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Deer Valley, Utah

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:30 am
by martin2007
Gorgeous drive yesterday afternoon and this morning from Steamboat Springs, CO. to Deer Valley, Utah. Breathtaking scenery the entire way along HWY. 40. I skied Deer Valley today. It's enormous. March Break, too, with all that that entails. I've never seen so many instructors and so many individuals and groups getting lessons. First impressions: beautiful terrain. Kind of a factory-efficiency feel in the services and lifts. Lots of green-uniformed personnel. Everywhere, in fact. Deer Valley and Alta (both in Utah) are the only two major resorts in the US that do not allow snowboarders to use the lifts. Telemarkers, on the other hand, are welcome. That's what the rules say, anyway. Strange, it's my first time skiing at a resort where I saw not a single other tele-skier. Not one. I got the impression that there were fewer tele-ers this year in Colorado, but today, here, only one: me. The icy hard-pack didn't exert a big draw, of course, but not another tele-er to be found? Wow.

Re: Deer Valley, Utah

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:23 pm
by lowangle al
I think there may have been some telemarkers out if it was a powder day, but then again we're dyin out almost as fast as WWII vets. ;)

How much time do you spend south of the border in winter? I really envy that.

Re: Deer Valley, Utah

Posted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:03 pm
by martin2007
An update: I'm made about 6 tele sightings in three days so far at Deer Valley. We got some more snow in dribs and drabs, so conditions improved. It's Saturday, so I'll let the crowds fight it out today and I'll explore a little.

About your question, Al, I spend more time down here each subsequent winter. I started really late this year, though, due to family circumstances, but will prolong the ski season as long as I remain motivated. I'll arrive back home a couple of weeks ahead of my planned ice-out trout-fishing trip into Algonquin Park. I don't like the weather or the waiting between ski and paddle seasons in southern Ontario, and every year I try to minimize them when I can.

Re: Deer Valley, Utah

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:08 pm
by fisheater
It's been years since I have been to Utah. However I would imagine you would see more Telemarkers at Alta, Solitude, and Snowbird. It certainly was like that years ago.

Re: Deer Valley, Utah

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:10 pm
by martin2007
Today held some surprises. I left Park City with no solid plan, though I had booked a rental unit in Cottonwood Heights, closer to Salt Lake. I decided to drive past my scheduled late-afternoon booking outside of Salt Lake City and continued up to Solitude (a ski resort) to get a late-morning start to what I thought would be skiing on hard pack. Not so. When I'd mentioned to another skier a couple of weeks ago that I was headed to Salt Lake/Park City, he'd been dismissive of Solitude as rather like small potatoes. He'd mentioned something about slow old-school lifts, and suggested I concentrate on Deer Valley and Snowbird/Alta. Anyway, today I got the most pleasant surprise of my winter ski season. Solitude was spectacular. And obviously quieter than elsewhere. Lifts that carry you up "all close and personal-like" to impressive rock walls, cliffs and couloirs. Bluebird skies and no wind to distract from the perfection of the landscape. I met another skier who'd already spent a few days exploring. He kindly offered to show me what he'd found. Long story short: the mountain had received 10-14" of snow the day before, and much of the terrain we skied today had just re-opened after closure due to avalanche risk and mitigation efforts. His company was as good as the skiing. He was on his way to profit from the coming onslaught of snowstorms heading into Lake Tahoe over the next few days. Today was one of my best days of an excellent ski season, and will be a hard act to follow.

Re: Deer Valley, Utah

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:16 pm
by fisheater
Martin, Solitude is a great area. Back when I skied Utah it was Alta that had more slower lifts. Funny thing was those slower lifts serviced some pretty cool terrain. If you liked Solitude, you will like Snowbird and Alta. However as much as I think those particular areas have superior terrain and snow to most places, I can't remember ever not enjoying skiing on a mountain. I had a blast on two small western locals hills because an opportunity ski was in the cards. I had great fun at Mt. Charleston in Vegas, it was much more fun and cheaper than gambling for me. I also caught a spring dump at Mt Bill Williams in Arizona. I had so much fun it took the sting away from being turned away from a sold out Arizona Sno Bowl in Flagstaff.

Re: Deer Valley, Utah

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:07 pm
by martin2007
Yesterday, Brighton on hard pack, today Alta/Snowbird on softer snow. I went in at Alta, and went through the staffed gate at Snowbird to sample the big Basin Bowl at Mt. Baldy. Fisheater, you're right, the terrain is something else. Gorgeous. Great pitch. Variety. The sun warmed up the 1" fresh powder and conditions were good. It was a great ski day, even without a dump of fresh powder. The powder was forecast for this afternoon, but we only got a few intermittent flurries. Maybe tonight. Very cool to leave Salt Lake City at 15 degrees celsius, drive up either Little or Big Cottonwood Canyon and 25 minutes later get on a lift that takes you up into a wintery --2 degrees. I'm liking Utah!