Diary of the Powder Flu

The drug of choice: powder.

The drug of choice: powder.

The signs were everywhere.

11:30 p.m. April Fool’s Day: The snow is dumping into my back yard, sticking. I feel the familiar flutter in my stomach, the tickle in my throat: the first signs of Powder Flu.

6:30 a.m.: April 2. Jeff utters the only sentence that can seal my fate: “There are 14 inches of fresh powder on the resort.” My response: “And there’s only one cure for the Powder Flu–skiing!”

Like a madwoman, I begin texting our visiting friends at their hotel. I’m willing to ski (gasp) another resort, if it means that we can get out together. No response. I begin to worry about their well-being. Did body snatchers come for them in the night?

8:05 a.m.: I have no time to worry. That old skier’s saw, “No friends on a powder day,” is ringing in my ears. I’ve made breakfast for my family, revoked allowance, rewarded compliance, kissed two sons and one husband goodbye for the day, slurped down a protein shake, and called the gym to cancel my reservations for back-to-back spin and strength conditioning classes. I’m selecting late-season base layers (running tights and a long-sleeved running t-shirt), grabbing necessities, loading the car.

8:23 a.m.: I’m thinking it could be worth skiing that other resort. I call a friend who is as die hard about “her” mountain as I am about mine. She has to work. I am sitting in traffic. It’s possible that my little Powder Flu is an epidemic. I notice that the “other mountain” is socked in, but I see Deer Valley with blue sky above it. A sign. I leave messages for two DV pals, and then start to grin as I approach the parking lot.

Top of Hidden Treasure9:05 a.m.: I glide my MomWagon into the space, and raise my arms over my head in victory. Then, a car pulls in next to mine. I hop out and scream the name of the driver: “Donna McAleer!!!!”  Just when I had resigned myself to skiing solo (figuring I could post my arrival on Facebook and find a pal or two), Donna simply pulled into the space next to mine. “I heard your voice and thought, I just wrote your name down to call you later. I need to ask you about a few things.” Within moments, we’re on Carpenter Express chairlift.

“I believe in signs,” she confides. “Do you?” I tell her that I’ve never been a single adult, but I would have made a HIGHLY annoying singleton. I would have seen “signs” of destinies better left unwritten, everywhere. We laugh, and then dive in to our catch-up.

I have just about 90 skiable minutes in this day. Kindergarten pickup is at the unforgiving hour of 11:15 a.m. We determine to make the most of it. Instinctively, throughout the morning, we divide our discussion into chunks that can be expressed in the length of a chairlift ride and digested in the trees.

We have a quick conference about our trail plans. Donna is not only a veteran ski instructor at Deer Valley, but she’s a veteran of the US Armed Forces. I know better than to second guess her knowledge of the mountain, or her strategic advice. “We’ll go to Empire, it won’t be crowded,” she says.

knee deepThen, as we approach Quincy, I notice all the skiers coming down Hidden Treasure seem impossibly short. Wait…they are all of average height, but skiing in knee-deep powder. Wow. “Did you see that??!” I am shrieking. The line and lift attendants are laughing at me. “We have to ski that. NOW!” So much for deferring to Donna.

Hidden Treasure, as always, delivers. My quads are wishing I’d gone to the killer spin class, but I’m thrilled. As we board the chair again, our plan is to head over to Empire to ski in  Anchor Trees. I have a fleeting thought that we should check out Guardsman’s Glade. Donna, it turns out is also a mind reader. “Bari Nan! What about Guardsman’s Glade?” Boom. We’re there. We make second tracks. It’s bliss.

Hidden TreasureNext up, Empire. We scoot down Orion. I lose sight of Donna, call her and tell her to take Anchor Trees without me—I’m having too much fun in the moguls. (Ok, I’ve skied that Orion-to-Anchor combo a zillion times, and somehow, the fog in that section of the resort conspires to make me doubt my line to the gladed entrance.) As it turns out, my mojo turns on in full force in the second stretch of bumps on Orion. I’d do laps on that run, if I had more time today. I reconnect with Donna as she comes out of the trees on the mid-trail run-out, and then we’re down another pitch of moguls like we were born to ski it. We ride one last lift together. “I’m going back for one more run,” she says, as we part.

10:30 a.m.: I hit Hidden Treasure once more. It’s decidedly choppier than an hour ago. I crush it. Then it’s up Judge, and on to the Silver Lake Express (my quads thank me), because I know the conditions on the lower mountain will not meet my powder snob standards, today. I enjoy the view. I look down at some favorite runs, longingly, feeling a pang of regret for my sensible decision. I click out at the bottom, hustle to my car, jump out of my gear and into the driver’s seat.

11:05 a.m.: I have hit three red lights, and I’m more than 10 minutes away from my kids’ school. I start speed dialing other kindergarten moms. Voicemails. My epidemic suspicions are confirmed. I reach Lisa, and she says she’s happy to wait with Seth for an extra few minutes.

11:18 a.m.: The phone rings as I’m pulling off the highway. It’s Michele, another mom in the class. “We are just coming out of the parking lot at the mountain…” I interrupt her, tell her that I’ll wait with her son, and pull in to find our boys. She and her husband arrive five minutes later, and we compare notes on our skiing, give ourselves a pat on the back for capitalizing on the Powder Flu. “I’m in need of some sunscreen for my gums,” I tell them. “I can’t stop smiling!”

