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Author Topic: Tommy seeks advice-Utah ski areas  (Read 804 times)
Tommy T
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« on: September 11, 2011, 03:49:29 PM »

Especially Surf88 . . .


I have made several trips to Utah that included Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude and Park City, so you can refer to them for comparisons if that would be helpful in answering the following:

I've never skied or ridden The Canyons.  Looks like a lot of in-bounds, off-piste, much of which takes a short hike.  I also note that some of my back-country maps show alternate access via Canyon area lifts.  I'm considering an unlimited pass for Canyons and a mid-week pass for Snowbird.  Any thoughts?

Is Canyons worth several days a week for me for a season?  How is the rating on all of it's Blue trails -- J'Hole Blue (which could mostly be considered easy Black) or Breckenridge Blue (much of which would be the hard side of Green at most areas)?  Friends and family want to know.

Tommy T.

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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2011, 07:58:48 PM »

I've never been to the Canyons but have made it out to Snowbird several times and Alta once.
I've always heard the Canyons was where the "tamer" terrain was located, more rolling terrain than craggy.

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surf88
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2011, 09:42:12 AM »


Is Canyons worth several days a week for me for a season?  How is the rating on all of it's Blue trails -- J'Hole Blue (which could mostly be considered easy Black) or Breckenridge Blue (much of which would be the hard side of Green at most areas)?  Friends and family want to know.

Tommy T.
I didnt get to sample any of the off piste, but the on piste was pretty tame and very groomed when I was there.  And if I recall correctly the blues were on the overrated side. 
Judging by your annual report from Sun Valley I think it will be a similar experience to sun valley and you will get bored with a season pass.  Is your home base going to be in the Park City area? 
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Tommy T
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2011, 02:53:36 PM »

I didnt get to sample any of the off piste, but the on piste was pretty tame and very groomed when I was there.  And if I recall correctly the blues were on the overrated side. 
Judging by your annual report from Sun Valley I think it will be a similar experience to sun valley and you will get bored with a season pass.  Is your home base going to be in the Park City area? 

Our house is between the center of down-town SLC and the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon.  I expect to spend a lot of days riding the bus up to Snowbird.  Snowbird has a good rate on a senior, mid-week pass with no blackouts but it does not have senior rate on fully unlimited passes.

My wife, daughter, daughter-in-law and six grandkids like over-rated Blues.  In fact, the selection of Breckenridge last year was a defensive reaction to some-what of a family revolt over consecutive seasons at Taos and J'Hole.

Canyons is the largest ski area in Utah and has a 3,100 foot vert.  The map shows a lot of hike-to terrain and other Black areas that are through trees.  It also has back-country access gates, including access to terrain that runs down to the bottom of Big Cottonwood.

My intention would be to use Canyons on week-ends (when the tram at Snowbird can be a big pain) and for at least parts of the vacation weeks with the family and friends.  Canyons has an unlimited senior price pass which makes it attractive to get an unlimited senior there and a mid-week senior at Snowbird.  I could do the same sort of thing with Alta, but then I am committed to a lot of tele.  I only tele'd about 10 days last season.

Looking at ski area bulletin boards and blogs around the web, I'm finding that most reporters are saying the same thing as you and Atruss -- didn't get to sample the hard stuff but the blues were overrated.  I think hard men who are taking a one-week at SLC head straight to Little Cottonwood and that's that.

Looking at the Canyons map, it at least is going to take some serious time to sample all of the stuff up high and maybe my posts won't just be validating what every body already knows.  (J'Hole has a lot of hard stuff, so, big news.)

So, do you see any flaws in my analysis or holes in my thinking.

(Speaking of holes in thinking, I recently had a PET brain scan and found out two things -- no tumors and why I have never caught a fly ball in my life -- the part of my brain that is involved in intuitive prediction of visual/spacial events (like where a ball just leaving the bat is apt to come down) just doesn't do anything at all; no metabolic activity at all.  We have no prior baseline data on how long I've been this way, but it explains a lot of things from childhood on like not being able to catch balls and not having any vertigo whatsoever regardless of the situation -- I don't know where the ball is going and I don't envision myself falling through space, bouncing off of rocks as I go.)(By the way, I can throw a ball accurately -- that's muscle memory not intuitive prediction.)

Tommy T.
(Did I mention that I also have trouble staying on topic?)
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surf88
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2011, 04:10:11 PM »

Quote
Our house is between the center of down-town SLC and the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon.
  Personally that location would have me spending more time at Brighton than Canyons.  But I think your fam will like canyons.  Its posh.

Quote
I think hard men who are taking a one-week at SLC head straight to Little Cottonwood and that's that
.

Not me, I head straight to ogden, thats more my scene. If you get a chance take the fam up to Snowbasin.  The 2002 mens olwmpic downhill run and some of the stuff to the side of it are alot of fun.
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Tommy T
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2011, 08:04:59 PM »

I've been to Brighton a few times.  It's pretty small and I didn't find any really big challenges there.  Does look like a drop off the back side at the top of the lift could be interesting.  It is the first area at which we left my oldest grandson to ski by himself when he was four or five (I remember the year but not the date and his birthday is at the end of January) while his dad and I did something elsewhere on the hill.


My son has specifically mentioned Snowbasin as a place he wants to look at.  Some interesting terrain around it, too.


With Snowbasin, Canyons and Powder-what ever/which ever it-is, my number of areas that I use in my mind for personal record keeping will be up to 98 and we'll undoubtably pick one more in Utah or Western Colorado and then hit Crested Butte on the way home in April to make 100.   

(Number is someplace between 90 and 110, depending on how you count connected areas, closed areas, and merged areas.  My personal, pretty defensible, number is 95 -- for example, I count Mt. Snow and Haystack even though when I first skied Haystack it was connected to Snow by the trail along the ridge, but I don't count Corinthia because when I first skied it, it was already possible to access it from above via the MT Snow lift system and to ride from the top of the Corinthia lift pretty much continuously downhill to the lowest of the Snow lifts.  At the time, the trail systems were not consolidated yet but I am keeping my count conservative so when I claim 100, not too many people will argue about it.  I count Watatic because I tele'd it the first season it was closed while all of the trails were in good condition and the lift was still there, just not running.  I don't count Cat Rock (a lost area near 128 west of Boston) because when I was there, it had been closed for at least a decade, the trails were heavily overgrown and just one lonely bull wheel for the rope tow still stood at a lopside angle near the bottom.)

Tommy T.
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Around the bend in the last canyon; just over that false summit on the final peak; lost in the cold smoke of the ultimate powder ride -- I shall not quit until it is over.
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