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Solitude or Deer Valley less crowded?

hub8

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Plan to spend a few days around MLK weekend at SLC.

Plan to spend the majority of time at Alta/Snowbird. Was wondering if everything else being equal, would Solitude or Deer Valley be less crowded on Saturday of the MLK weekend? Both are blacked out on Ikon base.

Last year, I took thetrailboss' advice and skied Alta on the day of the storm (1/17/19). Lucked out at Snowbird on Sunday the 20th (the first day they opened Mineral Basin after the storm), and probably waited a good 30-40 minutes for the tram up (Peruvian opened later that day). Avoided the tram the rest of the day. Might have been better off starting the day at Gadzoom. Actually found Snowbird windier on Sunday (a partially blue bird day) than Alta on the day of the storm. Sure glad I listened to thetrailboss.

We split a private lesson with friends at Snowbasin on Saturday, otherwise lift lines would be pretty long. But trail didn't feel crowded except for a few.

Heard about Powder Mountain, but probably won't go there for cost reasons.


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big_vert

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Sillytude may well be less crowded, as DV is pretty popular amongst a certain crowd that will be the ones with time off about then. If you stay around the Empire Canyon area, you might do OK, as that's not tha area that DV people usually prefer.

You're not missing anything not going to PowMow. Flat with a lot of slow lifts and a heineously overpriced Cat ride of about 10 feet. Snowbasin is the go-to if you'll be in that area.
 

hub8

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Thanks for the beta, big_vert!

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KustyTheKlown

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disagree. solitude is the utah destination that has moaned the loudest about ikon crowding, as its unlimited and not blacked out. deer valley limits the number of day tickets they sell, including ikon, and i think they are also holiday black out'd for mlk weekend.
 

slatham

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disagree. solitude is the utah destination that has moaned the loudest about ikon crowding, as its unlimited and not blacked out. deer valley limits the number of day tickets they sell, including ikon, and i think they are also holiday black out'd for mlk weekend.

Solitude is blacked out for the BASE pass. Not the full pass.
 

abc

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I would absolutely avoid Solitude on a holiday!

Ikon has changed Solitude significantly and those who hasn’t been since last are giving you wrong beta.

Parking in the lot is paid parking only. And space along the road are next to impossible unless you’re the first 100 car up.

DV can be a mixed bag. Despite “limiting” pass sale, the groomers get skied off fast. But their glades can be heavenly if the condition favors that.
 

andrec10

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I would absolutely avoid Solitude on a holiday!

Ikon has changed Solitude significantly and those who hasn’t been since last are giving you wrong beta.

Parking in the lot is paid parking only. And space along the road are next to impossible unless you’re the first 100 car up.

DV can be a mixed bag. Despite “limiting” pass sale, the groomers get skied off fast. But their glades can be heavenly if the condition favors that.

Deer Valley getting skied off? Compare to the east and NO!
 

thetrailboss

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Plan to spend a few days around MLK weekend at SLC.

Plan to spend the majority of time at Alta/Snowbird. Was wondering if everything else being equal, would Solitude or Deer Valley be less crowded on Saturday of the MLK weekend? Both are blacked out on Ikon base.

Last year, I took thetrailboss' advice and skied Alta on the day of the storm (1/17/19). Lucked out at Snowbird on Sunday the 20th (the first day they opened Mineral Basin after the storm), and probably waited a good 30-40 minutes for the tram up (Peruvian opened later that day). Avoided the tram the rest of the day. Might have been better off starting the day at Gadzoom. Actually found Snowbird windier on Sunday (a partially blue bird day) than Alta on the day of the storm. Sure glad I listened to thetrailboss.

We split a private lesson with friends at Snowbasin on Saturday, otherwise lift lines would be pretty long. But trail didn't feel crowded except for a few.

Heard about Powder Mountain, but probably won't go there for cost reasons.


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As to Solitude vs. Deer Valley: I've got to say that my experience with both post-Alterra is pretty limited. That said, Deer Valley is enforcing their ticket sale limit on busy weekends so that's still in play. As to Solitude, it used to be a solid option for a less-crowded experience, but last season that changed. Cutting the other way is the fact that folks are now avoiding it because of the paid parking situation. What do you want to ski for terrain? Groomed cruisers with some off-groomed options, or more off-groomed stuff? I think that is the determining factor.

FWIW Deer Valley is now $209 a day for holidays. You read that right.
 

big_vert

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Cutting the other way is the fact that folks are now avoiding it because of the paid parking situation. What do you want to ski for terrain? Groomed cruisers with some off-groomed options, or more off-groomed stuff? I think that is the determining factor.

FWIW Deer Valley is now $209 a day for holidays. You read that right.

Right, but that's why I mentioned Empire Canyon as it's a non-DV type area with terrific glades serviced by it's own lift. There's quite a few good stashes at DV if you get off the usual insipid groomers. Even the trees right off of the main lifts can be very good as the typical DVer would never go off-piste. As far as $209 for DV - no thanks
 

KustyTheKlown

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we're going to utah feb7-16. we're doing one day at deer valley on 2/8. then alta-bird 2/9-12, solbright 2/13-14, and powmow/snowbasin 2/15-16.

i've been to all except for pow mow and snowbasin, but havent been to DV since i was 15 years old

i'm looking forward to skiing the trees their typical skier ignores.
 

big_vert

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we're going to utah feb7-16. we're doing one day at deer valley on 2/8. then alta-bird 2/9-12, solbright 2/13-14, and powmow/snowbasin 2/15-16.

i've been to all except for pow mow and snowbasin, but havent been to DV since i was 15 years old

i'm looking forward to skiing the trees their typical skier ignores.

