Utah & Alta's Last day, 21 Apr 2024 and beyond


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I skied Alta on 21 Apr 2024 for only the second time this season (1st time was a great powder day in feb). It was their closing day and a large and festive crowd turned out. Magnificent weather, 60 degs on the mtn. Snow pretty good until early afternoon, then heavier, but that's when we started grilling and partying.

Wildcat lot at Alta full of partiers at 9am

PS: I'll post some more in this thread shortly.
Fond memories of 2011 Alta closing, part of Liz' and my first week together. Hopefully jimk made it to the Highboy party scene. Jimk might or might not have noticed former admin, who might or might not have brought his deep fryer for parking lot festivities as in 2011.
On their last day (21 Apr 2024) Alta was reporting a seasonal snowfall total of 621". This was far short of last year's record of 903, but still a very good year, and from my point of view Utah's had better spring conditions for much of this April due to more consistent temps. I had planned to go to Snowbird on the 21st, but a friend comp'd me a ticket at the last minute allowing me to more fully observe the last day festivities. I'd been to an Alta closing day about six years ago. They tell me the crowds and craziness are getting bigger every year. All parking reservations were long snapped up for this date, but I carpooled with a buddy that had one. We enjoyed about three hours of somewhat soft skiing before we got into the tailgating mode. I didn't get up on the hill for end of day Highboy activities and opted instead to beat traffic and head home about 330pm.
Lots of costumes.
alta apr 21 supreme crowd.jpg

The groomers were ok. It was kind of warm for the offpiste, but we gave it a try, mashed potatoes.
v alta 21 apr.jpeg

I'm working the grill. Guy next to me in friar tuck outfit had run the SLC marathon the day before. Nice kid, and was so SORE I felt sorry for him and gave him some food.
jim grill 21 apr.jpeg

By 1pm there were a lot of passed out people laying around.
passed out alta 21 apr.jpg

Lots of snow still in LCC, kind of hard to see Alta close at 100%.
superior and snowpine view 21 apr.jpeg
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In between the Alta day I had two real fine spring days at Solitude, skiing from 9am to 12 or 1pm.
April 19
johnl apr 19 soli.jpg

Apr 22
vince soli 22 apr.jpg

dan tele 22 apr soli.jpg

Crazy Burke gets around the Cottonwoods
burke soli apr 22.jpg

The Solitude Wiggle
soli wiggle 22 apr.jpg

Most of the Utah ski areas are now closed. But 3 that I have a pass for are still open, Snowbird, Solitude and Brighton. Brighton closes Apr 28. The other two will go well into May and perhaps beyond. (Brian Head also open until May 5.)
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beat traffic and head home about 330pm.
On closing day Alta's crowd would disperse gradually, though Snowbird would still make a 4:30 departure tedious. And if you hang around for festivities (we were on top of Highboy until 5:30 in 2011 and didn't leave until after 7PM) I doubt the drive down would be too bad.
Late spring in Utah continued...27 April Snowbird, there was some good skiing


and not so good due to foggy/misty spring weather


28 April was a fun day. Conditions weren't the greatest, but I spent it with friends and we ended up in a nice hot tub:) We started at Snowbird and a trip through the Peruvian tunnel.


But the conditions were not too friendly, low viz and firm surfaces. So after 90 mins we drove 40 mins to Solitude, thus skiing Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons in the same day.


Still quite a bit of snow on the mountains and in Solitude Village.


3 May felt like 3 March. I wore a winter jacket and the snow was powdery over 80% of Snowbird.
I was with my tele-buddy
jim and dan 3 may.jpg

Little Cloud bowl
daniel little cloud 3 may.jpg

Who Dunit and base area
daniel who dunit 3 may.jpg

The cat tracks are holding up better than I can remember for this late in the season. Few to zero rocks or gravel on any of them.
cat track snowbird 3 may.jpg

A friend took this photo of me in the Rasta Chutes area of Little Cloud Bowl.
jim rasta chutes 3 may.jpeg

The Cirque is still very white on the 3rd of May
cirque 3 may snowy.jpg

4 May was significantly warmer at Snowbird, maybe 50-55 degs on the mtn, but it warmed slowly and I had a great AM session with a friend and left before too slushy.
Some ski buddies at the summit.
buddies from summit snowbird 4 may.jpg

