Anyone been arround Utah?
We're planning a Trip to Utah this Season. Does anybody now some good places? We will rent a car. How about Colorado, Wyoming or New Mexico? Would be great to get some advices!
we havent booked yet but we plan to go late january / early february. I'd like to go for three weeks.
@TobyMcGreen That sounds like a plan! I would always have a look at the weather forecasts when you're there. Utah is great, the LCC and BCC have some amazing skiing, but it gets tracked fast (especially inbound). If you're willing to leave the boundary then there are a lot of possibilities as well (always go out with the right knowledge and beacon, shovel and probe). Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee in Wyoming are worth the drive if they get some freshies.One day, they'll invent synthetic powder, ban all kinds of work and give you a free liftpass...
I've heard a lot about Solitude to be a good place for powderhunters...
How is the out of bound riding in the US? Is it similar to Japan with those gates or can you go where you want? We allways check avalange bulletins and are riding with ABS, beacon, shovel etc.
Solitude is a pretty nice place. The BCC is usually more quiet than the LCC. We had great untracked powder in Solitude, while it was really busy in Snowbird and Alta.
Lots of people simply hike up the mountain before they go to work in the Salt Lake area. There's a lot of touring activity. t depends on the resort. In the resorts, it's quite similar to Japan. Snowbird for example has a couple of gates from which you can enter the sidecountry or can go deeper into the backcountry.
With the coming el Nino, the place to be is the far South West.
That said, I've lived in Salt Lake City, UT but now spend more time skiing around Ogden (Snowbasin and Powder Mountain) where it's more relaxed than Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC) or Big Cottonwood Canyon (BCC). Alta-Snowbird is an awesome complex, one of the best in North America, great terrain, super snow on average. There is good touring access from Alta, Snowbird is more restrictive. I do think LCC is overly crowded with too much cost and attitude. BCC is a littler mellower and there is great snow at both Solitude and Brighton and killer terrain too. Good touring there.
But as mentioned, the SW is a good bet this year, particularly after January.
One option is to fly into SLC, get a good car and scope options. You can ski around SLC for a few days to check things out and then if it's firing off around Taos or Telluride, drive Southeast from SLC, going through Spanish Forks, over Soldier Summit to the Green River plateau, past Moab and Arches National Park (worth a stop) through Grand Junction, then take 50 to 550 down through Ridgeway to Telluride. Telluride is awesome, among the best skiing and incredible touring. It's about 7 hour drive from SLC to Telluride. Good Telluride crash space is the Victorian (2 blocks from the gondola) or the Camel Garden (right on the gondy plaza).
After acclimatizing at T-ride (base is 8800 feet above sea level), drive over to Silverton in 2 hours (only open Thursday-Sunday) for great skiing. You can't tour there and will be required to carry beacon, shovel, probe and ski in a guided group, but it's really amazing skiing. Lift ticket @ Silverton are $140 and single heli drops are $150. But the town is very inexpensive and still an unfettered true American West town. There's lots of hotel options in Silverton.
From Silverton, drive 3 hours through Durango to Wolf Creek where the terrain is mostly mellow, but they get a ton of snow. You can stop in Pagosa Springs for hot spings. Taos is another 2.5 hours from there. Taos is another of the grande olde dames of Americn skiing and has a lot of choice steep terrain. Good lodging at the Abominable Snowmansion hostel in Arroyo Seco or Austing Haus for a little more upscale. Be sure to have a drink and dinner @ the St. Bernard in Taos ski valley proper.
You can arrange to leave your rental car in Albuquerque. Ski Santa Fe is an OK ski area and the old town Square in Albuquerque is another genuine taste of the American West.
I may be in Silverton and Telluride around the middle to ends of February.
*message edited by Chester_Tartsnatcher at 11 Oct 2015 23:26 (6% edited)
For LCC, Alta is comprised of smaller lodges. The Peruvian and the Alta Lodge are my favorites but the Goldminers Daughter is a little less expensive. Snowbird has 2 huge lodges, the Iron Blossom and the Cliff, each housed in enormous concrete buildings like those in France. The Cliff has a sushi restaurant. That more or less summarizes the LCC 'on hill' lodging with lots of less expensive hotels down in Sandy near the mouth of LCC.
For BCC, there's a bunch of condos and a nice hotel at Solitude. But the best deal is the Brighton lodge which is right at the base of Brighton, just a mile up the road from Solitude.
