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Old 12-14-2009   #1
Commerce, Georgia
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 28
Suggestions - Ski Trip to Utah

So. My wife found a really good deal on flights to Salt Lake City so we booked them and now are going skiing there instead of Taos. I appreciate the replies about Taos and I think we might try to make it there when it's warmer and maybe do some kayaking

We are going to Salt Lake the week of Sundance so I think we want to stay away from the resorts at ParK City. Figure it would be really crowded and more expensive to stay. I guess we need to decide between Snowbird, Alta, Brighten or Solitude.

Which of the four would be the least crowded the third week of January, the most affordable and have the best choice of intermediate runs. Do any of them have any intermediate bowls that we could check out?

I think we are going to take a shuttle to the resort so I guess we will be spending all of our time there. So, does one of the four mentioned above have better places to eat? And, what's the deal with alcohol?

Thanks. Bryan

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Old 12-14-2009   #2
fids11's Avatar
Rifle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 111
Sorry, this reply will be brutal BUT my suggestion is ALTA ALTA ALTA ALTA ALTA!!!!!! Unless you don't like powder....

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Old 12-14-2009   #3
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 302
I lived in Part City for 5 years. One thing I can tell you is that Sundance is probably the best time of year to ski at PCMR or Deer Valley. If it snows there won't be a soul on the slopes, everyone that visits that week is there for the film fest.

You should give Snowbasin some consideration as well.
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Old 12-14-2009   #4
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Alta is the biggest, but I would look at Solitude.
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Old 12-14-2009   #5
Commerce, Georgia
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 28
Just got finished looking at Alta. Skiing looks good but the places to stay for ski in/out are super expensive and really don't look very nice. Looks like you get a much better deal on a much nicer place at Snowbird.
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Old 12-15-2009   #6
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 51
Here is a link to some decent rates at snowbird...

Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort - Snowbird Hot Deals
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Old 12-16-2009   #7
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 700
skiing during sundance is some of the best during the year. The black shirts crowd up mainstreet, but don't ski.

If you are an expert, then go to snow bird and Alta. If you like big fast groomers, deer valley.

Again, don't let Sundance scare you away. While I hate it because shopping and eating out are a hassle, it clears out the slopes for skiing.
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Old 12-16-2009   #8
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 347
Alta. Period. Best day of skiing I've ever had was at Alta. If you can't find "ski in ski out" at Alta itself, just stay at Snowbird or in SLC itself and drive there. Its worth it. Remember, downtown SLC is only 30 mins away.
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Old 12-16-2009   #9
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 471
Not sure which is the 3rd week of January...but Outdoor Retailer Show is there from Jan. 20th to 24th. It is a massive snow sports retail show in downtown SLC....biggest in america.

Not too many of these folks will be crowding the slopes. But it does mean that prices for lodging will be significantly higher in downtown SLC during this time. All restaurants and bars will be jacked. I have been many times.

So if you were wavering on staying downtown, i would not. Your cheaper option would be to stay in Sandy (just at the base of the 2 Canyons (to alta/Bird and Solitude/Brighton). It is cheap but not much to do (suburbia).

I went to Snowbasin for the first time a few years ago and loved it...The top 500 feet of vertical reminds me of Jackson Hole (steep, rock, short hikes to chutes) must have snow to go there. Then mellows into incredible groomers and funky terrain (Snowmass, park City, Vail)

Otherwise all resorts are great. Snowbird being the most challenging, followed by the more spread out and quieter Alta. Solitude has all kinds of great skiing and a smaller feel to it. It has steeps and crusiers for everyone in a shorter vertical drop.

None of these resorts have a plethora of restaruants or bars when compared to "typical" mtn towns in Wyoming/colorado.

Drinkiing is not a problem. The beer is weaker unless you buy the beer with a state sticker on it (usually a little extra cash). Cocktails have exactly one shot in them....ask for a sidecar with your cocktail. "gimme a whiskey and ginnger with a sidecar" this means you get your whiskey with ginger and an extra shot of whiskey to pour into your drink. A must do. I normally drink downtwon where you don't need to be "sponsored" by a club memeber anymore since the the resorts a club may charge you $5 to become a memeber and be on a sposnors list. They'll tell you at the biggie.

Its all good out there. Even the Canyons has massive terrain and groomers...similar resort to Park City.
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Old 12-16-2009   #10
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 504
All of the cottonwood areas are sweet. I like Alta the best for the snow and terrain. Some people don't like it because there is a lot of traversing and/or hiking to get to the best stuff. It's really short, but some people just hate to do any work at a ski area. There is some good stuff right off the lift, but not too much.

I've only skied Snowbird a couple times. The tram is kind of a pain IMO, but I hate taking my skis off. Brighton has some fun terrain and Solitude has some good steeps. But the main reason you ski SLC is for the pow.

SLC is probably better for nightlife and cheaper lodging, but you can get screwed in a big dump if they close the road up the canyon. I suppose if that happens you go to PC or Ogden. Plus, they have pretty frequent chain laws that are often ignored, but I have seen people get cited for it. Something to consider with the old rental. It's only 8-12 miles up the canyon.

Never skied outside the Cottonwoods in Utah. Best skiing I've ever done. Bring the snorkel and get some power leashes!

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