January Events

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season starting to wrap up I am looking forward to the year a head.  January is going to be another busy month at the resort with the Freestyle World Cup, Freestyle Olympic Team Announcement and Sundance all taking place. 

Deer Valley Resort’s FIS Freestyle World Cup is coming up January 14 – 16, 2010.  Three days of competition and festivities will begin with the first of two mogul competitions taking place on Deer Valley’s Champion ski run on Thursday, January 14, 2010, beginning at 1:15 p.m. Thursday evening, there will be an evening celebration on Park City’s historic Main Street (near the Town Lift) from 7 – 9 p.m. featuring The Bravery and a fireworks display. The aerial competition will take place on Friday, January 15 under the lights on Deer Valley’s White Owl ski run, beginning at 8 p.m. The second mogul competition will take place Saturday night under the lights on Champion and will also begin at 8 p.m. As always, Deer Valley will host fireworks after its evening events on Friday and Saturday. General admission to all events is free. 

062 World Cup

  Official naming of the 2010 Freestyle Olympic Team will be announced at Deer Valley Resort Tuesday, January 26, at noon MST. Deer Valley, site of the 2002 freestyle and alpine Olympic venues, will host the announcement and send members off to Vancouver, Canada in “Deer Valley style” to represent the United States and bring home Olympic hardware. While freestyle athletes have been steadily working on qualifying for the 2010 Olympics, the selection period will close Sunday, January 24 and the official members are to be announced with several on-site for the official presentation, as well as greet and sign autographs for Deer Valley guests.

 Last but not least we have the Sundance Film Festival!  Sundance is the last two weeks of January and is a great time to hit the slopes.  This year Deer Valley is offering a package during the festival so if you have not made your reservations check out this deal…. Exceptional Value Package: Save 25% on select lodging and Deer Valley Resort lift tickets at a wide range of accommodations! Package includes lodging and daily lift tickets for each adult in your party. Offer is valid January 3 to 14, 2010; January 17 to February 9, 2010; March 22 to April 12, 2010. Children’s two-day or longer lift tickets also available for purchase at a discount. Please ask one of our Vacation Planners for details.

 So there is no excuse for us not to see you in January!

My New Year’s Resolutions

For the past five years, we regularly get together with Diane and Peter from New York during the Holidays. We traditionally share a European-style raclette for dinner at home, and always have a wonderful time. We had randomly met at the bottom of the Mayflower chairlift in 2003 (this would be a long story in itself) and besides having that late December dinner together, we’ve developed a tradition of sharing our New Year’s resolutions and checking our progress, or lack thereof, the following year.

Usually, we simply focus on lofty objectives and wishes, including of course, potential vacation spots, intellectual pursuits, sporting accomplishments and even building projects. This year though, we decided to forgo Machu Picchu or the backyard compost bin and focus instead on our common love for skiing. Again, our big city friends come to Deer Valley, once a year, for Christmas, while my wife and I are the lucky ones who get to live full-time in Park City and ski probably more than our fair share!

If they could, our friends would also like to ski more often, but need to convince themselves that they must set aside more time for that purpose. This is why we helped them formulate several compelling reasons, ranging from technique improvement to a great tan. Peter would love to improve his “bump” technique, while Diane is looking for a patient instructor that could take her into deep, powder snow, something she’s always dreamed of. Practically, this would mean setting aside a few more days during the winter months, in which they’d take these “Max 4” lessons that some of their friends have told them about, that run half a day and are limited to just four students.

This is how we all came to the conclusion that they should also try “spring skiing.” We have always been telling them how fun March skiing can be, filled with light, and abundant snow and is the very best way to fully enjoy the “beach” at Silver Lake, right after lunch. Besides, March skiers are almost guaranteed to come home with a tan that won’t be unnoticed when they return to the office. That was all that was needed to convert our New-Yorker friends into signing up for a “studious” ski week in Deer Valley, early March.

This was leaving us, the two locals, to display the resolve expected of us. My wife has always been a “fair weather skier.” This means that a blue-bird day is the necessary reason for her to get out and ski. On the other hand, subtle cloudy streaks on the horizon have often derailed many of her ski outings. Whenever it snows and I go skiing, she thinks: “Poor guy, he’ll get all wet and won’t see a thing…”  Yet, it’s often during those overcast and snowy days that I have the most fun. For years, I’ve tried to convince her that she should at least try, and experience the unparalleled snow softness and the surreal lighting that often makes the experience almost magical. As my argument appeared convincing and met the expectations of the rest of party, she decided that it would be worth a try and volunteered to ski at least five snowy days this season…

I was the only one left to step out and make a pledge. With around 60 ski days under my belt in a typical season, where could I go? I didn’t feel like breaking the 100 day mark but could certainly stretch it to 80, and I also declared that I loved to log as much skiing as possible within one single day. I measure it by just tallying-up the total accumulated vertical drop. There are even special wristwatches for that (I happen to own one.) A full ski day can range between 15 and 35,000 feet vertical depending on one’s ability and how leisurely and substantial the lunch is. I’ve logged around 80,000 feet before and I wondered aloud: “Might I break the 100,000 mark?” My wife looked at me as if I had suddenly become insane, but I remained composed and serious. “I believe I can make it happen,” I added.  “Go for 100,000!” chanted the rest of the table.

