Where to Ski in Utah on Sunday, December 14?
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Scott - DCSki Editor
December 13, 2008
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,142 posts
Hi folks,

I'm currently in Salt Lake City, and have a day free to ski on Sunday before heading into Colorado.

The Park City region received some snow today, but conditions here have been pretty bleak so far this winter -- there hasn't been much natural snow. As a result, the local resorts have very little terrain open. (The Canyons has just four trails open, for example. That's less than Whitetail!)

I'm not too familiar with the area and was hoping some of you Utah regulars could suggest a place to go for a few hours of skiing.

I would like to avoid crowds if I can. Don't know how busy the areas are on a Sunday, but I'm guessing today's snow will drive a lot of natives to the slopes.

I have a rental car (4wd Explorer), but I don't think I can make it to Alta or Snowbird due to road conditions. (Chains are maybe required?) As my first ski day of the season (in brand new boots), I was looking to take it fairly easy.

I was thinking I could maybe check out Deer Valley.

I have my ski boots but would need to rent skis. Would most of these places have slopeside lockers, decent parking, etc.? I don't really want to walk a mile in my ski boots.

Any tips are welcome! Kind of at a loss where to go, because I'm a Utah virgin -- I've never skied in Utah. I wish they had better conditions right now but any skiing is good skiing.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
December 14, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Scott,
I would not hesitate....GO TO ALTA. They have a lot of the mountain open and a lot of groomed trails. Here is link to their conditions and road info:
http://alta.com/pages/report.php
also check out "skiutah.com"
Currently Alta has a greater than 45 inch base, anticipate another 1-2 feet tonight and tomorrow. Four wheel drive or chains in trunk required. Suggest you go early.
Next Choice: Snowbird, then Brighton, both over 50% open.
If you stay away from the Cottonwood Canyons: then go to Deer Valley.
Enjoy. If you go to Alta be sure to work your way over to the Supreme Lift for a ride like you have never experienced before. Lots of blues from the top of Supreme.
The Colonel smile
BushwackerinPA
December 14, 2008
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
Go to solitude, alta is [censored] show on days like today.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
December 14, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
So, Scott,
where did you ski? How was it? Inquiring minds want to know!
The Colonel smile
Scott - DCSki Editor
December 14, 2008
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,142 posts
Originally Posted By: The Colonel
So, Scott,
where did you ski? How was it? Inquiring minds want to know!
The Colonel smile


Thanks everyone for the advice!

I just got back from skiing at Deer Valley. The road to Alta required chains (which I don't have), and I didn't have time or energy to figure out the bus system. I didn't hit the slopes until 12:30 p.m., which worked out well, because Deer Valley has half day lift tickets and ski rentals -- so that saved some coin.

Deer Valley had excellent conditions. They only had about a dozen trails open, but it seemed much larger than that -- the trails were spread across much of the resort, and were nice and long. It was snowing lightly throughout the day, especially on the lower part of the mountain, although the sun poked out on the top every now and then. It was *chilly* though -- around 10 degrees (maybe lower on top) with a strong wind at times. I discovered several flaws in my layering/dressing approach. First, I started getting frostbite in my toes (they became completely numb), but some time in the lodge thawed them out. I think the problem is that I put on boots that had been in the freezing car all night, so they started out nice and icy. I also forgot my neck gaitor, so my face and neck got quite chilly.

Deer Valley had some snowguns going, and I couldn't help but notice that they were "old school." Mid-Atlantic resorts really outshine the western areas when it comes to snowmaking, especially with new computerized and airless guns. On the other hand, Western resorts usually don't need snowmaking, but in dry early seasons like they've had in Utah, it sure would have helped. The Canyons still only has 7 trails open (up from 4 yesterday, so that's good.)

Deer Valley wasn't too crowded (never more than a couple people in front of me on the lifts), and it took me awhile to notice that there were *no snowboarders*. I had forgotten that Deer Valley is one of the only resorts (maybe down to two now?) that doesn't allow snowboarding. And I have to say... it was kind of nice. I don't have anything against snowboarders, but this definitely gave a different "feel" to the resort. There seemed to be more older people and families there; no one was skiing wild and crazy. And the employees were very friendly.

I had heard the design of Whitetail was inspired by Deer Valley, and it's easy to see how.

I should probably write up a formal trip report, so I'll stop describing it here. Anyway, it wasn't a bad way to spend an afternoon. Next up is Vail, which is absolutely drowning in snow right now. That should be fun.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
December 14, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Scott,
Glad you had a good time. Deer Valley is a gem to ski. They groom better than any other resort I have experienced, sometime they groom mid-day! It is like skiing on powdered sugar. Hopefully you found time to sample some of the goodies in their cafeterias, none better in ski country! One thing I think that makes it ski better is having essentially two base areas, each with 1000+ vertical feet, so in some ways it is like skiing two different, but joined resorts.
Have fun in Vail. When are you coming home?
The Colonel smile
Crush
December 14, 2008
Member since 03/21/2004 🔗
1,026 posts
Code:
yes
  truly

not the end times
 

  and the end of that time


he stood in back lit

      s a i d

 ' eric mosel is that y-oo "


 (of course it is )

  
 mean- while 

          he sits presiding
  you think " ahyes - "

       the coarse-salt we all grow weary of (get it)

    

  
  i recorded 

 ".. better to have this day and cost me $100
     
             than die with $100 in my old=death-pocket 
 "

                 Josh doesn't get it

 Ed might


                I do
eGm 12/14/08

Denis - DCSki Supporter
December 14, 2008
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,225 posts
Glad you got there Scott. Deer Valley is great. It receives much less attention from the local powder hounds than the Little Cottonwood Canyon areas. You can show up late, or the next day and still get untracked lines. Just one thing - never, never leave your boots out in the cold all night. Also thermofit liners are much warmer than stock liners. UT should be in for significant snow in the coming week. Hope you can stay for it.
skier219
December 14, 2008
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
Originally Posted By: Scott
I think the problem is that I put on boots that had been in the freezing car all night, so they started out nice and icy.


Yeah, that's a killer. Boots have a hefty thermal mass, and cold boots can suck the body heat out of your feet in no time at all.
Scott - DCSki Editor
December 15, 2008
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,142 posts
I just published an "official" Firsthand Report from Deer Valley -- you should see it on DCSki's home page.

Next up: sleep.
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