Solitude Resort Advice
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snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
September 28, 2013
Member since 03/15/2004
1,287 posts
I have reserved an Eagle Springs (base village) condo for 10 days beginning 01/31/14. However, I have never been to Solitude Resort. Can DCSKI folks offer any advice or suggestions regarding skiing here and in the neighboring resorts? How easy is to use the connector trail to neighboring Brighton? My wife will freak out if the connector trail is real steep. How about restaurants....any suggestions? Thanhs!
JimK - DCSki Columnist
September 28, 2013
Member since 01/14/2004
2,644 posts

You're going to love it and at that time of the year and for that long a stay you've got a good chance to experience some memorable powder skiing oportunities.  Hopefully, JohnL will respond because he knows far more about those areas than I. 

Solitude is great for a stay because of that nice little compact slopeside village.  I think there are only 3 or 4 eating places there and nothing but lodge food at neighboring Brighton.  You will have to venture down to the SLC suburbs if needing more restaurants and/or stock up for your condo kitchen.  I never used the interconnect, but skied by it while at Solitude.  One of the easiest trails from the summit of Solitude is the one you take to make the connection, don't know about the return from Brighton, but it is on a part of that mountain that has a mix of intermediate and advanced terrain.  Solitude doesn't have a ton of low green circle runs, but a strong intermediate can enjoy almost everything marked blue or single black there.  From my limite exposure the most challenging inbounds stuff is in some of the steeper gladed areas.  Extreme people climb the cliffs above Honeycomb canyon.

In some ways Brighton is the easier place to initially experience because it has HSQ serving all the main trail pods and there is perhaps more green and moderate blue terrain.  I am the kind of mid-Atlantic raised skier who could happily spend 10 straight days at a place like Solitude, but for variety sake if your ticket purchase plan allows I would use close to 50% of your ski days at Brighton.

Here are a couple of pieces that include descriptions of my experiences at these two fine mountains:

http://www.dcski.com/ubbthreads33/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=61449

http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=1285

JimK - DCSki Columnist
September 28, 2013
Member since 01/14/2004
2,644 posts

In case you don't pick it up in the links above (which I forgot to make live), here's my son's video combining footage from both Solitude and Brighton:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CthdCH4XD9c#t=69

 

bob
September 28, 2013
Member since 04/15/2008
663 posts

snowsmith wrote:

I have reserved an Eagle Springs (base village) condo for 10 days beginning 01/31/14. However, I have never been to Solitude Resort. Can DCSKI folks offer any advice or suggestions regarding skiing here and in the neighboring resorts? 
 
It's been a decade since I skied Solitude, so my knowledge might be a bit dated. The front side is relatively mild with a mix of groomed and a few bump runs. My opinion is that the best skiing is on the backside in Honeycomb Canyon with a nice mix of ungoomed terrain - trees and bowls.
 
Likewise I haven't skied Birghton in a decade. I seem to recall that it's pretty much an intermedite mountain, and snowboarders love it. I used to try to get down from a high speed lift in 4 turns or less - and the trail forced me to make three turns. It does have night skiing.
 
If you are out there anyway, yopu might want to hit Alta, just to say you've been there. If your wife doesn't like "steep" and ungroomed" though, you might want to pass on this advice.
 
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The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
September 28, 2013
Member since 03/5/2004
3,060 posts

Alta has good beginner & low intermediate runs.  Probably more than Solitude.

The Colonel

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
September 29, 2013
Member since 12/10/2008
2,226 posts

Brighton is a great place for an intermediate.  The main advantage to Solitude on a weekend is that not many people go there.  So shorter lift lines and less of a crowd on the slopes.

I was lucky enough to be introduced to Brighton by a friend from an online ski forum who was working as a Host the day that fit in the schedule for me and my ski buddies.  Thanks to her, we learned where the advanced skiers go for fun.  There is plenty of terrain to keep an advanced skier entertained.  The free mountain tour is well worth taking.  I think it starts around 10:00.

Where else have you skied out west?  Where do you ski in the Mid-Atlantic?