With everyone now committed to improving their skiing lives, we felt a need for a common pledge that would further cement our individual resolutions. Diane didn’t need much time to come up with a great idea: “My favorite run happens to be inside the Snow Park Lodge, and it’s called the Seafood Buffet; let’s all go there when we’re back in March!” My wife who loves sushi didn’t have time to second the idea as a loud and unanimous “Yeah!” shook up the whole house. We all recognized that it was a fitting instrument to keep track of some impressive New Year’s resolutions.

jf resolutions[1]

Ski Patrol Update

The Deer Valley Ski Patrol has been very busy since my last post. We spent the week leading up to resort opening chasing the snowmakers around the mountain, as the cold temperatures allowed them to cover a huge amount of terrain. We had a great opening with phenomenal conditions thanks to the snowmaking and grooming teams. We have recently had some help from Mother Nature in the form of nearly three feet of snow. This new snow has enabled us to open up even more terrain in the last few days. The latest storms were wetter than the usual light and dry Utah powder, which will make a great base for the season.  We are now at over sixty runs open with eighteen lifts running. The Ski Patrol is out on the mountain maintaining what we have opened so far and working toward the future with more lifts and terrain coming soon.

Photo Courtesy of Matt DeWaard

Photo Courtesy of Matt DeWaard

Off Hill Update

I hate to admit it but I still have not been out on the slopes.  With the cold temperatures (that were great for snowmaking) that mother nature brought our way last week I decided to take everyone else’s word that the skiing was good. But we have finally been blessed with a good storm so now I am itching to get out!

 Since, I have been hiding in the lodge I have had the opportunity to take advantage of our award wining dining. I have hit the natural buffet at Snow Park for lunch and love that they now offer grilled chicken as an option for your salad.  I also love the roasted veggie and mozzarella plate but nothing beats the Deer Valley Turkey Chili; a Deer Valley staple. I have to have the famous Turkey Chili a couple times a year.  I also got the privilege to check out The Mariposa menu.  If you have not been to The Mariposa I would HIGHLY recommend it.  There is so much to love on that menu I don’t even know where to begin.  The new crab casa appetizer and caprese salad are decedent.  My personal favorite is the sea scallops for the entrée but if you are not into seafood the bison is unbelievable…I think that I dream about them at night!

The Mariposa- Crab Casa Appetizer
The Mariposa- Crab Casa Appetizer

 

 Now that I am full from just thinking about all of the food, I don’t want to forget to mention some great events coming up.  On December 24, Santa will be at the Snow Park Lodge getting the little one’s last minute gift requests (so don’t forget to be good)!  On December 30 at 6 p.m. on the plaza at Snow Park you can watch our annual Torch Light Parade.  We will be passing out complimentary cookies and hot chocolate for guests.

Santa's visit to Deer Valley in December 2008

Santa's visit to Deer Valley in December 2008

 Those of you who are interested in coming out during Sundance, we have extended our EVP package through the beginning of February.  The EVP package saves up to 25% on your lodging and lift tickets. For more information check out our website deervalley.com.  If you have not been out during Sundance, it is always a great time to ski as most guests are in town to attend films.  Then at night you can check out a movie or just try to catch a glimpse of a celebrity on Main Street.

 Wish me luck on getting some turns in this week!

The Lodges at Deer Valley

The Lodges at Deer Valley

Snow! Storm Total 28″

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We are open and skiing is fabulous!  Mother nature helped us out quite a bit  this past weekend with 28″ of snow!  Our snowmakers and groomers are also continuing to do an incredible job and we have been able to open more terrain almost daily.  We now have 38 runs and 16 chairlifts open!  Check our Daily Conditions page on the website for more information: http://www.deervalley.com/daily-conditions.html

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Santa will arrive Dec. 24  but before that we have the Mahre Training Center five- day camp starting December 12 and then a three – day camp beginning on December 19.  This program is for any level skier ages 12 and older.  Participants will work on various skills and drills to improve their skiing while getting a rare opportunity to ski with Olympic skiing legends Phil and Steve Mahre along with skilled Deer Valley instructors.

Much better than I thought!

