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TR for mostly Alta, April 6-23

marzNC

Angel Diva
My annual April trip to Alta will be April 6-23. Mostly staying at Alta Lodge but starting with a few nights in SLC. Just as well given that Hwy 210 has been closed for several days and it's unclear when it will re-open.

What's different this time is that my daughter is taking her first ski vacation as a working adult. She hasn't skied at Alta since a spring break trip during high school. She'll be meeting up this weekend with a friend she made at Alta Lodge when they were tweens. She and I did spring break trips to Alta for several years in a row when she was in elementary school.

For those who haven't been following the unprecedented snowfall, Interlodge periods, and road conditions in the Cottonwood Canyons this season, check out the LCC/BCC Conditions thread. While I pay attention to Utah snow conditions all season, I paid even more attention starting a couple weeks ago as I prepared for my trip and trips that friends had planned for early April.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Happily our early morning flight from RDU was uneventful. Both flights were on time and all the checked bags arrived in SLC. We were ready to be picked by Bill about 45 minutes after our plane landed. These days it takes 15-20 minutes to walk from the Southwest gates to baggage claim. I'm glad we bring our boots in carry-on cases with wheels.

I booked a VRBO house near the airport for a few nights. The idea was to ski other resorts besides Alta since my daughter hasn't had a chance to do that before.

Per usual, I brought my double Sportube with only one pair of skis. What I packed with the skis included a pair of shoes and my small Dakine pack that I sometimes use at a large resort. Also found that the Brazen folding foam roller would fit. My snow boots are in between the skis.

Sportube packing Apr2023 - 1.jpeg
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
It was a gorgeous blue ski day at Brighton on April 6. A bit warm with air temps in the low 30s, but it's April after all.

View from the top of Great Western looking towards Solitude, the top of the Snowbird tram visible
Brighton views 06Apr2023 - 1.jpeg

The SolBright connector trail was "Avy Closed" and anyone found there would have their pass pulled. Sign was at the base of the Milly lift.

Easy to see the slide paths over the SolBright trail, which is on the other side of the dam
Brighton views 06Apr2023 - 2.jpeg
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
As for the snow next to the BCC road . . . first photo is getting close to Brighton on the way up and the second is on the way down. The road was dry. Since we were going slow on the way down in the late afternoon, it became easy to spot where UDOT had to clear off snow and debris from slides.

Brighton road 06Apr2023 - 1.jpegBrighton road 06Apr2023 - 3.jpeg
 

TNtoTaos

Angel Diva
Happily our early morning flight from RDU was uneventful. Both flights were on time and all the checked bags arrived in SLC. We were ready to be picked by Bill about 45 minutes after our plane landed. These days it takes 15-20 minutes to walk from the Southwest gates to baggage claim. I'm glad we bring our boots in carry-on cases with wheels.

I booked a VRBO house near the airport for a few nights. The idea was to ski other resorts besides Alta since my daughter hasn't had a chance to do that before.

Per usual, I brought my double Sportube with only one pair of skis. What I packed with the skis included a pair of shoes and my small Dakine pack that I sometimes use at a large resort. Also found that the Brazen folding foam roller would fit. My snow boots are in between the skis.

View attachment 21046
I always worry that if I put loose stuff in my Sportube the TSA might lose them when they inspect the tube. Anyone ever have that happen?
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
U can get up to Alta lodge tonight 7-10p with reservation & tomorrow 7A-9A
That doesn't apply to me and my crew because our Alta Lodge reservation starts on Sunday, April 9.

This evening UDOT announced the plan for Hwy 210 on April 8. Although the road will be open for uphill and downhill travel 7-9am, it will be closed until 7pm. That means anyone who skis at Alta (or Snowbird) on April 8 must be prepared to stick around until the evening. I discussed the situation with Alta Lodge who emphasized that there is no place to eat around Alta from 3:30-7:00pm. Having considered our options, we won't drive up to Alta tomorrow morning.

After making the decision to ski somewhere other than Alta tomorrow, I got detailed information about the plan for Hwy 210 because I made an Alta parking reservation for Bill's car last week. I've since cancelled that parking reservation.

Email received at 7:23pm on April 7:

You are receiving this email because you have a parking reservation at Alta Ski Area on Saturday, April 8th, 2023.

Due to this week's 67-inch storm cycle, it is not business as usual for Little Cottonwood Canyonand Highway 210. Please be aware of the following travel changes for Saturday, April 8th:


Highway 210 will open to the public from 7-9am only, allowing a limited number of vehicles up the canyon.
Highway 210 will close at 9am and will not reopen until 7pm.
If you plan to ski tomorrow, plan on staying the entire day.
Your parking reservation does not guarantee that your car will be allowed into the canyon.
Queue up early if you plan on skiing Saturday, April 8th.

