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Utah ski trip 3/28 to 3/31 (plus an April return)

Tonyr

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Jan 6, 2019
Messages
798
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63
Resort or Ski Area
Snowbird, Solitude, Alta, Snowbasin, and Brighton
Date
Mar 28, 2024
Snow Conditions
  1. Powder
  2. Slush or Spring Snow
We are jumping around ski resorts in the Cottonwood Canyons so I'll do this review of multiple resorts in one post. Our first day of skiing was on Thursday the 28th. The plan was to meet a friend from work at Snowbird and ski the highlights at both Snowbird and Alta. A wrench was immediately thrown in that plan as the crossover via Mineral Basin was closed for the day due to high winds. On the bright side though, Snowbird got a foot of snow during the day we skied it.

Snowbird is my favorite terrain in the country, so I certainly wasn't disappointed to be confined here. We took my friend from work all over the best parts of the mountain which included hitting the Defiance Ledge area on far right of the trail map, which is some of the best skiing in the country, as well as lapping each side of the Cirque. The visibility on the Cirque was very low at the top but once you dropped in it was boot deep powder on every run.

Snowbird today, was an amazing, uncrowded, powder day. The conditions for late March were out of this world. Here are some of my better photos on this low visibility powder day of skiing...
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Tonyr

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On Good Friday my son and I skied a little bit of Solitude in the morning and moved over to Brighton in the afternoon. It was our first time skiing either resort and I have to say that we were really impressed with both places. Staying in Solitude Village makes it very easy to cross back and forth to both resorts.

We started out at Solitude in the morning and skied right over to Honeycomb Canyon doing a few laps there. I loved the tree skiing on that part of the mountain. Queen Bess was the highlight but we also liked the Black Forest. Honestly that whole area of the mountain feels very similar in an awesome way. The vert is short but the terrain is great.

From Honeycomb we started making our way over to the Solbright trail at the top of the Summit chair which is where you can crossover to Brighton. The sun was out today and there was still tons of leftover powder from yesterday's storm. My son and I really liked it here. The trees were a ton of fun, here are some of my better photos from the morning...
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Tonyr

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As I mentioned earlier, the crossover to Brighton from Solitude is pretty easy. We skied straight down to the Milly lift and proceeded to ski across the whole mountain hitting tons and tons of low angle glades along the way to the Great Western Express on the far side of the map. I don't think I've ever skied anywhere with better low angle glades than Brighton. The trees here are amazing and while most of the terrain is not very steep you can let your guard down a little bit and rip through some well spaced trees.

With all of that being said, we did hit a mandatory cliff drop on some out-of-bounds terrain off the Milly lift which was very dicey. When I saw the skier in front of us holding a rope as he made his way to the drop-in I knew we were in for it but there was no turning back. As we got down to the drop-in I had to pop my son's skis off and help him down as he wasn't ready to huck a cliff yet!

In any event, it is supposed to dump tomorrow so we look forward to skiing back over here in the morning, no more out of bounds cliff drops though!...
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jimk

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Location
Wash DC area
I plan to ski Solitude and maybe Brighton (if connector open) 30 March with son and friend. I'll look for a guy in yellow with facial hair and two buddies?

I look like this:
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Tonyr

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My son and I just came in for the day sorry we missed you Jim. If I would have known you were here we would have loved to meet up. (The guy in the yellow is my buddy)

We tried crossing over to Brighton in the morning but the passage over was closed up through 11 am so we stuck to lapping Honeycomb Canyon from that point on. We planned on skiing Brighton all day today. I'll probably take the shuttle from Solitude over tomorrow just to play it safe. More snow is supposed to hit tonight so they will probably have Solbright closed again in the morning.
 

jimk

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@Tonyr as usual you've picked a good time/destination for another one of your frequent ski trips. Utah has gotten snow almost every day for a week straight. Conditions excellent everywhere. It's hard to hook-up:) Didn't see this thread until today. And I didn't decide to ski SolBright today until yesterday. I'll be at Snowbird tomorrow where my son instructs on Sundays (I just goof around).

You are so correct about Brighton trees. Great place to ski in sunny or stormy weather. These shots off Crest lift today 3/30/24
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Tonyr

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Maybe next time then, we are coming back out in mid-April to root my wife on at a race in SLC. If conditions are good then we'll try and ski for a few days while we are back out here.
 

Tonyr

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As I mentioned to Jim earlier we planned on skiing Brighton today but the Solbright trail didn't open until the afternoon. We skied 4 runs in the Headwall Forest off the Summit lift waiting for the connector trail to open but by 11 am we changed plans and hit Honeycomb Canyon a bunch of times instead and stayed put.

The conditions today were outstanding again, it snowed around 6 inches overnight then it snowed all day while we were out. There were pockets of untouched powder all over the place. We discovered the best line is to ski Honeycomb from the Summit lift down diagonally from the top of the canyon to the bottom rather than dropping into one of the short chutes.

