Friday, February 15, 2013

Skiing in Utah - Solitude and Snowbird

Switching gears a bit and heading back to Utah, after spending a great day exploring Park City and Sundance it was time to do some skiing!  You cannot go all the way to Salt Lake without getting to the mountains.  Amazingly, unlike Denver, great skiing is only about a half hour away from the city!  There are so many mountains, big and small, in the canyons east of the city.  Having not skied yet this year we were excited, but actually merely hoping for some good conditions.  Since we're used to East Coast skiing, heavy powder might have done us in after a single run!

Our first day was spent at Solitude, a small(er) mountain compared to some others, but still over 10,000 feet!  This mountain seemed more like the local hidden gem.  With no lines at the lifts (ever) and amazing varied terrain its easy to see why locals flock to this mountain.  The fireplace at the lodge definitely doesn't hurt either!  Our guides picked a perfect "get back our sea legs" mountain.

At Solitude
Group Shot with out amazing tour guides!
Never will get tired of the views
Soaring Solitude Bird Mascot
Sun was shining!
A little Apres Ski :)
After the sun went behind the mountain the temperature dropped and it was time for us to head home.  Solitude was a great mountain and loads of fun.  This was a great place to ditch the crowds and enjoy great skiing.

After an easy evening at home with some homemade pizzas, wine and bananagrams (Sundance was a late night!) we woke up early and were off to the famed Snowbird.  I had heard stories of their bowl skiing and the cat track, but seeing it in person was awe-inspiring.  The front side of the mountain did not have any sun so we headed straight up to the top to head to the bowls on the back side.  I literally gasped when we got to the tipy top because it was just so beautiful.

At the top of Snowbird - inversion
What looks like a lake in the photo above is actually the cloud cover that settled over Salt Lake - aka, inversion.  The inversion makes the city freezing cold because it traps the cold air in and doesn't let any sunlight (warmth) into the city.  While it made for chilly evenings, the views of it from the warm, sunny slopes of Snowbird were so cool.  In general, the views from the peaks of Snowbird never got old - I took off the mittens to break out the camera a whole lot!

Group Shot!

Border Patrol to Alta
Snowbird and Alta are connected at the top.  However, Alta only allows skiers - no snowboarders.  I am not sure how different the terrain is, but if you are in a skiers-only group, the mountain sells combo passes that allow you access to both mountains.

More Views
A look at the bowls

When you ski the Snowbird Mineral Basin bowl, there is a narrow cat track that goes around the top and takes you to the less steep areas of the bowl.  That in and of itself is nerve racking!  Having gone pretty close to the end before dropping in the first time around, I will say I got much braver a few runs in and definitely dropped in on the steep side and worked my way around what turned out of be the rocky parts.  There are trees in that photos, but you can make out some of the skiers, which just shows the scale of how big that bowl is!  Makes for an impressive picture, that is for sure!  

Mineral Basin
Skiing in Utah was so much fun!  Its proximity to the city and its laid back attitude make it super  welcoming.  I have skied Vail, Keystone and Snowmass in Colorado and none were as easy going and simply fun as both Solitude and Snowbird.  The locals and visitors all had a great time together.

If you are looking to head west for some skiing, I would highly recommend checking out Utah.


  1. My love the photos in here. Its been ages since the last time I went skiing. Got my eye on your next posts.

  2. skiing at snowbird is LIFE CHANGING. I literally had the best ski day of my life there. The same can be said for Sundance. Did you guys ski Park City? I loved the chairlift downtown!!

  3. Ahh West Coast snow! This looks like a beautiful and fun ski trip!

  4. I've never been skiing out west. It's on my bucket list. Jeff said he loves Snowbird. Your pictures are awesome!

  5. i don't ski, but i love those pictures!!

  6. Thank you for sharing information about the snow conditions in Pennsylvania. This may be the last winter storm we get. Well we can only hope!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...