Utah in April for Beginner/Low intermediate

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Utah in April for Beginner/Low intermediate

Postby sierra_cement » Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:02 am

I'm looking for some advice on which locations in Utah would be good for me and my family from April 11 to 13, 2020. I have the Ikon base pass. Wife doesn't have the Ikon pass and I'm open to buying tickets. The snow in Tahoe was sticky in April and I fell down a couple of times or found it difficult to reach the lift. We would like to go to Utah if they will have the nice snow I experienced there in March.

I have progressed beyond beginner and I hope to take more lessons this season and improve further. I was able to ski most of the groomed blues at Heavenly last season. Wife is still on the beginner lift but will hopefully have progressed beyond that by April. My 5 y.o. is enjoying skiing and she did a few laps on the first time chair in Park City in March.

I have read Deer Valley has the best beginner terrain on Ikon but I'm not sure it will be any good in April. I do see some North facing slopes there. Would Alta/Brighton/Solitude be better than Deer Valley for us?

I'm booking Southwest flights on points, so we can cancel if the conditions are not better than Tahoe.
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Re: Utah in April for Beginner/Low intermediate

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:43 pm

sierra_cement wrote:Would Alta/Brighton/Solitude be better than Deer Valley for us?

Yes. Park City/Deer Valley are way past their prime by then. But you should consider Mammoth also.
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Re: Utah in April for Beginner/Low intermediate

Postby tseeb » Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:27 pm

Deer Valley is scheduled to close April 12, 2020. From https://www.deervalley.com/about-us/faqs" under General Resort Info

Brighton may be best choice in UT for beginner in April with 8,755' base and small beginner area near base and top to bottom green runs served by high-speed quads from both Milly and Snake Creek lifts. But I don't have experience with their beginner runs and know that on one visit in March when it had been unusually warm in UT and then froze hard, my expert snowboarding friend tested the conditions at Brighton many times before staying out on hill as it was too firm for him in the morning.

Where did you have bad conditions in April in CA? Squaw has beginner runs above 8,000', but many of them are too flat in places and most face S to E so not the best place to ski if it's warm.
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Re: Utah in April for Beginner/Low intermediate

Postby sierra_cement » Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:10 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Yes. Park City/Deer Valley are way past their prime by then. But you should consider Mammoth also.

I just looked up flights to Mammoth. The directs from SFO don't have good timings. So I'll have to stick to the Southwest SLC direct flights from SJC. I will probably do a full week trip in April to Mammoth once we become better skiers.


tseeb wrote:Deer Valley is scheduled to close April 12, 2020. From https://www.deervalley.com/about-us/faqs" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" under General Resort Info

Brighton may be best choice in UT for beginner in April with 8,755' base and small beginner area near base and top to bottom green runs served by high-speed quads from both Milly and Snake Creek lifts. But I don't have experience with their beginner runs and know that on one visit in March when it had been unusually warm in UT and then froze hard, my expert snowboarding friend tested the conditions at Brighton many times before staying out on hill as it was too firm for him in the morning.

Sounds good. We will tentatively aim for Brighton around that time. I like that you can sleep at lower elevation when skiing the Utah resorts.

Where did you have bad conditions in April in CA? Squaw has beginner runs above 8,000', but many of them are too flat in places and most face S to E so not the best place to ski if it's warm.


At Mt. Rose around April 21st, there was some rain that fell while I was there, so it was pretty wet and slow snow the whole day. I remember having problems on the flat run-outs back to the lifts. The morning was better than the afternoon.

I had a day at Heavenly in late March, where snow at the top of Sky and Dipper was incredibly nice and I had done a number of laps on the higher altitude lifts with really smooth snow. At the end of the day, we were coming down on Round-a-bout and the snow at the bottom had become extremely sticky. I was coming down fast (by my standards) and suddenly I lost speed on the sticky snow and fell down with a big thud. I didn't get injured but was definitely stunned for a minute with the sharp pain. (I just looked up the trail and it is west facing so it probably got pretty sticky at the end of the day.)

My last ski day of the season was at Alpine sometime in Mid-May using the Ikon base pass I bought in April. But I don't recall that being very sticky as I think there was some fresh snow in May a few days before I went.
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Re: Utah in April for Beginner/Low intermediate

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:13 am

tseeb wrote:Brighton may be best choice in UT for beginner in April with 8,755' base and small beginner area near base and top to bottom green runs served by high-speed quads from both Milly and Snake Creek lifts. But I don't have experience with their beginner runs and know that on one visit in March when it had been unusually warm in UT and then froze hard, my expert snowboarding friend tested the conditions at Brighton many times before staying out on hill as it was too firm for him in the morning.

Brighton is definitely a "follow the sun" mountain in spring. Milly is east facing and Great Western is west and partial south. Only Snake Creek is high and north facing. Solitude is higher proportion north facing than Brighton, offset by a 700 foot lower base. Overall Alta rates to have the best conditions and all the lifts have mainstream blues no more difficult than Sky and Dipper. Beginners need to stick with Sunnyside. And beginners need to realize that anything flat in Utah rates to have melt/freeze conditions in April if it hasn't snowed recently.
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Re: Utah in April for Beginner/Low intermediate

Postby sierra_cement » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:21 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Brighton is definitely a "follow the sun" mountain in spring. Milly is east facing and Great Western is west and partial south. Only Snake Creek is high and north facing. Solitude is higher proportion north facing than Brighton, offset by a 700 foot lower base.

Solitude also looks good. There are two North facing chairs with green runs.
solitude.PNG


Overall Alta rates to have the best conditions and all the lifts have mainstream blues no more difficult than Sky and Dipper. Beginners need to stick with Sunnyside. And beginners need to realize that anything flat in Utah rates to have melt/freeze conditions in April if it hasn't snowed recently.


Understood. The orientation doesn't make much of a difference on flat slopes as far as incident solar radiation.
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