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
September 29, 2013 (edited September 29, 2013)
Member since 03/15/2004
1,287 posts
Let's see....Big Sky, Panorama, Kimberly, Lake Louise, A-Basin, Fairmont Hotsprings, Ketstone, Vail, Breckinridge, Beaver Creek, Telluride. Locally, I own a place at HV, but I ski all the local mountains and usually add a trip to Vermont. When with the wife, she will ski some blacks, as long their not too mogully. I usually ski the steeper stuff in the morning and when my 60 year old legs wear out, I switch to the cruisers and ski with the wife. The last few local winters have presented quite a few 'powder' opportunies and as a result, I have developed a powder skiing technique. Thus I really look forward to powder days at Solitude. Oddly, most of my trips out west have been devoid of any big powder dumps....bad timing I guess, although there have been a few good western snow days. Alta and Snowbird are close by and I have always wanted to ski Snowbasin. Jimk - thanks for the great video. You and your son have shared some great ski adventures. Thanks to all.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
September 29, 2013
Member since 03/5/2004
3,060 posts

Reminder:  The Mormon Tabernacle Choir usually practices Thrusday nights in the Tabernacle...open to the public.

The Colonel

JohnL
September 30, 2013 (edited September 30, 2013)
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts

I'm still getting used to the new DC Ski format, but there have been tons of detailed advice threads on Utah and Solitude. With the current search function, they're not showing up (but that could change as features get implemented.)

Solitude and Brighton are not as famous as Alta/Snowbird, but they get pretty much the same snow and are generally less crowded. The biggest complaint people have with Solitude is the trail layout - you don't get as much extended vertical in a single run as you do at other places out West. That said, it is maybe my favorite Utah area - I've had some epic, epic days out there.

Honeycomb Canyon has routes down it (pretty much drop in right away) that are accessible to any solid intermediate. It is one of the best bets in Utah for freshies days after a storm. The big problem with Honeycomb is that you have a loooooong run-out out of it (down the center of the canyon), you don't get a lot of vertical, and to get some of the days-old freshies you have a long (sometimes partially uphill) traverse. A trip down Honeycomb also requires a loop of several lifts. My general rule of thumb: once you get to the Summit Lift, hit several runs there before going down Honeycomb Canyon.

If you go through a gate @ Solitude, beware that there are often hidden cliff areas. In particular, the looker's left gate at the top of the new Powerhorn(?) lift (near the Ski Patrol shack above the lift) is to be avoided unless you go with someone who knows the terrain and knows your abilities or unless you have big mountain experience. (If you have to ask what big mountain experience is, the answer is you don't have it.) If you know where to go and how to scout terrain (you can do this from most lifts), there are some real nice stashes on the front side.

You can get a lot of runs on the HSQ - looker's far right. It has a nice mixture of groomers, ungroomed and shorter tree shots in between the runs (no cliff areas there so it is safe to poke around.) Edit: unless you head far skiers right toward the other lifts, in which case 1)The cliff area is in the open and well-marked in advance 2) The "cliff area" is easily navigable.

The Sol-Bright connector trail is flat - polling/skating may be required. *Generally* speaking, you may only take it once on a trip just for the experience. It allows access to the Millicent lift terrain at Brighton. I can't remember if you can hit groomed terrain at Brighton from the acess gate(s), but that terrain is not too steep. Personally, if I was staying at Solitude and wanted to ski Brighton for a day, I'd hop on the bus instead of taking the connector.

IMHO, Brighton has some of the best tree skiing in Utah (second to Gad II lift at Snowbird.) The center two lifts (can't remember their names) are north-facing and maintain snow quality. There is a variety of tree skiing served by the lifts, most of it fairly low-angle with widely-spaced evergreens. On a low visibility day, Brighton is my choice because of those tree shots and tree-lined runs near them. (Aids depth perception.) The Great Western lift faces west, and can get quickly sun-affected. That said, when conditions are good, it has some nice terrain. Like Solitude, Brighton has some hidden very gnarly terrain if you know where to look.

eggraid
September 30, 2013
Member since 02/9/2010
466 posts

My wife and I stayed at Solitude last year and everyone's description is very accurate. There are a few restaraunts in the Solitude "village" but we were in a condo, we brought groceries and made our own dinners a couple times, then went down to Salt Lake to go out. My wife is an intermediate, and she enjoyed both Solitude and Brighton. We drove from Solitude to Brighton, but the trail that connects them is a cat track type thing, very flat, particularly on a snowboard I would guess. We ended up really enjoying Brighton, and would have preferred to spend more time there. There are two big sections of Brighton, and they each have a very different feel. Brighton's base lodge has a cool display of the history of the evolution of snowboards, make sure to duck in there for a minute or two if that kind of things interests you.

