1st out west trip with wife and kids (6 and 10 years old). Myself, I haven't been out west in 15+ years. After 2 years of melt downs in the east during winter vacations, I promised everyone we would head west for snow this year. We weren't dissapointed.

IKON passholders. Wasatch was a no brainer for first family trip. I thought the smaller places would work out for the wife and kids. Stayed in Solitude Village. Easy travel. Quiet. I was glued to the weather the week before and it looked like we were going to get skunked on new snow after all that snowfall early feb. It ended up not being the case. We didn't get a huge dump, but refreshes all week were nice. Was going to day trip to Snowbird, but never did. A reason to come back next year.

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Milly Bowl - Brighton

So basically ended up with 1.5 days at Brighton and 3 at Solitude. The kids really preferred Solitude over Brighton for whatever reason. For snow, we ended up with an inch or 2 overnight into monday, 3-5 inches into tuesday (none was forecast), an inch into wednesday, no snow into thursday, and then 2-3 inches into Friday.

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view of sidecountry from Solbright trail


Brighton



I Really liked the terrain off of the Milly Express at Brighton. Worth a bunch of laps. The Great Western Express also was worth a bunch of laps. Great natural terrain features at both areas. The natural snow at Brighton seemed a bit better than Solitude, but it was all good. The middle part of the mountain was not remarkable in any way and besides a few steep shots at the top, it was flatter than Stratton. I didn't hike to anything at Brighton, so it is certainly possible we missed a bunch of great terrain in the middle, but I don't think so. After being psyched to go night skiing, after we saw the terrain that would be available to ski/ride, we decided to skip it. My ten year old isn't quite into park riding yet, but if that's your thing, the middle of Brighton is the place to go. Overall I liked Brighton, those 2 HSQ mentioned above can be lapped quickly and provide quick access to great terrain.

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Either middle slope or cathedral cirque from evergreen peak - Solitude

Solitude

Kids had a great time tree skiing everywhere in bounds. The gated terrain off either side of the Powderhorn lift was probably the best. The more you traversed, the more it was untouched. Steep chutes, cliffs, tree skiing everywhere. My ten year olds favorites were here be dragons and milk run. There was plenty of untracked / barely tracked terrain all week. You just had to find it. And dropping into terrain that has cliff area signs was something new for the kids.

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dropping into here be dragons-Solitude

The terrain off of the summit lift was great as well, but to get the good stuff you had to either hike or Traverse for a bit. I did both solo as the family wasn't into hiking or big traverses. I didn't do the Fantasy ridge hike, but hit all the other gates. I traversed for as far as I could and hit no mans land one morning. Not sure if it was worth it. It was less tracked up, but it was similiar terrain to the gated stuff into honeycomb canyon off of powderhorn, eagle and honeycomb return lifts.

boundary chutes.jpg boundary chutes

Anyway, I think may favorite runs from the week were the hike to ones off of evergreen peak. Snow conditions were excellent for the week and the crowding level was non existent. Maybe 5 -10 chair waits on monday and friday. Otherwise it was ski on all week. After reading everywhere that IKON is ruining BCC and LCC, I didn't get a chance to experience it. Maybe if we had a big powder day there would have been chaos.

I could easily see a 3 day snowbird, 3 day solitude trip next year in the cards unless we head to Canada.