Solitude, UT, Mar. 12, 2021

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Solitude, UT, Mar. 12, 2021

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Mar 14, 2021 11:17 pm

Originally we planned to ski Solitude Thursday, but with snow predicted much of Thursday we opted for Friday to be driving up and down LCC and BCC. The Friday morning drive was easy, taking maybe 35 minutes. Parking organization at Solitude left something to be desired. It’s $20 pay parking but we were supposed to pay only $5 with 4 people in the car. The pay is at a kiosk and it took at least 10 minutes to hunt down an employee to give us a code for the $5 parking.

Nonetheless, Liz, Michelle, Stefan and I were on the hill early enough ~9:30 to get up Moonbeam, Apex and Summit with minimal waits. Since Honeycomb Canyon was not open yet, we explored Headwall Forest. This view was alluring for a few good powder turns.
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The reason is there’s a steep dropoff ahead with barely enough room for Stefan and me to sideslip through.
View up from below:
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Liz and Michelle had a more fluid run in and near Corner Chute so we all did that next.
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By this time the Summit lift had built up to a 5+ minute line, but sometime during our third ride on Summit Honeycomb finally opened.

We traversed out to the Prince of Wales area, where I could not resist this view.
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The first several turns were pristine and deep, but the center section narrowed to powder over moguls before broadening to low angle powder below. These were my deepest turns of the season, but the fall line of untracked was much shorter than many of our powder runs at Schweitzer Feb. 25-26.

Michelle and Liz continued the traverse a bit farther.
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Their run was lower angle but more continuous than mine.

Stefan cut over their way and filmed Michelle and Liz.
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We took the three lift circuit for an encore Honeycomb run. We all took the line Michelle and Liz had the first time as it was more open and there was still room to make your own tracks 45 minutes later. The lack of efficiency in that Honeycomb circuit results in it being slower to get tracked out.

We skied the Serenity and Challenger cruisers on the Eagle Chair and then rode Summit to get to Brighton’s Millicent area for lunch about 1:30. View of dam and top of Millicent from the Solbright Trail:
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Millicent’s liftline was at least 5 minutes, and you can see in the background that Brighton’s main base is busy too.
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This was another “Friday is the new Saturday” situation as at Schweitzer, particularly with new snow.

We skied one of Milly’s rolling groomers and saw this air while waiting in the lift line the next time.
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For our last Milly run we traversed skier’s right and needed to find openings in the cliff band. Michelle followed me on the most tracks to this one:
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Stefan and Liz thought they could find something easier but they did not.
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That one had to be sideslipped carefully while I could make hop turns in the wider chute.

It was almost 4PM by the time we got back to Solitude so we called it a day with 18,500 vertical. I estimate about 4K of high quality powder.

George and Garry skied Alta. George said there was some good powder but only for short distances. Garry saw the rope drop and put the first tracks in Devil’s Castle, but said he was hitting the subsurface there.
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Ski Records
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
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: Solitude, UT, Mar. 12, 2021

Postby jamesdeluxe » Tue Mar 16, 2021 7:04 am

Tony Crocker wrote:This was another “Friday is the new Saturday” situation as at Schweitzer, particularly with new snow.

The pic of liftlines was at Brighton -- was Solitude also that busy on Friday? I can't come to terms with the fact that Solitude now has the same level of crowds as Alta/Snowbird. The last time I was there two years ago, it still had plenty of elbow room on weekdays.
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Re: Solitude, UT, Mar. 12, 2021

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Mar 16, 2021 4:15 pm

Summit's line was similar to Milly's. Other chairs at Solitude had minimal waits. But there was little powder to be had on those front side chairs, which implies that people were busy skiing it as it fell Thursday like we were at Snowbird.

Wednesday Jan. 27 at Brighton had substantial lift lines all day, but part of that was due to Great Western being on wind hold.

Utah locals say the BCC road on weekends is comparable to LCC's, and that Solitude on Saturdays is indeed crowded being the only unlimited Ikon area in Utah.

The standard of "uncrowded" for skiing powder is much more stringent than for lift lines or skier density on trails. And we all know that lift lines will form much more readily in 2020-21 with lifts running at half capacity. There have been cases where I've noticed the lower lift capacity results in lower skier density on trails. Alta is having somewhat of an "Old School" season in that regard.

James' referenced visit to Solitude two years ago was during the vacation dead zone between Thanksgiving and Christmas so not that relevant vs. January - March.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
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
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10913
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California


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