JohnL
September 30, 2013
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts

snowsmith wrote:

I have reserved an Eagle Springs (base village) condo for 10 days beginning 01/31/14. However, I have never been to Solitude Resort. Can DCSKI folks offer any advice or suggestions regarding skiing here and in the neighboring resorts? How easy is to use the connector trail to neighboring Brighton? My wife will freak out if the connector trail is real steep. How about restaurants....any suggestions? Thanhs!

 

Epic gathering in Utah is Feb 2 - 7. Likely a day at Soli. Something to consider.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
September 30, 2013
Member since 03/15/2004
1,287 posts

 

 

Epic gathering in Utah is Feb 2 - 7. Likely a day at Soli. Something to consider.

JohnL - great information. Sounds like a lot of skiing packed into a slightly smaller package. Honeycomb Canyon sounds like the place to go. You mentioned a bus to Brighton. Does this bus regularly run between Solitude and Brighton?

Forum comment - why is our only option a "quoted reply"?

Scott - DCSki Editor
September 30, 2013
Member since 10/10/1999
1,091 posts

snowsmith wrote:

Forum comment - why is our only option a "quoted reply"?

Just scroll down to the bottom of a topic page to post a new reply that isn't quoted.  What other options are you looking for?

Scott - DCSki Editor
September 30, 2013
Member since 10/10/1999
1,091 posts

JohnL wrote:

I'm still getting used to the new DC Ski format, but there have been tons of detailed advice threads on Utah and Solitude. With the current search function, they're not showing up (but that could change as features get implemented.)

I wrote some code tonight to perform a deep search through topics, but got tired before I could finish implementing it.  I should have something ready in the next few days.

JohnL
September 30, 2013
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts

snowsmith wrote:

 

 

Epic gathering in Utah is Feb 2 - 7. Likely a day at Soli. Something to consider.

JohnL - great information. Sounds like a lot of skiing packed into a slightly smaller package. Honeycomb Canyon sounds like the place to go. You mentioned a bus to Brighton. Does this bus regularly run between Solitude and Brighton?

Forum comment - why is our only option a "quoted reply"?

The standard UTA bus from SLC up to Soli then to Brighton. http://www.rideuta.com/ Thinking about it some more, it may only stop at the other Soli base. If you have a car on the trip, just drive the five minutes up the road.

JohnL
September 30, 2013
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts

http://www.rideuta.com/mc/?page=RidingUTA-SkiService

More precise link. Looks like sched for upcoming season not released. 

Staying at the village, grab a burrito at lunch at the village base ski lodge. Tons of good taste for your money.

JohnL
October 1, 2013
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts

One more ting about Soli. If you are skiing through the trees and hit a Quonset hut with snowmobile tracks heading downhill, take the snowmobile tracks. Don't trek back uphill through waist deep snow. Don't you agree now Jimmy?

JohnL
October 1, 2013
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts

Ok keep thinking of more stuff. Bar/restaurant 0.5 miles down the road has killer breakfast per Roger Z. Only spot of civilization in that stretch. I did HH away back when.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
October 1, 2013
Member since 12/10/2008
2,226 posts

First days for the EpicSki Gathering are Day 0 at Powder Mountain on Feb. 1 and Day 1 at Snowbasin on Sun, Feb. 2.  If you want a guide to follow at Snowbasin, that would be a good day to drive up.  After that the schedule is Snowbird, Alta, Snowbird, Alta, finishing up at Solitude on Feb. 7.

There will be a few Ski Divas around Powder Mountain on Feb. 1.  I'll be one of them, along with my 60-something ski buddy Bill and another Diva who is from DC.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
October 2, 2013
Member since 03/15/2004
1,287 posts

I hate to ask, but what is a "Ski Diva"? How many persons attend these events? Is the Epic Ski Gathering  similar to a ski club type ski trip? How would I hookup with the Epic Ski group?

eggraid
October 2, 2013
Member since 02/9/2010
466 posts

The shuttle isn;t a regular back and forth between the two areas, there is a schedule that it follows, so you have to really be on top of things to get on it. And it doesn't come to the "main" village, it goes to the smaller base area, which is really pretty close but you won't be able to step out of Eagle Springs and catch it right there.

jimmy
October 2, 2013
Member since 03/5/2004
2,650 posts

What is the name of that pub on the Upper level of the Aframe at Brighton. Molly something? Seemed like a good place for apres, maybe dinner?

