Utah Comparison Chart
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johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
September 25, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Found this nifty chart on the internet and thought I would share it:

http://www.utah.com/ski/comparison.htm

It's produced by the state of Utah so the numbers should be accurate.
Crush
September 25, 2005
Member since 03/21/2004
994 posts
.. blatant lies. No one gets 350-500 inches of snow. It's just a scam the Dept. of Tourism in Utah runs to get people to come here.

Actually lol tongue firmly out of cheek, there is one little thing (I am such a lame stickler) .... The Canyons "base" is actually the base village at around 6,800 feet (it must be more than that like 7,000 because the surveying stakes around my condo says 6,800 feet and the village is about 200 feet higher than my condo). When you go up on the Gondola where you "really" start to ski it is more like 8,000. That's why sometimes Park City Mountain Resort is not open when The Canyons is, because to come down the moutain @ PCMR you have to ski to the base, which is 7,000.

Deer Valley can still be skiable from Silver Lake Village instead of the base even though the "real base" is trashed, but that usually occurs before or after the place closes.

Brighton in Big Cottonwood is always the first place to open. And a damn nice place to ski!
fishnski
September 25, 2005
Member since 03/27/2005
3,530 posts
Mr. fence skier(Crush) Does powder Mtn actually get 500" snowfalls with a base of 6895' & a summit of 8900'? If this is true that will be my pick! Elevation bothered me & my "Fiancee for life" Over at 11500' vail & beaver creek.5000+ acres to play?!!,Low end of ticket price chart & only 20 miles further from SLC than the "name brands"....Give me a reason not to make reservations!
Roger Z
September 25, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
Quote:

Give me a reason not to make reservations!




There's no endangered salamanders to eat there.

A lot of the 5000 acres is hike-to. Fine if you're up for it but oftentimes the accompanying significant-other for a ski bum (be the S.O. male or female) isn't.
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johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
September 25, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
When was the last time that Utah had a lean snow year? I know CO has had some lean years lately.

Also, for altitude sickness, it's not so much where you ski but where you sleep at night. Those susceptible to it might try finding accomodations at a lower elevation even if that means a slightly longer drive.
Roger Z
September 25, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
Utah had a lean snow year three years ago. If I remember right, prior to these last two winters, they hadn't had a good one in quite a while. The drought conditions in UT were terrible, fortunately there are not as many trees to burn there as there are in CO or, apparently, AZ.

They could probably use another good snow year or two to make sure that their groundwater and resevoirs are at capacity. But of course, as skiers, we wish for good snow years every year!

Crush, this reminds me- my folks and I (yes, I still take ski trips with my parents. It's a nice way to spend a week with them) will be in Park City March 4th-11th. Maybe you and I can meet at the Canyons for a day of skiing; we'll be using the Silver Pass to test all the resorts out. Looking forward to my first extended springtime trip! Hopefully we'll have some epic dumps followed by painfully blue skies the next day...

ps- I think every ski resort should say they get 500 inches of snow. Technically, it's true: even Washington DC gets 500 inches of snow, if you're willing to give it a few decades. I can just see Liberty's advertisements: "Blessed with over 500 inches of snow every 20 years..."
jimmy
September 25, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004
2,650 posts
Quote:


Also, for altitude sickness, it's not so much where you ski but where you sleep at night. Those susceptible to it might try finding accomodations at a lower elevation even if that means a slightly longer drive.




Exactly, sleep in saltlake, ski at 10,500 is a lot safer than ski at 11000, sleep at 8000 in Vail. The thing to look at is there are eleven great ski areas less than 60 miles from slc airport, ski a different one every day if you want.
Crush
September 25, 2005
Member since 03/21/2004
994 posts
RogerZ - ding ding ding! Correct! 2002-2003 was a "dry" year indeed ... Jan 2003 was very warm and such but ... well that was the first year I was here and I had a blast none-the-less ... this was due to El-Nino La-Nino .. we have this year another neutral condition. As usual (like last year) NOAA is predicting a warmer than normal winter ha ha ha I wrote them last year telling them they should re-format all their hard disks and crawl into a hole, lol.

In 2004 We had a very long and warm March that ate all the snow but we still skied April 11 in Park City and May 9 at Snowbird.

In the same year a "controled burn" burned down a bunch of land and SLC was all smokey for months.

The glasses in the dish washing washing machine would get cloudy all the time because of the drought. And I almost wrecked a rental power boat at the Jordanell because of the low water level.

So good days and sketchy ones ... but the powder skiing has been great *every* year lol so I'll see ya where ever you ski ... let me know!
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
September 26, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Post deleted by johnfmh
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
September 26, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Quote:

Correct! 2002-2003 was a "dry" year indeed ... Jan 2003 was very warm and such but ... well that was the first year I was here and I had a blast none-the-less ... this was due to El-Nino La-Nino .. we have this year another neutral condition. As usual (like last year) NOAA is predicting a warmer than normal winter ha ha ha I wrote them last year telling them they should re-format all their hard disks and crawl into a hole, lol.

