Alta, Brighton, Solitude 3/23-3/27

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  1. #1

    Alta, Brighton, Solitude 3/23-3/27

    3/23 - Alta. 4” of snow before first chair. Being a Saturday, the mountain wasn’t crowded. We arrived at 8:15am and were able to park very close to the lodge. There was 5 minutes lift line at Collins in the morning but no line elsewhere. Took the first 3 runs off high traverse - race course, high rustler and Greeley bowl. High Rustler and Greely were really good as there were more snow at upper mountain. Moved to Baldy shoulder - this side seems to get less snow due to the wind and more traffic. After one more high rustler run we skied Westward Ho off wild cat lift. A lot of powder here but as the temperature rose to near 40, the snow started to get wet and heavy. After lunch, we skied more runs off high traverse and wildcat lifts. The condition got worse as the snow become wetter. Around 2pm, Devils castle became open. We went over and had 2 powder runs before calling it a day. Overall a great day.

    3/24 - Alta. Powder day with 11” snow. This definitely caught local’s attention and more people came out. The mountain was a lot busier today then yesterday. Parking lot became full around 930am. There was 10 minutes lift line at Collins for most of the morning. We rode Collins lift up skied down Watson’s line for the first run. It was fantastic with knee deep powder. Then we moved to wildcat lift for the next 3 runs as Colin’s was too busy. A lot of fresh powder during these 3 runs, especially when we stay close to Alta/snowbird boundary line with less traffic. Then we saw key holes became open and went there. It was a great run - Knee deep untracked powder in the trees. We had to take the shuttle to come back to Alta, which is a hassle. As Collins line getting shorter, we rode it up and took the long traverse to eagles nest. This was fantastic tree skiing with steep pitch and deep powder. Total worth the effort to traverse. After lunch, we moved to supreme lift to ski Katherine’s area. The powder was pretty much tracked out at this point but the snow was soft. Pretty much spent the most of the afternoon here. Wrapped up the day the last run at west rustler. Or “west buffler” as local calls. The line lived up its reputation as the wind blow a lot of snow over - knee deep even at the end of the day. Fantastic day - one of the best this season.



    Last time at Alta, I had no clue what to do during a powder day and saw all snow getting tracked it by 11. With a bit research and a strategy, you can find snow much longer.

    Used all 7 days for AltaBird on my Ikon. Moved to BCC for the rest of the trip.

  2. #2
    3/25 - Brighton. Blue Bird day, warm and no wind. The mountain was pretty empty without any Liftline. We started the day lapping Milly express. Milly bowl had plenty of chopped up powder from yesterday’s storm with about 1” of fresh coating on top. The bowl skied so good that we had 3 runs before going elsewhere. There were patches of trees at the bottom of the Milly bowl that we ventured into. Surprised to find plenty of untracked powder in the trees. Next, we had a few runs on the right side of Milly express. These trails are facing east and the snow was wet. So it wasn’t as good. Before leaving Milly Express, we had one more side country run where we turn left from the lift and traverse all the way to go out of bound. Found some untracked powder in trees with steep shots, which was fun.

    After lunch we started lapping great western chair. There were some steep lines at the top right off the lift with good snow on it. So we lapped that areas for a few runs. We also explored the trees at the lower mountain. Again, surprised to find a lot of powder and little tracks. At the end of the day, we moved to the center of the mountain and explored more trees. These trees were completely tracked out. Quite a big contrast.

    With temperature rises to 48 degree today and drop to 20 overnight. It will be interesting to see what condition we will get tomorrow.

  3. #3
    kingslug's Avatar
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    There are 2 kinds of skiers at Alta..the map readers and the ones who know where to go. So yes, a bit of research and you get the goods. Hooking up with locals is the best way.
    Lets go!
    I'll drive.

  4. #4
    Definitely! There are so much more beyond the map. Will sign up a off-piste workshop next time and ask the instructor to show me more goods.

    Quote Originally Posted by kingslug View Post
    There are 2 kinds of skiers at Alta..the map readers and the ones who know where to go. So yes, a bit of research and you get the goods. Hooking up with locals is the best way.

  5. #5
    3/26 - Solitude. The mountain was very empty on Tuesday - no line anywhere. With temp in high 40s the day before and 26 overnight, the mountain was frozen solid in the morning. We sticked to groomer before 10am. The groomer skied very well. As the sun softening up the snow, we started to explore natural terrain. Went to Milk Run at 10am, the snow was still too crunchy. Went to honeycomb canyon and found some leftover untracked powder. The powder was wet but but it skied better than crunchy ice. Had 2 runs in the canyon. Lapping honeycomb canyon takes 3 chair rides, which is a hassle. We decided to explore trees - Here be dragon was icy, Navarone was icy, Headwall forest was okay but still not good, finally skied Queen Bess which has very soft snow. The trees here are tall, tight with a lot of leaves that totally blocked the sun. The snow didn’t melt the day before. It was so good that we had a rerun.

    After lunch the sun and the 55 degree temperature softened the snow in most natural terrain. The soft mogul was really fun to ski. We spent most time lapping mogul runs off eagle express and Powderhorn lift until 4pm. Overall, a good day. Wish we found to Queen Bess earlier instead of exploring other icy steep terrain.

    3/27 - Deer Valley. With high temperature in 50s, this seems to be another spring skiing day. However, we can only ski the morning because of the flight home in the afternoon. So we really didn’t have much time to wait for snow to soften up. Both Brighton and Solitude has overnight temperature below 30, while Deer Valley has overnight low of 35. It was an easy decision to go to Deer Valley. We started in the low mountain and the snow was already soft at 930am. The moguls were totally softened by 10am. We move to upper mountain at 10:30am and everything facing east were soft and nice. We lapped sultan express until 1pm and called it a day. Looking back it was a good call to ski deer valley.

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