Major Mountain Bike Trail Improvements, New Dining and Concerts Usher in Deer Valley Resort’s 2015 Summer Season

As the mountains turn from white to green, Deer Valley Resort reopens its doors and lifts to guests looking to experience summer play available day and night on its mountains. From the rush of a mountain bike descent through the trees or an exhilarating hike along a ridge top to lunch served al fresco and open air evening concerts, Deer Valley offers an unparalleled alpine escape. New this season, guests can relish in summer season longer, as Deer Valley has extended its summer operations to include weekends after Labor Day through Sunday, September 20, 2015, conditions permitting.

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Summer 2015 mountainside activities promise to provide an even higher level of enjoyment as Deer Valley Resort embarks on its largest-ever summer investment to modernize and update its existing mountain biking/hiking trail inventory. Deer Valley Resort enlisted world-renowned bike resort development company, Gravity Logic, to conduct a feasibility analysis of the current mountain bike/hike trail system and provide improvement recommendations. Select recommendations provided by Gravity Logic will occur throughout the 2015 summer season, beginning in June and finishing in mid-August.

“Gravity Logic is known for having designed and built some of the planet’s most well-known, most-ridden and time-tested trails,” said Steve Graff, mountain bike manager for Deer Valley Resort. “We are excited to work with one of the most prominent designers in the world to create an even greater resort trail system that has more mass appeal for novice to expert bikers.”

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One of the scheduled improvements includes a two- to three-mile downhill mountain bike intermediate “flow” trail. This trail will be machine excavated and in-sloped with berms, rollers and jumps. To date, the majority of Deer Valley’s trails have been hand-built. The trail will be approximately four feet wide, as opposed to Deer Valley’s mostly single track trails, and will lead from the top of Bald Mountain to Silver Lake.

“Deer Valley Resort has an expansive network of mountain biking and hiking trails and the resort is already a favorite summertime destination for mountain bikers and hikers said Rob Cocquyt, owner/director of Gravity Logic. “Our goal is to work closely with Deer Valley’s in-house team to enhance what is already in place to elevate the experience for riders/hikers of all ages, skills and interests.”

In addition to trail work with Gravity Logic, Deer Valley and Mountain Trails Foundation have partnered to create an extension of the Mid-mountain trail. The trail will lead from Silver Lake to the Deer Crest trail, eliminating the climb from Silver Lake to the top of Bald Eagle and circumnavigating Bald Eagle.

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“For outdoor, nature, relaxation and music enthusiasts, Deer Valley Resort truly has it all,” said Bob Wheaton, president and general manager of Deer Valley Resort. “Summers at the resort offer guests the unique opportunity to try new outdoor activities, challenge themselves physically, discover an appreciation for nature, create lasting family memories and rejuvenate the senses—all experienced in generally mild, pleasant temperatures.”

Summer operations at the resort run seven days a week from June 19 through Labor Day, September 7, 2015, then weekends only through September 20, 2015, weather and conditions permitting. Lift-served mountain biking/hiking and scenic rides are offered from the Silver Lake Express chairlift at Snow Park, the mid-mountain Sterling Express chairlift and the Ruby Express chairlift at Empire Canyon. Summer chairlifts operate from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (conditions permitting) and ample parking is available at Snow Park Lodge. The resort website provides detailed information on mountain biking and hiking/scenic ride lift ticket rates, as well as information on bike rentals, clinics and tours.

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For evening play, Deer Valley Resort brings in an exciting lineup of celebrated singers/songwriters/musicians to entertain guests at open-air, mountainside concerts. To compliment any evening concert, Deer Valley features Gourmet Picnic Baskets or Bags filled with delicious epicurean items from Deer Valley’s kitchens, with options for children’s single bags, gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian meals.

271 Deer Valley Gourmet Picnic Basket

The summer calendar of events features a complete line-up of outdoor concerts at the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater and mountain bike races. Beyond the resort, the Park City surrounding area provides a wide variety of activities, such as golf, river tubing and rafting, boating, horseback riding, ATV adventures, shopping, dining, theaters and historical museums and tours.

With Deer Valley Resort Lodging and Reservations serving not only as property manager but also as the booking agency, guests have access to the largest selection of accommodations with the best service and availability, in the Deer Valley area. Deer Valley’s expert Vacation Planners are available to help guests book and plan outings and adventures tailored to their individual needs.

