SKIING RESORT REPORT: SOLITUDE

WHAT ATTRACTS people to skiing in the US? Service, space - and snow. Reliable, deep, soft snow. And where do you get the best snow? Utah - specifically, Little Cottonwood Canyon, and the cult miniresorts of Snowbird and Alta, which get 500 inches every year.

But everybody knows that. Well, everybody who lives within driving distance, anyway. Which means that the fabled powder can be skied out by noon.

But next to the little canyon is a big one. At its head is Brighton, and a couple of miles away is Solitude. Brighton's snow record is comparable with its neighbours'; Solitude's is slightly inferior, but it still gets twice as much snow as many resorts in Colorado. You can ski from Brighton to Solitude, but there is no lift-pass sharing. You just buy a daily pass, depending on where you want to go.

The terrain is gentler than that of Little Cottonwood; but at Solitude in particular, there is plenty of genuine black-diamond and double black- diamond stuff, and it doesn't get skied out.

Most visiting skiers stay 30 miles away in Salt Lake City; but there is a 45-room hotel at the Solitude base.

Chris Gill is co-editor of `Where to Ski and Snowboard 2000' (NortonWood, pounds 15.99; available p&p free from 01373 834227). No British operators offer ready-made packages to Solitude

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