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ski cross-country groomed tracks

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kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 11,837

Fun time out this morning skating on the Round Valley tracks near Park City. Hardpack surface for me to skate far + fast, while still mostly enough grip for Sharon to enjoy classic striding.

Cross-country skiing options around Salt Lake have gotten better in recent years -- makes it easier for Sharon and me to choose to drive up when during winter trips to Las Vegas or St George.

Yesterday I skied some backcountry laps in some heavy-ish powder, and Sharon downhill with aid of a lift ticket. Cross-country skating on groomed tracks is a fun alternative for days with bad visibility or high avalanche danger (or just tired from lots of uphill skiing the day before).

Round Valley is a comparatively new area for groomed tracks -- and there's no charge for skiing on them. There are several trailheads -- the one with the most trails groomed for skiing (both skating and classic striding) is Quinn's Junction (lat long approx N40.6793 W111.4704). Which is next to an exit off highway 40 about 2.25 miles NE from Park City.


kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 11,837

Oddly we had been planning to ski this morning on the tracks of White Pine Touring, especially the Farm area - trailhead (N40.6682 W111.5163). This requires paying for a trail pass. But we hoped the grooming might be better at White Pine than at Round Valley, and the Farm area is kind of pretty.

Problem is that the trail pass must be purchased at a separate location, and somehow the "Trail Pass" page on the White Pine Touring website gave the wrong address for the location. The staff member of White Pine showed little interest in addressing this problem, so we decided not to give them our money, and instead tried Round Valley our first time in decent conditions. So now we know how good Round Valley can be.


P.S. bonus Question:
The most successful ski racer of all time was Bjorn Daehlie of Norway.
Where did he win his first World Cup race?

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 11,837
Jeremy Ranch re-opened for cross-country skiing. (after an absence of decades?)

Now Sharon and I ski there every time we visit. Interesting trails in a pretty setting, with a couple of options for "cheating" to get extra downhill vertical.

Comparing with Mountain Dell: Higher altitude to hold snow longer, majority of trails quieter, lower percentage of trails slanted sideways.
. . (and farther drive from Salt Lake valley).

East from Salt Lake City next to Interstate-80 exit 141 about 3 miles NW from Kimball Junction or 8 miles NNW from Park City. Shop for purchasing trail passes (N40.7589 W111.5731) at top of hill. Trails are groomed for both classic striding and ski skating. Two separate sections:

South+West from shop is smaller and close to Interstate-80 traffic noise, but interesting trail. Reach by walking SW from the shop across Homestead Rd.
. (To avoid finishing with climbing back up to the shop:
. . . One member of party drive down and park near (N40.7561 W111.5763) while everybody else skis down).

North from shop is quiet and pretty with longer trails -- with options to ski alongside a creek or up along the side of the valley with views.
. (To avoid finishing with long climb back up to the shop, the official low NW parking is marked by blue+white check flags at (N40.7659 W111.5830) which is about 1.6 mile NW down obvious road from the shop).
. (To start with a nice downhill run without paying in uphill price later:
. . . From the shop entrance, first drive NW down the obvious road 200 feet, then turn Right and
. . . go gentle NE 200 feet to the entrance to the trails on NW side of road.
. . . Drop off most of the skiers here (N40.7596 W111.5739). Then drive
. . . back to the obvious road and down to the official low parking described above.
. . . Skiers doing the downhill start at first a short ways NE (Right),
. . . soon curve sharp Left and a long ways down W then NW,
. . . then a wide curve Right-ward and down E then NE to the valley floor --
. . . roughly it its middle (so the official low parking is to the Left about half a mile).

zoso · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2007 · Points: 465

Cool story bro.

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 11,837
Solitude Nordic -- We skied there on Sunday in fresh snow.
Oddly its base lodge (lat long ~ N40.6034 W111.5848) is located up-canyon in Brighton instead Solitude, but then you can ski down (with several trail options) to Solitude Village. Fun extra was enough new snow so we could ski the (wide) sidewalk of the village down to the bus stop (N40.6205 W111.5919).

It has some good things going for it:
  • up in Big Cottonwood canyon well-positioned to catch snow.
  • higher altitude to hold snow and avoid melting.
  • most trails shaded by trees to protect snow.
  • reasonably interesting network of trails.
  • surrounded by steep peaks and slopes.

Yet somehow it's not one of my favorite XC ski places.

I think because it has long-slog uphills and short steep uphills. And a flat lake (and I like skiing on lakes) - but it feels small.

So the obvious XC tour scenario starts down-down-down, finishes up-up-up (could be +475 vertical feet) to get back to the start.
There is a way to avoid this scenario: They run a shuttle bus from low end back up to high start. But only three times a day.

Fortunately we arrived early enough for a fun mostly-downward ski in time to make the first shuttle bus. Amusing Utah SLC "cultural" experience is that it too the bus 50 minutes to drive the two miles from Solitude Village up to the Solitude Nordic shop in Brighton. Because so many local downhill skiers were driving their cars up Big Cottonwood Canyon to the Brighton ski resort, and were reaching Brighton long after the parking was (beyond) full.

Back at the base lodge again, I did some flat skating on the lake (not so easy in fresh snow), then some steep intervals just below, and that was enough for me.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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