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When the fun and excitement of summertime activities leave the body famished, Deer Valley now offers four delicious options for refueling. For Deer Valley guests and visitors looking to grab a quick bite or more, the new Silver Lake Snack Shack will now be open daily during the summer season. Located in the Silver Lake Ski Corral at mid-mountain, the shack offers wrap sandwiches, picnic snacks, beverages, beer, desserts and ice cream sandwiches. The shack is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 19 through September 7, 2015, then September 12, 13, 19 and 20, 2015.

Royal Street Café offers a casual atmosphere with scenic deck dining and creative American and international cuisine the entire family can enjoy. Royal Street Café serves creative appetizers, salads and specialties such as a fresh Dungeness crab tower with avocado and sauces of wasabi, ginger-soy and sweet chili, tuna tartare with wild arugula, truffle oil and lemon salad and of course, the famed maple bacon, barbeque bison burger. You’ll also find an equally exciting children’s menu, fine wines, beer and refreshing cocktails. Open for lunch daily June 19, through Labor Day, September 7, 2015, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Royal Street Café is located mid-mountain at Silver Lake Lodge adjacent to Deer Valley’s Silver Lake Express chairlift.

174 Royal Street Cafe_Deer Valley Resort

Enjoy the view and mountain air while dining lakeside on the outdoor deck at Deer Valley Grocery~Café serving fresh roasted coffee and espresso drinks, salads made with local seasonal ingredients, panini sandwiches, creative appetizer and entrée specials, freshly baked breads, desserts, cakes and other items. A selection of gourmet grocery items, house prepared take-away entrées as well as wine, beer, liquor and seasonal cocktails are available for purchase. Deer Valley Grocery~Café, located in the Deer Valley Plaza building in the Snow Park area, is open daily 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. (With extended evening hours until 8:30 p.m. June 19, through Labor Day, September 7, 2015.)  Please call 435-615-2400 for to-go orders.

The Brass Tag restaurant, located in the Lodges at Deer Valley, is open daily from 4 to 9 p.m. and serves their full dinner menu from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The menu features Deer Valley-inspired brick oven cuisine including fresh seafood skillets, seared meats, oven roasted fresh fish, locally sourced produce, seasonal flatbreads and specialty sides. A full bar, beer and wine are also available.

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For Deer Valley’s younger guests, ranging in age from 2 months to 12 years, the resort’s Summer Adventure Camp offers creative activities that ensure campers have fun while learning and connecting with nature. Based out of the Children’s Center at Snow Park Lodge and running Monday through Friday June 8 through August 19, 2015 (no camp on July 3 or 24), Summer Adventure Camp features hiking, hillside playgrounds, indoor entertainment and performances, a bouldering rock-climbing wall and a full supply of craft projects, games, puzzles and more.

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Deer Valley’s convenient location, just 36 miles from Salt Lake City International Airport, affords guests more time to enjoy their alpine retreat. Guests leaving either coast in the morning can be settled at the resort by early afternoon, ready for outdoor play or comfortable relaxation.

For more information on Deer Valley’s summer mountain biking, hiking, scenic chairlift rides, outdoor concerts and dining operations, please visit the resort website.

Deer Valley Resort’s President and General Manager Bob Wheaton, reviews the 2014 – 2015 ski season

Deer Valley Resort’s President and General Manager Bob Wheaton, gives a review of the 2014 – 2015 ski season and invites you to come #SkiTheDifference in the 2015 – 2016 season. Presented by The Ski Channel.

Deer Valley Resort to Update 625 Main Signatures Store

Deer Valley Resort will be updating its Signatures store located at 625 Main on Park City’s Historic Main Street. With the store changes, the 625 Main Street location will be closed beginning April 27 through May 15, 2015. The store will reopen May 16 with Deer Valley Signatures’ full line of new spring and summer merchandise.

Eric Schramm Photography 2013

“We look forward to the enhancements being made to our Main Street shop and brightening our customer’s shopping experience,” said Georgia Anderson, director of merchandising for Deer Valley Signatures. “We’ll close for just a couple weeks to complete the updates and look forward to welcoming customers back on May 16.”

