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Solitude or Deer Valley less crowded?

big_vert

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^^^ - you beat me to it. "East Coast people don't go west for the terrain". Bwahahahahhaah!!!

When I was a least coaster, even if the snow wasn't the best out west, I still went for the terrain. Like really - going to an ice crusted berm instead? Why?

Rhapsody Bowl at WB, Mineral Basin at Snowturd, Strawberry at Snowbasin, Back Bowls at Flail, Outback trees at Keystone, Palli at AB, Birds of Prey at the Beav, 2 o'clock and 3 o'clock trees at Steamboat, 9990 at Park City, most anywhere at JH and on and on - this is terrain you'd never know existed if you spent your time at Nokemo or Flatton.

It's now a 2.5 our flight to the northleast and a 5 hour flight to SLC. Guess which one I'm on at 7am tomorrow morning. Oh yeah, and it's for the terrain.
 
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jimk

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I have a small sample size of Solitude and Deer Valley. I've been to Soli a little more often. It used to be pretty quiet, but last year it was mobbed the one day I went. I went to DV once last year and once four years ago. It was busy both times. I am amazed at how many people want that super upscale experience at DV, especially given all the other ski areas nearby. Admittedly, the food is very tasty in the DV lodges.

I guess I would say that in the past my ski trips made from the mid-A to the west were taken to experience great terrain rather than purely for better snow. Coming from the mid-A I made made many trips to New England too for better terrain. Here we lack good terrain and good snow, at least you Northeasterners have good terrain. Also, a lot of times when I'd go west to ski it was when the season was winding down (early March) and it was go elsewhere or go home.
 
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BenedictGomez

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I am amazed at how many people want that super upscale experience at DV, especially given all the other ski areas nearby. Admittedly, the food is very tasty in the DV lodges.

Ignoring the high-end experience, the skiing at Deer Valley really isnt that bad, though I find the lift lay-out a bit odd. Agree on the food, that turkey chili is the bomb yo.
 

crazy

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Ignoring the high-end experience, the skiing at Deer Valley really isnt that bad, though I find the lift lay-out a bit odd. Agree on the food, that turkey chili is the bomb yo.

Yep, totally agree. Deer Valley is honestly a pretty decent mountain. It would have a better reputation if it didn't have so many fantastic resorts in such close proximity. The food is excellent, and the staff are super friendly and many have been working there for many years. There is some pretty fun, challenging terrain. Nowhere near as much as in the Cottonwoods, but still some fun stuff that will keep you entertained. For the groomer cruisers out there, I would rank it just behind Snowbasin in terms of long, steep groomed trails (not exactly my cup of tea, there is plenty of great groomer skiing here in the East). On big powder days, Deer Valley can be a lot less crowded than the Cottonwoods (fewer expert skiers interested in off-piste at Deer Valley), which can be absolute madhouses. The key here though is that the Cottonwoods usually get more snow, so you have to balance snow quantity with crowds.

Back to the OP's question. In past years the clear answer would be Solitude, but that is no longer necessarily the case. With Deer Valley, you can usually escape crowds if you know the mountain well. This might also be the case at Solitude, I just don't know the mountain well enough. The good/bad thing about Honeycomb is that it takes three lift rides to lap, so it doesn't get tracked out super quickly, but you can't ever do that many runs on it, and if there are crowds you really can't escape them if you want to lap Honeycomb. I know Solitude has plenty of other great terrain, but Honeycomb is my favorite.
 

big_vert

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Ignoring the high-end experience, the skiing at Deer Valley really isnt that bad, though I find the lift lay-out a bit odd. Agree on the food, that turkey chili is the bomb yo.

Yeah, the three lifts coming together at the top somebody thought was a good idea, but in fact is usually a complete cluster.
 

jimk

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Dropping in to Daly Bowl at Deer Valley:

Those woods on the other side of the bowl are good too.

Lower Daly Bowl:
 

abc

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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.
Talk about a gross understatement.

People always compare the seasonal total of VT to the west. What they’re blind to is the fact a good percentage of that “total” got washed away by the rain at many point of the season!

Does anyone stop to think why we have “almost as much” total, yet the year-to-year average base depth in the east is a fraction of even the mediocre mountain out west?

It’s not the East don’t have the terrain (ok, no alpine terrain), but the best terrain in the east simply aren’t open consistently. When a family plans a vacation, they count on the “usually” reliable snow of the west that opens all the terrain. I have a trip planned for Whistler for Jan. Guess what, much of their high Alpine terrain are only barely open! Am I going to spend the money to fly out there to ski their “extensive” groomers? Will you???
 

hub8

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Thanks to everyone for your advice. Looks like I should prepare for crowd wherever I end up. [emoji23]

I feel the best laid skiing plans was often laughed at by mother nature. Last year i planned Snowbasin first, but ended at Alta for the storm...