Only thing with Snowbasin is to go on the clearest day - it's almost Whistlerish in having clouds hanging over, with dismal visibility particularly off the Strawberry gonjola, which is where you really want to go, along with the John Paul chair. If trees are your thing then JP chair is your ticket. If Snowbird like, big area, mach stupid off piste, then Strawberry. Sad to see you waste a day at PowMow.
 

thetrailboss

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Right, but that's why I mentioned Empire Canyon as it's a non-DV type area with terrific glades serviced by it's own lift. There's quite a few good stashes at DV if you get off the usual insipid groomers. Even the trees right off of the main lifts can be very good as the typical DVer would never go off-piste. As far as $209 for DV - no thanks

Empire is awesome for sure. Love the Daly Chutes, but you must admit that one will get bored after a while here. The options are limited, particularly in low snow years.
 

big_vert

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^^^ True dat, but people here talk about going to Okemo talking about boredom for gosh sakes.

Cue the Kumbaya, hands holding, everyday, everywhere is a good day tome.
 

abc

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The options are limited, particularly in low snow years.
“In low snow year”, who wants to go west when the west don’t have snow?

People talk about terrain out west, but there’s tons of good terrain in the east, IF ONLY THERE’S SNOW half of the time!

East coast people don’t go west for the terrain. They go for the reliable snow to make those terrain consistently open.

2 season ago, when the west had a wide spread draught, how much terrain did the Bird had? People were canceling trips left and right. Why waste money when there’s no better snow AND NO BETTER TERRAIN! It’s cheaper to eat the penalties than pay the full cost.
 
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deadheadskier

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All I think TB is saying is that low snow years hurt the Park City areas more so than the Cottonwood areas.

And I'd say it's 50/50 snow/terrain that enthusiast skiers head out west for. Those who are just vacationers, then yes, snow matters more. Also depends on who you're traveling with. If it's a family who books a vacation during a school vacation week, they are far less likely to cancel than people without children. Just look at Xmas week here in New England. Even crappy holiday weeks like this past one, the mountains were mobbed.

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thetrailboss

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All I think TB is saying is that low snow years hurt the Park City areas more so than the Cottonwood areas.

And I'd say it's 50/50 snow/terrain that enthusiast skiers head out west for. Those who are just vacationers, then yes, snow matters more. Also depends on who you're traveling with. If it's a family who books a vacation during a school vacation week, they are far less likely to cancel than people without children. Just look at Xmas week here in New England. Even crappy holiday weeks like this past one, the mountains were mobbed.

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Correct.


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Smellytele

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“In low snow year”, who wants to go west when the west don’t have snow?

People talk about terrain out west, but there’s tons of good terrain in the east, IF ONLY THERE’S SNOW half of the time!

East coast people don’t go west for the terrain. They go for the reliable snow to make those terrain consistently open.

2 season ago, when the west had a wide spread draught, how much terrain did the Bird had? People were canceling trips left and right. Why waste money when there’s no better snow AND NO BETTER TERRAIN! It’s cheaper to eat the penalties than pay the full cost.


Not too much above treeline skiing in the east.
As DHS was saying when you plan a trip for a whole family it is hard to take that financial hit of throwing money away and having to schedule something else in the east.
 

crazy

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“In low snow year”, who wants to go west when the west don’t have snow?

People talk about terrain out west, but there’s tons of good terrain in the east, IF ONLY THERE’S SNOW half of the time!

East coast people don’t go west for the terrain. They go for the reliable snow to make those terrain consistently open.

2 season ago, when the west had a wide spread draught, how much terrain did the Bird had? People were canceling trips left and right. Why waste money when there’s no better snow AND NO BETTER TERRAIN! It’s cheaper to eat the penalties than pay the full cost.

Lol that's not true in the slightest. Inbounds terrain out West can get a lot more challenging than inbounds terrain in the East. And I don't mean "challenging" as in shitty conditions making things challenging, I mean steeper steeps or longer sustained steeps, bowls/above treeline, chutes, couloirs, that shit.

I mean, look at Deer Valley, which isn't exactly the mecca of tough western skiing - Deer Valley has better steeps than anywhere inbounds in the East. The Daly Chutes are steeper and much longer (even though they aren't that long) than any of the chutes at Jay Peak, which has some of the only real chute-like inbounds terrain in the East. Deer Valley has actual bowl skiing - Empire Bowl, Lady Morgan Bowl, not to mention some pretty great tree skiing - Ontario Bowl, X-Files, Triangle Trees.

Compare a (in my opinion) much better resort like Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, or Solitude with inbounds terrain in the East and the contrast just grows bigger. The stuff off of Baldy at Alta/Snowbird has no comparison with Eastern inbounds terrain. Alta's Highboy/West Rustler runs, which are long, sustained steeps have no counterpart in the East. And again, I'm saying this as someone who LOVES East Coast skiing and has had a ton of fun skiing steep shit at places like Killington, Magic, Sugarbush, Jay Peak, and more.

It's true that the West gets more snow than the East, but Jay Peak, Smuggs, and Stowe get as much or more snow than probably the median western resort. Utah is the exception even out West with how much snow BCC and LCC get, you really don't get more snow unless you go to Targee or Baker. Western snow preserves quite a bit better, which honestly matters just as much as total snowfall. Places like Telluride and Aspen get less snow than Jay Peak/Smuggs/Stowe, but often have better conditions due to better preserving the snowpack due to less freeze thaw and rain events.
 
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