1st ski trip out west......suggestions welcomed!
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skiobsessed
January 22, 2009
Member since 03/10/2008 🔗
80 posts
Greetings! I hope all of you are having a wonderful time on the slopes this season smile

My buddy and I have decided to venture out west for the first time to experience "big mountain" skiing. We have decided to go to Utah in early March. Based on the previous suggestions on Utah (although most of the feedback was on the Park City area), we have decided to go to Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, and Solitude.

We are both advanced beginners (skiing on mostly blue runs at WISP and 7Springs...managed to survive The North Face at 7springs two weekends ago) and I was wondering what you thought about our plan of attack...

Friday - ski all day at Alta to get acclimated to skiing powder/big mountain.
Saturday - ski at Snowbird, keep our ego at the hotel room and eat tons of snow-covered humble pie cool
Saturday night - If our legs are up for it, catch a shuttle and head over to Brighton to take advantage of their night skiing.
Sunday - ski all day at Solitude in hopes of avoiding the weekend crowd at Alta and Snowbird.

We have found a local hotel (Ramada Limited) that offers lodging and the "Super Pass". Has anyone stayed there? Can we get by without renting a car?

As always, your comments and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I love learning, skiing, and learning how to ski from you guys grin

Have a great weekend skiing everybody!

Darwin
comprex
January 22, 2009
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
You are in for one absolutely mindblowing experience.

Bushie or Crush or tromano can give you more details; not a bad plan overall IMO but I think that I'd stay flexible and go to Solitude if it isn't snowing on Friday, then Alta Sat. esp. if it dumps and then the 'bird.

Just to get yourselves used to the scale of things and all.
BushwackerinPA
January 22, 2009
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
if you can barely ski north face at the springs dont go to snowbird.

Big Emma is the easiest way down from the middle lifts and its steeper than anything at seven springs. skiing from the top would be dangerous.

not to scare you but its not worth your money. if your a masochist though you might like it.

alta is very easy, when you get better though go back to snowbird and realize everyone likes alta because its easy to ski.

I would stick to alta, solitude and snowbasin if i were you. You ll love all those places. the blue at alta are barely steep, and you can go to the top.

snowbasin is the nicest lodges in the areas, with great skiing for all levels.

solitude is small by utah stands resort with great snow and no crowds.
Crush
January 22, 2009
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts
.. crap - despite my lame flame-war with bushwacker i have to agree with him - in fact maybe just stick to park city mountain resort or you'll just get frustrated. nice family place - better yet save some money and ski Sundance - it's like a giant Ski Liberty, and very low cost.
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marzNC - DCSki Supporter
January 22, 2009
Member since 12/10/2008 🔗
2,541 posts
Well, for what it's worth I'm sticking to Alta for any future ski trips out to SLC. I'm an advanced intermediate who can ski any black run in the SE and any blue out west as well as most blacks when I have a ski buddy who is better than me. Even managed a run down deep powder at Alta last season with friends. Now that is an experience! Next time I hope to take a lesson or two.

I love cruising the blue runs at Alta. If you get to ski after a dump, there are plenty of places to get a taste of powpow on the edges or on an ungroomed blue. For me, it's a plus that there are no snowboards allowed at Alta.

I skied Snowbird a while back, as well as a couple of the Big Cottonwood Canyon areas, on a Durham ski club trip.

Keep an eye on the weather. The road up to Little Cottonwood Canyon closes as needed with a big snowstorm.

Have fun!
skier219
January 22, 2009
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
My main advice is to be practical, and not bite off more than you can chew. For instance, don't ski during the day then try to cram in a night at Brighton -- your next day's skiing will likely suffer. Skiing in Utah is more demanding because of the high elevation and challenging terrain. A single ski day in Utah is easily 4-5X more intensive than anything in the mid-Atlantic. Take the time to eat well, get solid sleep, and drink a lot of water.

I agree that Snowbird is not a good choice for advanced beginners from the mid-Atlantic. There is very limited blue/green terrain there. Alta, on the other hand, is rife with blue trails of various difficulty levels, and has a nice section with green trails that is worth skiing.

Make sure you have good goggles with lenses that can handle flat light. Be sure you have some way to carry drinking water with you (CamelBak, etc).
GRK
January 22, 2009
Member since 12/19/2007 🔗
404 posts
Hi

I was an advanced beginner when I went to Utah with my daughter last year. Previous experience was confined to a season at Wintergreen.

Here are my suggestions:

Ski A LOT before you go out there. It will pay off.

Take a lesson...they are not cheap, but maybe two of you can share one. Reserve early though. Odds are the instructor will increase your confidence. It will make the whole trip more enjoyable.

I found out that skiing on nice snow is easier than skiing on ice.

Remove your boot liners at night or bring a boot dryer. Damp boots and or gloves are no fun first thing in the morning.

Bring a face mask of some type and stuff it in your pocket. It can be calm at the base and wicked windy near the top...if you don't pack one you will get stiffed for 30 bucks or so at the resort.

Listen to the advice from the more experienced skiers above.