In 2004 We had a very long and warm March that ate all the snow but we still skied April 11 in Park City and May 9 at Snowbird.







Thanks Crush and Roger. There seems to be an impression out there that UT is just one big snow hole and that you can't go wrong booking a trip there. Obviously, they've been spoiled during the past two years and memories are short when it comes to leaner times. I guess I'll still hedge my bets by booking last minute. I have a friend in Clinton who I can stay with for part of the trip, so UT is very attractive to me from a dollars and cents perspective but I'm still going to wait and see where the snow falls. Heck, Whistler could be the place this season--after last season, it certainly deserves a flake break.
Roger Z
September 26, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
Crush can "ding ding" me or "buzz" me on this one too, but one thing I've heard is that the winters in Utah tend to be more variable than Colorado, that Colorado basically gets the most consistent snow of any of the states out west. Not saying that CO is better, just that it's the place to be if you want to hedge your bets.

Gotta love those "controlled" burns. I was out in Lassen two summers ago and they had three or four controllers going on in the park at the time. All these "DON'T HIKE HERE" warnings on the boards. I was just waiting for one of those things to let loose and burn us all...
JohnL
September 26, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
Quote:

.. blatant lies. No one gets 350-500 inches of snow. It's just a scam the Dept. of Tourism in Utah runs to get people to come here.





I think the Utah Motor Vehicles Dept. is also in on the scam with their "Greatest Snow on Earth" license plates.

Quote:

When you go up on the Gondola where you "really" start to ski it is more like 8,000.




As the sign says, "Wow"!

Does any ski area with 3100" vertical 3,300 skiable acres ski any "smaller" than Park City Mountain Resort? Send all the touristas there!

As Crush said, you can effectively subtract the lower 1000 feet or so at Deer Valley and The Canyons. But they both have some real nice stuff at the higher elevations.

As to Pow Mow, some other negative factors included incredibly slow lifts, a very poor traverse to vertical ratio, facilities that make Timberline, WV seem like the Taj Mahal, and an isolated location with a sometimes sketchy access road. But I do love that place!
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
September 26, 2005
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Quote:

facilities that make Timberline, WV seem like the Taj Mahal, and an isolated location with a sometimes sketchy access road. But I do love that place!




John,

You must have come under the spell of those AWESOME ribs now being served at the Timberline Lodge on Saturday nights. Those pig sticks will make anyone wax eloquently about Timberline and its many, many virtues. We don't call it the Deer Valley of the Mid-Atlantic for nothing.

Anyway, with that being said, in terms of snow consistancy, how would you rank the following regions: CO, UT, BC, MT, Tahoe, Alps, VT.

Here's how I'd rank them:
CO
Tahoe
MT
UT
BC
ALPS
VT
jimmy
September 26, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004
2,650 posts
Quote:

Quote:

facilities that make Timberline, WV seem like the Taj Mahal, and an isolated location with a sometimes sketchy access road. But I do love that place!




John,

You must have come under the spell of those AWESOME ribs now being served at the Timberline Lodge on Saturday nights. Those pig sticks will make anyone wax eloquently about Timberline and its many, many virtues. We don't call it the Deer Valley of the Mid-Atlantic for nothing.





Heh, i must've missed the marble bathrooms .
Roger Z
September 26, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
I'd be even more specific and go down to the ski resort level. In terms of consistency, in no particular order, my guess would be:

Grand Targhee, WY
Steamboat, CO
Winter Park, CO
Kirkwood, CA
(Powder King, BC?)
Jay Peak, VT

The last one is sort of thrown in as a sop to the east coast, but really, when you're over here Jay Peak is definitely one of your best bets for pow and natural snow.

It'd be interesting to see 10 year snowfall histories at different resorts to evaluate them for consistency.

Oh yeah, I can't forget Sky Valley, GA: it's consistently bad.
Reisen
September 26, 2005
Member since 01/25/2005
343 posts
Quote:

Mr. fence skier(Crush) Does powder Mtn actually get 500" snowfalls with a base of 6895' & a summit of 8900'? If this is true that will be my pick! Elevation bothered me & my "Fiancee for life" Over at 11500' vail & beaver creek.5000+ acres to play?!!,Low end of ticket price chart & only 20 miles further from SLC than the "name brands"....Give me a reason not to make reservations!




Go for it. I learned to ski at Powder Mountain and have many fond memories. Fantastic family-owned operation.
JohnL
September 26, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
The criticisms of Timberline's ski lodge (and parking lot) on DCSki have always cracked me up. There are far, far greater dives in the ski lodging world than at Timberline. Powder Mountain has one of those dive lodges. (But you don't go there for the facilities. ) Some of you guys need to explore the ski world a bit more.

