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  • Salt Lake City Utah Trip - Need Planning Input

    I lucked out and scored a business trip to Salt Lake City the week of February 9, 2015 and will be extending the trip with a colleague from work to ski for 3 or 4 days. I saw the information that Bad Wolf posted re Westfest. I need some help planning the trip and would appreciate input from anybody who has been to SLC to ride.

    --We are looking to save some money and hassle and are planning on staying downtown and using the Ski Bus service to get to/from the resorts. That means we will have access to Snowbird, Alta, Brighton and Solitude. I saw the Westfest information regarding the SuperPass, which is a good deal.

    --I have the ski bus map and know which hotels are on the route. I use TripAdvisor and other sites to help scope out hotels.

    I welcome any input but have specific questions:

    1. Has anybody used the ski bus service and what has your experience been?

    2. Has anybody used TRAX (light rail) to get to/from the airport to downtown and how was the service?

    3. The guy I am going with and I are of similar abilities (solid East Coast skiers comfortable on any black diamonds in our region, not mogul skiers, have never skied true powder, favor groomed terrain and are more cruisers than bombers). Any specific feedback on Alta, Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude in terms of type of terrain, variety of terrain, groomed terrain percentage, vibe, areas at the resort to definitely hit, areas of the resort to avoid, etc? We will have at least 3 days to ski so we will hit 3 resorts. If we ski a 4th day we could hit the resort we haven't gone to yet or ski our favorite again of the 3 we did hit.

    4. Must hit places to eat and drink (understanding the limitations of drinking in Utah) in downtown SLC or at these 4 resorts?

    Thanks!
    In pursuit of Peace, Harmony and Flow.....
    Think Like a Mountain

    Boards ridden, some owned: Sherpas, Spruce 120 "STS", Blunts, DS110 custom prototypes, Rockered Condors, Revolts, DLPs, Summit Custom 110s, Summit Marauders, Head 94s, Raptor prototypes, Osprey prototypes.

  • #2
    Question 1. NOPE

    Question 2. NOPE

    Question 3. I haven't been to Alta or Snowbird. Solitude and Brighton are very chill, old-school resorts. There's lots of nice terrain at both. Brighton has trees, trees, and more trees.

    Question 4. There are many restaurants in the SLC area. I'm not a big boozer, so no advice there.

    Too bad your trip isn't going to be over the time of Westfest. I'd like to ride with you again.

    Skiboards:
    2013 Spruce Sherpas w/Tyrolia Peak 11s
    2015 RVL8 Blunt XLs w/Tyrolia Attack 13s
    2018 Spruce Crossbows w/Tyrolia Peak 11s
    2017 RVL8 Sticky Icky Ickys w/Tyrolia SX 10s


    Boots:
    Salomon X-Pro 80

    Past boards: Salomon Snowblades, Line MNPs 89 & 98 cm, Five-Os, Bullets, Jedis, Spruce 120s, LE 125s, Ospreys
    Summit 110s, Nomads, Jades, RVL8 ALPs, BWPs, KTPs, Tanshos, Rockets, DLPs, Blunts, Condors, RCs, Revolts, Spliffs

    Comment


    • #3
      The ski bus is very easy to use and is included in the Superpass. They have ski racks inside the bus. There are less buses and routes from downtown so I would suggest staying in Sandy/Midvale. There is plenty to do around there for entertainment.

      Snowbird is an advanced mountain with a lot of steeps bowls and extreme terrain. Very much like Squaw Valley. It consistently ranks in all the top ten lists and is the one resort you must do. Alta is next door and skier only, it is a little more user friendly. Both resorts are huge, so do some research and have a plan for the day. Epic Ski has some great reviews and guides on how to make the most of your visit.

      Is there anyway to come a week early and ski with us? You know we have to debate ski length and poles over dinner
      Just these, nothing else !

      Comment


      • #4
        Q1- yes, the drivers were very friendly and helpful. The canyon roads are very dangerous during storms and you'll be thankful they are driving. We stayed south of SLC in Sandy Utah at I believe it was a Best Western (a very nice one) and the bus stopped right across the street from it.

        Q2 - no

        Q3 - Brighton is my favorite. Checkout the Interconnect, that would be an epic experience. See if this video speaks to your heart.
        http://www.skiutah.com/explore/the-interconnect-tour

        Q4 - tons of places to eat. If are staying on the SLC side, I would just forget about drinking on this trip, whatever you do don't drink and then try to drive those canyon roads. On the East side of the mountains where Park City and Deer Valley are you can find some micro breweries with cool names like Polygamist Porter.

