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Utah vs Colorado Thansgiving/Early December?

ss20

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With the limited capacity, resorts aren't making money the way it used to. Will they still operate their snow gun as usual? 24/7 for 2 weeks?

They don't have the water out there. Drought is a good chunk of the reason why Loveland and Arapahoe opened so late. I have no idea what Solitude's snowmaking system is like but from my understanding many of the western resorts don't have nearly the water-holding capacity of Eastern resorts.

Solitude says they'll have a new date announced later this week. Probably waiting to see what kind of natural they get. Even with 3 feet of natural snow that's not enough of a base to groom, East or West. You'd be kicking up rocks on anything with pitch or anything where the wind blew snow away.

Park City is still planning on opening the 20th. Probably going to be the first in Utah unless Brighton pulls something together this weekend, maybe unannounced to prevent crowding like A-Basin did.
 

dblskifanatic

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They don't have the water out there. Drought is a good chunk of the reason why Loveland and Arapahoe opened so late. I have no idea what Solitude's snowmaking system is like but from my understanding many of the western resorts don't have nearly the water-holding capacity of Eastern resorts.

Solitude says they'll have a new date announced later this week. Probably waiting to see what kind of natural they get. Even with 3 feet of natural snow that's not enough of a base to groom, East or West. You'd be kicking up rocks on anything with pitch or anything where the wind blew snow away.

Park City is still planning on opening the 20th. Probably going to be the first in Utah unless Brighton pulls something together this weekend, maybe unannounced to prevent crowding like A-Basin did.

Living out here - October was pretty warm for the most part until the last couple weeks then it was spotty. There has little to not natural snowfall in October which they rely on as well. The first real storm came during the last week of October in the mountains of Colorado. Early November came with some warm days as well but now things seem to be on track. Hopefully, This season will not be like the last in terms of snowfall. It was very late into the season when East Wall opened at A Basin. So far snowfall is still limited.
 

thetrailboss

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We are not open yet, but it is largely due to COVID as well as a very warm fall. We just got a good helping of snow and cold, but most places are waiting until they can open up more terrain.
 

thetrailboss

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Brighton opened today. First Boyne Resort to open I believe. They had some issues with passes due to the website hack. They had to give me a new card.

Pretty impressive what they had open--4 lifts and 16 runs. Normally it is one lift and maybe three trails on opening day. The cold snap and snow helped them build enough base on multiple runs. Snake Creek, Majestic, Crest, and Explorer were spinning. Low tide conditions but not bad.
 

ss20

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Brighton opened today. First Boyne Resort to open I believe. They had some issues with passes due to the website hack. They had to give me a new card.

Pretty impressive what they had open--4 lifts and 16 runs. Normally it is one lift and maybe three trails on opening day. The cold snap and snow helped them build enough base on multiple runs. Snake Creek, Majestic, Crest, and Explorer were spinning. Low tide conditions but not bad.

What does it take to get natural stuff open out there? I'm not talking crazy steep, open rock faces. Just intermediate-level natural trails and stuff slightly off the groomed path.

Not sure if you saw my post in the other thread, but I'll be in Jackson Thanksgiving weekend (maybe a day or two longer, that's the only part of the trip paid/booked, the rest is still hypothetical). And then Utah the following week. I'm thinking Jackson Hole with 100" down already and more to come is gonna be the best skiing I do the whole trip, and I'm fine with that.
 

billo

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What does it take to get natural stuff open out there? I'm not talking crazy steep, open rock faces. Just intermediate-level natural trails and stuff slightly off the groomed path.

Not sure if you saw my post in the other thread, but I'll be in Jackson Thanksgiving weekend (maybe a day or two longer, that's the only part of the trip paid/booked, the rest is still hypothetical). And then Utah the following week. I'm thinking Jackson Hole with 100" down already and more to come is gonna be the best skiing I do the whole trip, and I'm fine with that.
100" was my rule of thumb when I lived there.
 

thetrailboss

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What does it take to get natural stuff open out there? I'm not talking crazy steep, open rock faces. Just intermediate-level natural trails and stuff slightly off the groomed path.

Not sure if you saw my post in the other thread, but I'll be in Jackson Thanksgiving weekend (maybe a day or two longer, that's the only part of the trip paid/booked, the rest is still hypothetical). And then Utah the following week. I'm thinking Jackson Hole with 100" down already and more to come is gonna be the best skiing I do the whole trip, and I'm fine with that.
OK, there is some confusion here between "100 inches" of snow that has fallen for the season vs. "100 inch base", at least it looks like it from this and other posts.