Haven't come across a dive lodge with chicken wire; maybe I'll find it in Arizona. Or possibly at MSM if people will finally stop talking about the place and grab a hammer, nails and chain saw.

Quote:

Here's how I'd rank them:
CO
Tahoe
MT
UT





Have you skied any of the above states? I don't see how one could put Colorado and Montana ahead of Utah for consistency of snowfall. I'd put Utah ahead of even Tahoe; Tahoe has some epic years which no other region can seem to match, but Tahoe has had some very, very poor seasons. (One of my friends used to live in San Francisco and she was in a Tahoe ski house.)

My totally biased ranking:
UT
Tahoe
Inland BC (Powder Triangle)
CO
MT
Coastal BC (Whister/Blackcomb) & Alps
VT

Vermont would actually do a lot better if snowfall alone were considered, but with the low elevations (greater chance of rain and thaw/freeze), the great conditions don't last.

Some of the top areas:
Alta, Snowbird
Solitude, Brighton
Wolf Creek
Grand Targhee
Kirkwood
Squaw, Alpine Meadows
Steamboat
Crush
September 26, 2005
Member since 03/21/2004
994 posts
Wait, wait.... wait wait wait!

This is such an on-going thing this Co-UT thing so here is my observation based on three years of observations during ENSO positive (El Nino) and neutral years.... based on watching TV weather here....

Ok picture the letter "S" rotated 90 degrees CCW and that is the winter jetstream. Northern Utah usually ends up in the middle of the "S". If the "S" goes to the north (ENSO + conditions) we get very little precip and warm temps. If it stays low (ENSO neutral) we get the "freight train" of precip and cold weather commin' up over the Great Salt Lake, up over the Wasatch and bingo - low-water content fluffy wasatch flakes of snow the size of a cat's head!

CO is at the far-right of the "S" .. usually if the "S" is high or low the jet stream still will funnel stuff over the ski resorts ... so it is less variable.... BUT ....

You know when you go to Vegas you have lots of choices. You can either play the $5 blackjack table or the $25 one. You can play the $5 one and if you (hopefully) have the "basic 4 deck system" in memory you will make $20 or so if you play right or not loose too much if your game is off..... or you can play the $25 table (or higher) and you can loose more but if you play right you can pay for your whole night of food, drinks, room and a little companionship too.

CO - a little less variable, heavier snow, good payoff usually.

UT - a little more dicey, but the payoff can be huge in terms of quality and quantity.

So are you going to ride the Merry-Go-Round or the Rollercoaster?

And it *is* an ENSO neutral year ....

;-)
Crush
September 26, 2005
Member since 03/21/2004
994 posts
fishnski .... ;-) oh yeah Pow Mow gets those stats but it can be a toss-up depending on your timing ... it can be either insanely great of sort of the pitts. And Norther Utah ski places like Pow Mow and Snowbasin do tend to be not as high in altitude as the other Cottonwood Canyons resorts. But keep in mind that most big dumps come from the northwest so they can get clobbered ... depending on whats-what.

If you are look for a pat answer- there is none. Just like skiing you have to take your chances. My advice ... do a ski-safari. Plan on staying central and visiting all of 'am hell they are all within an hour of each other if you stay in SLC. If PowMow sucks hang out at Solitiude of The Canyons or Deer Valley or whatever .... there are so many mico-climates it can be hot and melting in one place and puckin' at another.
jimmy
September 26, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004
2,650 posts
YO fishnski, listen to Crush. Take your honey to Salt lake get a nice place at a fancy hotel , make up to honey for the hand on the hinney of the bunny episode . Last year we skied alta, pc, snobird canyons & snowbasin, never drove more than an hour i think from slc.......
tromano
September 26, 2005
Member since 12/19/2002
998 posts
Note taking continues. Discuss.
fishnski
September 26, 2005
Member since 03/27/2005
3,530 posts
Sounds like the ticket! Stay & sleep at the lower elevations...Get some good rest & then head for the MTNS!.You all are right,it was the sleeping at 8000' that had me waking up every 15 to 30 min. The skiing wasn't that hard...a little above 11000',but it was the lack of sleep that put a hurtin on us.I'm confused by the great ratings Tahoe has.Don't they get the sierra cement & the 4 foot snowfalls followed by a month of nothing? Splain that mother hunchers!
JohnL
September 26, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
But does Utah (LCC or BCC) get more snow in a poor year than Colorado does in a good year?
Crush
September 26, 2005
Member since 03/21/2004
994 posts
JohnL - ahhh hah it's the Tommy Lee vs. Jude Law thing! Well according to G/F & her friends size does matter .... think Utah (for snow that is)!
tommo
September 26, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
303 posts
Quote:

But does Utah (LCC or BCC) get more snow in a poor year than Colorado does in a good year?




