Utah Ski Trip 2009
February 20th through 24th.

This was the group's first trip to Utah for skiing.  This year, we only had three of us attending: Holger Piprek, Myk Thornton and myself.  Myk missed day one and day four.  Our accommodations were in Salt Lake City with a nice view of the mountains with a short drive to the different ski resorts.  As always we thanked our wives, especially for the longer than usual ski trip.

Regarding the contrast between Colorado and Utah, we found that several of the mountains had about half of the number of ski runs than the mountains we were use to in Colorado.   The big advantage we found over Colorado was the small number of skiers and parking was very convenient.  We virtually had the runs to our selves on a few of the days, which may have been because of the time of year.

Our ski package included four mountains, where we visited three of the four.  On the night before going to the fourth, Snowbird, we were told by a friend of Holger, Paul ~ who is a local resident, that it had only a few green/blue runs and the resort mostly consisted of black diamond runs.  I can ski black runs with short 3 foot skis which I unfortunately did not bring but more importantly both Holger and I were feeling a little fatigue after the first 3 days to have to exert that much energy, so we went back to Brighton.  Brighton was our favorite mountain on the trip.

Day 1.  Solitude Ski Resort - Friday

This was a very nice, small, family oriented mountain with only a handful of lifts.  The day was very clear with no clouds.

1 Parking lot view of the main lift, "Moonbeam".  Notice only a handful of skiers?
2 Keith changing into ski boots.
3 Holger in front of trails map of Solitude.
4 Picture of one of the very nicely groomed runs.
5 View down the mountain with one of the exiting lifts.
6 Looking down the mountain towards the Solitude ski village
7 Keith and Holger at the end of the day at the parking lot

Day 2.  Brighton Ski Resort - Saturday

A very nice mountain with lots of nice ski runs.  The day was very clear with no clouds.

8 Side view of Mountain with separated ski runs across from main parking lot.
9 Keith near ski lodge.
10 Myk on ski lift
11 Myk and Holger half way up the mountain on one of the runs.
12 One of the back valley views from the top of Brighton.
13 Myk (back turned) and Holger at top of mountain.
14 Keith (in blue coat) skiing down the initial easy down slope from the top of the mountain.
15 View of mountain in between resort which people climb to the top to ski down.
16 View from lift going to the right side of the mountain resort as mentioned in #8 above.  Note that the left side is also climbed and skied.
17 View from the lift riding over one of the runs showing the contract in groomed runs and other parts of the mountain terrain where skiers and snowboarders ride down.

Day 3.  Alta Ski Resort - Sunday

The resort was similar to Brighton.  At different points we had to content with crowded slopes.  The day was very clear with no clouds and quite warm. 

18 Alta ski shop with right side of the mountain in the background.
19 Myk in front of rope transit pull line, which we took to avoid a line of skiers on main lift.
20 Looking back at the view of the back mountain, parking lot and ski shops.
21 Myk on the mountain showing a distant ski slope run
22 Holger on the mountain showing another distant ski slope in the background.
23 Keith on slope leading down to right side of Alta and link to Snowbird.
24 On top of Alta, there is a link to Snowbird which our ski pass did not allow.  It would have open up to the back bowl of Snowbird.  Myk and Holger approaching booth.
25 Nice picturesque view of a valley behind Alta like Brighton.
  Myk left after skiing to drive back to his family.  We then met up Paul and Jill xxxxxx who are good friends of Holger's.
26 Eating dinner at the Olive Garden Restaurant.

Day 4.  Brighton Ski Resort - Monday

The start of the day was very cloudy with sporadic snowfall that later turned into almost sleet which was hard to see thru at the top of the mountain.  Before lunch it was also cold and a little windy.  After lunch it cleared up to a beautiful day.  Also, unlike the previous days, there was a lot of snow (powder) which enabled me to ski at full speed while easily turning.

Worthy of note, was the resort was almost empty except for a fairly large group of senior citizens in their 60s through 80s.  Several had patches on their sleeves that read 70 years of skiing and 80 year old skier's club.  Some of them look very strong and youthful where Holger and I got a kick out of seeing one couple wearing "Big Foot" skis which are about 20 inches long.

27 View of Resort complex.
28 Another view looking up the first lift.  Note the sun hidden behind the clouds.
29 One of the nice green trail runs with snow falling.
30 View of snow starting fall fairly heavy around resort.
31 Keith, bundled up with blue nit hat on top of gorilla wind breaker mask.
32 At top of the mountain after lunch as sun began to break through.  Holger on the right.
33 We broke off on to a un-groomed blue run and ran into a rescue dog in training.  She is a four year old chocolate lab who was having too much fun.

Day 5.  Salt Lake City Bingham Canyon Copper Mine - Tuesday morning

The mine opened in 1904 and is so large and deep that it has a mound around it that is as large as the mountains that surround it.  We drove up to the mine but were unable to visit the operation but I was able to get a feel for the size just from the outside.  Holger and his family had toured the site the previous summer.  Inside the mine, it has the giant earth movers that have tires larger than semi trucks.

34 Public image showing the immense size with snow covered mountains barely visible at the top of the photo.
35 View 1 from ...