Following the brief closing, customers looking to purchase unique Deer Valley gifts for friends or memorable souvenirs for themselves are invited to visit the newly updated Main Street Signatures, which will then remain open year-round or visit the resort’s other Signatures store location at Deer Valley Resort at 7620 Royal Street in Silver Lake Village, which will reopen for summer June 19, 2015. Deer Valley’s third store location located plaza level at Snow Park Lodge is closed during the summers.  In the interim, guests can call Signatures at 800-833-2002 with any questions or shop online at

Deer Valley’s Signatures stores are stocked with exclusive apparel, blankets, accessories and glassware, along with exclusive Deer Valley logo merchandise. Customers will also find specialty food items straight from Deer Valley’s kitchens, like the legendary Turkey Chili mix or savory Fireside fig grain mustard. During the summer at Signatures, customers can also purchase general admission tickets in advance for any of Deer Valley’s Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater concerts and performances.


For more information about the Deer Valley Signature stores view the resort’s website at To follow resort happenings on social media, search #deervalleysummer.

Deer Valley Resort and Stein Eriksen Receive Governor’s State of Sport Awards

Deer Valley Resort and its Director of Skiing, Stein Eriksen, both received awards at the fourth annual Governor’s State of Sport Awards Dinner, hosted by the Utah Sports Commission and presented by Zions Bank.

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Honoring Utah’s sports achievements and celebrating Utah’s sports community, the Utah Sports Commission has awarded Deer Valley Resort the 2015 Partner of the Year Award. The Utah Sports Commission’s success is shared by many key partners and friends within Utah’s sports industry. The Partner of the Year Award recognizes the extraordinary efforts, resources and other support from sponsors, venues, hospitality, community, local organizing committees, events rights holders, volunteers and others in Utah’s sports industry who contribute valuable assistance in continuing to establish Utah as The State of Sport and enhance its Olympic Legacy. Past recipients include Zions Bank and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.

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“Deer Valley has been a valuable partner in helping sustain Utah’s Olympic legacy,” said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission. “Since hosting a large portion of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Deer Valley has continued to host World Cups and World Championships, inviting the world’s best freestyle athletes back year after year and showcasing this renowned venue to the world.”

04212015 State of Sport 036In its 34-year history, Deer Valley Resort has consistently ranked #1 in SKI Magazine’s reader’s poll, as well as garnered countless additional awards and recognitions, such as being named United States Best Ski Resort by the World Ski Awards. During the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Deer Valley Resort was host to the men’s and women’s freestyle aerial, freestyle mogul and alpine slalom events and has hosted the 2003 and 2011 Freestyle World Championships. The Resort is a favorite stop on

the Freestyle World Cup circuit each year and each of these events bring significant economic impact and exposure to the state of Utah.

Olympic Gold Medalist and Deer Valley’s Director of Skiing, Stein Eriksen, received the Governor’s State of Sport Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to skiing and sports in Utah. The award is given to those who have made significant contributions in advancing and promoting sports that serve to enhance the quality of life for Utah citizens. Past recipients include Larry H. Miller (posthumously), Spencer F. Eccles, Billy Casper and Jack Nicklaus.

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“It is an honor to pay tribute to one of Utah’s most iconic sports figures for his contribution to the sport of skiing in Utah and across the Intermountain Ski Areas,” said Robbins. “Stein has garnered recognition the world over for his pioneering spirit in the sport of skiing and we are proud he has called Utah home since 1969.”

As the most recognized name in the ski world, Stein Eriksen has been synonymous with skiing style and elegance for more than half a century. The first alpine skier to win triple gold at a world championship, an Olympic Gold Medalist and ambassador and father of freestyle skiing, Eriksen has parlayed all that he knows and loves about the sport into an incredible career that has spanned almost six decades and changed the face of alpine skiing worldwide. The patriarch of elegant skiing, Eriksen successfully utilized his passion for skiing into a lifetime career and helped cultivate the internationally-renowned luxury hotel, which bears his name, located mid-mountain at Deer Valley Resort.

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Both awards were presented last night, Tuesday, April 21 at the Governor’s State of Sport Awards Dinner held at EnergySolutions Arena. Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert provided welcoming remarks and presented the special awards to Deer Valley and Stein Eriksen. Acclaimed entertainer and motorsports enthusiast Jay Leno was also in attendance to help celebrate Utah’s best athletic achievements for the 2014 calendar year.

For more information about the Governor’s State of Sports Awards, please visit the State of Sport Awards website here.

Date Night at The Brass Tag

The Brass Tag at Deer Valley was our destination for date night but I didn’t pay much attention to the name. To me a brass tag was a pull on your jacket or an engraved name plate attached to the bottom of a picture frame.