YES

Having lived in SLC for two years and having visited SLC and, in many years, CO every year for the last 20, I cannot EVER remember CO resorts (at least I-70 corridor areas) having better snow. If you limit the comparisons to the Cottonwoods, I can't really see how it could happen. LC has been described by meterologists as a nearly perfect snowmaking machine. In CO, you do get some big dumps, but they tend to be more isolated events, whereas in BC and LC canyons, it snows some almost every night. And then it REALLY dumps.

Add in the easy access, manageable costs (you can spend a little or a lot) and huge variety of resorts, and UT cannot be beat.

This is not to say that other places aren't good - Tahoe, Idaho, BC and CO all have terrific skiing. But in the end, only Utah compares with the best in every category.
Crush
September 26, 2005
Member since 03/21/2004
994 posts
Good call, tommo!
Consider this , y'all .... I see a pretty goodly number of CO license plates in the parking lots of the various UT resorts ......
does that tell ya something, lol?
warren
September 27, 2005
Member since 07/31/2003
485 posts
Crush,
I'll pitch my $.02 worth as well. I've come to SLC for the last three seasons. My favorites there are Brighton, Solitude, and Snowbird (I don't go to Alta as my buddy rides a board). I've NEVER been disappointed Last season, I came in early March and it was WARM. Still, the snow was good, the terrain great, access easy (except for rock slides from the freeze thaw cycles ), and of course, last but not least, the food and drinks were great!

-Warren-
POWPOW
September 27, 2005
Member since 05/10/2005
124 posts
Well ill throw in .02 cents more. I have lived and skibummed in CO (leadville) and worked at Jay and sugarbush and i still have friends i can stay with for free in summit Co. but every trip i take is SLC. But i will say i have extreme flexibility with work and can leave short notice to hit the Goods when its ON!!
JohnL
September 27, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
I think Utah wins the vote.

See you all out there this winter. Party at Crush's place. BYOB. He'll supply the pow.
jimmy
September 27, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004
2,650 posts
OK Utah it is . Got six days in march, definitly will ski alta, snowbird, canyons, snowbasin, been to park city, figure we need recommendations for two days.

"note taking continues, discuss"
Roger Z
September 27, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
Here's a recommendation: don't push your wife's friend in the hiney.

I'm up for rendezvousing with you and Crush at the Canyons a little later in the trip, maybe the 7th or 8th of March. Lots of time to discuss though.

I'm a big fan of Big Cottonwood Canyons. You should get up to Solitude if you get the chance. All the snow, no people. If it's been a couple days since a snowfall it's a good bet they've still got untracked in Honeycomb.
tommo
September 27, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
303 posts
I'd like to second Mr. Z's recommendation for Solitude. It's one of the best ski areas in north america. Honeycomb is like nothing else, and the lines into it from the top of Powderhorn lift and Eagle ridge are righteous! Try "Here be dragons", one of my favorite "slope" names anywhere.

And I'll volunteer to push your wife's friends hiney
warren
September 28, 2005
Member since 07/31/2003
485 posts
Jimmy,
I also agree with the Solitude vote. You need to work your way over to Honycomb canyon like has been said. It's a blast. Also, I would recommend going over to Brighton. The Great Western lift has some good terrain off of it too. Also, the Millecent (sp?) lift takes you to some good skiing! (boy... I miss Utah )

-Warren-
Roger Z
September 28, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
Oh yeah, Here be Dragons was one of the best runs I ever had... floating on powder through those trees... that is a SPECTACULAR run. Milk Run is also good for a solid double-diamond test of nerves, dodging cliffs for the last 500 vertical feet.

Brighton is cool too, but I was more impressed with their New England-style intermediate runs through the woods than anything else. Anyway, you can get an interchange pass and ski between the two mountains, but I think you'd miss the experience of both of them by trying to ski them in one day.
jimmy
October 8, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004
2,650 posts
OK, Roger, Tommo, Warren, Solitude it is. Still have one more day to decide on. Looks like we'll be skiing Sat & Sun 3/4 & 3/5, where's the best place to beet the crowds? So far we'll ski at Alta, Snowbird, Solitude , The Canyons and Snowbasin.
jimmy
October 8, 2005
Member since 03/5/2004
2,650 posts
Quote:

.........

Crush, this reminds me- my folks and I (yes, I still take ski trips with my parents. It's a nice way to spend a week with them) will be in Park City March 4th-11th. Maybe you and I can meet at the Canyons for a day of skiing; we'll be using the Silver Pass to test all the resorts out........blue skies the next day...






Where can u use the silver pass?? we spent an avg of $50 a day on lift tickys last year bought them at ski shop.

Let's pick a day, boyz .
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