Sent from my SM-G935U using Tapatalk
 

big_vert

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I have a trip planned for Whistler for Jan. Guess what, much of their high Alpine terrain are only barely open! Am I going to spend the money to fly out there to ski their “extensive” groomers? Will you???

Well, first, it's massive (even more so than Okemo as someone here mentioned) , so not having the alpine open still make a "beast" like K-Mart pale in comparison, plus, you don't spend all day traversing from one place to another as there's a "reasonable" 5280 of vertical.

That being said, after 20+ years of multi-visit seasons, and a very conservative estimate of 300+ days at WB, I brought back my gear from Function Junction storage in September of this year. The snow is Pacific Coast Range snow - meaning a lot like least coast snow - heavy, gloppy that turns to ice (oh, right, packed power) regularly.

And that's the good news. The real problem, and why I shipped everything back to a bud's at Park City is that the visibility is routinely (being VERY benevolent) non-existent. With the prices going sky high recently (>$300/day EVERYDAY at the Hilton), and the number of days it's not worth going out due to the dreadful visibility, I decided it was time to go elsewhere. Check all of the webcams daily as see if that isn't the case.

Anyway, weird season there. Even some of the gondi's seem out of service a lot, plus 7th heaven, Glacier, Peak, Harmony and Symphony chairs haven't run yet (actually 7th did a few days ago). Read the thread on TGR - things aren't starting well. I do remember the season about 10 years ago when there was 18ft in November, and EVERYTHING was open a week before Thanksgiving.

Would I? Things change quick, a couple of feet could change everything. AND, if you really do think the East has the terrain, then you owe it to yourself to go there and see that just isn't true in the least. Try Peak to Creek, with a real 5280 of vertical. Spanky's with some real pucker terrain, Glacier Bowl - bigger than most least coast areas by itself, Rhapsody Bowl and go Mach stupid down a perfect pitched bowl, all the tree runs and on and on. Even groomers like Rock-and-roll are just big with a LOT of character
 
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deadheadskier

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Well, first, it's massive (even more so than Okemo as someone here mentioned) , so not having the alpine open still make a "beast" like K-Mart pale in comparison, plus, you don't spend all day traversing from one place to another as there's a "reasonable" 5280 of vertical.

That being said, after 20+ years of multi-visit seasons, and a very conservative estimate of 300+ days at WB, I brought back my gear from Function Junction storage in September of this year. The snow is Pacific Coast Range snow - meaning a lot like least coast snow - heavy, gloppy that turns to ice (oh, right, packed power) regularly.

And that's the good news. The real problem, and why I shipped everything back to a bud's at Park City is that the visibility is routinely (being VERY benevolent) non-existent. With the prices going sky high recently (>$300/day EVERYDAY at the Hilton), and the number of days it's not worth going out due to the dreadful visibility, I decided it was time to go elsewhere. Check all of the webcams daily as see if that isn't the case.

Anyway, weird season there. Even some of the gondi's seem out of service a lot, plus 7th heaven, Glacier, Peak, Harmony and Symphony chairs haven't run yet (actually 7th did a few days ago). Read the thread on TGR - things aren't starting well. I do remember the season about 10 years ago when there was 18ft in November, and EVERYTHING was open a week before Thanksgiving.

Would I? Things change quick, a couple of feet could change everything. AND, if you really do think the East has the terrain, then you owe it to yourself to go there and see that just isn't true in the least. Try Peak to Creek, with a real 5280 of vertical. Spanky's with some real pucker terrain, Glacier Bowl - bigger than most least coast areas by itself, Rhapsody Bowl and go Mach stupid down a perfect pitched bowl, all the tree runs and on and on. Even groomers like Rock-and-roll are just big with a LOT of character
legend

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abc

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Would I? Things change quick, a couple of feet could change everything. AND, if you really do think the East has the terrain, then you owe it to yourself to go there and see that just isn't true in the least. Try Peak to Creek, with a real 5280 of vertical. Spanky's with some real pucker terrain, Glacier Bowl - bigger than most least coast areas by itself, Rhapsody Bowl and go Mach stupid down a perfect pitched bowl, all the tree runs and on and on. Even groomers like Rock-and-roll are just big with a LOT of character
Yawn

Sorry mine was a rhetorical question. I’ve skied WB before. I had specific terrain I had in mind to go there for. And it had not open. No amount of “character” on their groomers will get my butt on a plane! (Having lived out on the Pacific coast, yes I know it only takes ONE mega-storm to dump many feet of snow to open everything, but no way I’m getting on a plane until AFTER)

And, having skied in 3 continents, I’ve seen more radical terrain than even the average inbound west. It’s really the snow that make the terrain out west easily accessible. Without it, it might as well be La Grave or 3-valleys.

In short, I’m not getting on a plane west to a destination that’s having a “low snow year”!
 

big_vert

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Hey - like you said before "
East coast people don’t go west for the terrain. "

Still as funny now as it was a couple of days ago.
 

abc

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You can’t read?

