Variety of Terrain, Not too big, Great Veggie Burgers at Last Chance Mining Camp
Powderhorn II lift, no apres action
We last skied Solitude the year before they relocated the Powderhorn lift to its current location (now accessible from Moonbeam lift, used to be over by Apex lift). Solitude used to be our first choice resort over all others. Not too big, not too small and the beginner skiers and weak blue skiers were segregated from the black diamond skiers by the lift layouts. We skied it again this March 2011 for three days and in Feb. 2011 for three days. The bowl serviced by Powderhorn was always our favorite. Unfortunately, the new position of the lift encourages lots of "not quite ready" skiers to access the bowl it serves (which is all black diamond terrain). This causes more "untimed" bumps and "cut accross traverse lines", etc. as well as "out of control" skiers careening down its steeps. Also, on a powder day, it gets immediately tracked out and has all kinds of "out of control" bombers flying down it. Very disappointing . This takes a large part of the fun blacks at Solitude away, leaving only Honeycomb Canyon and Evergreen Bowl. We still enjoy Solitude, but Alta has now moved up to our first choice spot due to losing the enjoyment of the Powderhorn serviced area. Although, it is nice when they groom the middle of the bowl. This keeps some of the "dive bombers" at bay since they stick to the groomer.
The improvements made to the Moonbeam base area are great! Nice "brown bag" lunch area with lockers and bathrooms, nice cafeteria area with a big fireplace and an outdoor deck for an after ski beer. Big enough at the base for everything you need but not too big where it takes forever to access it. Also, the Last Chance Mining camp near the Apex lift has one of the best veggie burgers in Utah. Great french fries, also.
Solitude is still worthwhile to ski just not as much fun for black diamond skiers since the Powderhorn lift has made it too easy for "not yet skilled" enough skiers to easily wander into the bowl it serves. If you ski that bowl on a busier day, be aware of skiers up hill that may not be able to stay out of your way as they come "careening" down from above.
If you enjoy apres ski activity, Solitude is not ideal unless you stop skiing early (at least for day trippers), even then, the beer is not the best. Everything "clears out" and closes early. However, one does not come to the Cottonwood canyons for apres and nightlife (Park City area is for that). People come here for the skiing!