Sunday, January 31, 2016

Combat Skiing

The Cottonwoods have always been popular, but this winter, things are completely out of control.  This was the scene at 10:15 AM at Solitude.  The lower lot was full.  Cars were parking up and down the road, and chaos ruled.

Another perspective, showing cars parked along the road presumably to the upper lot.

As Yogi Berra said, "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded."  Traffic and red snakes aren't new to the Wasatch.  What is new is that this is happening every weekend.  The status quo has to change.

Fortunately, although the backcountry is busier than it used to be, the views haven't changed and remain spectacular.

And the snow is still the greatest on earth.  FM-100 Easy Listening Turns today.  Right-side up and smooth as silk.


  1. Today was a complete bummer. I went up to bring the kids skiing at Snowbird, arriving at 11am. We looked for a parking spot for 30 minutes, and wound up driving home. Very upset kids.

  2. Thanks for bringing up this issue. If we don't address this (like climate change) we risk losing much of what we love about Utah.

    My theory is the higher usage is the Vail Resorts effect. A day lift ticket at Park City/Canyons is now so expensive that for many local folks the Cottonwoods are the logical alternative.

    For LCC, the other recent change was DOT adding a "merge lane" at Snowbird Entry 1. I think this has actually made things worse. In the past folks at Entry 1 had to wait for a gap from the Entry 2-4/Alta folks coming down the hill [or be directed by officers]. Now they don't have to. Then everyone hits the merge point further down the hill which is totally stop and go. For Alta folks this is a bad change and appears to be leading to 2-3+ hour trips at the end of the day. Alta should ask for a more equitable use of the road (or open earlier and close earlier).

  3. Yes, Alta should advocate for more equitable use of public resources. Estute observation and reasonable to assume that clearer minds will prevail in all matters Alta

  4. After the hours of struggle to get there, the resorts didn't even feel that crowded this weekend (Solitude Sat, Snowbird Sun). Time to invest in transportation options, before more lodges, lifts or terrain expansion, I hope. Weekend powder days are cause for sadness now, instead of simple joy. I'm thinking about taking Yogi Berra's advice and skipping the LCC pass next year. Too bad that train is so expensive...

    1. I don't know how much uphill capacity has increased in the past 20 years, but I would guess it has at least doubled, maybe more, at the resorts (especially Snowbird). At the same time, road and parking lot space have remained the same or may have even declined (Solitude used to have a larger upper lot), and mass transit service has probably increased some, but not by a lot.

  5. Defund Ski Utah and promote sex ed in Utah schools.