 

JohnL wrote:

Ok keep thinking of more stuff. Bar/restaurant 0.5 miles down the road has killer breakfast per Roger Z. Only spot of civilization in that stretch. I did HH away back when.

 

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
October 2, 2013
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts

I skied at solitude once last year. The snow conditions tend to be good because it's it's a fairly high-altitude resort for Utah. I also appreciated the lack of crowds and even the wildlife. What I didn't like was the lack of vertical and the lift system. Lots of short lifts going nowhere. My wife felt the same way. With that said I didn't try some of the hairier stuff that johnl talks about off piste and around honeycomb Canyon.  If you are looking to maximize verticle, the Eagle Express is pretty good. It gives you 1500. I'd like to give Solitude another chance, maybe with someone who knows the resort well. I'm heading to UT again this year, planning to spend most days at the Basin with maybe a side trip to Alta.

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
October 2, 2013
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts

PS the Epic  gathering sounds ideal, but unfortunately I will not be there until later in the season.

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
October 2, 2013
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts

PS the Epic  gathering sounds ideal, but unfortunately I will not be there until later in the season.

Denis - DCSki Supporter
October 2, 2013
Member since 07/12/2004
2,170 posts

I am a big Solitude fan also.  It's a lot easier to find untracked powder there 2 or more days after a storm than in LCC.  The biggest problem is the abysmal lift layout, but not much they can do about it, it is dictated by the terrain.  At my age I need long rests on lft rides anyway. :) 

there are more frequent buses to BCC than LCC.  On powder days the LCC buses get too full to pick people up after the first few stops and you can be shut out.  I've even seen times when waiting at the start of the route on Wasatch Blvd will not get everyone on board.  Not a problem for the original poster staying at Solitude, but info for others.

While everyone raves about Honeycomb Canyon, there is less competition, about as good terrain, and easier return for your next ride in Headwall Forest.  But pay attention, I have been cliffed out there.  Also, the Sol Bright trail to Brighton starts in Headwall Forest.  But it is often closed due to avalanche danger,  in that case there is no bail out except the easiest, but still quite steep, trail in Headwall Forest.  

Solitude has a small but exceptionally beautiful cross country trail system.  The hut is located in a corner of the Brighton parking lot just as you enter that lot.  It is possible to ski down to the Solitude base which entails a drop of about 300 vertical feet over about 1.5 miles.  This can be done at least 2 ways and there are also a couple of loop trails, all told totaling perhaps 15 km.  they rent gear and price is reasonable.  The best part is that you can catch a shuttle that runs twice daily about 1 and 3 PM from the solitude base back to the XC center.  On my extended UT trips of recent years I would XC skate on warm days when it hadn't snowed for a while.  Skating on an inch of corn on a groomed skate lane is a blast and the gradual downhill with a few short ups makes it easy for an old fart like me.  Worth a day in a 10 day trip, in my opinion.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
October 3, 2013 (edited October 3, 2013)
Member since 12/10/2008
2,226 posts

snowsmith wrote:

I hate to ask, but what is a "Ski Diva"? How many persons attend these events? Is the Epic Ski Gathering  similar to a ski club type ski trip? How would I hookup with the Epic Ski group?

Glad you asked!  Gatherings are lots of fun.

There is an international online forum for women who ski called TheSkiDiva.com .  A Diva gathering includes Divas and Diva Dudes (husbands, SOs, friends) who get together for a week or so.  Diva Week West is Jan. 25-Feb. 1 at Snowbasin and Powder Mountain.  Expecting 30+ so a pretty good size group this time.  Will also be Diva group getting together at Stowe at some point TBD.  If your wife is willing to sign up, then she can learn more about what's happening.  Threads about Diva Weeks are in the Divas Only section.

Epicski.com is a very large international online ski forum, mostly North Americans.  They are having a Utah Gathering Feb. 1-7.  After Feb. 2, will be in LCC and finishing up at Solitude on Feb. 7.  Here's the main Utah Gathering thread:

http://epicski.onthesnow.com/t/119773/utah-gathering-2014-set-for-2-7-feb-2014

It's a coincidence that these two gatherings are in the same area and overlap a few days.