Brass Tag - Nancy by logo sign If I had been paying any attention to subtleties, I’d have thought “mining!” “Park City” and “Deer Valley.”  I didn’t put those three together until I got there.

In the foyer of The Brass Tag, there is a shadow box with a series of tags. Historically, brass tags were used in mines to indicate who was in the mine and who was out of the mine, it gave a quick visual of how many miners were below. A miner would “tag in” or “brass in” by putting his tag (with his name or number) on a board and subsequently “tag out” or “brass out” when he left.

Brass Tag blog - the brass tags

For a miner, a brass tag could save his life. Now they are works of art for us to enjoy.

After our history lesson, we opened the drink menu, and found some names of our favorite Deer Valley ski runs (which are named after mining claims). While we associate Deer Valley with incredible skiing, world class service and family fun, it is nice to be reminded of the mining industry that originally built this community.

Jay kicked off the night with a Brass Tag take on the Manhattan – named Autumnal. The Brass Tag puts their twist on it with homemade citrus and spice bitters. I chose wine (not surprising) and the waiter suggested the Barbera after discussing my possible entre selections from the menu. The night was off to a solid start.

Brass Tag blog - BT take on Manhattan

Now I knew the Brass Tag had a brick oven but I didn’t realize the menu was expansive and innovative. I was thinking pizza, but to my surprise, the chef prepares everything in the brick oven with the open flame. It’s pretty amazing.

Brass Tag - Brick Oven

Here is a taste of what we had (pun intended):


Oven Fired Chimichurri Chips (The Brass Tag’s take on nachos). Gold Creek cheddar, gruyère, bacon.

Brass Tag blog - chimichurri potato chip nachos


Jay came hungry and was extremely pleased with the Niman Ranch Bone-In Pork Chop with bourbon glazed acorn squash, and whole grain mustard sauce.

Brass Tag Blog - Pork Entree

 I loved the flavors as well as the portion size in Tandoori Rubbed Quail with bacon corn bread stuffing, kale chips, sweet potato purée, and lime coconut sauce.

 Brass Tag - Quail Different Angle

Our waiter brought me a Rosé to taste just to experience another side of Tandoori spices. It was interesting to taste the difference in flavors pairing the Rosé with this dish and the Barbera.  Both were excellent but different.

Brass Tag blog - cheers to Barbera


For dessert we started with Sorbet fired in the brick oven- just kidding. (I wanted to see if you were paying attention.) Though this frozen delight was not roasted in the oven, it was an amazing mix of fresh berries.

 Brass Tag Dessert Sorbet

Pretzel bread pudding – Jay ordered this (and I ate most of it). As a pretzel lover, I went nuts over this dessert. It’s officially my new favorite.  Try it and let me know if it’s yours!

Brass Tag Blog Dessert Pretzel

We ended the evening having our coffee at the bar. It’s a map bar.  Like how Red Square Bar in Las Vegas has an ice bar, The Brass Tag’s take is a historical map of the mining claims of Deer Valley. We saw the claims we were standing on, claims we had skied on, as well as all the way to the Jordanelle Reservoir (which wasn’t a reservoir back then).

A little history, an interesting menu, a relaxed atmosphere and great food made a nice combination for an evening out.

To review menus, get directions and make reservations at The Brass Tag, click here.

Don’t forget to let me know how you liked the pretzel bread pudding in the comments or Tweet me @nancy_moneydiva

Carving Skis, Powder Skis and Skis In Between

I often look at my ski rack and wonder what I could change to make skiing even more fun and a little easier. In other words, which ski do I really need? This basic question conjured up so many parameters that just one simple answer seemed totally impossible. But I was determined to find out and what follows is the story of my search for the perfect ski.


I began by visiting the Rossignol North American Headquarters, right here in Park City, Utah. I spent some time with Nick Castagnoli, communication and public relations officer for the brand. Deer Valley Resort works closely with Rossignol, one of the world’s leading equipment manufacturers, both at its Empire Test Center and also in all of its ski rental operations. Nick took me to the showroom where next winter’s collection was already on display. Needless to say that I was overwhelmed by the breadth of models available, but his expertise quickly brought some order to my confused mind.


