Late March/April Utah Advice
February 8, 2007
After trying to get friends to go to Utah with me I tired of their non-committal ways. I've decided to take my Dad. The man who took me for my (and his) first day of skiing when I was 13 at the now defunct 200 vertical foot mammoth of an area known as Sugarcreek Ski Hill (Ohio).
He's 67 now and can only ski for a few hours a day, sticking primarily to greens and groomed blues. He hates crowded trails and is a slow cautious skier.
I'd like for him to enjoy some good Utah snow. That nice soft stuff that even when groomed is a joy to ski.
Which area do you guys (Crush or any other Utah afficianados) think would be best for him.
I've skied the Park City areas, Alta, and Solitude. I'm leaning towards Alta or Solitude for snow quality, ease of navigation and moutain layout (i.e. not miles of catwalks to get anywhere like the canyons). I'm also considering Park City for convenience and some nightlife.
Of course we could stay in Park City and catch the canyon hopper van over to Alta if need be.
Ok, that's about enough rambling for me. Sorry for the disjointed nature of this thread, but I really want my Dad to enjoy himself because I'm not sure how many more great days of skiing we'll have left together, especially out west.
If you want the former requirements i.e. nearly empty slopes no lift lines and nice groomers take a look at Powder Mountain. Talk about overlooked. The nightlife around there might not be great but the mountain is awesome. I'm definitely heading there this weekend, prolly Sunday.
Solitude has some nice grooming as well and is rarely crowded. Right now I think BCC has the ebst snow of the UT resorts.
Did you consider Deer Valley? But Given their lack of snow so fat they might be suspect at lower elevation in april. Maybe think about snowbasin too.
Kennedy how easy is Powder Mountain to navigate? Are there long, relatively flat catwalks that people need to traverse (being cautious my Dad sometimes has trouble carrying speed for long flat distances)? I skied a few runs with at guy at Alta who was visiting from Powder and the guy just raved about it. Plus I sort of like the idea of skiing off the backside and waiting for the bus.
I worry about Snowbasin being a bit too difficult for him. I know there are runs at Alta and Solitude that he can ski top to bottom. I want him to have that feeling of standing on the summit and looking out over the mountains or town below. I know taking the the easiest way down from the lifts at Alta is well within his range.
apart from the somewhat slow lifts, they just got their 1st high speed this year, Powder's terrain is pretty mild compared to a lot of places. That doesn't mean it's not fun, there are some challengin parts to it but you can make it what you want. As regards catwalks there was maybe one trail where you had to keep speed going in order to traverse it, that was the one from Hidden Lake lift over to the tow up to Cobabe Canyon. The trails are wide, well groomed, very quiet and the pitches are pretty comfortable. My wife is a beginner intermediate and I might go there next year for a long weekend with her. The place is so big that it feels empty most of the time. I remember getting off the lift at Hidden Lake and looking back and every chair was full coming up. We went 50' down the slope and didn't see anyone until we got to the lift again. Powder Country on a good day is nothing short of epic. Cobabe Canyon is awesome, this year I'm hoping to take the cat tow up to Lightening ridge.
Just got back from Utah. For a late season trip this year (current snowpack at 50 percent of normal), I'd strongly recommend skiing the Cottonwoods (Alta, Bird, Solitude, Brighton); they have higher elevation and receive more snowfall. Unless things change drastically, the lower elevation resorts could be a bit dicey in early April (considering that you have higher expectations with a cross-country flight.)
Thanks for the advice everyone. After much juggling of schedules I was actually able to get the trip moved up to the first week of March. We're staying in Park City (found a 1br condo for $145/night) and renting a car. If the snow is decent (I'm praying that their weather starts to return to normal soon) I plan for us to ski one day at Park City or Deer Valley, one day at Solitude, and one day at either Alta or Powder Mtn (especially if the cat skiing is open).
If the snow is crappy then we'll probably spend another day at Solitude.