These gatherings are less formal than a ski club trip.  People make their own travel arrangements.  Can join in for a weekend, a long weekend, the whole week, or make it part of a ski safari of 2-3 weeks.  Meeting times and places are posted for a given day.  Those who manage to find the group can go off with volunteers who know the mountain well, assuming they can keep up.  All ability levels are welcome.  It's fair to say that the Divas are not as hard charging as the EpicSki Bears, although there are plenty of advanced skiers among the Divas and a few intermediates at EpicSki Gatherings.  Aprés ski and dinners together are informal and optional.

Quite a few DCSki members are also on EpicSki.  Same for Divas.

Scott - DCSki Editor
October 5, 2013
Member since 10/10/1999
1,091 posts

JohnL wrote:

I'm still getting used to the new DC Ski format, but there have been tons of detailed advice threads on Utah and Solitude. With the current search function, they're not showing up (but that could change as features get implemented.)

...

Under the Search Topics page, I've added a new option to "Search Subjects and Bodies" in addition to just searching Subjects. This should make it easier to dig up old posts.

The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
October 5, 2013 (edited October 5, 2013)
Member since 03/5/2004
3,060 posts

Dead or alive bodies???!!!

Seriously, what is a body?

The Colonel

 

Scott - DCSki Editor
October 6, 2013
Member since 10/10/1999
1,091 posts

The Colonel wrote:

Dead or alive bodies???!!!

Seriously, what is a body?

The Colonel

 

Is "Search Full Text of Messages" clearer?  ("Body" of a message means the text of the message.)

The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
October 6, 2013
Member since 03/5/2004
3,060 posts

Thanks...

The Colonel

NonstopSki
October 7, 2013
Member since 12/24/2007
132 posts

Solitude is great. All that is said about Honeycomb is true, but it's still great. Traversing over towards the top (skiers left) is my fav. I'll traverse, make some turns, then traverse some more. Once it bottoms out a bit I stay off trail in the trees for some fun. 

Headwall forest - never see it really open or with good snow. Lots of cliffs and trees were too tight for me from what I saw. I def. would explore if sun is hitting it right and you're cool getting cliffed out. I hope to conquer it next season! 

NonstopSki
October 7, 2013
Member since 12/24/2007
132 posts

also - go to alta and the bird if you've never been. You've got 10 days! 

JohnL
October 7, 2013
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts

comprex wrote:

 

Headwall Forest (front side)  doesn't really cliff out.    The big downside to Headwall forest is that the trees are so *tight* that you generally wind up following other skiers' paths through - and that generally packs down the available snow so it comes to resemble eastern tree skiing rather than Utah.     I've skied a lot of different gear through there, from Volkl P40s and  Line Mike Nick pros to Nordica SUVs to Elan 555s and 666s to Chubbs to Solly 1080s to Sugar Daddys and I'm starting to think that the perfect tool for HF is going to be something very similar to what Denis uses for Whitegrass - pretty stiff, pretty short (sl ski short, no longer than 170cm) and pretty fat (95mm+) 

   Black forest (Honeycomb Canyon side) cliffs out a fair bit, but there is usually an escape route to skiers right.   The trees back there are widely enough spaced so you can spot a cliff out - and route finding is a lot easier.    Easy route finding = smoother skiing without full stops = much less chance of sluff, slide or tree well cave in. 

 

 

NonstopSki wrote:

 

Headwall forest - never see it really open or with good snow. Lots of cliffs and trees were too tight for me from what I saw. I def. would explore if sun is hitting it right and you're cool getting cliffed out. I hope to conquer it next season! 

 

 

Headwall Forest does have one cliff section; I ski under/around it quite a bit. The last section of HF can be *very* steep, so depending upon the snow level, some of the lines may not be skiable. The upper half is wide open, the lower half is much tougher and can have some tight lines (or bumped up wider sections.) 98mm skis at 184 work fine for me in HF.

I've hit Headwall Forest countless times on powder days!

Black Forest (Honeycomb Canyon side) is everything from meadows to tight trees. Access is either via the top of Honeycomb Canyon or via gates on the front side. I personally think it is more meadows than trees (except the last 50 feet or so of vert) with one tightly treed section that is the exception. There are only a few cliffs in there and I haven't found that the drainages cliff you out. The cliffs are down near the Honeycomb return lift, and I think that section may be actually called Here Be Dragons and Navarone. That entire face can get degraded by the sun, though.