        Q5 - OK there's is no question 5, but there is another cool experience there you may not know about. You can make reservations to ride along with a professional bobsled driver down the Olympic track on the Park City side. You can save $55 if you make your reservation before Dec 19th. This is a bucket-list type experience.
        http://utaholympiclegacy.com/activit...-bobsled-ride/
        You could make a day out of doing the East side of the mountains. Ride the bobsled early in the morning, slide Park City or Deer Vally during the day then hit a micro brewery.

        Comment


        • #5
          If you like mexican food, the Red Iguana is amazing and decently priced! Walk from downtown on North Temple West, popular spot for skiers and snowboarders passing thru the city as well.

          I stayed at the Camelot Inn and Hostel when I was there, free parking and the place is pretty decent for the price. less than a mile from downtown.
          Fox-Trotting - Thrifty Wanderlust & Adventures

          Skiboard Magazine

          Comment


          • #6
            #1. We used the ski bus every day we were there and would do it the same way next time. Great conversations with other riders at the end of the day. We met two older local dudes--something like 68 and 70?--one of whom had just done Snowbird on bigfoots. In powder. Awesome.
            We also stayed in midvale/sandy area. We're big fans of the crystal inn chain because they have a full breakfast we load up on before heading out: waffles, eggs, sometimes biscuits and gravy!
            #3. We went 4 or 5 years ago and hit big powder; in that case, it won't matter which resort you go to. You're gonna have a good time. So when I say we loved solitude and Alta, that's with lots of snow. We loved the laid back, quieter vibe of solitude. It was there that we skiid and shared a pitcher of beer with a live-in-a-van-down-by-the-river local ski bum who was rocking ski blades in powder. Alta had so much powder that we never even got up to the top, and still had an epic day exploring trees and getting unstuck on lower hills. I do regret not going to Snowbird, which was my fault because at the time I was scared to.
            Anyway, I'm so happy for you that you have a chance to do this. It's a great trip!!
            '07 "soft" ALPs
            Eyeball DLPs
            125 LEs
            Ospreys mounted bindings
            Crossbows
            Spruce riser release bindings
            Sometimes borrower of Chad's spare Blunt XLs

            Comment


            • #7
              Park City or Deer Valley?

              Looking at the trail maps and doing some research I think Alta and Snowbird might be too biased toward advanced terrain. I am a bit more adventurous than the guy I am going with and looking at the maps I think I might be reluctant to ski a lot of the terrain at either place.

              I figured out there is a ski bus from downtown SLC to Park City and Deer Valley. Any thoughts on which one of those to hit based on what I said we are looking for in my original post?

              Thanks!
              In pursuit of Peace, Harmony and Flow.....
              Think Like a Mountain

              Boards ridden, some owned: Sherpas, Spruce 120 "STS", Blunts, DS110 custom prototypes, Rockered Condors, Revolts, DLPs, Summit Custom 110s, Summit Marauders, Head 94s, Raptor prototypes, Osprey prototypes.

              Comment


              • #8
                Between Park City and Deer Valley it's a toss up for me. It's the same tourist vibe at each. I would look at the scheduled events at each of their websites for something that may be worthwhile going to.

                Another option from SLC if you have a car is to go South to Robert Redford's place Sundance. It's a neat little place. When I was there they had a front side full of nice blue and green runs. At the back of the property at the summit was another lift that tokk you to another area where the black runs were. At the base is a very cool restaraunt with tons movie pictures and memorabelia.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bluewing View Post

                  I figured out there is a ski bus from downtown SLC to Park City and Deer Valley. Any thoughts on which one of those to hit based on what I said we are looking for in my original post?

                  Thanks!
                  PCMR is probably the most user friendly and has plenty of blue groomers and baby bumps to keep you happy. Sempai, Rick, Barb and I spent an entire afternoon doing nothing but the runs off the King Con lift. There must be over a dozen long blue groomers in that one section alone. There is a great interactive trail map that helps you get around. They divide the mountain up into "zones" so you don't accidentally get on to terrain you can't handle. It is family friendly, easy to access and affordable.

                  To be honest all of the seven SLC/Park City resorts are massive enough to keep you happy all day, no matter what your level. The one exception may be Snowbird, which does have a lot of bowls. You really need some local knowledge to stay out of trouble there.

                  Another way to look at it is to choose the resort that suits your personality or vibe. Alta and Snowbird are very commercial big mountain resorts with a reputation for extreme terrain. Solitude and Brighton are more easy going, laid back, old school style. PCMR is the ultimate in user friendly, Deer Valley is very expensive and caters to the high end. The Canyons is known for immaculate grooming and heated lift seats!

