So much snow is falling, it must be impossible to measure. At one point, I skied off a cornice on a double blue trail called “Bad Lands.” The snow in that spot was up to my thighs. Fresh, virgin powder was everywhere. Some skiers and snowborders went off into the woods or backcountry runs, but they did not have to do it to find the powder. It is overwhelming. Quite a challenge for an Eastern skier, who just flew in from Washington in the morning. The advertisements are true - You can really leave Washigton in the early morning, and be skiing in the Utah resorts in the afternoon. Now - some statistics. The Canyons is one of the newest resorts in the region, and is still growing. It has a “mere” 146 trails, making it the largest resort in Utah. It also boasts 3,500 acres of skiable terrain - not counting the backcountry areas. There are 16 lifts, but not all of them were running in this, the last week of the season. But, there was no need - none of the lifts had any lines.
An important thing to remember - do not judge the peak conditions by what you see at the base! My husband Charles had to urge me up the gondola - I was put off by the wind and blinding conditions. But, the sun shone in certain sections and at the summit - even if it was blinding and wind-driven in others. By the way, the base elevation is 6,800 feet, with the summit topping out at 9,990 feet. Be prepared for altitude sickness, especially if you have just come in from Washington.
While The Canyons will sadly close on the 12th of this month, it is scheduled to open again by Thanksgiving. The lift prices are slightly less in the early season - about $62 a day; then they climb to $65 in high season. But, there are always specials you can get - especially those tied in with lodging, airlines (if they are still flying), ski clubs, or senior or junior discounts. The best ski packages are available at midweek. Check out www.thecanyons.com. And, always check out websites before visiting any ski area.
By the way - I am visiting this magnificient state of Utah while the fierce fighting is raging in Iraq. The contrast is depressing and vivid. But, we are so lucky we are able to make the choices, and visit areas such as this. It reinforces how much we have to be grateful for, and shows why we have to fight to protect this great Nation, and wonderful lifestyle.
Good luck to all. Connie Lawn, “The Skiing White House Reporter”
Photo provided by The Canyons Resort.
When she wasn't skiing, Connie Lawn covered the White House as a reporter since 1968.