The Eagle Rants On

Last weekends’ snowstorm brought over 90″ inches of snow to Solitude (yippe!), but it also brought a slew of skiers from Smallwood {you figure out the translation} as well (bummer). The “feel” of Solitude is laid-back, relaxed and unpretentious – and unwelcome change is certainly in the air once our quaint resort is inundated with U-turners from another canyon. Now we know how you Floridians feel when the “Snowbirds” from the Northeast (pun intended) overtake swimming pools, highways and bridge games every winter.

The Eagle will protect the innocent’s identity, but will keep her claws sharp with response.  A few “words of encouragement” we heard  from uninvited transplants:

“This place sucks – there’s not a lot of terrain open”

Well, Your WHOLE CANYON is closed. Don’t be ungrateful – you’ll develop unsightly frown lines.

“When will all this huntington canyon thing open”

As soon as you leave.

“I thought it wasn’t normally crowded at Solitude”

It isn’t. This isn’t a normal day. See all the skittle thugs out there. They’re not normal, nor are they normally here.

In addition to the dynamic shift felt on the hill, our inbox fills up with many short-sighted pseudo-guest comments.  We had most of the upper mountain shut down for an hour and a half while patrol painstakingly did avalanche control work.  This is the same day there was major slides in-bounds at other resorts, in the backcountry, plus several resorts and roads didn’t open until well after noon.   Here were a few of the Eagle’s favorite…

“Why was Eagle Express not open right at 9? It was not safety related. Please don’t use safety as an excuse when there was a communication breakdown. You can only use Mother Nature as an excuse for so long…Otherwise, how is Solitude learning from these experiences?”

Sorry Dad, we’ll learn next time. 92″ of snow in 7 days is NO BIG DEAL. We’ll just open up terrain without ensuring it is 100% safe, because, after all, who wants to wait in the name of safety?


“IT IS POSSIBLE to know that the slopes cannot be opened for 30 or 60 or “Z” minutes. It’s basic math. If there are “X” places that need to be re-inspected before an area can be re-opened, it then becomes “how many patrollers do we have working on those areas and how long will it take to just do the basics?”

Really? Avalanche professionals admit they cannot forecast when an avalanche will occur. They can get an idea, and do control work accordingly and recommend to close or open terrain. But this readers simple algebra equation has it figured out! Quick, someone nominate him for a medal!! For the record: We do alot more then just the basics. However, I think Mr. Basic math just nominated himself for guinea pig work.


“I had to wait 90 minutes for a lift to open. This is not a way to treat loyal customers. Next time LCC is closed I will be going to Brighton.”

Hmmm.  This makes you our loyal customer? How? We’re obviously your plan-b resort. Your loss. Please do go to Brighton or Park City next time. However, I doubt they will want your attitude. I’m thinking Colorado is a safer bet.

Meanwhile, at the ‘tude, we’ll be doing this…

Important editor’s note: We do agree that communication could be improved concerning what lifts will open and when.  If and when we do have info available, we’ll post it to our twitter and facebook accounts. Follow us and become a fan – the girl who is getting first tracks in Milk Run is…

14 thoughts on “The Eagle Rants On

  1. i have Alta stickers on all my cars and tell everyone that they should definitely ski LCC..keeps the riff-raff where it belongs..

  2. i LOVE it it it!!! brilliant!! it was a whacky weekend and you guys did an AWESOME job. i was cracking up reading that post–

    hmm… oddly, as a season’s pass holder, i knew that all one had to do was putter around in the trees on the APEX lift and have a grand time–

    and thankyou for keeping honeycomb closed until the alta-tude left (oops!).

  3. Eagle your attitude sucks.

    The public relations post should be more like: We apologize that we got hammered by the LCC crew and our Patrol is under sized for the storm dump that we received. Next time we plan to be better prepared and have the LOWER lifts open before 11:00. And most importantly we have seen the error in our attitude and would like to reaffirm that the guests at Solitude are our number 1 priority. We will have hosts and lifties better communicate the closures next time.

  4. I agree that rant may not come off in the best way, but it is all stuff that every local here would agree with, if not find humorous. Sometimes things just need to be said, and I agree with the general point of it all. Therefore, I will try and put it in my own words.

    First off, Soli is a chill place and we want it to stay that way. Accept that sometimes terrain is closed, for no other reason than your and my safety. Secondly, leave the “alta-tude” at home and have fun riding here. What do I mean by all that?

    Well, simply:

    Don’t cut closure lines and create a “us vs. them” local vs patrol culture here. Respect gets Respect here. Patrol works their ass off to open things as soon as they feel safe about it. I’m sure that you skiing into a closed area while they are throwing bombs will make that happen faster…

    If they feel they need to keep Eagle and Concord (PH2) closed for a bit for your safety, who do you think you are to second guess a team of very experienced professionals?

    When someone is nice enough to cut in a fresh high traverse to some sweet powder, give em a second to catch their breath instead of jumping in and stealing the line they worked so hard to make access to. Maybe next storm you can cut the traverse first. If so I will assure you that brotherly love will be granted to you by any true local here. Again, Respect.

