are fairly uncommon.

 

Interlodge happens when you have high avy danger that is impacting the main resort base. This is typically the result of heavy new snow accumilatiosn combined with instability / blizzard conditions. Generally it will be correleated wiht the LCC road being shut. Meaning that once the interlodge is canceled you get the whole day of power to yourself.

post #47 of 48

I was in park City last April when they had a big snow storm. I think interlodge was in effect for about 48 hrs. the local news had stories about how the people outside the Canyon were dying to get in to ski and the people stuck inside were dying to get out. I believe they were running out of food/liquor. That is quite unusual though to have interlodge for that long.

post #48 of 48

I would cast my vote for Alta.  As you said, early season snow and no shortage of beginner/intermediate terrain, but there is also tons of advanced stuff, especially if you get a friend or instructor to show you the secret spots where there's powder year-round.  

 

I also recommend the Rustler lodge. Nice bar, outdoor heated pool, pool size indoor hot tub, steam room, massages etc and GOOD FOOD.  

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