Resort Guide 2018: West #22
“Solitude is the best-kept secret of the Cottonwoods! Very serene and peaceful skiing with some excellent cruising runs, too. The lift infrastructure needs some work.” - SKI Magazine Reader
You'd think that Solitude skiers would get a case of canyon envy, what with the masses Nascaring up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Alta and Snowbird. But Big Cottonwood skiers couldn't care less. Their powder is just as light, their sky just as clear, their runs just as sheer. Even on the biggest dump days the place is peaceful: Lift lines barely push four minutes, and locals take leisurely dips into untracked shots all day. The summit gates have the best backcountry access—to stadium-sized cirques and closet-tight chutes—in the Wasatch. Even if you stick to the inbounds Honeycomb Canyon, you might as well be out-of-bounds for all the elbows you have to throw.
Buy a patroller a beer at the Thirsty Squirrel and leave with a few terrain tips and tricks for tomorrow.
The Roundhouse, destroyed by a fire, is back with the same awesome menu of Himalayan food.
Navarone, as in Guns of, is an overlooked tree run accessed through the gates atop the Eagle Express lift.
While patrol is doing avy work in Honeycomb Canyon, take the Powderhorn lift before dropping into the treed and technical Milk Run or the gully ride Parachute. When the rope drops at the top of the Summit Express, sidestep uphill for the steep, shady glades of 3700 Bowl (between Buckeye and Black Forest). Next run, pick a line 30 feet farther over and repeat.
Three Days Later
Poke around in the trees of Black Forest, or traverse skier's left into Honeycomb until you find the sweeping lines past Prince of Wales, where ample storm remnants await.
At the top of the Summit Express, boot-pack up the knife-edged Fantasy Ridge to Chutes 1—26 (there really are 26 distinct spillways, but some close when the snow is thin). Try 5 or 6 for rock-rimmed doglegs that fan out into Honeycomb Canyon.