Do not underestimate the hassle in driving up either LCC or BCC. When there's a storm, LCC is notorious for closing with long backups of cars waiting to get up the canyon. BCC closures aren't as frequent, but they still happen and can harsh a powder day.
Ogden is a funny place with not much to recommend for stays downtown. They're cleaning up the downtown area and there's a number of good bars and restaurants. Check out Alleged for a cool scene. The Ben Lomond is a bigger older hotel right downtown and there's the Hampton, also older and then a more corporate Hilton. Out closer to Snow Basin and Powder Mountain are some condos on Pineview reservoir called Lakeside.
*message edited by Chester_Tartsnatcher at 12 Oct 2015 14:53 (1% edited)
Telluride is a beautiful place with some of the best skiing in N. America. The bases are split between the old town and "mountain village" where the latter is a new development with lots of condos and sprawling slopeside second homes. Stay in the old town, the best deals are at the Victorian and Telluride Mountainside. The Camel's Garden is more expensive, but super nice and ski in/ski out, right next to the main gondola that connects the old town with Mountain Village. The gondola runs until midnight and is free to foot passengers.
The best restaurant is La Marmotte with the Cosmopolitan being a close second. There's a ton of other restaurants on the main street and Hunga's is a standard spot for Asian food.
Ski wise, the timid can take the gondy up and ski easy runs down to the mountain village lifts like the Village Express where the Mountain Village side has more to offer the beginner and intermediate. There are some easier runs down the old town side, but not as many.
For better skiers, there's so much to choose from, it's hard to enumerate it all. From the old town gondy base by the Camel's Garden there's the old double chair called the Oak Street Lift. Take that up to the Plunge Lift (chair 9), a triple fixed grip chair and ride that to the top.
From the top of chair 9, either run a lap back down any of those runs varying in difficulty from advanced to nutty bump runs and a ton of secret pow stashes in the trees and glades. Alternatively, head dow into the Apex area if the snow is good for some nice glade skiing. Eventually make you way over to the Gold Hills lift where there's a lot of really good expert terrain and access to the Revelation lift and Bear Creek. Be careful in Bear Creek since control work is minimal and it's notoriously dangerous for avalanches. Upper Bear Creek is as good as it gets for touring in America.
*message edited by Chester_Tartsnatcher at 12 Oct 2015 17:14
@Chester_Tastsnatcher WOW! Thats a ton of information. Thank you very much! That will help me a lot!!
Our plan is to Rent a Car in SLC and hunt for the best Powder. I'll sort all your information and plan the trip of my life
Maybe we bump into each other
*message edited by TobyMcGreen at 13 Oct 2015 22:02 (7% edited)
Glad to be of use, Toby.
The fundamental question to ask yourself in planning a trip like this is whether you are willing to spend more money and compete with more stress for good snow, knowing that the pow gets skied up quickly at the famous resorts.
If that doesn't bother you, then head for LCC or Jackson Hole.
If you're more inclined to look for a quality experience and adventure, I really recommend the road trip to the smaller places where things are less expensive and the good snow lasts longer. I should have mentioned Crested Butte in the loop from SLC to Albuquerque since it's a rad hill with a great little town that's about 2 hours from Montrose.
My wife and I used to go to Big Sky and Jackson Hole and also stop at the littler places like Montana Snow Bowl, Lost Trail or Discovery Basin. After several years we realized that we had a much better time skiing the lesser known places. Similarly, when I go to Europe, I don't go to the big resorts, but instead hit the smaller, less well known ones.
*message edited by Chester_Tartsnatcher at 13 Oct 2015 22:28
Here's a Wiki I wrote about Snowbird, UT.
Snowbird, Alta, Brighton and Solitude all have the just about the same snow, with a little more at Alta. But it still has to snow! It it hasn't snowed for a day or two it will be hard to find true powder as a visitor. Snowbird and Alta have more steeper terrain than Brighton/Solitude - but they are certainly worth a visit if you have the days to do it. The Park City resorts almost always get appreciably less snow.(they are not why they say Utah has the Greatest Snow on Earth). If you have the time Jackson Hole is about 4 hrs up the road, and is worth a trip, but skiing SLC is not a mistake. I stay in La Quinta, Midvale, about 25 minutes away for $65/room. A day trip to Snowbasin is worth it. Powder - YES! - but you never know about mother nature. It snows on ave 100 inches/month in Jan/Feb but it can be hit or miss - but almost for sure the conditions will be nice Jan/Feb. Colorado gets less snow. Rolling the dice on SLC - Snowbird/Alta, is you best bet.