What level of skier do I need to be?
The tour is open to advanced skiers in good physical condition. On a given day you may encounter a wide variety of snow conditions. You need to be comfortable skiing powder, crud and other backcountry snow conditions. And you need to be in good shape: the tour covers a variety of in-bounds and backcountry mountain terrain and is physically taxing.
Am I a strong enough skier? Here are a few self-evaluation questions to ask yourself:
If you answered "yes" to all these questions, then you are the right candidate for the Interconnect Tour.
The Ski Utah Interconnect Tour offers a very accommodating cancellation policy; you can cancel up to 96-hours / 4-days prior to your registration date with no penalty, cancel 2-3 days prior to your registration date and you will be charged 1/2 your registered price, cancelling the day before or fail to show and you are charged the full amount. Please be courteous and allow us as much notification as possible.
It is easiest to cancel via an email sent to email@example.com. But you may also call 801-534-1907 and cancel over the phone. Please note: Our team is out of the office a fair amount of time, utilizing email is more timely than our office phone line.
We can not guarante that we will travel through all listed resorts. Client abilities, resort operations and snow safety conditions dictate the day's adventure and routes available. Our goal is to showcase the resorts and the terrain available to us each day, sometimes that can mean traveling through as few as 3 resorts, but we will always do our best to ensure you have a great experience with us.
How should I dress?
Weather conditions can change quickly in the Wasatch Mountains. Dress in layers and be prepared for winter weather. Don't forget the sunscreen! Even on cloudy days, the sun is intense at this altitude.
How much hiking or traversing is required?
The majority of the tour is enjoyed skiing downhill, but there are several uphill traverses and a couple of places where side stepping is necessary. It's important to be in good physical condition and feel comfortable walking with skis on. Walking with skis on is referred to as Side-Stepping and is used for inclined traverses on soft or hard snow. The larger surface area helps keep skiers on top of the snow & the "hold" of the skis metal edges helps keep the skiers in control.
Do I take my skis off to hike?
No, the tour is designed for guests to keep their skis on. However, depending on the desire of the group (or part of the group), there are a couple of places where you have the option of boot packing uphill for more powder turns. If part of the group wants to hike and part doesn't, we can split the group for that section of the tour.
Do I need backcountry touring setup to go on the tour?
No, the tour is designed to be skied on your alpine or telemark gear. However, if you normally ski on telemark or AT gear then, of course, those set-ups will work great. Please remember to use the gear you're most comfortable skiing on. We do suggest that you have powder baskets on your poles to help make the hikes easier and for under $10 they won't put you out.
If you book a private tour, and have your own touring equipement, we can incorperate some uphill touring opportunies.
Do I need climbing skins?
No, our guides carry climbing skins in their packs in case of an emergency. Refererence the above question regarding Private tours and touring equipement.
Do I need to bring an avalanche beacon?
No, the Ski Utah guides will provide each client with a verified beacon that will be required to wear throughout the tour. If you would like to use your own avalanche beacon there are a few requirements that need to be met. #1. The beacon must have been manufactured within the last 5 years. #2 Must be digital. #3 Battery power must be at least 80% or higher the morning of our depature. #4 You need to show your guides that you know how to put change your beacon from send to receive. #5 Your guides have the final say on wether the beacon your bring meets expectatins.
Do I need to carry a backpack?
New this season, Ski Utah will be providing a backpack for all clients. The backpack will include an avlanche shovel, probe and a convient ski carry should the client opt for any "extra credit". Clients may opt to bring their own backpack. The packs that Ski Utah will provide are lightweight and low profile to help aleveate chairlift complications. You are more than welcome to load up the provided packs with your gear such as water, snacks, sunscreen and extra layers.
Is it appropriate to tip the guides?
Yes. Our guides spend countless hours of their own time acquiring the knowledge and skills to give you a safe and enjoyable backcountry experience. As with other professional guide services, tips are considered part of the guides' wage. If the guides meet your expectations, a tip of 10% - 20% of your tour's cost is considered standard among professional guide services.
Why can't I do the tour on my snowboard?
Because of the uphill traversing involved, the tour doesn't lend itself well to snowboarding. Beyond that, we pass through Alta Ski Area and Deer Valley Resort which do not allow snowboarding.
How many people are on each tour?
Maximum group size is 12 for private tours and 8 for public tours. We require a minimum of 2 clients for a public tour to operate. There are no client minimums for a private tour to operate.
