I began skiing in the French Alps when I was a little kid and have slid on two boards for more than 60 years. I remember my first ski slope: it was steps away from my family home. It was a spot used for ski jumping contests before, and since the structural elements of the jumps had long been dismantled, we piled up snow to build our own jump.
So here we were, a bunch of boys side-stepping up the hill, facing the slope, speeding down, jumping off and stopping with one long big sweeping turn to the left (for most) or the right (for me, as the only “lefty” in the group). In later years, I began slalom training through twigs that I had cut nearby and hiked up the course after each training run. On a good afternoon I could ski 400 vertical feet. Today, when I ski at Deer Valley, that number is magnified one hundred times!
In those days, riding up a lift was a real treat. There was a rickety cabriolet lift two miles from my home. When I had enough money to pay for the ride, I walked up the road, carried my skis and did the same on the way back when I was done skiing.
My background is a life of mountain living and a career in the ski industry. I have been blogging for Deer Valley for five years. I really appreciate being given the opportunity to get to know the resort up close and personal, understand its philosophy and form meaningful relationships every step of the way. Blogging for Deer Valley has given me the opportunity to dive deep into the culture and share my experience with past and future guests.
Along the way I’ve learned what snowmaking is all about, the art of grooming ski runs, what an early morning blasting with ski patrol sounds like, what is new in rental gear or even how heavy chairlift towers get bolted on top of Deer Valley’s six peaks!
Favorite Ski Run
When I’m asked what my favorite ski run at Deer Valley Resort is, I feel like I have to say which one of my children I love more. I don’t just have one favorite run, but a collection of preferred ski runs, depending on the day, the month, the snow and the weather. For instance, while it’s snowing, or just after a massive snow fall, you’ll find me hiding in Centennial Trees, off of Lady Morgan Express chairlift. I find that place unique, varied and chock-full of adventure for the adrenaline junkie I still am, and truly measuring up to the #SkiTheDifference label.
On a typical Deer Valley bluebird day, with cold-dry powder snow, I like roaming around Sultan Express chairlift, running laps down Grizzly ski run. I may ski Ruins of Pompeii, as both ski runs continue onto Perseverance and then to the base of the chairlift. With Sultan being so fast, I get back up in record time and can ski 20,000 vertical feet in just two hours. Another reason I choose to #SkiTheDifference!
Then there’s the Jordanelle ski run. I ski it first thing in the morning, mostly during spring. It resembles a white ribbon covered with pristine corduroy that still feels firm under the foot, plunging into the Jordanelle Reservoir, over the freeway below. It reminds me of a classic downhill course. It’s straight and feels like a roller coaster with the perfect blend of rolls and compressions. One or two runs on Jordanelle ski run are a wonderful way to ignite a great ski day.
Then there are the outlier runs like “Son of Rattler” or any one the Daly Chutes, but I’m getting ahead of myself as I was only supposed to talk about just one favorite spot, not four or more!
This is going to sound like my favorite ski run! Once again, I love more than one eatery at Deer Valley Resort and I bet I’m not the only one. If my life depended on it, I’d probably chose the Seafood Buffet because it is as much ingrained into the Deer Valley culinary culture as the fresh morning corduroy!
Favorite Lodging Property
Since I’ve lived in Park City for the last 30 years, I look at Deer Valley Resort for the experience it brings visitors. I love a plethora of Deer Valley properties. This said, if I had to recommend a place to a friend or make a reservation for someone looking for a memorable experience, I’d pick the Inn at Silver Lake because it’s at the center of it all, as far as skiing is concerned, and also because its units are wonderfully appointed with expansive floor plans, gourmet kitchens and private hot tubs. Besides, who wouldn’t love the complimentary Cadillac transportation included with the accommodations?
My day with Dirk Beal, Deer Valley’s Director of Sales, is one I will never forget. Dirk and I broke the vertical skied record at the resort on January 4, 2010. We had set the goal of reaching the 100,000 feet level and the exercise was so fun that before we realized it, we had tallied 112,750 vertical feet in one single day of intense skiing!