recently Solitude has been one of those funky little known
resorts. With Alta and Snowbird located a canyon away Solitude has
never really become well known.
Although, this is a good thingÖ
While the tourists come to Utah to covet the Snowbird and
Alta powder Solitude remains underused and overwhelmed with
Solitude itís not uncommon to find untouched meadows days
after a storm. Compared
to its more famous brethren this is a nice change.
As you pull into the parking lot the name ďSolitudeĒ
becomes apparent. If you hit Solitude on a weekday expect to get a parking spot
pretty damn close to the lift.
If you already have a pass park down by the Eagle
Express, this allows a ski-in/ski-out situation from the car.
Which in turn lends itself well to a car lunch/picnic in
the parking lot. In
the springtime grill sightings are common.
Being as this is a small place you can expect a certain
fraternization between the carloads of people, donít be
surprised to be offered a grilled brat from the car next to you.
tickets can be bought at either the Moonbeam center (lower
parking lot) or the Village at Solitude (upper parking lot).
A note on this is in order, day skiers would be well
served to park in the lower lot.
The upper lot requires a pretty healthy walk to either
Apex, Sunrise or Powderhorn lifts.
The upper lot is much better served for folks staying in
was once a small resort with limited base facilities.
This changed when Intrawest was consulted to design their
base area. Condos
quickly appeared and the base area was transformed into a quaint
village. The effect is completed with the ever popular clock tower.
It seems every ski resort feels compelled to place this
little detail prominently.
None the less the rustic look of the buildings do help
them achieve the mountain village feeling.
condos are very tasteful and compared to Little Cottonwood
prices very affordable. I
must highly recommend the Inn at Solitude, very nice rooms and
an attentive staff. If
you are used to clicking into your skis from your hotel room
door forget about it here.
You will face a bit of a hoof to the lifts, nothing epic
but worth noting.
isnít much for aprŤs skiing, but they do have a couple bars.
Youíll not party the night away here, but who wants to
do that with fresh powder beckoning in the morning?
The Thirsty Squirrel is the place for an after skiing
beer. A pool table
and a well stocked bar are the draws, but donít expect a huge
on-mountain dining hasnít changed much, The Last Chance Mining
Camp is the most popular eating spot.
This is lodge is located adjacent to the Powderhorn and
Sunrise lifts. Plenty
of seating and your typical ski lodge fare are what draw the
crowds. Expect the
typical prices and usual varieties of food here.
On non-storm days the Roundhouse is usually the outdoor
grilling spot. Offering
grilled burgers, hotdogs, chicken and other goodies this is the
place to soak up the sun. Accessed
from either the Moonbeam or Eagle lifts it is probably the more
aesthetic place to eat. Snacks and chili dogs can also be found at the base of the
is plenty of terrain to satisfy all types of skiers.
The Link and Moonbeam chairs are places to teach the
beginning skiers how to master the mountain.
The ski school is located in the Moonbeam Center, be sure
and sign up for a lesson.
offers a wide variety of runs catering to the intermediate skier
as well. The Eagle
Express is a fine place to lap groomed corduroy runs.
Sunshine bowl is the usual way down, but this can become
a bit icy in the afternoons (if you can call Utah snow icy?).
The Summit lift also has some fine intermediate runs.
Ride the Sunrise lift up and take the signed run down to
the Summit lift. Once
atop the Summit lift there are several blue ways down, taste
you are an advanced skier and are looking for powder Solitude is
the place. The main
spot to mine powder stashes would be Honeycomb Canyon.
an almost backcountry feel, no lifts and youíll generally earn
your turns. There
are four ways to enter Honeycomb, from the Summit lift,
Powderhorn lift, Eagle lift and from the Honeycomb lift itself. The Honeycomb lift gets you out of the canyon, this lift is
fairly new and saves you from a long flat cat-track cruise.
From the Summit lift you can choose which side of
Honeycomb to ski, East or West.
From any other entrance you are skiing the Eastern side
of the canyon.
the Summit skiers right is the Eastern side, skiers left is the
Western side. The
Western side is pretty apparent from the top of the lift. The
to the Eastern side is a bit hidden.
Go skiers right as you get off the lift, ski down
about fifteen to twenty yards, youíll see a ridgeline with a
small knoll on the left.
Ski up the noticeable track and head along the ridgeline.
Go out as far
as you wish and head down, youíre sure to encounter good snow
left side of Honeycomb involves a bit more of a hike, traverse
and sidestep out until you canít take it anymore or you reach
good snow. The
further you go the better chances of good snow.
Powderhorn gate probably provides the easiest vertical and
one of the best chances for fresh snow.
Ride the Powderhorn lift up and veer skiers right when
getting off the lift. Youíll
see a signed gate, go through and manage your way across the
usual exposed rocks. Be
aware during low snow times, (or after being wind blasted) you
will receive a bit of base damage at the gate entrance. There
are several nice gullies located after traversing skiers left a
bit. These usually
hold snow days after storms.
Eagle gate is accessed from the top of the Eagle quad, get off
the lift, ride down Eagle Ridge a bit and youíll see a gate on
your left. Go through the gate and sample some fairly steep lines with
an aspen woods ending, tasty.
Navarrone gate is
located at the top of the Honeycomb lift.
There are several lines available, traverse left a bit
and get away from the heavily traveled lift line.
Canyon isnít the only place for some steep fun though, there
are plenty of other places.
Probably the steepest terrain Solitude has to offer is
located off the Powderhorn lift.
This terrain descends the fall line down to the summit
lift. It can get
quite steep and getting cliffed out can be likely.
Be careful if you decide to ski Middle Slope, Parachute
or Milk Run.
The Headwall Forest, Evergreens and the Scree Slope are all accessed from
the summit lift. Get
off the summit and head down the mountain to skiers right. Youíll eventually come to a sign pointing the way to the
Sol-Bright trail. Follow
this trail out and feel free to cut into the Headwall Forest at
any time. Youíll
see tracks leading to the various shots. For the Evergreens and Scree Slope keep going until you
reach the split for the Sol-Bright trail and Corner Chute. Traverse to skiers right and dive in wherever the snow is
fresh. If you
traverse all the way out youíll eventually spill into the
Scree Slope. Because
a bit of side-stepping is required this area will keep fresh
snow for quite some time.
Atlas and Gazetteer
Tracks: A Century of Skiing in Utah
Salt Lake City and Beyond: Including Park City, Deer Valley,
Alta and Snowbird
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