Excuse my absence over the past few days; I was taking a much needed vacation to the big city of Salt Lake. We’re fortunate enough to have friends who live there, so when we get the urge to ski some different terrain we have a handy place to stay 🙂
I had never skied any of the mountains in the SLC area but the BF lived there for a while and skied them all enough to know his way around. I hardly ever looked at a ski map and that was rather liberating. It’s freeing to just follow someone and not have to wonder what a run is like or if you should go over here or whatever…I could just enjoy the thrill of the unknown! Sometimes that was good and sometimes, like when I was wedging my way down the terrifying Great Western lift cat track at Brighton, it was not so good.
Here’s my assessment:
Alta Ski Resort
This is just one of many amazing views from the top of Alta’s lifts. What I like about Alta is that it seems like a lift-served backcountry experience. There were so many times we’d start down one run only to veer into some trees, or we’d traverse out into a bowl or around a ridge to find an isolated spot to ski…then we’d end up back in a lift line to do it again! I think Alta might be trickier for tourists because it seems more free-form than some other resorts. I think for locals Alta is a pretty sweet place to explore. Plus their tickets are super cheap! (for ski tickets these days…) One final plus for Alta: no snowboarders allowed!
Park City Resort
A view into the back country from the toop of Park City’s McConkey’s lift shows miles of possibilities for those willing to work hard for turns! Park City is much more like a typical ski resort. There were defined runs and, best of all, every lift (almost) served every kind of terrain. I think for beginners and intermediates that is important. You get to go all over the mountain just like everyone else. Our day at Park City was my favorite; the lifts are fast, it wasn’t very crowded (it was Monday after all) and my awesome BF guide had us skiing over the whole mountain! It’s fairly easy to find your way around and there’s always a stash of trees to go through or a little secret place you think no one else knows about. Our favorite spot? The Powder Monkey blue tree run and the Meadows expert tree area (the top half). Love playing in the trees!
Brighton Ski Resort
Brighton gets mixed reviews from me. We had a blast skiing off the Snake Creek Express lift and the Millicent lift, but not so much fun skiing off Great Western. In the BF’s defense, we normally would have skied the short set of bumps under the GW lift to get to the cat track instead of skiing down the steep track and around about a 45 degree curve…on a cat track. I’m not a fan of narrow steep cat tracks. Oh well! Other than that one incident Brighton was a lot of fun and I can see where, on a powder day, one could find secret stashes all day long! There was still soft snow blown in from the woods in some places as well so I was able to make a few soft turns in there. Brighton is similar to Alta in that you can make it much more free-form than some other resorts. Cheap tickets there as well, between $50 and $60.
For more photos, you can look here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151259815800285.801060.700410284&type=1&l=d032f484da
Time to settle back into the work week for a while…