    Smile and be glad some terrain is open. Often weather conditions make it impossible to open some terrain (HCC, Milk, Summit) during the middle of a storm due to loading above or across the slopes that could be open but are not. They do this for your own safety. Just be glad to be riding!

    On that note, wasn’t a good chunk of da bird closed on saturday too? If our snow safety wants to keep things safe, let em, we don’t need an incident like last year’s baldy slide. I’d gladly wait days if that’s what it takes to keep us safe rather than have something like that ever happen again.

    Basically, if you don’t like or understand how Soli works, I’m sure that there are other resorts that would love your 60 bucks.

    Otherwise, if you can roll with the punches and the quirks and show some respect, you will be welcomed here.

  5. Brian,

    Get a life. The Eagle was havin’ some fun. You gotta go and get serious on us and spoil it. Stop takin’ yourself so seriously.

    Tude Dude

  6. Little Cottonwood Canyon closures create a unique and challenging environment for the two Big Cottonwood Canyon Resorts. It is unique because of the psychological state that it creates among the displaced populace and within the non-displaced populace.

    This state, better known as Winter Recreational Refugee Syndrome, or W2RS, can primarily be found incubating in Little Cottonwood Canyon Locals; most notably in Alta season ticket holders, in all age and sex types. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

    -In men a normal GCS (Glasgow Coma Scale) Score between 7 and 9.
    -Little to no eye contact.
    -Unwilling to cooperate when in need of assistance.
    -Primitive display of superiority and arrogance.
    -Use of foul language when accompanied with or near children under the age of 12.
    -Unwilling to leave Alta Pass in car.
    -Easily provoked, willing to voice unwanted opinions.
    -bloodthirsty traversing
    -sociopathic behavior

    Symptoms generally become prevalent between the hours of 7:00 and 11:00 a.m., December through March, before, during, and after the Utah Department of Transportation has conducted avalanche control work above Utah Highway SR-210.

    There is intern a sympathetic response and associated psycological state created among the non-displaced populace as well. Other Canyon Disorder, or OCD, has similiar symptoms but is only prevalent when a populace suffering from W2RS is in attendance.

    CDC bylaws currently do not mandate that there be a quarentine of all W2RS sufferers before, during, or after Little Cottonwood Canyon Closure Dates (LC3D). However Solitude Ski Patrol does, under the auspices of Avalanche Closures/Avalanche Control Work, mitigate the threat by limmiting terrain openings by time and location. Evergreen Peak, Jim Clem, Side-Line, and the Milk Run areas are used to minimize the spread of WR2S and its subsequent threat OCD. Fantasy Ridge and the East and West faces of Honeycomb Canyon are reserved to help reduce/subside the symptoms of OCD.

    The currently is no cure for Winter Recreational Refugee Syndrome.

  7. Yous guys are a HOOT!…..I am not local
    (PA transplant to GA)
    But love the Solitude Aura….
    How could someone ever be angry in Heaven?
    Your place is BLISS! I am sorry you have to deal with the Neanderthals (actually those would be fun……:)
    See ya in April!


  8. Sorry to be so serious, it is a problem I am working on…

    I guess I need to start with, “I love sking at Solitude, but it seems like it could be run better. Here are some suggestions among my complaints…”

    My point is that waiting 30 minutes at 9:30 for the Eagle lift (That’s your lift ranter) to open, only to finally be told to hike the parking lot up to moonbeam is not any skiers idea of fun (it is a lift ticket, not a hiking ticket).

    I know you guys don’t care that much about the New Jersey Doctor in jeans that told me this story after he spent all morning walking, but he comes every year with his family and spends big money. Maybe next year he takes his money where he think it will be appreciated.

    Maybe you don’t care to loose his business, but dreams and fairy dust don’t pay those bills, and if enough people find a better value, Solitude will be known as a Water Company.

    I was one of the few first tracks off of Apex at 9:00 before they closed it down (oops… Poor communication between patrol and lifts?.. Did I just ski uncleared avy terrain?)…

    So I go on to lap Sunrise while I wait for the lower lifts to reopen or open. The snow came in quick and I am guessing Patrol had to come down off of higher slopes to re-evaluate the lower mountain. This takes time. Understandably. But if Patrol know whats going on they should let the lifties and hosts know whats going on, and they can let the customers know whats going on. See how great that works…

    Maybe even send that hog of a snow cat, the trailered snowmobile, and a short bus or two down near the eagle lift to get people up to one of the two open lifts on the lower mountain that opened before 11:00. If anything, do it for the kids. You guys market towards the families, right? Well, follow through and take care of that Dad that spent a lot of money to be here, and is now carrying his 6 year old and all her ski crap up to another lift…

    I actually had a great morning that day, but Solitude didn’t seem to function well as a cohesive team and look like a well run business. I could see it. I think the other customers (alta rippers, texas one pieces, locals..) can see it at times. On mornings like that, everyone could see it…

  9. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is great blog. A great read. I’ll certainly be back.

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