I warned about the gate at the top of the Powderhorn II lift (accesses Middle Slope, Parachute, Milk Run, etc.) Some of the drainages that suck you down the hill do cliff out. Or at best, you have to straightline a narrow steep section between rocks. I've had to take some mandatory 8-10 foot jumps in there. There are also roped-off cliff sections (40-50 footers.)

Denis - DCSki Supporter
October 8, 2013 (edited October 8, 2013)
Member since 07/12/2004
2,170 posts

Looked at the map and also tried to jog my memory.  Here are the results.  Headwall Forest is on the lift riders left as you ascend the summit lift.   The steepest and tightest lines and the cliff are close to the lift line.  You can't see the cliff from the lift because of the dense trees but someone standing at the top of it wearing a bright jacket could probably be glimpsed by a lift rider.  After getting off the lift you go down a short blue trail, which turns black as it skirts the top of HF.  In general the lines get more open and milder as you proceed further down this trail, which is to skiers right.  However all of it is quite steep.  If you go all the way to the end you are at the start of the Sol-Bright trail to Brighton, which I've not taken, and the corner chute.  If Sol-Bright is closed your best option is the corner chute, which is a forgiving 40+ feet wide, quite steep at the top but mellows steadily as you descend.  There are nice well spaced trees on both sides of corner chute, although I have not gone very far to the right; the map hints at cliffs in there.  What I like about HF, besides it being lightly patronized, is that the whole area is in deep shade most of the day so the snow stays good there longer than anywhere else.

http://www.skisolitude.com/downloads/winter_trail_map.pdf

and, oh yes, if you take corner chute and beyond it you are in for a bit of a climb out of a sag in order to return to the lift.

JohnL
October 9, 2013 (edited October 9, 2013)
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts

Denis makes a good point, Headwall Forest is sheltered and faces pretty close to due north, so it has some of the best snow quality on the mountain for advanced skiers. Some of the other very nice terrain at Solitude has funky sun exposure, so the conditions can degrade quickly. On a powder day, that is not a problem.

With the exception of the one cliff, I don't think there is any marked tightness/steepness difference left to right in Headwall Forest. (I've got tons of miles in there.) It is also different from skiing Eastern hardwoods; you are skiing narural slots in the trees, so it is similar to skiing tight narrow trails hidden in the trees. If you get creative, you can have some fun lines going from one slot to the next. But the slots can get skied off. And depending upon the slot you choose, they can get real steep and tight at the last face before the runout.

Corner Chute is the obvious way down in that section of the mountain. It can get really bumped up. Corner Chute and  most lines in Headwall Forest require a short skate out. (Unless you do an agressive tuck at the last section of vertical.)

Edit: the traverse that Denis mentioned is the way to enter Headwall Forest and Corner Chute. It is flat for a bit, so it can be a bit of a terrain trap, especially on a deep day. Need to keep your speed until the mountain steepens. Kinda like Off The Wall at T-Line.

snowsmith - DCSki Supporter
October 10, 2013
Member since 03/15/2004
1,287 posts

Thanks for all of the excellent suggestions. Headwall Forest sounds intriguing.  I am also hoping to ski Alta and Sniowbird.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
October 10, 2013 (edited October 10, 2013)
Member since 12/10/2008
2,226 posts

snowsmith wrote:

Thanks for all of the excellent suggestions. Headwall Forest sounds intriguing.  I am also hoping to ski Alta and Sniowbird.

By all means go to Alta.  Be sure to find the Supreme Lift.  Very easy for a mix ability group to take different routes down and meet up at the based of Supreme.  Starting at the Albion base may be better for your wife.

From how you describe your wife, not so sure Snowbird is a good idea.  I got bored at Snowbird as an intermediate long ago because there wasn't that much terrain to play on.  It was a ski club trip and there weren't others for me to ski with.  Having skied Mineral Basin in recent years and come down the so-called easy groomer on the front side, I would not take a timid intermediate on the tram.  My ski buddy and I did it a couple years ago in April because everything was still frozen up top.  Took some work to get down.  It's a cat track that's pretty narrow in places.  That's also true of the "easy" way down from the top on the Mineral Basin side.  If she's willing to ski alone for a bit, consider having her stay at Alta and get yourself an Alta/Bird ticket if there is good visibility and the connector at the top of the Sugarloaf lift is open.  You can go over to Mineral Basin for some runs and get back easily.  Better yet, have her take a lesson at Alta while you ski Snowbird.