Its mandatory to tell us how your trip went. Funny incidents are especially welcome.
Reisen
January 23, 2009
Member since 01/25/2005 🔗
364 posts
Not to be too crude, but reading this thread is kind of like watching a teenager get told his date wants to "go all the way" on prom night :-)

Let's just say you're in for a mind-blowing experience that I really don't think you can fathom until you've experienced it. Be sure and savor it!
Crush
January 23, 2009
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts
laugh laugh laugh
BushwackerinPA
January 23, 2009
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
Originally Posted By: Reisen
Not to be too crude, but reading this thread is kind of like watching a teenager get told his date wants to "go all the way" on prom night :-)

Let's just say you're in for a mind-blowing experience that I really don't think you can fathom until you've experienced it. Be sure and savor it!


and remember

skiing is like sex, everyone thinks they are good at it. wink
jimmy
January 23, 2009
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Originally Posted By: BushwackerinPA
Originally Posted By: Reisen
Not to be too crude, but reading this thread is kind of like watching a teenager get told his date wants to "go all the way" on prom night :-)

Let's just say you're in for a mind-blowing experience that I really don't think you can fathom until you've experienced it. Be sure and savor it!


and remember

skiing is like sex, everyone thinks they are good at it. wink


And if you got teh BIG grin on your face when you are finished, who cares wink u musta sone something right.
SeaRide
January 23, 2009
Member since 03/11/2004 🔗
237 posts
Just came back from one week stay in Utah last Tuesday. I agree with some comments here.

Last week I hit these mtns in order: Snowbasin, Powder Mtn., The Canyon, Park City, and then Snowbird.

My advice is to drink water, water, water and water. Stretch your sore muscles very often. Hot tub, tylenol and beer works for me.

Be sure to have a trail map with you if you are going there the first time. Be able to read map and link the lifts in order to get back to the base because not all trails/paths/terrains will allow you to go down back to the base.

Pay attention to the time the lift close.. not every lift close at the same time. i.e. one lift may close at 3:30pm while the other one close at 4:30pm

Snowbasin has the "day" lodges. No overnight lodges on the slope.

My daughter wear the bandana to cover her face on dry windy days. Depending on your skin, you may want to consider sunblock, face mask, or similar face protection.
I wore sunglasses because it was bright sunny blue skies all week. Yes I end up with a "racoon" face. cool

twin58
January 25, 2009
Member since 04/1/2000 🔗
198 posts
Originally Posted By: skiobsessed
... Can we get by without renting a car?


Yes.

UTA service from SLC to the ski areas

My never-ever time was at Brighton. I stayed at the Travelodge in downtown SLC. I did not have a car. I had to walk an entire block, maybe two, to get to the bus. From that point on, everything was taken care of for me. It could not have gone more easily. Imagine getting on a Metrobus in downtown DC and riding to a ski area. That difficult.

I took some food with me that I had bought at the grocery store a few blocks from Temple Square.

You'll love it.
fishnski
January 25, 2009
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Why do you head out west Grasshopper before you master even the Springs?..You have not payed your dues to even the Mid Atlantic let alone the knarly & bad to the bone slopes of the NE!..Are you so rich & falsley bored that you need to ski the green runs out west before you have conquered the likes of the western territory of Snowshoe or the steeps of Blueknob Or "The Wall' at Timberline?.. let alone the front face of Stowe???!!...Head west young man & then return to the East where you shall trully learn to ski...
fishnski
January 25, 2009
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Awe...Don't listen to an old grouchy fuddyduddy like myself!...go have a blast!!!....It ain't all about skiing..Its about having FUN!!
skiobsessed
January 25, 2009
Member since 03/10/2008 🔗
80 posts
Thank you for all the advice posted on this thread. I will be sure to post a trip report after my visit to Utah and include all of the funny incidents and my learning experiences out there. In fact, I'm looking forward to a trip to be remembered! smile

We are flying in Thursday night and plan on sleeping early and drinking tons of water to get used to the altitude. I will also bring my camel pak on the slopes to stay hydrated. I have been to the Andes in Peru this past summer and have experienced altitude sickness. Hopefully we can adjust in one night...

We will most definitely check out Alta and gauge our ability on Friday. We might skip Snowbird altogether if Alta proved to be too much to handle. Oh, we will most DEFINITELY rest up instead of being too cavalier and cramming in skiing at night.

I also bought a "buff" last year at REI (the woman at the store damn near put the thing on me and showed me how to wear it 3 out of the 15 ways possible) and it made a world of difference skiing while it rained in 7Springs two years in a row. I will be sure to bring that with me. I also plan on buying an extra pair of gloves in the event that my first pair don't dry off from the day before.

I have already secured transport from the hotel to the UTA services downtown. We just have to get up earlier to make sure we hit the slopes when they first open.

I can totally see the sex analogy. In fact, while I might be crazy for saying this, I have made the claims that at times, skiing is better than sex depending on the situation smile Furthermore, I realize that the manner in which I asked my questions made it seem like a teenager about to attempt something great/exciting/dangerous for the first time as well, so those responses are welcomed.

As for answering some of the questions posted, here they are:

1. We decided to head out west because of the cheap deal (under $600.00 for airfare, lodging, and lift tickets for 3 days). It seemed as cheap or even cheaper to head out west than to go to WhiteFace, Stowe or Jay to experience the slopes of NE.
2. I have a great friend who used to race and have skied Vail, Aspen, Steamboat Springs, Alta, Snowbird, Park City, Telluride, Crested Butte, Brighton, Solitude etc. and told me that "you haven't skied until you ski OUT WEST".
3. I plan on conquering and learning to ski all the great resorts in the Mid-Atlantic. I will not "abandon my roots" smile

Thank you and as always, keep the suggestions coming!

Darwin
Crush
January 25, 2009
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts
..ohhh (insert speed racer going - "ohh-ooo oh" clip here") - if you wrote the above .. you are soooo toast there.
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