You get incredible tree skiing all the way across Honeycomb until you flatten out at the Honeycomb Return lift. Take that lift back up, then ski diagonally down Queen Bess. I think that combination of a run is the most amazing tree line that I've ever been down. Here are some of my better photos from the day...
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thetrailboss

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No Alta? You missed probably the best of them all. Two awesome powder days in a row this weekend for me!
 

Tonyr

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Yes I know we tried crossing over to Alta from Snowbird on Thursday but Mineral Basin was closed for the day so we didn't make it this trip. I love me some Alta too though!

We are going to be back in Utah during Alta's closing weekend so If conditions are good I definitely want to try and get atleast a day in there this season. I noticed parking was sold out on the website for closing weekend though or is it still possible to get a spot there?
 

Tonyr

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Finished our trip out today at Brighton. The conditions were spectacular, they got a good 6 to 8 inches total overnight and while we were out. Stayed in the trees all day mostly off of the Crest and Snake lifts. I said this earlier and I will say it again, the tree skiing at Brighton is unbelievable!

Here are some of my better photos from the day. All and all, we had a great trip and got very lucky with the superb conditions during our visit...
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ss20

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A minute from the Alta exit off the I-15!
Yes I know we tried crossing over to Alta from Snowbird on Thursday but Mineral Basin was closed for the day so we didn't make it this trip. I love me some Alta too though!

We are going to be back in Utah during Alta's closing weekend so If conditions are good I definitely want to try and get atleast a day in there this season. I noticed parking was sold out on the website for closing weekend though or is it still possible to get a spot there?

Sounds like a great trip! Alta closing day is rapidly turning into one of the best and relatively wild parties in the country. Last year closing day shattered our skier visit record. Lots of drinking and smoking 20-somethings. So take this all with what you will and decide if that's something you want to partake in. If more reservations open up they will fill almost instantly. Only Sunday is busy, Friday/Saturday are pretty quiet. So maybe just come for that. Sunday will be nuts and Snowbird gets a decent amount of overflow fyi
 

Tonyr

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Thanks for the heads up. I noticed Friday and Saturday no parking reservations are required so we will probably go on Friday. Even if I could get a spot for Sunday, my days of partying out on the mountain are over at this point!
 

Tonyr

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We came back out to Utah over the weekend of April 19th to cheer my wife on at the SLC marathon. My son and I figured we'd squeeze in a few extra days of spring skiing to close out the season. Our first day was at Alta on Friday the 19th. ss20 thanks for the advice on closing weekend, we got a parking spot easily on Friday morning and hit the Collins lift around 10.30 am.

Anything off the groomed trails was super crusty and not worth skiing. It really took until noon or so for things to soften up. We mainly stuck to groomers off of the Collins and Supreme chairs athough we were able to ski one chute under the Supreme lift which was really the only challenging run open on the day. The high traverse off Collins was closed but for good reason as I mentioned earlier. Here are some photos from the day, we were out for 2.5 hours or so. I much prefer powder skiing here!....
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Tonyr

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My son had food poisoning on Saturday so we took a break day then all skied at Snowbasin on Sunday. I've only skied here once before and was somewhat impressed with the long runs and beautiful views. They did add more parking from the last time I visited which was a huge improvement. This was our favorite ski day of the trip. We got out by 8.30 am and even at that time the snow was super soft. 75% of the mountain was opened and we hit alot of it with the Grizzly Downhill trail being the highlight. It really was a perfect spring condition day making it tons of fun ripping down the long groomers.
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Tonyr

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Our 20th and last day of the season was today at Brighton. The whole mountain was pretty much open. We got out around 10 am and skied for a couple of hours on the groomed trails. Like the last 2 days, skiing off of the groomed trails was not worth it as the snow is very crusty. Maybe by the end of the day its good but up through lunch time groomers are where you need to be. We hit every section of the mountain except Milly. The snow was near perfect spring conditions like yesterday at Snowbasin. We did our last lap off of the Crest lift and called it a season...
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jimk

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Nice @Tonyr !!!

I was out on the slopes same days, but just a little out of sync with you. Skied Soli on Fri and Monday, Alta on closing Sunday. Warm, but fun spring conditions in the AM all three days.

Alta, Apr 21, 2024 The nice young fellow next to me at the grill had run the SLC Marathon the day before and was so sore and stiff I felt sorry for him and fed him. He had a Friar Tuck costume complete with shaved bald spot on the back of his scalp. (BTW, 50 years ago I was a collegiate distance runner logging 70-90 miles per week.)
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We have to connect one of these years in UT. I hope to be out here again for winter '24-25, God willing.
 

Tonyr

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Wow, 70 to 90 miles a week is impressive! She has been doing around 40 to 50 miles per week on average. We plan on skiing Jackson Hole over President's weekend next season then will head down to Snowbird or Deer Valley for the following weekend. If your around then I'd love to get a day out on the slopes with you too.
 
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