Bonzski
9 months ago
Member since 10/21/2015
509 posts

I'll be at Solitude this Fri & Sat. Lots of good advice in this thread from 6 yrs ago.  Anybody been recently with something to add?

dwm8a
9 months ago
Member since 02/23/2017
44 posts

I love Honeycomb Canyon and the area served by the Summit Express lift (headwall forrest, etc.). If I wanted to introduce someone to off piste terrain, Honeycomb Canyon might be the very best place to do it - the runs are long, everything funnels to the bottom of the canyon so it's more or less impossible to get lost, and there's quite a bit of variety to accommodate different ability levels. The big drawback to Honeycomb is that it's impossible to do laps; you have to ride a bunch of different lifts to get back to where you started. This is not the case for the area by Summit Express.

It's a great mountain, and generally less crowded than Snowbird/Alta.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 12/10/2008
2,226 posts

Bonzski wrote:

I'll be at Solitude this Fri & Sat. Lots of good advice in this thread from 6 yrs ago.  Anybody been recently with something to add?

Haven't re-read the advice from 6 years ago.  Fair to say that although the terrain is essentially the same, have been some significant changes in recent years.  On the plus side, the Summit lift is now an express lift.  One the minus side, there is no longer any free parking. Last winter the traffic and parking situation for BCC was a pretty big mess.  Solitude is not quite as empty as it used to be, especially on weekends or for powder days.

Be interested in your impressions.  I'll be in SLC next week.  Going to Honeycomb Canyon is on the list.  My ski buddy has never been there with good snow.

Blue Don 1982 - DCSki Supporter
9 months ago
Member since 01/13/2008
1,430 posts

Bonzski wrote:

I'll be at Solitude this Fri & Sat. Lots of good advice in this thread from 6 yrs ago.  Anybody been recently with something to add?

I see your timing really sucks.   Make sure they plow the driveway.  I'll see you on Sat.

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Salt Lake City UT
316 AM MST Wed Feb 5 2020

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT
TONIGHT TO 4 PM MST FRIDAY...

* WHAT...Snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 1 to 2 feet.

 

Muddytyres
9 months ago
Member since 03/26/2019
8 posts

We're at Alta right now and the snow is coming down really good. Have a great weekend once you get here! Oh- and uber or lyft from the airport, unless there's only one person it's less expensive than the shuttle

 

UintaTerp
9 months ago
Member since 11/21/2019
5 posts

Usually Ski Solitude 1-2 times per week.  Yeah the traffic has gotten bad and parking is no longer free.  MarzNC is right about powder days.  Was there a couple of weeks ago an patrol didn't get Honeycomb open until about 12:30.  The rush of people on the traverses was just too much, especially with the boarders taking off their boards and trying to walk.  Went back the next day and still skied waist deep snow though it had settled a bit.  

I will end with one bit of advice  When a sign says, "Cliff Area"  keep in mind that said cliff could be anywhere from 4-80 feet.   In other words don't ignore warning signs.   

Bonzski
9 months ago
Member since 10/21/2015
509 posts
I have ten days of skiing in rain, sleet & fog. I won't mind crowds if there's fresh pow.
Muddytyres
9 months ago
Member since 03/26/2019
8 posts

Alta is closed today and we're on interlodge restriction. Stranded until prob tomorrow(guess were sleeping in the lobby) Be careful traveling today!

Bonzski
9 months ago
Member since 10/21/2015
509 posts
Leaving SLC for Soli in about an hour. Have 4wd.
dwm8a
9 months ago
Member since 02/23/2017
44 posts

Curious what it's like at Solitude today. A friend of mine is in SLC for the weekend and was thwarted today by all the road and lift closures. 

Bonzski
9 months ago
Member since 10/21/2015
509 posts

Arrived ~5pm Thurs, road up wasn't a little snow covered but very drivable.  Today only 2 lifts (moonbeam & sunrise) running @9am but no long after they got them all open.  Steady winds on the top half of the mountain. Honeycomb canyon was closed again today for avy shots etc....that's 2 storm days, hopefully tomorrow.  Several locals told me the new snow was "weird", not their typical light fluff.  I noticed ever so briefly and was grinning ear to ear to be in some fresh deep stuff.  Lots of tree options, got first tracks in the trees between sunrise and summit when the opened the connector between them around 1030am.  Best runs were off Summit. No problem with crowds imho, longest waits were 5-10min on Apex and Summit.

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