He first introduced the carving skis, Rossignol’s new Pursuit line. “These are pure carving tools,” said Nick, “Their mid-sole dimensions only range from 71 to 73 mm. These are fast edge-to-edge. You barely roll your ankle and you’re gone.” He immediately saw that this wasn’t quite my type of ski and explained that the carving and powder ski categories were bridged by a wonderful family of All-Mountain skis, called the Experience Series for men and the Temptation Series for women. “From coast-to-coast these skis represent the majority of our sales. They stand as benchmark of versatility for consumers. Not everyone skis deep powder.” added Nick.

I asked what might be the best width for me in the Experience line and Nick suggested that I try a few different versions at the Rossignol High Performance Test Center at Deer Valley Resort. I also asked what seemed to be the practical range of acceptable ski width (this is measured in millimeters under the foot at the mid-section of the ski) for the kind of skiing I was doing. Nick just smiled and said: “We’ve seen all kinds of widths in recent years, but the pendulum always swings back. Today from 85 to 110 mm seems to be where it’s at!”


Nick skis on the Soul 7, a powder ski, the other flagship of the Rossignol line. “Skiers want a ski that’s versatile. Something that works for any occasion. The Soul 7 is an aspirational ski; Everyone wants to become a good powder skier.” He went on to explain the distinctive, longer lightweight (air) tip in that series of skis designed to minimize swing-weight and also match the rocker location. Nick explained, “weight is a big deal for us. Lightweight is the trend these days, so we are working hard at making both our skis and bindings significantly lighter, which in turn makes skiing much easier without compromising performance.”


My meeting with Nick Castagnoli brought me one step closer to understanding what would be the perfect ski for me. But since I didn’t want to leave any stone unturned, I returned to the Rossignol High Performance Test Center, located near the Empire Canyon Lodge at Deer Valley Resort. I had paid one visit in January and needed to refresh my memory.


I wanted to ski again on the Soul 7, Rossignol’s best-selling freeride ski (the Savory 7 is the women’s equivalent). If you’re not familiar with the term freeride, simply equate it to powder or deep snow skiing. This very distinctive yellow ski spans over backcountry, freestyle and powder skiing. Its particular “rocker” design is meant to prevent tip flapping and brings an effortless flotation. Because of this the ski literally plows its way through the most challenging snow conditions, from bottomless powder to forbidding crud and even spring snow. The ski also does a decent job on hard-pack but this is not where I would primarily use it. I particularly liked its tip that projects higher up, offering an added feature when going over unknown terrain in fresh snow or extremely deep moguls.


Since I don’t spend much time skiing hard-pack, I didn’t look at or test the carving skis that Rossignol offers in this product category. I was looking for the everyday Deer Valley ski, that I think I found in the Experience series. I just want my skis to initiate easily when I take them in tight forested spots and yet I need them to be stable when I happen to find myself on groomed runs, which is where I often end up during the early and late portions of the season. The rest of the time my favorite playground is natural terrain, trees, crud (mostly) and powder of variable depth each time mother nature programs a snowfall!

I remember trying both the Experience 84 and 88. The 88 was the one I liked the most. I found it to be very versatile for my type of skiing and solid enough in terms of quickness and stability. It can carve when it has to and is very responsive, perhaps because of its more subtle rocker design. I also found it quite stable and easy to control when it had to plow through changing snow conditions or transition from smooth to bumpy terrain.


That’s it; I have determined that the Experience 88 is the perfect ski for me. Doing a little homework was worth it and made me confident that I didn’t have to make much compromise as I have done so many times before. I’m satisfied that I have made the perfect choice, found the right equipment for me, and can already look forward to the next ski season! I hope this helps you choose your perfect ski too. 

Best Memories from My 2014 – 15 Ski Season

Each passing ski season brings us more memories and more experiences, but if we don’t make a conscious effort to inventory them all while they’re still vivid in our minds, they’ll quickly vanish. Here are a few snapshots of events that, for me, have made this winter another one to remember and treasure.

My best spring skiing season ever!

When the powder settled, this season might be called the “Endless Spring” as spring skiing conditions had never been so good for so long. The incredible layer of snow blown earlier in the winter made for a long lasting and consistent base that comfortably took us to Deer Valley’s closing day with still plenty of skiing to be had. In late March, I ran laps everyday under Sultan Express chairlift from 9 a.m. until noon and had the time of my life, mixing smooth cruising runs with interludes on corn snow when the sun had just begun to bake its surface. It was the best spring skiing I’ve experienced in the thirty years I’ve lived in Park City!