Is there a minimum tour age?
Yes. The minimum age is 15. Skiers under 18 years old will need a legal guardian to sign a release form before they go on the tour. Anyone under the age of 18 needs to be accompanied by an adult on the tour.
How many vertical feet and how many miles do we ski in the day?
On average, we ski about 16,000 vertical feet and cover anywhere between 24-26 miles.
What if the guides decide that my skiing ability is not up to the demands of the tour?
The guides check ski ability prior to leaving the area. If the guides determine that your skiing ability is not strong enough then you will not be able to finish the tour. This is a safety precaution so that you do not put other skiers in danger. If you are ejected from the tour, your reservation cost may only be paritally refunded as we are very limited on space. Please be honest about your ski ability so that you do not lose any money. If you have gotten here and you are still not confident in your abilities please call our offices and ask to speak with a guide - 801-534-1907.
What if I decide to drop out of the tour before the completion?
If you choose to drop out of the tour before the end of the day you will not receive a refund. Guides will leave you in one of the resort's boundaries, they will take the Gold Pass, avalanche beacon and pack with them, and will be responsible for your own return for transportation. (shuttles, public transportation, and driving services are plentiful)
Can I be picked up or dropped off at my lodging before and after the tour?
Guests are responsible for transportation to and from the start of the tour. Park City has an excellent free bus system that stops at Deer Valley Ski area for the six area tour.
Canyon Transportation has a special rate for Interconnect clients. The special Interconnect rate is a "canyon hop" rate is $150 and will accomdate up-to 10 clients. All arrangements must be made through Canyon Transportation - 801-255-1841
Where can I get breakfast?
What does the tour entail?
Professional guides lead you via backcountry routes interconnecting as many as six resorts in one day. There is no other tour of its kind in North America.
A typical Deer Valley departure
Begins at 8:15 a.m. where guides will talk to the group about avalanche safety, backcountry etiquette and the day's conditions. Guides will also fit each guest with a backpack (and probe and shovel), an avalanche transceiver and issue a Ski Utah Gold Pass for your lift access. From there we will hop on a Deer Valley charilift around 9:00 a.m. From there we'll ski several runs as we make our way to the top of the Empire Express or Lady Morgan and ski into Park City Mountain. After several runs at Park City Mountain, you will take the Jupiter chair and ski off the backside into Big Cottonwood Canyon. Enjoy a long descent through the backcountry to the base of Solitude Mountain Resort. Ski several runs off the Summit chair then ski the upper SolBright trail to Brighton Ski Resort. After a run or two at Brighton, you’ll ski back to Solitude for lunch. You’ll ride the Summit chair after lunch to access the Highway to Heaven. The Highway to Heaven is a dramatic 500-yard traverse into Little Cottonwood Canyon via Twin Lakes Pass. Enjoy another long backcountry descent into the upper base of Alta Ski Area. Ski several runs at Alta before passing through the Mineral Basin gate to make your final turns into Snowbird. Finish the day in style with a final tram lap which provides 2,900 feet of vertical back to Snowbird's base area where a shuttle will be waiting to drive you back to Deer Valley's Plaza Building.
A typical Snowbird Departure
Begins at 8:15 a.m. meeting on Snowbird's Tram Plaza, entry 2 parking. Guides will also fit each guest with a backpack (and probe and shovel), an avalanche transceiver and issue a Ski Utah Gold Pass for your lift access. From there we'll head up to Hidden Peak before warming up with a few turns into Mineral Basin. Ride the Baldy Express chair to Alta and over to the Supreme chair. Traverse out to Catherine's Pass area which leads to spectacular backcountry skiing down to the base of Brighton Ski Resort. After a run or two at Brighton, you'll take the lower SolBright trail to Solitude Mountain Resort where you'll stop for lunch and a well-earned break. After lunch you'll ride the Summit chair to access the Highway to Heaven. The Highway to Heaven is a dramatic 500-yard traverse into Little Cottonwood Canyon via Twin Lakes Pass. Enjoy another long backcountry descent into the upper base of Alta Ski Area. Ski several runs at Alta before passing through the Mineral Basin gate to make your final turns into Snowbird. Finish the day in style with a final tram lap which provides 2,900 feet of vertical back to Snowbird's base area where
Depending on conditions, routes may vary from the descriptions above. We can not gaurentee to travel through all listed resorts on your tour. Client abilities and conditions dictate our adventure and routes for each day.