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Solitude Ski Resort Review

Written by Andrew Mitchell   
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
  

Introduction

Located just 40 minutes from Salt Lake City along the very scenic Big Cottonwood Canyon Road, the Solitude ski resort lives up to its name. On first sight one can be forgiven for thinking they’ve been transported over the Atlantic to a small village somewhere in Swiss alps. Solitude easily outdoes its neighboring resorts on charm.

Ski-in ski-out accommodation is in plentiful supply in the delightful base village. The Powderhorn Lodge serves as the base ticket office and the Pizzeria directly opposite serves as an excellent coffee base to begin the fuelling necessary to experience the entire mountain.

With 64 runs, over 500 inches of annual snowfall, 1200 acres of skiable terrain and a 2047 ft vertical drop the skiing at Solitude will not disappoint. Expert and advanced skiers will enjoy the gladed runs in the Honeycomb canyon from the Summit chair. Intermediate skiers will enjoy the groomed runs from the Eagle Express, Moonbeam Express and summit chairs. The Moonbeam and Apex Express quads are new for the 2008-09 ski season.

At the end of the day spend some down time at the Powderhorn Lodge or enjoy a gentle session of ice skating on the adjacent outdoor rink. You may just find someone with a distinctly Austrian accent (as we did) handing out marshmallows to toast on the open fire. If the schnapps had been flowing you could be forgiven for thinking you were in the Austrian Alps!

The views of neighbouring mountains from the top of Here Be Dragons and the Black Forest runs are worth the price of admission alone. If that isn’t enough to entice then the lack of queues, lack of crowded runs and varied terrain that is the hallmark of Solitude is surely worth a return visit.



Electronic Ski Passes

Solitude has electronic ski passes on all their lifts which means you can keep your pass in your pocket for the scanners to detect and open the gates for you. It also allows you to log into Solitudes web site to review all sorts of stats about your skiing (number of runs, amount of vertical skied, etc).

Off Piste

If you’re a strong skier or boarder keen to venture off piste, go for a professionally guided day tour run by Solitude Mountain Resort's Professional Ski Patrol. Skiing off piste poses an increased chance of avalanche so you’ll be fitted with Avalanche transceivers for the day. You may want to prepare by taking part in the free avalanche transceiver training park prior to your off piste ski day.

Two New High Speed Quads

New for the 2008/2009 ski season, Solitude has added two more high speed quads to its lift system. This is a great addition since the easier loading and unloading and greater speed makes detachable high speed lifts much better than their fixed grip counterparts.

Terrain Park

Solitude advertises their terrain park as being "family friendly" and designed to usable by a wide range of abilities. Boarders looking for a more challenging terrain park generally travel slightly further up Big Cottonwood Canyon Road to Brighton. The terrain park is primarily serviced by the Apex Express and Moonbeam Express lifts.

Cross Country Skiing

If you prefer skinny skis or snowshoeing, Solitude has a superb Nordic area offering an extensive trail system that is linked to Solitude village. The Solitude Nordic Center has a Nordic Ski School offering lessons for beginners and experienced skiers.

Ski School

The Solitude ski school offers both private and group lessons. The Moonbeam Kids Program offers ski and snowboard tuition for skiers aged 4 to 12 and boarders aged 7 and older. Packages are reasonably priced and range from half day to 5 day options.

Family Friendly

Solitude offers child care to children 4 years and younger. Activities provided include story telling, snow play, craft, cartoons and lunch. Call 801-536-5730 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Rentals and Service

Solitude has two rental and service shops – one in the village and the other at the Moonbeam Base. The rentals are for skis and poles, snowboards, boots, helmets, snowshoes and ice skates.

Groceries

If you’re staying in a self contained condominium, you may like to take advantage of Albertsons grocery delivery service, entering 12000 Big Cottonwood Canyon, Solitude, UT 84121 as you address along with your condo and room number.

Dining

On mountain dining is available at Moonbeam Lodge and Last Chance Mining Camp (both adjacent to the base). The Sunshine Grill at the Roundhouse, half way up the Eagle Express. The Argenta Pub offers après ski beer and appetizer. Village dining is available at the Creekside Restaurant, Stone Haus Pizzeria and Creamery and the Thirsty Squirrel.

Lodging

Solitude Village is a quaint little village immediately beneath the ski area. Being a short distance down the road from Brighton towards Salt Lake City, Solitude offers a little more in the way of accommodation options. Most of the lodging is very close to the lifts.

If you still have some energy after your day’s skiing, you might like to try a little ice skating in the heart of the village. There is a fire next to the rink to warm up cold hands and feet.

Getting to Solitude

Solitude is located in Big Cottonwood Canyon about half an hour southeast of downtown Salt Lake City and Salt Lake International Airport.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 12 February 2009 )
 

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