Solitude, UT: 12/14-15/18

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Solitude, UT: 12/14-15/18

Postby jamesdeluxe » Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:40 pm

I skied Friday and Saturday at Solitude, which is now part of Ikon Pass and most people here in BCC have been raving about how it's transformed their winter lives locally: unlimited skiing at Solitude and five to seven days each (depending on which version you bought) at Brighton, Deer Valley, Alta, and Snowbird. Must be nice to have those kind of options within a 30- to 40-minute drive.

Following Thursday's eight-inch storm, we were looking at a stretch of high-pressure/sunny and dry. Conditions were nice except on heavy-traffic trail sections.

The only downside to the new Ikon Pass world is that Solitude is busier on weekends; weekdays it's nice and quiet as before-- walking to the lifts from the main village with no one around:
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Another big change since I was last here two years ago is that they replaced the summit chair and moved it lower on the mountain, which allows you to take the Apex lift to connect to the summit: two high-speed lifts to the top. Unfortunately, the connecting trail gets scratchy pretty quickly without fresh snow:
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We did three fun runs through Honeycomb Canyon, which was in good shape for early season. Unfortunately, due to the low sun, it was mostly in the shade, so not conducive to great pix. Not sure what happened to the map at the summit gate:
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Our favorite frontside sector is off the Powderhorn chair with soft baby bumps most of the way down:
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Stopping for lunch at the midmountain Roundhouse is great because they have a Himalayan/Indian-inspired menu at reasonable prices -- sure beats burgers and fries.
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Working with the naan bread:
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Also worth noting was a Crazy George sighting. He's been an institution at Solitude for years and used to wear a Tom Sawyer straw hat and overalls but has since changed over to this fashion choice:
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Re: Solitude, UT: 12/15-16/18

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:15 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:The only downside to the new Ikon Pass world is that Solitude is busier on weekends

I was wondering about that. If it's evident in mid-December, I'm sure it's a permanent change and not a surprise for reasons James stated.

You must be on admin's blacklist for spurning Alta on this trip. Actually, it's still a below average early season so far in Utah, and Alta usually skis better than the other places in that scenario.

Do you have an Ikon Pass? My understanding is the 5/7 Ikon Altabird days are on a combined ticket. Liz
and I are :-D about that. And also that Killington, Sunday River and Sugarbush are on the Ikon.
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Re: Solitude, UT: 12/15-16/18

Postby jamesdeluxe » Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:37 am

Tony Crocker wrote:You must be on admin's blacklist for spurning Alta on this trip.

I felt bad missing Mr. Grand Adventure and crew at both Sushi Friday and at Alta; however, I hadn't seen BobMc in many moons and wanted to catch up with him as he was the first skier I ever met through an internet forum, in 2001.

Tony Crocker wrote:Do you have an Ikon Pass?

Given that in recent years 2/3 of my ski days per season have been in the Alps (3/4 last year due to the cancellation of my December Utah visit), it didn't make sense to purchase an Ikon Pass. That said; even by purchasing tix online, costs add up quickly: $55 x 2 at Brighton, $62 x 2 at Solitude, and a cringe-worthy $102 for a weekend discount ticket at Snowbird purchased last-minute at the BCC Lift House (I don't think I'd ever spent more than $70 on a lift ticket in my life) = $336. That's almost halfway to an Ikon Pass for a five-day visit. The life of a destination skier...
#-o
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Re: Solitude, UT: 12/14-15/18

Postby EMSC » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:01 am

jamesdeluxe wrote:Given that in recent years 2/3 of my ski days per season have been in the Alps (3/4 last year due to the cancellation of my December Utah visit), it didn't make sense to purchase an Ikon Pass. That said; even by purchasing tix online, costs add up quickly: $55 x 2 at Brighton, $62 x 2 at Solitude, and a cringe-worthy $102 for a weekend discount ticket at Snowbird purchased last-minute at the BCC Lift House (I don't think I'd ever spent more than $70 on a lift ticket in my life) = $336. That's almost halfway to an Ikon Pass for a five-day visit. The life of a destination skier...



Hate to say it, but that's actualy not all that bad cost wise. Try coming to central Colo and skiing at anything other than Loveland or maybe sol vista for anything close to that. Cat't wait to hear what Vail charges for a walk up rate over the holidays. Will have to be over $200 for sure.
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Re: Solitude, UT: 12/14-15/18

Postby jamesdeluxe » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:56 pm

EMSC wrote:Try coming to central Colo and skiing at anything other than Loveland or maybe sol vista for anything close to that..