If you are unable to make it to Alta on Saturday, April 8th we will automatically refund all paid parking reservations. Thank you for your patience throughout this historically deep winter that has delivered almost 900 inches of snow.
 

snoWYmonkey

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
With the forecasted high temps, please make wise choices in terms of wet slides. So much snow that could warm fast on south facing aspects.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
The three of us had a good time at Snowbasin today. We mostly skied groomers, plus a few short bump runs where the snow hadn't set up and was still soft. In the afternoon, there were relatively few people around and the groomers stayed in good shape. Temps were warm enough to soften the snow but cool enough that the lower mountain trails stayed fun.

We skied from 9:15 to 4:00, with lunch at Needles. We discussed going to the John Paul Lodge but a local woman overheard us and nicely pointed out that JP only had snacks. With all the J-1 employees already gone, the food service options are in late season mode. That's pretty common in April.

Here are a few pics that give some idea of how deep the snowpack is on April 7. The Yurt has become the place to buy tickets. I used Ikon F&F for my daughter. Have to kneel down to reach the window because the snowpack is so deep. In general, trail signs are at snow level. Ski patrol has marked a few with hazard poles. Took a minute to realize the caution tape on the Middle Bowl lift was so that a really tall guest wouldn't bump a head.

Snowbasin deep snow 07Apr2023 - 1.jpeg
Snowbasin deep snow 07Apr2023 - 1 (1).jpegSnowbasin deep snow 07Apr2023 - 2.jpegSnowbasin deep snow 07Apr2023 - 3.jpeg
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
That caution tape went up last weekend, and we were even closer to it then! Just that snowbank next to it is an indicator of how deep it is. Porky lift has been buried most of the week. The race team yurt at the top of Becker is totally buried minus a tiny bit of the top of it.

I am not sure if any of the upper mountain bike trails will be able to open at all this summer! The lower ones will be affected by runoff, and I have a feeling some of the wooden bridges will be taken out by the water.
 

skinnyfootskis

Angel Diva
That caution tape went up last weekend, and we were even closer to it then! Just that snowbank next to it is an indicator of how deep it is. Porky lift has been buried most of the week. The race team yurt at the top of Becker is totally buried minus a tiny bit of the top of it.

I am not sure if any of the upper mountain bike trails will be able to open at all this summer! The lower ones will be affected by runoff, and I have a feeling some of the wooden bridges will be taken out by the water.
So much snow…it’s mind blowing but I worry about a fast melt.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
So much snow…it’s mind blowing but I worry about a fast melt.
Yeah, me too. This weekend and into next week are perfect melting conditions. It is supposed to cool off again after that. The worst would be warm and heavy rain.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Thanks for sharing the details!! What’s your next destination with Alta closed tomorrow?
The road to Alta being closed and Alta Lifts being closed are two different things. Alta was open for skiing the last couple days but only people who are staying in LCC are really enjoying the slopes.

We skied Park City today. Bill has an Epic pass and had Buddy Passes left. Also my daughter's friend and his father ended up in Park City since they couldn't get to Alta Lodge. They are doing a short trip and fly home on Monday. We had a good day of spring skiing. Also had a chance to see the pond skim.

Gotta go finish packing. SR210 will be open tomorrow 6-9am and we'll be driving up first thing in the morning. Hopefully my next post will be from Alta Lodge.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Alta lodge told people no uphill even 4 guests but @AltaCentral (marshal) confirm guests with reservation can go up btw 7p-10p
Thanks for finding that tweet. The exceptions to restrictions on uphill travel are based on what happens when parking becomes full at Snowbird and/or Alta. Confirmed lodging guests at the private Alta lodges or in Snowbird (resort or private condos) and "critical employees verified by resorts" are allowed to drive up the canyon when/if parking is deemed full.

For my friends who are flying to SLC, the best source of when it will probably be possible to get to Alta Lodge has been Alta Shuttle. What Alta Lodge is telling my friends who are flying in starting Monday is that they should keep in close touch with Alta Shuttle. For Sunday evening, the expectation is that airport shuttle drivers with confirmed lodge guests will be allowed to take them to Alta Lodge during the evening time window.
 

DebbieSue

Angel Diva
Spent 3 consecutive days skiing Snowbasin last month. Terrain may have evolved. But if you want Taos style bumps, sort of like Tells glade I recommend Beck’s off of Wildcat chair/ridge (or u can get there via Blue grouse terrain park and then traverse Skiers R thru some trees). Becks get u to Porcupine lift. Or take wildcat ridge then Blitz or Centennial all the to the base. All are black but are wide, even pitch, so the bumps remained manageable, not gnarly. My pals liked Becks too. We hit it many times. Never any people there!
 

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