Until a few years ago, I was always very eager to get back on my skis at the beginning of a new season.  As I get older, I now need to push myself into that first day. It must be that, as we become more mature, apprehension begins to seep in; too many experiences – good and bad – are competing for the tight space inside our cramped memories, and the negative ones are often those with the louder voice. “It’s so cold!” followed by “I don’t think I’m quite in shape yet” or even by “will my ski suit still fit?” and “will I look good on my skis?” These reasons sound perfectly legitimate and while I hear them too, I fight to ignore them as I feel the competing urge to get back on my boards. So it’s just a few days ago that I finally made my mind up to “taste the snow” and make a few turns. I must admit that my wife helped me cross that threshold by constantly reminding me: “Didn’t you say you were going to ski today?” followed later on by “What time this afternoon are you going to Deer Valley?”

These subtle reminders left me very little room for putting off my re-entry on snow and I simply couldn’t postpone it any longer. Before I left home, I had to go through the usual skier’s check list to make sure that my entire gear was accounted for, starting with my gloves, hat, goggles, car keys, wallet and cell-phone. The last thing I wanted was to pull into Snow Park without my ski boots (believe me that has happened to me a few times before!) Once in the theater of operations, the next tough move was to slip a pair of apprehensive feet into some cold, heavy and forbidding plastic ski boots. I could sympathize with my ankles and my tender toes. After a long spring, summer and fall of unrestrained movements in sandals, clogs and running shoes, my own two feet felt like entering a maximum security prison. Inside, the old liners didn’t seem to recognize their former occupants and appeared to apply mean pressure where none used to be felt six months before.
Sterling Express

It took me a few more adjustments to get all the buckles neatly closed and the pressure points gradually disappeared, or perhaps were they only a figment of my own imagination. I then clicked into my skis and was on my way to riding the lift. This was the point of no-return, the instant of total commitment…  All went well as I rode up and as I gradually started to feel reacquainted with the wintery environment, everything seemed to fit perfectly; observing others skiers below felt somewhat weird and unreal as if I watched some ski movie and were somehow detached from the action. I reached the top, pointed my tips downhill and miracle, all the pieces of the puzzle suddenly fell into place; everything was there, even after seven long months without snow and skiing. I wanted to turn right, my skis obeyed, I needed to slow down or avoid someone in front of me, they responded too!

Sooner than I would have thought, I released the “parking brake” to taste some speed and cool December air on my face; I soon felt regenerated and all worked even better. I suddenly sensed the fun returning and I began wondering why I had not set aside a few days in November at the nearby Cottonwood Canyons. I was hooked again, and felt as if I had been suddenly reunited with my long-lost family! My legs still could do their job and I sensed all my skiing power returning, even more potent and well rested after the long summer hiatus. I couldn’t quite believe that I was doing so well; I felt all psyched up and wanting more of it. What I had totally forgotten was how skiing totally disconnects us from our daily preoccupations and how regenerating getting on the snow can be. I had left home shortly before one and told my spouse I would just stay a short hour, but soon found myself catching the last chair of the day as if no time had elapsed. Not bad for a first day; in fact, my fears were overrated and my expectations greatly exceeded!

Storm Total: 9″

Top of Bald Mountain- December 8, 2009

Top of Bald Mountain- December 8, 2009

The snow started Sunday afternoon and continued until Tuesday morning, dropping 9″ of The Greatest Snow on Earth at Deer Valley.  As of Tuesday, December 8, we currently have 15 runs and 13 lifts open.  See the Daily Conditions page on our website for more details: http://www.deervalley.com/daily-conditions.html

Carpenter Express Chairlift- December 8, 2009

Carpenter Express Chairlift- December 8, 2009

Edgar’s Beers and Spirits (EBS) Lounge Grand Opening

Grand Opening of the EBS Lounge, Photo Courtesy of Harriet Wallis

Grand Opening of the EBS Lounge, Photo Courtesy of Harriet Wallis

Formerly the Snow Park Lounge, EBS Lounge was renamed on Saturday, December 5,  after our founder Edgar B. Stern Jr. who sadly passed away last year.
Grand Opening- EBS Lounge, Photo Courtesy of Harriet Wallis

Grand Opening- EBS Lounge, Photo Courtesy of Harriet Wallis

The Lounge will be a great place to check out Deer Valley’s history and see how Edgar made his way from television in New Orleans to the “greatest snow on earth” in Park City.

Edgar’s Beers & Spirits Lounge offers draft beer, fine wines and cocktails and Edgar’s favorite drink, the Edgartini.  Appetizers are available after 2:30 p.m.  Live music Thursday-Monday and holidays; videos and televised sporting events daily.  Located on the second level of Snow Park  Lodge, Edgar’s Beers & Spirits Lounge is open from 2:30 – 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and noon – 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.