I’ll admit it: I have a problem. Once the leaves start to turn into wild reds and yellows on the mountains in Park City, I get ahead of myself. GLARINGLY ahead of myself. I begin planning my first ski day at Deer Valley. But not just any ski day—not the obligatory three-runs-with-my-family on opening day. But the first day I can get out for some clear-the-head, run-after-run, meditative skiing. I have many types of ideal ski days—22 runs before lunch with my good friend Florida Keys Guy, for instance. Any number of runs I can take with Ski Dad—they are rare gems. A girlfriends’ gabfest , equal parts cruisers and trees . Or an entire day on Wide West , with both kids, including frequent breaks for candy (from the stash in my pocket) or cookies (from Snow Park Lodge).
But in September, I start fantasizing an amalgam of the perfect day. In my perfect world: My family and I rise early and quickly hustle into our ski gear—arriving at Snow Park Lodge for a family breakfast by 8am. This allows plenty of time to wait in line for the perfect (and decadent) French Toast, as well as time to linger over a second cup of coffee while my kids dawdle over their oatmeal. By 9, maybe 9:15, we’re warming up on Wide West, letting the Big Guy tell us how bored he is by the bunny hill, and letting Little Guy lead us down his favorite obstacle. In my mind’s eye, we all head over to Success, for another run. By 10, a pal or two arrive—and Ski Dad and I take turns skiing with friends and the kids, and we get to cruise some favorites—any and all of the blue runs on Deer Crest, for instance; Or head to North Side to whip through a favorite loop —Blue Bell to Silver Buck to Star Gazer to Gemini to Silver Strike Lift—and do it all over again. Then: Lunch. I’ll fetch my kids’ penne with butter and cheese (sigh) and my sweet potato with yogurt and salsa. Trust me, it’s the lunch of champions. The after-lunch runs will be predicated by the kids’ energy—they will insist on more runs. I will acquiesce. There will be more cookies. Life. Is. Good. And, yes, in a perfect world, we go to Seafood Buffet to make sure our black belts in buffet don’t get rusty!
Of course, there is more than one Deer Valley—everyone I know has their own routine, their own THING. So I checked in with some of the folks who know the mountain best—staffers from three corners of the resort-o-sphere, to get THEIR take on the ideal ski day. Here’s what I learned…
EBS Lounge Manager
Years at Deer Valley: 4
Hometown: Manasquan, NJ
My perfect ski day starts …no later than 8:45, with a stop at the DV Grocery Cafe by 8:45 for a Bacon Egg & Cheese Panini prepared by Ben Stevens. I take it to go. I swing through Snow Park by 9:00, get my boots & skis – get dressed, and then eat my Panini on the way up carpenter.
My must-do ritual: Stop into Cole Sport Deer Valley in Silver Lake Village to meet up with my buddies and double check all my gear. The guys at Cole are my neighbors/closest friends who actually taught me how to ski 2 years ago at DV…. I’d never been on anything but a snowboard until then.
The first lift we grab is…Quincy, and then head to Empire for most of the morning. The trees off Orion are my favorite. I’ll loop Empire a few times, maybe head over to Lady Morgan for an hour or so
My midday musts: I head to Silver Lake Lodge for a Beer (Provo Girl on Tap), chili cheese fries, and a piece of cheese pizza from Bald Mountain Pizza.
Other favorites: “It’s a Tie – Vermont Cheddar Burger @ Royal Street Cafe & the Loaded Baked Potato @ Snow Park Restaurant.”
The greatest number of runs I’ve totaled before lunch is—hard to say. I don’t think I’ve ever counted how many runs I’ve done. The number of breaks and what time we stop in my opinion depends solely on the weather.
- Blue Bird & Warm – Ski all morning – drinks on the patio of the EBS Lounge all afternoon.
- Overcast & Cold- Ski, Long Lunch, Ski, Hot Tub.
- Windy- Ski the trees, long lunch, drinks & food in the “Niche” on the 2nd floor of Snow Park Lodge in front of the fire.
- Après Ski ALWAYS ALWAYS start in EBS Lounge at Snow Park, then depending on the day, home for hot tub and bed, or possibly a watering hole on Main Street.
My Most memorable chairlift ride was looping carpenter during the 2011 Freestyle Championships and getting to watch the Slopestyle competitions from directly above the run.
Stay tuned for two more Deer Valley employees as they share “Their Deer Valley.”