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Utah 2018-19: travel planning, snow conditions, deals

I am praying to whatever goddess who keeps snow from melting.
There will be plenty of snow next week. I've had fun during late season at Alta even on low snow years. It's a matter of knowing where to go. This season the coverage is so deep there are places that are usually avoided because of rocks that are quite skiable. The predicted highs for the next ten days are in the 30s. :smile:
Evan of OpenSnow titled his report for April 11 "Powder Day #2." I've been lucky enough to ski powder this deep at Alta before in April, but the difference this week is that the temps are not supposed to warm up into the 40s for several days at least. :becky:

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Do you think my BP88 will cut it or should I just rent skis out there?
I skied my original Black Pearls (2011) in up to 10 inches of powder without any issue for several years. Not going to be deep fresh powder next week in any case. Don't see any reason not to bring your BP88.
Storm total so far is 39 inches! Easy to find places for first tracks this morning on the Collins side. There was a burst of heavy snow around 3:30 before it seemed to clear up by dinner time. Only a few inches expected tonight and during the day on Friday.

The question now is when Ballroom and Devil's Castle will open. Catherine's was open today but there was poor visibility for most of the day. The Backside opened in the afternoon, also with poor visibility . Not really that many locals bothered to show up. I think those that did mostly skied Wildcat and didn't wait around for the Backside to open.
Ballroom opened around 10:45. I heard Devil's Castle opened around 11:30. Didn't particularly get completely tracked out. Perhaps because of the fog that rolled in or perhaps when the sun was out and it warmed up, the snow got heavy too quickly.

Ended up with 6 more inches added to the storm total.
The next storm cycle is starting up later today. Already 30 degrees at mid-mountain as of 8am so this week will be good spring skiing, with fresh snow but probably not as much fluffy powder.

Alta forecast from OpenSnow
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April 14 was the last day for Solitude.

Alta is staying open for 7-day operations until April 21. Undoubtedly the date was agreed to last fall because Easter Sunday is April 21. Has nothing to do with the depth of the snowpack. Some people who haven't skied Alta since the old Supreme triple was removed still think Supreme will close on April 14, a week before.

Snowbird will stay open for a while, but they typically start shutting down lifts weeks before the closing date.

From Alta news:
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Interesting . . . in the email about the bonus weekend at Alta, April 26-28 (without Supreme), it's mentioned that the expected date for Opening Day for next season is Nov. 23, 2019.

Apparently Alta had preferred parking spots in the Wildcat lot for cars with 3+ people. Snowbird has been using a ride-sharing app. Alta may team up with Snowbird for ride sharing next season.

Here is how April turned out at Alta. A bit of a glitch for 4/12 when it was still snowing. The total for that storm was 50 inches. Obviously Snowbird, Solitude, and Brighton also benefitted from the late snowstorms.

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Snowbird plans to be open until mid-May, with hints that the Fri-Sun weekends might last until mid-June. Per usual, no beginner terrain and limited lifts after the end of April. The tram is closed for maintenance for a while in May to get ready for the summer season, then re-opens on May 24.

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Usually stop paying attention to snow conditions after mid-April, but know of someone who is at Snowbird this weekend. After debating the options for a couple weeks, settled on stopping at SLC on the way to CA for a business meeting instead of Squaw or Mammoth. Simpler travel won out, but he caught a powder storm!

Yesterday Mineral Basin and Little Cloud never opened. The tram is closed for routine maintenance before the summer season starts. Will be open again next weekend. Today Peruvian didn't open until 9:00 and the other two chairs opened at 10:00. The line for Peruvian got pretty long. But sounds like everyone who was there for powder turns had a ball.

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This was Snowbird last Saturday (5-18-19)
Guess that's what a powder day looks like when lifts open an hour late during late season bonus weekends.

I read a trip report on a regional forum by someone who was third in line. An older man (over 50) who decided to stop over in SLC on his way to a business trip out west. He had a very good time that day! Got to make powder turns in assorted places at Snowbird after Peruvian opened at 9:00 (scheduled for 8:00am late spring). Mineral Basin and Little Cloud opened at 10:00. When the Peruvian tunnel opened, there were people who walked carrying their skis to get there faster than those who rode on the moving belt. He even hiked over to ski into Alta off Baldy. Once Alta lifts close, hiking and skiing on Alta terrain is allowed.

The good snow conditions only lasted the day. Apparently Sunday wasn't nearly as fun since it did warm up on Saturday afternoon and froze that night.

Guru Dave is still in SLC and posting on his blog. But he doesn't ski on Saturdays so missed out on 5/18.
Another snowy weekend at Snowbird. Report below is from early morning, Sat, May 25. In addition to Peruvian, Little Cloud, and Mineral Basin, the tram re-opened today for what would usually be the start of the "green season" or "summer season." That will take a lot of the pressure off Peruvian when there is a reason to start skiing first thing in the morning.

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Didn't realize that Snowbird is offering $50 day tickets for people with any season pass. Started on May 1. Alta did that one April. I got in the habit of packing my Massanutten season pass during late season trips just in case.

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