The fact that Jackson has already had 100" of snow is great. The real question is what is their base depth. Same with the other resorts. Alta has had 57" of snow to date, but after settling/melting/wind/compaction that yields a 20" base. Pretty meager. With snowmaking, we're talking the snowmaking/grooming main runs at Alta off the Sugarloaf, Sunnyside, and Collins and nothing else. I find Jackson's website to be misleading because they don't list their base depth. I would not be surprised if their base depths are somewhere between 30-50" in places. That is a good start, but not really midwinter. You will have some options at Jackson, but not a lot. Mostly groomers with snowmaking and you asking yourself, "what about that 100 inches?"

So to answer the original question, at Alta/Snowbird you can expect SOME natural stuff to open with about a 40" base made of natural and snowmaking. What exactly? Well, Regulator Johnson, Peruvian Side (parts of the Cirque), Gadzoom, the runs on Gad 2, some of the High Traverse (mainly on Collins side), and some of the areas that are relatively low angle. Once we get to 50" base things start to open but conditions are not ideal. 50-75" things fill in and get better and you can start exploring. Most of the main Mineral Basin runs open at about 50" or so. Over 75" base we get most everything going. Once we over 100" then everything is in play and skiing well. Over 120" and it is go anywhere, do anything. FWIW we generally don't get to 75" base or so until after Christmas in an average year.

Brighton has a pretty potent snowmaking system and its main runs get going with relatively minimal natural snow. They also are a sleeper in that they get a lot of snow and folks don't see that. In fact, they are pretty close in terms of annual snow averages with Alta. That said, the terrain overall at Brighton is pretty mellow so 75" gets you more options.

So far we are doing just OK. We had the jet stream drop and give us some active weather including cold and snow. Then it shut off. We are waiting for it to turn stormy and cold again. Hopefully we don't have the death ridge again building off the west coast and driving storms to the north of us.

In my time out here I have noticed that our weather patterns are just completely different from New England. Whereas New England has CONSTANT weather changes with multiple systems traversing the region in a week, our pattern overall features fewer changes and long stretches of consistent weather. Unfortunately, we get long stretches of dry and warm weather. Drought has been consistent. That is interrupted by stretches of stormy periods, or a pattern where a front comes through every week or so. Every so often we get into a pattern where we get lots of storms. That seems to be more the exception than the norm, despite what marketing departments will say.
 

FBGM

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Jackson Hole measures snow like measuring your dick starting from the bottom of your balls.

In other news, Sollitude has major issues with snowmaking. Grape Vine rumors saying whatever broke or whatever parts needed could be several more weeks out. Which blows my mind coming from doing mountain ops for years. If it’s a pump, at this point, you go buy a new one. They are pretty much in stock in SLC (Utah resorts have it made for snowmaking pumps and parts, the huge mine, biggest in world, uses similar systems for de-watering).

I know worst case shit happens and breaks but there is pretty much no reason not to have something like this fixed in a timely manor. Only reason I can see with not being proactive or just spending whatever it takes is Covid issues and uncertainty with that whole mess
 

thetrailboss

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In other news, Sollitude has major issues with snowmaking. Grape Vine rumors saying whatever broke or whatever parts needed could be several more weeks out. Which blows my mind coming from doing mountain ops for years. If it’s a pump, at this point, you go buy a new one. They are pretty much in stock in SLC (Utah resorts have it made for snowmaking pumps and parts, the huge mine, biggest in world, uses similar systems for de-watering).

I know worst case shit happens and breaks but there is pretty much no reason not to have something like this fixed in a timely manor. Only reason I can see with not being proactive or just spending whatever it takes is Covid issues and uncertainty with that whole mess

Now that you mention it....I thought something weird was going on there. Two weeks ago completely out of the blue this article ran....on a weekend when we had a snowstorm. Bad timing and many laughed at it: https://www.fox13now.com/news/local...l-forces-solitude-to-postpone-start-of-season

The fact that they ran that article almost two weeks prior to their proposed opening date, and when it WAS snowing and relatively cold, made me wonder what was going on. At the time I thought it was fishy, but I also thought it was Alterra trying to set expectations.

FWIW Brighton OPENED on the 19th. Generally, Solitude is not aggressive with snowmaking. And on my three visits up BCC over the past five days it was painfully obvious that Solitude was not doing that much snowmaking or moving things forward that fast. There was some coverage on Link and under Moonbeam but not that much. Nothing like what Brighton was doing.

Before Alterra, I "wanted to like" Solitude but just could not. I know that there are some fans here because, for many, it is their first Utah ski experience. It's easy to get to and was affordable, relatively unknown, and quiet. Its history is, um, odd. It was started by a guy who enjoyed fighting with the Forest Service and the County and had the resort closed for safety reasons on more than one occasion. The original lifts were pretty shady. Then a local family bought it and fixed it up. They hired Interwest to build the base village. They stabilized things but it is still, um, Solitude. It is not in a great spot and the layout sucks. I don't know why they put in two HSQs that drop people off near the same location. Deer Valley made some improvements, but it is still Solitude. The best terrain, Honeycomb, still requires at least three lift rides and a runout that gets really chewed up pretty fast. They don't get as much snow as nearby places. Alterra just added insult to injury. What it DID have going for it--no crowds and a local's place--has now been thoroughly destroyed on an IKONic level. It was as if someone bought your favorite local pub, bulldozed it, and put in a McDonald's. Locals are royally pissed and with good reason.