Exploring Bucky’s Backyard with my grandson

My seven year-old grandson likes skiing under the condition that the experience be “super fun.” Just sliding down any hill won’t do. Which is why, when Finn goes skiing with grandpa, the outing has to be worth the effort and must include some adventurous skiing. What better place to take him than down one of the children’s features at Deer Valley called Bucky’s Backyard? It’s replete with humongous moguls, gulleys, ups-and-downs , downs-and-up. It’s relentless, it goes through the trees and the smaller the legs the swifter the action! Finn asks to do it again more times than not. 


Impromptu Doctor visit, audience with a Judge.

When I ski Deer Valley by myself, and return home, my wife never fails to asks me if I have seen people we both know. I proceed to tell her that Deer Valley is a big mountain and that it’s very hard to recognize acquaintances with their gear on. With helmets and huge goggles these days, identifying folks on the hill has become all but impossible. This said, I had two interesting, random encounters this winter while riding Deer Valley’s chairlifts.

The first one happened as my wife and I were boarding Wasatch Express chairlift and a “single” joined us for the ride. He looked familiar to us and we must also have looked the same to him. After a long moment of silence, we realized he was our family doctor and he recognized us as two of his patients! Never before had we had seen him on the slopes in his ski outfit!

The second one also happened on Wasatch Express chairlift when I was skiing alone and was joined by a Deer Valley Mountain Host. We immediately started up a conversation and my female companion told me about a mishap she just had with her car on the way to work at the resort. As I began to empathize with her, she picked up on my French accent and recognized me as one of her neighbors from down the street. I didn’t know she was a Mountain Host, I only knew her as one of our Summit County Judges!


Face shots with my daughter

My daughter lives and works in Washington D.C. and whenever she comes to visit she must have some power over the jet streams and what’s inside the clouds, because it never fails to snow. Of course, new snow means powder skiing! She got to sample the powder with me in December when Empire Bowl opened and was shredding again Centennial Trees with her Dad in early March when some 18” of new snow brought us a welcome refill.


Running into… wildlife!

I must say that this winter season has been full of surprising encounters with wildlife on, and off, the Deer Valley slopes. The first encounter happened in December when I spotted a sage grouse ambling on the edge of Birdseye ski run. The sighting recurred late March from the Sultan Express chairlift. I spotted another sage grouse crossing at the bottom section of Tycoon. In both situations the birds didn’t seem to care about the skiers and the snow they were carving. Like the proverbial chicken, they were “just getting to the other side of the trail.”

In December an imprudent ermine in his white camouflage took upon himself to cross the trail in the area of Tycoon and Perseverance. I almost ran over him if it were not for a the last second wiggling of my skis!

In February, I was skiing down Centennial Trees when I startled a large snowshoe hare that sprung ahead of me. Rather I should say that the hare startled me! I tried to catch up with the furry critter but he left me in the dust or better yet, in the powder!

I will leave the biggest and the best of these encounters for last. Late March as my wife and I where returning home from skiing and riding the Crown Point chairlift, we saw a large female moose either grazing or looking for some dropped ski poles, smart-phone or gloves, under the lift towers.


Now, time for you to write your list down and share your best snapshots of the season!

Five Things I’ve learned this season

We learn a lot each season about skiing. As the 2014-2015 winter comes to a close, here are five of my key “take-away” that I want to share with you.

5.  Always Keep Hoping

Last December I was expecting countless days of bottomless powder that mother nature seemed to have a difficult time dispensing. All season long I kept looking forward to “face shots” in spite of an indifferent weather forecast, unexciting predictions from the Farmer’s Almanac and the fatalistic attitudes of many of my friends. To further protect me against the fear of drought, I pushed back any thoughts of perfect bluebird days (we got many of these) and tried instead to focus on that pesky jet stream. In hopes it would redirect its precipitation towards Utah. Obviously, none of my wishful thinking worked too well and I hope it didn’t upset Mother Nature. Since I’m an optimist, I don’t think I did. I was just doing a steady job hoping and in the end, it worked to a large degree because I skied plenty of good snow this winter.


4. A bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush

My main season’s objective was to ski 100 days! I had never done it before in a non-professional capacity, so I was determined to achieve it. I must admit that when one lives in Park City it’s extremely hard not to become complacent in getting out to ski. For many of us, the sky is never perfectly blue and the snow never fluffy or deep enough. This year became the “no excuse” winter. No matter what the weather or the snow was said to be, I went out, did my skiing and without one single exception ended up pleasantly surprised. I was always glad I did it! Each of my ski outings always exceeded my expectations and I have surpassed my goal!