Always some costumes in late spring Saturdays. Nice day for a white wedding...
nice day for a white wedding mineral 4 may.jpg

I hit day 66 on May 4th which is a PR for ski days in a season and I've got a week left before I leave UT and return to my primary residence near Wash DC. Supposed to be a fairly big snowstorm May 5-7. Gonna try to ski 70 days this winter and match my age. I've had several 60+ ski days in recent years, but I haven't actually skied my age since I was about 35, half a life ago;)
You probably mentioned it before but I can't recall -- you have an Ikon base pass + a Snowbird season pass?
the 70 skis free thing.
Which Utah areas have ski free at 70? FYI Mountain High is raising its free age from 70 to 75 next season but those of us who already have the pass at 70 are grandfathered. The Mountain High Pass is good for 3 days at Powder Alliance areas even if they don't have ski free at 70 on their own passes. I used it at Lost Trail in 2023.
I don't think there is any free skiing at age 70 in UT now. Nordic Valley may be free at 75. Senior freebies are not always easy to track and ski areas change prices and qualifying ages quite a bit. The two I skied this year for free were Massanutten, VA (4 times) and Monarch, CO (2 times).

Cinco de Mayo, Snowing down in the SL Valley now, must be dumping up in The Canyons?!?
cinco de mayo flowers and snow at Vince house.jpg

5 May 2024, Salt Lake Valley. I think that's a blooming redbud tree that's been covered by a late spring snowfall, 3" and still coming. BTW, on 4 May it was 75 degs here!

snow covered redbud 5 may cottonwood heights.jpg
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I think that's a blooming redbud tree that's been covered by a late spring snowfall, 3" and still coming. BTW, on 4 May it was 75 degs here!
Standard Operating Procedure for temps and weather in the Rockies IMO. Powder one day and MTB the next (or vice versa) in the spring and fall is a common theme... Or even doing MTB in 70+F in the morning followed by snow by mid-afternoon which I have done a few times over the years.

It very much feels like cold fronts are much more severe/dramatic here in mountain country than other places.

I once happened to catch a huge temp front coming in on a weather app: The 43F and the 11F numbers on this map (both on the flat plains of the front range) are roughly 5 miles apart... Now that is a concentrated cold front!
Weather Change.JPG
Me on 6 May 2024, 21" powder day at Snowbird UT, heck of a morning, still dumping, tomorrow's gonna be even better. Only Peruvian Chair ran due to storm. Big crowd, but not that big, worst line wait maybe 10-15 mins.
jim snowbird 6 may 2024 .jpg

My buddy who took above photo with a frame grab:
justin 6 may 2024 snowbird 21 inches.jpg

I'll post some more comments on this day later.
9AM lift line at Peruvian Chair, not too bad, but it grew 3-4X.




last run through hot foot gully

biggest late spring dump i've experienced out here! another foot+ coming today/tonight.
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7 May 2024, another snowy, wintry day at Snowbird, UT. Only Peruvian chair ran due to winds and avi mitigation, so logistically challenging. A bigger crowd turned out than yesterday. I timed one lift wait - 19 mins. I've probably only waited that long for a chair a handful of times in nearly 40 days at the Bird this season. At last count, 29" in last 48 hrs.
snowbird 7 may vince.jpg
Was up at Snowbird again on May 9th. Still real fine winter snow/skiing. But spring is coming back in a day or two. This is the top of the Little Cloud Chair, looked and felt a bit like January 9th :unsure:
little cloud lift 9 may snowbird.jpg
11 May 2024 was special for me at Snowbird, UT. Besides enjoying good times with good friends and good snow, this was my 70th and last ski day of the season. My wife and I drive east on Monday. 70 is a PR for ski days in a season. It also matches my age. Kinda like that symmetry!
Hope you all have a safe and prosperous off season. Rinse and repeat next year, God willing!

Mineral Basin skied great down numerous friendly routes.



Very picturesque day all around the hill.

Got into Great Scott. It skied like March 11th. Easy entrance and loaded with chalky snow.

jim great scott 11 may 2024 snowbird.jpg

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