Firsthand Report: Park City, Utah
Author thumbnail By Connie Lawn, DCSki Columnist

Editor’s Note: Connie Lawn is currently in the midst of a Utah trip. She filed this firsthand report on the second day of her trip, April 4.

Ok - I am a wimp - I admit it! There are times I like to cruise down easy trails, at breakneck speeds, and feel like I am an Olympic Champion. What better place to do so than at Park City, Utah? Today was absolutely the finest skiing I have had all season, and this has been a terrific ski season.

There is something about Park City I love. I must try to meet the engineers who designed the runs. A combination of excellent design, and topnotch grooming, produce some of the finest skiing in the world. All of the blue and black runs are easy and exciting! My husband and I zoomed down from the top of the summit to the Resort Center in fast, fluid runs, which were more akin to dancing than skiing.

It is true, I got into a lot of trouble when I went off the groomed slopes and hit the deep snow. Widowmaker and Nail Driver nearly killed me. I fell into the deep snow every few minutes, and was totally out of control the rest of the time. But, hey, I’m from the East! Once I got back to Homerun, SilverQueen, Silver Skis, and some of the other popular runs, I was fine. There were enough people to keep them in good shape, but nothing was very crowded. Most of the groomed runs from the main lifts - Pay Day, King Con, Bonanza, and Silverlode, were great. I was especially moved to see the excellent adaptive skiers - Park City has one of the more advanced such programs in the nation for blind and disabled skiers.

Unfortunately, this is approaching the end of the season for Park City, as it is for most Utah resorts. It is a pity - they have the best snow of the season, and it is still coming down. The weather here thinks it is January. It is still very cold and windy, and I was concerned about frostbite on the long, exposed chair lifts. Too bad all resorts cannot afford gondolas, but they have their own series of problems, and must shut down in extreme wind conditions.

Park City is scheduled to close this year on April the 13th. The good news is, lift prices go down to 45 or 50 dollars the final week - a real bargain out here. In season, they can be as high as $67. But, again, look for package deals tied in with the hotels, airlines, ski clubs, or other affinity groups. The price is worth it. Here are some stats:

Park City has a summit of 10,000 feet with a vertical rise of 3,100 feet. It boasts 100 trails - 18 easier, 44 more difficult, and 38 most difficult. The longest, Homerun, is 3.5 miles long, and is very easy but beautiful. There are also 8 bowls and some great halfpipes. What a place! In fact, what a state! Do I really have to return to Washington? Happy ski dreams.

Photo provided by Park City Mountain Resort.

About Connie Lawn

When she wasn't skiing, Connie Lawn covered the White House as a reporter since 1968.

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