Post Script: 1:45 p.m.  I’m on Highway 224, driving toward Kimball Junction from town, when I look to my right and see Donna, still in ski gear, behind the wheel of her car. Of course I call her, and she says, by way of answering the phone, “I kept saying, just one more run.”

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Sunday, September 24, 2017 at Deer Valley Resort. | Video Credit: Instagram User @scottusa ... See MoreSee Less

Carlos Caipa, Chloe Leigh and 23 others like this

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Leon AllbrightWhere is that

10 hours ago

2 Replies

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Kim Wohleking-FernandezThat snow is for real!?

11 hours ago   ·  5

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Sarah BulverThat is beauty!!!!'nnnn

10 hours ago   ·  1
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Melissa BaileyMichael Bailey this is why they have moose on everything there 😂 still never saw my moose

10 hours ago   ·  2
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Jacob VincentRuth Arbagey apparently we needed to be at deer valley today!

10 hours ago   ·  2
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Meg McKownSuzanne Mckown Seeeee...Park City has all the cool animals too! Haha

10 hours ago   ·  1
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Dan PhelpsCourtney, could be a good season...

10 hours ago   ·  1

1 Reply

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Lisa Borgfeld WhiteGwenn Beaver, what a difference a week makes!

11 hours ago   ·  1

1 Reply

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Ged CarringtonHeather Sherry see they have moose in Utah lol

10 hours ago   ·  1

1 Reply

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Michela SeehusenShirley Hartlauer are you guys missing Utah yet???

10 hours ago   ·  2
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Alicia MoranAmanda Sanford, this is what we got today.

10 hours ago   ·  1
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Jessie JohnsonBeautiful ❤️❤️💜💜❤️

10 hours ago   ·  1
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Brenda Perry-KerrI wish I was there!!

11 hours ago   ·  1
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Patricia Davis LahnMy neighbor... just checking in(lol)

11 hours ago   ·  2
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Marie Benson PitilloAwesome!!! Can't wait!

10 hours ago   ·  1
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Sarah Kaul PettigrewI am so in love!

10 hours ago   ·  2
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Angie MattinsonBeautiful!!!

10 hours ago   ·  1
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Jill Catalano TrosoSnow already!!!!

11 hours ago   ·  1
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Eric PikeWow so early

11 hours ago   ·  1
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Janet Bissell MooneySooo beautiful

10 hours ago   ·  1
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Jeff NesslerThat's the smaller one, when we were up there on Saturday my wife had the bigger one walk right in front of her yeah that scared her

10 hours ago   ·  1
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Meredith Amelia BerlyColin Alexander Berly hey you who keeps up with deer valley's weather on a regular basis is it snowing this much there???? Already????

10 hours ago   ·  2

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Martha BurlesonAwww,,,How pretty! My daughter n family lives there in Park City,,,I just visted them few weeks ago,,,,Love Park City,,,We even lived there in Utah awhile...Snow was Always beautiful....

5 hours ago
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Sheila BortreeWow. I have been going to see Chris for years, not lucky enough to see Moose yet. Looking forward to that day

38 minutes ago
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Suzie GordonOh yes mam! Snowed all night and all day!!!

8 hours ago
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Today’s #DeerValleyMoment. | Photo Credit: @scottusa ... See MoreSee Less

Today’s #DeerValleyMoment. | Photo Credit: @scottusa

Thomas Horn, Sandra P. More and 23 others like this

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Amy DavidsonJudi Zarrella is it really snowing there??? I was seriously looking into moving that way..... but snow in September?!?!?!?

10 hours ago

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Eric AlexanderI swear only a week ago I was standing there drinking a cold beer and it was 70 degrees

14 hours ago   ·  2

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Jeff HallAnd to think, last week it was brown pow and perfect cycling conditions.

14 hours ago   ·  1
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Ed MccallOh Mother keep it coming, no more hot weather!

12 hours ago   ·  1
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Regan EdwardsMy 3 month countdown to Deer Valley is ON! ❤️👏Christopher Flint, I'm all about that base!

16 hours ago   ·  1
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Suzie Gordon...and it's still snowing now!

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Jennifer StebenGoing to be another great season!

13 hours ago
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Tasha Spencer AgnewSimon Agnew, the countdown is on!! White stuff....yay!!!! 🎿⛷

15 hours ago
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Ed KliczewskiOMG Scott Scott Kliczewski, check out Park City!

11 hours ago   ·  1

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Melissa BremauerSue Wood yes yes yes!!! I have booked dinner for NYE at Cena, all confirmed 💃💃

12 hours ago

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Steve DawsonAnde Dawson need to sort out our plans

16 hours ago
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Angee Palmer DeanI'm so not ready for snow. We need to have fall first.

8 hours ago
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Wendy ChiojiI love this.

14 hours ago   ·  1
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Melissa Jane Ruberts GusemanNot yet, please

11 hours ago   ·  1
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Jeffrey HainesWinter is coming...

17 hours ago   ·  1

1 Reply

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Todd WallaceIt will be melted by next week.

11 hours ago
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Judi Zarrella

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James RazerLove to see this in the snow!

13 hours ago
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Tina WeyersWow look at all that snow!

13 hours ago
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Staci HugginsSooooo, not right!

10 hours ago
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Rick KolminHere’s to nice powder all ski season.

9 hours ago
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Karen GrossmanAwesome!

13 hours ago
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Cindy CreteauToo early😬

9 hours ago
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Raquel Aliceayayyyyyyy!!!! 💙💙💙💙

8 hours ago
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John ThompsonSee you 2/25/2018!

16 hours ago
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