Yep, my favorite move is going to Loveland late season and scoring tickets in the parking lot from people trying to get rid of their unused 4-Paks.
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Re: Solitude, UT: 12/14-15/18

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:15 am

In the early season I didn't quite see why someone might ski 2 days at Solitude and none at Alta. But,
jamesdeluxe wrote:missing Mr. Grand Adventure and crew at both Sushi Friday and at Alta

I'm guessing James was staying up at Solitude Friday night, or maybe even the whole trip.

jamesdeluxe wrote:it didn't make sense to purchase an Ikon Pass

James' normal pattern is to ski the 4 days in BCC/LCC in December. Last year was a hopefully unusual December in Utah. The Ikon might make sense if James patronized some of the Eastern Ikon areas. We hit four of them two weeks ago, so now our Ikons are close to paid off after the first 8 days of our season.

EMSC wrote:Hate to say it, but that's actually not all that bad cost wise.

+1 Utah is definitely one of the more reasonable ski regions in terms of day tickets, way better than Colorado, California or Vermont. The ski shop 2-out-of-5 day Snowbird ticket for $175 is quite attractive. I have belatedly realized that the base Ikon plus this might be a better deal than the full Ikon for us.

The cheaper interesting places are in the Northwest or the more remote parts of the Northern Rockies or interior B.C. Of course those are the kind of places James likes anyway. And so far the Alps, even the mega-resorts, have not adopted the American lift ticket pricing model.
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Re: Solitude, UT: 12/14-15/18

Postby jamesdeluxe » Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:51 am

My friend Bryan (the skier in bright green) moved from NJ to Club Solitude five years ago for his quasi retirement so I stay with him on the December Utah visits, ergo, why I spend a majority of my ski time in BCC. I'm grateful for the two-minute stroll to the Apex lift and the quick drive to Brighton; lift tix are far cheaper; there's less of an industrial tourism vibe; and I'm not comfortable skiing the top double-black stuff in LCC, so it works out for me.

Yes, if the Ikon areas in the NE were closer and I went out west more than once a year, I'd certainly pony up for that pass; however, given my preference for heading east across the ocean, it's not worth it.

Tony Crocker wrote:So far the Alps, even the mega-resorts, have not adopted the American lift ticket pricing model.

As you're aware, Euros are absolutely stunned by the price of walk-up day tickets here. I don't see them ever adopting the U.S. model. Switzerland is the most expensive of the four Alps countries for lift tix; check out the prices (the Swiss Franc/U.S. dollar exchange rate is 1:1) -- the priciest is $65 with most well below that:
https://www.onthesnow.com/switzerland/lift-tickets.html
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Re: Solitude, UT: 12/14-15/18

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:01 pm

Nice reference there, amusing because Vail owns On-The-Snow

Below at current USD rates
Switzerland: Zermatt is the priciest at $79.
France: Val d'Isere is priciest at $67
Austria: Kitzbuhel is priciest at $65
Italy: Dolomites are priciest at $64

In Canada Lake Louise is the priciest shown at $84, but of course Whistler isn't listed because of Vail's opaque window pricing.

In the US all of Vail's resorts are missing as well as Big Sky, Jackson, Snowbasin, Steamboat, Stratton, Sun Valley, Winter Park and even a few mid-size places like Hood Meadows. Priciest listed are Deer Valley $169, Copper $158 and Mammoth $149.
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Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
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Re: Solitude, UT: 12/14-15/18

Postby jamesdeluxe » Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:58 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Nice reference there, amusing because Vail owns On-The-Snow (...) In the US all of Vail's resorts are missing

Hah, I had no idea who owned the site and isn't that interesting how VR's are all MIA.

Purely out of principle, I felt like a dope paying more than $100 at Snowbird, compounded by the fact that it was a non-powder day.
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Re: Solitude, UT: 12/14-15/18

Postby ChrisC » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:03 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Below at current USD rates
Switzerland: Zermatt is the priciest at $79.
France: Val d'Isere is priciest at $67
Austria: Kitzbuhel is priciest at $65
Italy: Dolomites are priciest at $64


The Zermatt-Cervinia ticket can up that Zermatt pass a bit to nearly $90 USD. I bought the Cervinia add on - even though I did not use it everyday. It's too difficult to plan in advance or anticipate weather.

The French interconnected resorts generally do not have too much mark up - I think $0 for Val/Tignes, and moderate for others.
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