3. Skiing is All About Terrain and Exploration

Too much snow can make us a bit lazy. Normally curvy, bumpy and otherwise varied terrain, looks like a flat surface on top of six feet of snow. Conversely, a thinner cover exposes more of the terrain. It shows every single little detail and nooks and crannies come in full view. This is what tempts me to explore and play in new terrain. In fact, a little bit less snow than usual reveals more of the terrain’s true texture. It also forces us to discover subtle passages into the trees, a stash of powder that no one even knew existed, an interesting short-cut, or a new path that even the most seasoned Deer Valley skier never suspected.


2. Don’t Let Your First Run Define Your Ski Day

This winter I sometimes found it difficult to warm up as I began my ski day. My first few runs were more awkward, not as smooth and more tentative than my last run from the day before. I had noticed some of this in the past but it seems that it came out much more acutely this season. After a few more runs, my normal feelings returned and took over for the rest of the outing. It might be the simple reality that we all need to warm up or recover this animal instinct that makes us ski, as if we had been secretly endowed with that wonderful skill at birth.

1. Easy Does It

Skiing is a wonderful way to have lots of fun outside. For some skiers the experience can be one of contemplation. For many it’s the thrill of gliding and the sensation of freedom that feels like almost flying. For many proficient skiers, it’s a combination of speed, strength and perfect execution. It’s fair to say that most skiers over exert and use up far too much energy when they are on the slopes. For life-long skiers like myself who no longer are as young and vivacious, skiing can still be enjoyable as a fusion of smooth and efficient execution. It behooves us to remain super-light and always fluid on the snow. This is a bit difficult to describe. It’s a blend of minimalism, lightness and very subtle gestures. In fact smooth skiing resembles piloting. Skiers drive their skis where they want them to go and let the forces of gravity do the heavy lifting. Granted, they need muscle strength but mostly to resist compression, accelerations and maintain an edge. Skiing effortlessly, just like a feather on the snow, has become my ultimate creed!


Chicks on Sticks 2015

Okay, I’m just going to go ahead and say it—whoever came up with the phrase “No Friends on a Powder Day,” never met my friends. I don’t want to brag, but I have hands down, the best friends, because they all agree that the best way to enjoy powder is with each other. Last year, our annual Chicks on Sticks outing occurred on an epic powder day, and it’s safe to say that the powder would have been less enjoyable without each other’s company.


As it turns out, you don’t need tons and tons of powder to have an epic day—as long as you have great company. I met up with Miriam, Stacey, Mir and Kellie in Snow Park Lodge at Deer Valley Resort. We lingered, just a bit over coffee, and then suited up. Stacey had been out most recently, and told us where the best skiing was. So, off we went to find it.

Let me say this, too. I had made sure to advertise the day as a mellow one—“Guys, remember, it’s all about lunch,” I wrote in one email. “So I don’t want to hear, ‘my knee hurts, so I can’t come,’ or ‘I can’t keep up with you!’”

Well, on the one hand, I meant every word of it. On the other hand—our definition of “mellow day,” may, in fact, contradict the term, “mellow.”

I could not wait to to try out my new boots. Mir was the first to notice: “Hey, you’re in the perfect position,” she said, as we skied down Star Gazer. “You’re skiing great.”

With my ego duly stoked, I set about ripping up the mountain.

In truth, our group skied quite companionably, and pressure-free, at our own paces. I think this is the secret to a good, social skiing day—coming down the mountain safely, comfortably, and at your own pace. The fact that I was trying to rip up the mountain, was, in fact, my own internal pressure meter pushed up to “high.” By the next day, this would prove to be a boneheaded strategy, but while I was skiing, I couldn’t have had more fun.


The only thing better than the skiing that day was the chairlift rides. We mixed it up, and talked about everything from business to writing, kids and spouses, skiing and travel. And while some years we plan an elaborate sit-down lunch, this year, we decided that we felt like keeping it casual. We ate at the Snow Park Restaurant, where the awesome conversation continued.

Sadly, I had to cut out early to take care of a sick kiddo at home. I had planned to go home and then return to the mountain to pick up my healthy child at ski school, but my friends offered, generously, to ski until pickup time and bring him home for me. See? Told you, I have the best friends.