                  Not sure that I would trek to Park City from SLC. My wife and I stayed in downtown SLC a few years ago and tried to hit resorts in both areas. It really didn't work very well as we were close to neither area. It was inconvenient with a car, I definitely wouldn't want stay in downtown Salt Lake and use the bus. I don't think we will stay in Salt Lake or try to mix the areas again. We stayed in Park City and did the three resorts there at The Powdown. This year we are staying in Sandy and doing the four Cottonwood resorts. I would just pick one area to stay and ski in, you won't be disappointed with either.

                  CANtoo summed up the Cottonwoods perfectly.
                  Just these, nothing else !

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the input. My trip is set:

                    --Staying at the Best Western Plus Cotton Tree Inn in Sandy, Utah. They have a shuttle that takes you to/from the ski bus and anyplace within about a 5 mile radius. Good price too - my coworker and I are sharing a suite and it is around $145/night so split 2 ways with a free hot breakfast included a pretty good deal.

                    --Getting Superpass so light rail, ski bus and lift tickets are all included.

                    --Taking the TRAX light rail out of SLC to Sandy and the ski bus to/from the resorts so no need for a rental car.


                    --Day 1: Brighton
                    --Day 2: Alta
                    --Day 3: Solitude

                    I found a nice insider's guide to skiing Alta by ability level If anybody has an insider tips on Brighton and Solitude send them my way.

                    This trip will be epic for me - first time skiing in Utah and only the second time skiing out West.
                    In pursuit of Peace, Harmony and Flow.....
                    Think Like a Mountain

                    Boards ridden, some owned: Sherpas, Spruce 120 "STS", Blunts, DS110 custom prototypes, Rockered Condors, Revolts, DLPs, Summit Custom 110s, Summit Marauders, Head 94s, Raptor prototypes, Osprey prototypes.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Man-Oh-Man, you're gonna have a good time! Now just pray for knee deep champagne powder

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You should have plenty of snow waiting for you when you arrive. It's been dumping at those three resorts the last 48 hours, and I watched video last night where they are expecting another storm with around a foot or more.

                        Skiboards:
                        2013 Spruce Sherpas w/Tyrolia Peak 11s
                        2015 RVL8 Blunt XLs w/Tyrolia Attack 13s
                        2018 Spruce Crossbows w/Tyrolia Peak 11s
                        2017 RVL8 Sticky Icky Ickys w/Tyrolia SX 10s


                        Boots:
                        Salomon X-Pro 80

                        Past boards: Salomon Snowblades, Line MNPs 89 & 98 cm, Five-Os, Bullets, Jedis, Spruce 120s, LE 125s, Ospreys
                        Summit 110s, Nomads, Jades, RVL8 ALPs, BWPs, KTPs, Tanshos, Rockets, DLPs, Blunts, Condors, RCs, Revolts, Spliffs

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sempai View Post
                          You should have plenty of snow waiting for you when you arrive. It's been dumping at those three resorts the last 48 hours, and I watched video last night where they are expecting another storm with around a foot or more.
                          Hopefully the snow gods will shine upon me and my coworker when we are there President's Day weekend...
                          In pursuit of Peace, Harmony and Flow.....
                          Think Like a Mountain

                          Boards ridden, some owned: Sherpas, Spruce 120 "STS", Blunts, DS110 custom prototypes, Rockered Condors, Revolts, DLPs, Summit Custom 110s, Summit Marauders, Head 94s, Raptor prototypes, Osprey prototypes.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Cancelled!

                            Well, fate struck and my business trip to SLC has been cancelled and so now is my ski trip. Bummer.

                            I suspected it was too good to be true so I am not really disappointed. I am glad that all plans I made were easily reversible though! Maybe someday I will make it to SLC to ski. Not this year - paying the full freight is not in the budget. Will have to line up a trip in the Northeast for a few days to something I can drive to.
                            In pursuit of Peace, Harmony and Flow.....
                            Think Like a Mountain

                            Boards ridden, some owned: Sherpas, Spruce 120 "STS", Blunts, DS110 custom prototypes, Rockered Condors, Revolts, DLPs, Summit Custom 110s, Summit Marauders, Head 94s, Raptor prototypes, Osprey prototypes.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              That sucks. Sorry to hear you will not have a chance to experience SLC. Made it there twice last season and it was worth the trips.


                              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                              sigpic


                              Osprey, Sherpa, Custom Coda 120WT, Custom DS110, Condor (Green), Spliff

                              Custom Twist Out duck foot bindings, Bombers (custom duck foot base plate and 3 pads), releasable S810ti on custom duck foot riser

                              Nordica N3 NXT ski boots (best so far)


                              Wife: 104 SII & 100 Blunt XL with S810ti bindings on custom "adjustable duck foot" risers

                              Loaners: 125LE, 105 EMP, 101 KTP, 100 Blunt XL, 98 Slapdash, 88 Blunts

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