A part of me is not that surprised considering that there was the Ski Link proposal, and then Boyne's interest in purchasing it, and then its sale to Deer Valley. I think that Boyne would have been the best option because Brighton honestly is pretty well-run (the only gripe would be not much capital investment as of late).

So the announcement that they were not opening on the 20th made me wonder what was up or if they were just hesitant because of COVID. But now I wonder if it is what you said. Perhaps they did not collect enough money from their new parking meters to pay for snowmaking......:ROFLMAO: Hey, you have to laugh.
 

FBGM

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Now that you mention it....I thought something weird was going on there. Two weeks ago completely out of the blue this article ran....on a weekend when we had a snowstorm. Bad timing and many laughed at it: https://www.fox13now.com/news/local...l-forces-solitude-to-postpone-start-of-season

The fact that they ran that article almost two weeks prior to their proposed opening date, and when it WAS snowing and relatively cold, made me wonder what was going on. At the time I thought it was fishy, but I also thought it was Alterra trying to set expectations.

FWIW Brighton OPENED on the 19th. Generally, Solitude is not aggressive with snowmaking. And on my three visits up BCC over the past five days it was painfully obvious that Solitude was not doing that much snowmaking or moving things forward that fast. There was some coverage on Link and under Moonbeam but not that much. Nothing like what Brighton was doing.

Before Alterra, I "wanted to like" Solitude but just could not. I know that there are some fans here because, for many, it is their first Utah ski experience. It's easy to get to and was affordable, relatively unknown, and quiet. Its history is, um, odd. It was started by a guy who enjoyed fighting with the Forest Service and the County and had the resort closed for safety reasons on more than one occasion. The original lifts were pretty shady. Then a local family bought it and fixed it up. They hired Interwest to build the base village. They stabilized things but it is still, um, Solitude. It is not in a great spot and the layout sucks. I don't know why they put in two HSQs that drop people off near the same location. Deer Valley made some improvements, but it is still Solitude. The best terrain, Honeycomb, still requires at least three lift rides and a runout that gets really chewed up pretty fast. They don't get as much snow as nearby places. Alterra just added insult to injury. What it DID have going for it--no crowds and a local's place--has now been thoroughly destroyed on an IKONic level. It was as if someone bought your favorite local pub, bulldozed it, and put in a McDonald's. Locals are royally pissed and with good reason.

A part of me is not that surprised considering that there was the Ski Link proposal, and then Boyne's interest in purchasing it, and then its sale to Deer Valley. I think that Boyne would have been the best option because Brighton honestly is pretty well-run (the only gripe would be not much capital investment as of late).

So the announcement that they were not opening on the 20th made me wonder what was up or if they were just hesitant because of COVID. But now I wonder if it is what you said. Perhaps they did not collect enough money from their new parking meters to pay for snowmaking......:ROFLMAO: Hey, you have to laugh.
I stopped paying for parking 🤣 and nothing ever happened. No boot, no ticket.

Oh she’s a busy girl up there on weekends now that it’s unlimited ikonic. I mean, I’m adding to it, so I can’t be calling the kettle black. But she busy. And their paid parking really can go fuck off. This is not Disney World.

I’m really curious exactly what broke on their system. I have not got that info yet. It’s something big obviously, but I just don’t understand how it’s not fixed yet or there is not a second in place or backup (like pumps, there is not just 1, compressors, there is not just one) even if all their compressors shit out they could just post up some diesel ones and be fine, especially at the cheap cost off dyed these days.

So yeah, very curious at their situation.
 

ss20

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Stop one is gonna be Jackson Hole Sat/Sun/Mon. No tram obviously but Casper, Teton, and Apres Vous lifts open. Alta is 1/3rd open with pretty much everything off the Wildcat lift open, which is surprising. Jackson had had twice as much snow so I'm figuring for a life-long Eastern skier it should be pretty spectacular. Jackson will pick up 3-6" Wednesday-Thursday, then blue skis and 30 degrees for the weekend.
 

thetrailboss

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Stop one is gonna be Jackson Hole Sat/Sun/Mon. No tram obviously but Casper, Teton, and Apres Vous lifts open. Alta is 1/3rd open with pretty much everything off the Wildcat lift open, which is surprising. Jackson had had twice as much snow so I'm figuring for a life-long Eastern skier it should be pretty spectacular. Jackson will pick up 3-6" Wednesday-Thursday, then blue skis and 30 degrees for the weekend.
Alta just opened and in my POV the base is very, very thin. I would set lower expectations for Alta personally. Not everything off Wildcat is close to skiable. It is pretty low.
 
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