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  1. #1
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    Alta Snowcat Skiing

    Im from the east and I have spent about 16 days skiing Alta over the last 3 years. There is so much to learn and enjoy, i haven't even been to Snowbird yet. I am thinking about the snowcat trips Alta offers 350.00 for 5 runs has anyone done this,what do you think any advice would be great. Early January unsettled snowpack usually this time of year. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Haven't done it but skins are a lot cheaper and you can get way more than 5 runs outta them.

  3. #3
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    ^^^^ The first of many of the predictable responses.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkiFreeor... View Post
    Haven't done it but skins are a lot cheaper and you can get way more than 5 runs outta them.

    Of course you better come prepared to know the avalanche conditions, be acclimated for said 5 plus laps, have a knowledge of where to go...... being from the east not sure what you are going to do with the $300.00 beeper, or when you are going to have time to train to proficiency with it - but I made myself feel pretty good talking about how core I am.

    what an ass some people are.

    _______________________________________________

    The snowcat will take you up grizzly gulch. A lot of people do tour up there so it won't be as wild an adventure as most cat operators can offer. However you will get the experience of a guide, the equipment and probably a decent chance at some soft snow. If you have the funds for this it could be fun.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    If you haven't skied snowbird yet, you might want to do that. It's going to be a lot cheaper, and they offer a ton of sick terrain, especially if you're willing to hike, sidestep and traverse a little bit. But if you want to take a cat trip, I'm sure it would be a fun experience, just heed the warning of frozenwater. You should have a decent knowledge of how to read/assess avy conditions, and use avy equipment. You're not only putting your life at risk but the lives of those you are skiing with as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by frozenwater View Post
    Of course you better come prepared to know the avalanche conditions, be acclimated for said 5 plus laps, have a knowledge of where to go...... being from the east not sure what you are going to do with the $300.00 beeper, or when you are going to have time to train to proficiency with it - but I made myself feel pretty good talking about how core I am.
    .
    The only thing I disagree with is his little jab at the east coast and not having the need for a beacon, having place to become proficient with it, or knowing how to use it. Not true...a lot of people tour on the east coast, and take trips abroad, so their is the need for a beacon, and how to use it.
    Magic Mountain Freeride Team...bringing your grom's game to the next level.

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Maybe people back east pay big buck$$$ for sidecountry access, yet out west we tend to hike/skin for our sidecountry turns. Perhaps you could just pay someone to ski it for you too?

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobMc View Post
    ^^^^ The first of many of the predictable responses.
    This being the first.^^^^^^^^

    I'll actually add some info. Grizzly Gulch has good skiing, whether you access it via snowcat, or skin for 45 minutes to reach it. It faces primarily south and west, so the snow is good up there for a short while after it snows, unless it stays cloudy or cold throughout the day, then it can remain good for days. The area also gets VERY heavy traffic from backcountry skiers, so your experience might be all tracked out before you get there. Keep that in mind.

    It's pretty weaksauce cat skiing as far as cat skiing goes. Not remote at all, in the center of a skiing mecca, and often times tracked out wall to wall very quickly by others.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    I heard they're going to put one of those "magic carpet" things in Grizzly Gulch all the way to Twin Lakes Pass.


    No - seriously.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jer View Post
    I heard they're going to put one of those "magic carpet" things in Grizzly Gulch all the way to Twin Lakes Pass.


    No - seriously.
    Will it be in before my trip later this winter? Man, between this and the lift that Solitude is putting in the Wasatch is going to be a lift-served mecca.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    2,487
    Ski the balls off Alta/Bird/LCC from lifts and skins then do thyself a favor and go catsking in interior BC. The worst cat operation in BC will be better than you best day in a cat in the Wasatch. I dont know dick about dick but dont waste your money on dick.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Down In A Hole, Up in the Sky
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    Can I haz a taco cart there, too?
    StokePimpin' ain't easy

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by njfreeskier View Post
    Just heed the warning of frozenwater. You should have a decent knowledge of how to read/assess avy conditions, and use avy equipment. You're not only putting your life at risk but the lives of those you are skiing with as well.
    See, now that's funny.

    The gnarcoreness of this board will never cease to amaze me.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
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    8200 S.
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    If you want to cat ski around SLC I'd go with Park City Powder Cats

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Las Vegass
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    Quote Originally Posted by powderwhore View Post
    If you want to cat ski around SLC I'd go with Park City Powder Cats

    what he said

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Logan, UT
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    Quote Originally Posted by powderwhore View Post
    If you want to cat ski around SLC I'd go with Park City Powder Cats
    Yep. That would be my advice as well.

