Our Everyday Adventures

We are not adventurers by choice but by fate – Van Gogh

Utah “The Greatest Snow On Earth”

Post By: Jake
2/16/11

Utah, “The Greatest Snow On Earth.”  I’ve grown up hearing about how awesome the skiing is in Utah, but never had the opportunity to verify the rumors until this year.  I’m not sure I experienced “the greatest snow on earth,” but I did experience some of the greatest skiing on earth!  A couple weeks ago Veronica and I drove to Salt Lake for the Outdoor Retailer show and had the opportunity to spend 3 days up on the slopes.

Wednesday, Day 1 of skiing… Solitude Ski Resort up Big Cottonwood Canyon.  We woke up super early, got on the computer and learned Solitude was getting hammered and that Big Cottonwood Canyon was closed to all vehicles without chains or 4-wheel drive (which we happen to have!).  A mere 15 or 20 minutes from our hotel in South Jordan, we were at the ticket window chompin at the bit to hit the 10-inches of fresh powder.  With our “Outdoor Retailer” event pass, we got discounted lift tickets, but were limited to the Eagle Express lift.  It took us to roughly a third of the mountain, which was enough for us that day.  Run after run of fresh powder!  We skied till noon, then hopped on a shuttle bound for Solitudes Nordic Center.  At the nordic center we got to demo some new Atomic cross country skis.  The trails were nice and very scenic.  We ended the day with a few more runs up the eagle express, and had smiles from ear to ear.  It seemed life couldn’t get any better than this!

 

Friday, Day 2 of skiing…. SnowBasin Resort towering above Ogden.  A bit further than the resorts up Cottonwood Canyon, Snow Basin is still just a quick 45 minutes (up great roads) from Salt Lake City.  I’ve skied all over Montana, and a few places in Colorado and Washington, and SnowBasin is by far the best place I’ve ever skied. Although ticket prices are comparable to ski resorts up either Cottonwood Canyons, and much less than those found around Park City, the value is by far MUCH better at SnowBasin. Three Gondolas jet you to any part of the mountain in total comfort.  The crowds are non-existent. The 3,000+ acres of skiable terrain varies, and there is PLENTY of acreage for any skill level including a massive amount of expert only terrain. Even though the last storm to hit SnowBasin was 2 days prior to our arrival, we found loads of fresh powder stashes tucked in the perfect glades.  I simply can’t say enough good things about SnowBasin, and after speaking with several people that frequent Utah ski areas, I think I’ve determined that SnowBasin is an untapped gem!  If you’ve never been and you ever get the opportunity to ski Utah, put SnowBasin at the top of your list.

Saturday, Day 3 of skiing…. Deer Valley Resort next to Park City and The Canyons Resort.  About a half hour out of Salt Lake City is the metropolis vacation destination of Park City.  Thousands of multimillion dollar condos and vacation homes pack the landscape.  Deer Valley ski resort is limited to skiers only.  Terrain is mostly blue and green groomers, although there is some advanced terrain among the 2,000+ skiable acres.  To be fair, we arrived on a Saturday during the crowded Sundance Film Festival, so we were expecting a lot of people.  Lift lines were very short as there was plenty of high speed lifts, however nearly every run seemed crowded with skiers as we dodged back and forth across the slopes.  Deer Valley received a few inches of fresh powder overnight before we arrived, however by the time we got our tickets and got up the mountains, we couldn’t find anything untracked.  I did very much appreciate being able to ski Deer Valley, although I would recommend if you have the opportunity, ski it during the week days instead of a weekend.

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