It’s really the snow that make the terrain out west easily accessible.
...
In short, I’m not getting on a plane west to a destination that’s having a “low snow year”!”

Or is just complex sentences that you have trouble with? That’s taught in 3rd grade ;)
 

crazy

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You can’t read?

It’s really the snow that make the terrain out west easily accessible.
...
In short, I’m not getting on a plane west to a destination that’s having a “low snow year”!”

Or is just complex sentences that you have trouble with? That’s taught in 3rd grade ;)

I'm not big_vert, the person that you're quoting here, but I agree with big_vert completely. What you said back then was laughable, and was not taken out of context or misunderstood. Here's what you said on Page 2 of this thread:

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.

The point that big_vert and myself are making is that snow or no snow, there is simply way better (i.e., more challenging) inbounds terrain out west than here in the east. Yes, that challenging terrain out west is much more consistently covered in snow, but even when the best inbounds terrain in the east (at places like Smuggs, Jay, Magic, MRG, ...) is covered in snow, it's STILL not as challenging as the most challenging inbounds stuff out west. And if we eliminate the word "inbounds" the contrast grows even stronger.

It sounds like we're talking past each other. You're completely correct that conditions are consistently better out west, meaning that the challenging terrain out west is skiable a lot more often than the challenging terrain in the east. And that is a huge draw for people in the east flying to ski out west. But let's also acknowledge that snow or no snow, the west has much more challenging inbounds terrain than the east does.
 

abc

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But let's also acknowledge that snow or no snow, the west has much more challenging inbounds terrain than the east does.
I never said the west has more or less challenging terrain than the east. I would even give you that the west has "more"! Why? For one thing, "the west" is far bigger than "the northeast" in size. So, if nothing else, there're a lot more terrain, tame or challenging.

But just because there're radical terrain isn't enough. The Himalaya has radical terrain. But few go there. OK, there're no many ski resorts. But what about the Alps? It's got way more radical terrain. And many kick ass skiers move there permanently. But why are the average east coasters don't fly over the pond to ski the "terrain" there? On a typical 1 week ski vacation, the odds of hitting good variety of challenging b but SKIABLE terrain is far better in the American west than anywhere else, including our own backyard! The reason is the snow!!!

If Corbet's is in the east, very few people would even think about trying it. Because it would be mostly coral reef. Few would have the skill to attempt it. But out west, the snow makes a lot of the terrain unthinkable in the east more attainable by the so-called "advanced skiers". That's why we go out west, in search of terrain we don't dare to touch back east, all thanks to the better snow.
 

big_vert

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Was at Snowbird yesterday. Awesome, truly awesome. What TYPICAL northleast skier is going to have a go at Mineral Basin with 6 to 8 of fresh around? Puleese. And Mineral Basin (and Road to Provo), are just regular black diamonds. Of course, there's no way they could complete with the Nokemo or Flatton black diamonds, right? Yeah, they don't go for the terrain - EVEN IN LOW SNOW YEARS.

BTW, just to be sure we're on the same page, in post 16 you said:

" East Coast people don't go west for the terrain. They go for the reliable snow to make those terrain consistently open", and now you indicate I can't read, or have problems with complex sentences. Hey, maybe it's just me, but copying a sentence directly from your post seems pretty clear. Right? Just because you can't find a way to backtrack from saying something inane doesn't make it "complex". Really.

We're looking at snow from Wed through the weekend.
 

thetrailboss

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Was at Snowbird yesterday. Awesome, truly awesome. What TYPICAL northleast skier is going to have a go at Mineral Basin with 6 to 8 of fresh around? Puleese. And Mineral Basin (and Road to Provo), are just regular black diamonds. Of course, there's no way they could complete with the Nokemo or Flatton black diamonds, right? Yeah, they don't go for the terrain - EVEN IN LOW SNOW YEARS.

BTW, just to be sure we're on the same page, in post 16 you said:

" East Coast people don't go west for the terrain. They go for the reliable snow to make those terrain consistently open", and now you indicate I can't read, or have problems with complex sentences. Hey, maybe it's just me, but copying a sentence directly from your post seems pretty clear. Right? Just because you can't find a way to backtrack from saying something inane doesn't make it "complex". Really.

We're looking at snow from Wed through the weekend.

I was in Mineral Basin on Sunday. Glad to hear that things are refreshed. A lot of lines were pretty firm and skied out.
 

abc

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" East Coast people don't go west for the terrain. They go for the reliable snow to make those terrain consistently open"

Just because you can't find a way to backtrack from saying something inane doesn't make it "complex". .
There's nothing to backtrack.

People go for the snow that makes terrain that they don't dare to ski in the east skiable out west. It's great ego pampering to say "I skied Mineral Basin" when they can't link a turn down National. It's that simple.

The concept isn't complex.

By the way, you've jumped on TWO threads about specific mountains and started your standard chest thumping against family oriented mountains as unworthy. That's also a good indication of your reading ability. ;)
 
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