  16. #16
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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    edge of the midwest
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    at risk of being ridiculed by the gnarcore.....

    most CO cat operations will promise you way more than 5 runs for around the same $$ youre talking about spending at alta.

    i know, i know, Colorado is flat and it never snows here, and you can always just skin out there...

    of course, i fully understand that its your vacation, and hope that you do whatever the hell you want with it and enjoy it to the fullest.

    now lets all put on our jong-proof jackets and await incoming fire.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    11,681
    Quote Originally Posted by splat View Post
    Damn that's a lot of blow. But I did have elk/shrimp tacos for dinner. When does the cat board?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    I appreciate the small amount of information mixed in with the normal amount of the jerk off's. I didnt think it was worth it with all the good terrain that I have hiked and found the last 3 years at alta. I really have to check out Snowbird . Hey POWFIEND you should try working instead of being a broke douchbag If you want to push a hand truck in the bronx you could work for me.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    NE
    Posts
    421
    new jersey sucks. i wouldn't take advice from a NJ skier.

    you can rent a beacon/probe/shove from univ of utah's student activities center- don't have to be a student (they rent everything, last time i checked- AT setups, WW rafts, etc etc). that said, I wouldn't go out without at least beacon practice and a knowledgeable guide. knowing what not to ski is key (spots that appear fresh/untracked may be that way for a reason).... just my .02

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    slc
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    Seriously, go PC Powder Cats or pony up for a day with the Powderbirds. The skiing is Grizzly is OK, but not worth $70/run by any stretch.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by frozenwater View Post
    Of course you better come prepared to know the avalanche conditions, be acclimated for said 5 plus laps, have a knowledge of where to go...... being from the east not sure what you are going to do with the $300.00 beeper, or when you are going to have time to train to proficiency with it - but I made myself feel pretty good talking about how core I am.

    what an ass some people are.

    _______________________________________________

    The snowcat will take you up grizzly gulch. A lot of people do tour up there so it won't be as wild an adventure as most cat operators can offer. However you will get the experience of a guide, the equipment and probably a decent chance at some soft snow. If you have the funds for this it could be fun.
    Wasn't trying to be an ass. As I took it the OP now lives here, not on the east coast, therefore will have the time or might want to take an avie or backcountry course. If I am wrong correct me, just trying to save someone some cash.
    Last edited by SkiFreeor...; 12-09-2009 at 08:52 AM.

  23. #23
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    Aug 2006
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    Skiing Grizzly can be hit-miss, depending on how warm it's gotten and how long since the last storm. The area is primarily west facing, with some aspects of nnw.
    Johnny's only sin was dispair

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    funland
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    4,448
    the powdercat operation ran less than twenty days up G.G. last season, and it snowed almost 700 inches. there's a good chance they won't even be up and running when you are in town, and I certainly wouldn't plan a vacation around it.

  25. #25
    Helldawg Guest
    I have an opinion and some useful information, unlike many above!

    I too, am a Least Coast skier, lacking gnarcore bc/ob skillz, so I am reduced to paying for my sidecountry thrills.

    I ski a decent bit in the Wasatch (10-15 days/yr.), and have been tempted by the Alta cat-op. But that was when it was $225! I think $350 for 5 runs is a bit excessive, even for the great quality pow Alta has to offer. I have skied cat ops in several other locales, and gotten a much better bang for my buck.

    If you are looking for a good cat experience in UT, then I will second the sugestions above for PCPC. I skied with them twice last season, and had a blast. I mentioned to the management that the name might be screwing them up a bit, as most people do not equate Park City with "The Gnar"! The guides kind of concurred.

    The area that they ski is pretty damn impressive, and can serve up its share of gnar to skiers of most levels. They are running a deal right now that if you buy a Black Diamond ski package, you get a free day of skiing. This could be a great deal for someone in the market for a new AT setup.

    I rate them as being better than the cat op at Targhee, and not as good as the one in Whistler.

    You can also do some a la carte cat runs up at PowMow, which can be phenomenal on the right day.

    So there you have it. If you have $$$ to burn, go ahead and ride the Alta cat. But if you are a bit more savvy with a buck, there are alternatives.

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