All ten club members arrived at the Crystal Inn in Murray, Utah (suburb of Salt Lake City) on Saturday afternoon, February 1st including John Neblett, Jim Mullenix, brothers Randy and Chris DeHart, Gary Farmer, Dave Conner, Pat and Ashley Ownby, and Tom and Susan DuBose, The rental shop picked some of us up and took us to get our skis. Pat Ownby talked our driver in to taking us to the state liquor store where there were long lines because everyone was stocking up for their Super Bowl parties. We joined about 30 skiers from the Raleigh club and four members of the Coastal (Myrtle Beach) club who were also staying at the Crystal Inn and had booked their trips through Skigroup.net like we had.
Sunday morning eight of our ten members who were skiing (Pat and John were on a relaxation trip) took the bus to Alta Ski Resort which is at the end of Little Cottonwood Canyon. There was a traffic jam at the base of the canyon so the trip took an hour and a half. Ashley, Randy and Chris had lift tickets while the other five had IKON passes. The lift ticket holders found out that their lift tickets didn’t work for the bus or the lifts. After a few phone calls the situation was finally resolved. Temperatures at Alta were in the 40’s but it was extremely windy, especially at the top of the Sugarloaf and Collins lifts. So most of us made it over to the Supreme lift were the wind wasn’t so bad.
On Sunday night several went to the Bohemian Brewery for Czechoslovakian food and beer and to keep an eye on the Super Bowl - it started 4:30 pm local time. Then everyone went back to their rooms and most reported watching the rest of Kansas City's victory before going to bed.
On Monday a huge snow storm arrived in Salt Lake - we woke up to about 4 inches and it snowed in Salt Lake most of the day. Four skiers - Chris, Randy, Gary and Tom - made their way up Big Cottonwood Canyon on another hour and a half bus ride (some had to stand the whole way - not fun!) to Brighton Ski Resort. And even though forecasts had all four resorts getting 10 inches or more, they only got about an inch. It was very cold - below five degrees - but not much wind. And the sun even came out after lunch. Gary exhibited his ski instruction abilities so now all four of us are ready to try out for the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
Non-skiers soaked in the hot tub and went to the nearby mall for a delicious lunch at Red Rocks Brewery.
Tuesday was another day at Alta for some skiers and included a fancy lunch at the Collins Grill (see picture below) - they even have slippers you can wear while you eat. Other skiers went to Snowbird.
Wednesday’s skiers went back to Alta and that evening several in the group skipped the free Crystal Inn chili cheese dogs, opting instead to take the Trax train downtown to the Red Iguana for some delicious Mexican fare.
Because of the snow storm that started on Wednesday night and the fact that the road going to Little Cottonwood Canyon was closed, Thursday morning the buses were running really slow. After an unsuccessful wait of about 30 minutes Jim, Susan and Tom decided to take the day off instead of skiing. Gary, Dave and Ashley drove over to Deer Valley where the World Cup was being held. They toured the very swanky Stein Eriksen Lodge and came back with some great swag. The five non-skiers went downtown to the mall and three of them went to the planetarium. That night Susan happened to see a short video clip of John, Jim, Pat, Tom and herself on local TV waiting to board the train!
Friday Dave and Gary headed back home by car, and the DeHarts and the DuBoses went to Brighton. The road up Little Cottonwood Canyon was closed so everyone in Salt Lake wanted to go to Brighton and Solitude - it took the bus 2 hours to get there. The other 4 of our group relaxed at the hotel. Friday night the remaining eight of us enjoyed a great Italian dinner at Celeste Restaurante.
Randy DeHart, Susan & Tom DuBose
Chris & Randy DeHart
By the time we left on Saturday morning the snow base depth at Alta was 128”, up from just over 100” when we arrived the week before. Total additional snow at Alta and Snowbird while we were there was between 30-40”, almost all of which fell Wednesday night through Friday. The road up Little Cottonwood to Alta and Snowbird remained closed from Wednesday night through Saturday morning and the people at those resorts were “interlodged” meaning that because of avalanche danger they could not leave their lodging for over 2 days!
In summary while we were never confined to the hotel and we did experience some really good skiing, most felt they could have done without the long bus rides and the complimentary but low-quality hotel food.