I am not going to lie, the last few days have been a bit crazy. Busiest I have seen either of the canyons since the last major pow storm of Spring 2010. Christmas Day was mellow and definitely low key. Sunday was about the same (all the locals were at church). But, then… Monday and HELLO People!
My take is that all the stranded East Coasters finally dug themselves out of their own giant snowstorm and made it to Utah. Combine them with post Christmas skiers flaunting their new gear and oodles of kids still on winter break and that makes for a lot of ticket sales and tons of big SUV’s. Big Cottonwood Canyon was chock full of people enjoying many different winter activities from sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, skiing, boarding and everyone in between.
On Monday, we arrived at Solitude a bit late and were turned away at the lower parking lot. However, with 4 kids in tow (3 not my own) I wasn’t about to give up. I stealthily maneuvered into a perfectly timed vacated spot and breathed a sigh of relief. I have to admit the prospect of ripping with thousands of other people wasn’t really my perfect cup of tea but, we were there and we were going to make the best of it. It’s Solitude for goodness sake! I had faith that we would be able to escape the mobs and find our own slice of the goods.
After grabbing some extra tickets we headed down the cat track to Eagle. With a stroke of good luck (I assumed) we skied right on to Eagle Express and then ripped down to Powderhorn. No lines again? We skied through the gate and with no one in sight made our way into Black Forest. Trust me when I say…NO ONE WAS THERE! Seriously, all day long we skied soft bumps and untouched pow in Honeycomb. There were a few people jamming up the groomers but, nothing too crazy. What gives? I wonder if everyone just used Soli’s parking lot and hopped onto the ski bus to Brighton? Who knows but, Alta claimed that Monday was HUGE and ticket sales were through the roof and I can’t doubt that Solitude was the same but once again Solitude lived up to it’s overly hyped name and gifted everyone who was skiing with awesome holiday week turns!