It’s My Deer Valley with Stephen Harty

We couldn’t wait to sneak down to the bakery and catch up with Silver Lake and Empire Pastry Chef, Stephen Harty. The man behind some of the wonderful desserts at the resort shares with us “His Deer Valley.”

When did you come to Deer Valley?

I started as a seasonal baker in the Snow Park Lodge in the 1995/1996 season (17 years and counting). I was a production baker working three 6 a.m. shifts, so I could get out skiing for two hours after my shift, and two 8am shifts. I had a young family so I had Tuesdays and Thursdays off to be Daddy daycare/preschool.

What does a perfect ski day mean to you?

Big POW and still snowing! I love those days when it just keeps on coming. I’ll admit I am a “crack of ten o’clock” skier so all day dumps suit me. The storms from the south that bring the biggest snow to the Sultan side of the resort are my favorite.

Where is your favorite place to eat at Deer Valley?

The Natural Buffet during lunch at all three lodges offer such a variety of unique salads, creative sides, as well as house made dressings and of course homemade breads, you can’t beat the great tastes. You do have to be creative in the way you stack your plate to get the value as well as the flavors.

What do you enjoy about baking?

The great thing about baking at Deer Valley Resort is that we do such a wide range; from artisan breads and baguettes, bulk production of cookie dough (huge amounts) and carrot cakes, small production of high end plated desserts (with all their sauces and garnishes), elaborate wedding cakes, and chocolate. I truly enjoy the variety. I enjoy the creativity and the science of baking, especially at the varying altitudes. I enjoy working with new flavors and products to keep Deer Valley baked goods at the fore front of trends. I enjoy mastering the classic recipes so we can put our own twist on them. And I really enjoy all the taste testing!

Your must have treat at Deer Valley?

17 years and 1000’s of batches of cookies and I still love the cookie dough! Plus all the chocolate that we serve.

What run is a must for every ski day?

Anything off-piste off the Sultan lift and Ontario bowl (I have some “secret stashes” in there that are good for days after a storm).

Who is your favorite person to ski with?

I have been riding chairlifts with my beautiful bride, Sandy, for 25 years. We celebrate together on our first ride up each year and I look forward to continuing for 25 more.

Can you share a recipe with us?

French Silk Pie
Yield: 1 Pies

5 oz Unsweetened Chocolate
8 oz Butter,Room Temperature
8 oz Brown Sugar
1 1/2 t  Vanilla
1 c  Pasteurized Eggs
1    10″ Brisee Shells,Pre-baked
-
Whipped cream,AS Needed
Chocolate Shavings,AS Needed
1.  Pre-bake 10″ brisee shells.  Let cool completely.
2.  Melt unsweetened chocolate over a double boiler.  Set aside.
3.  Cream butter until very soft.
4.  Add brown sugar and beat until very soft and fluffy.  Stopping to
occasionally scrape.
5.  Add vanilla extract.
6.  Add melted chocolate and mix until combined, scrapping occasionally.

7.  Add eggs VERY SLOWLY, about 1/4 cup at a time, incorporating well
after each addition.  Stopping to scrape occasionally.
8.  It will take awhile to add all of the eggs if you do it correctly.
**If you add the eggs too fast-the batter will be grainy and not light
and fluffy**
9.  When all the eggs are added divide into crusts.  Using an offset
spatula, spread to smooth out top.
10.Wrap and Chill.
11.  To Serve:  Finsh top with whipped cream pipped in a shell pattern
using medium star tip. and sprinkle with chocolate shavings.

Isn’t it amazing how one good storm can change the mountain?

Due to Mother Nature’s sleepiness this year I hadn’t attempted to ski any of our off-piste areas. Some of you might be saying, “Deer Valley off-piste?” But believe me; Deer Valley has a variety of skiing for all skier types.

One of my favorite stories is many years ago, before we even had Empire Canyon, Daly Chutes and Lady Morgan. A group of my guy friends were planning on skiing somewhere other than Deer Valley because we were in the middle of a big storm. I offered to ski with them at Deer Valley and show them around the powder, but they insisted we didn’t have enough.

Well the next day, they agreed to meet me. They still were full of skepticism thinking the “powder day”  was wasted. Well, I’ll put it this way, by 1 p.m. they were crying “Uncle” and needed to stop. We didn’t ski a single designated trail. Of course all in bounds, we just stuck to the all bowls and trees.

We started in Mayflower Bowl for a few runs then crossed into Perseverance Bowl. We got to the top of Sultan Express and dropped over into Ruins of Pompeii on down into the trees that lead you back to Perseverance. As we grabbed the lift again and rested, I lead them down to the top of Triangle Trees right were Tycoon and Reward split. They were having the time of their lives. Once we got in the heart of Triangle of Trees you heard the “powder day cheers” coming from all, we hit Rattler, grabbed Wasatch Express chairlift to make our way into Sunset Glades then Ontario Bowl. Even though we had been skiing over 2 hours they couldn’t get over the lines still untouched in Ontario Bowl.

After a few laps in Ontario they asked for lunch and promised they would never say that they could “out ski” Deer Valley again.

Fast forward a few years, we now have Empire Canyon with the Daly Chutes and Lady Morgan. It’s quite the work out to hit all areas I’ve mentioned on one powder day. It can be done but the legs might fumble at the end. People ask me how big Deer Valley is, I say “you can’t ski it all in a day”.

Also, I like to showcase Deer Valley’s varied terrain to dispel the myths of us being only intermediate. One run that makes me gather my thoughts before I enter is Challenger (Daly Chutes). No matter the abundance of snow Challenger is just that, challenging. It is very narrow at the entry. I’m not sure two skiers could enter at the same time. Once completed you look back up, out of breath and realize the steepness and narrowness you just navigated. Quite Exhilarating!

If you still don’t believe me, now that I have described some of our black diamond skiing; then come check it out for yourself and maybe I can help. But don’t get caught off guard either, our groomers like Tycoon, Reward, Keno, Magnet and Legal Tender keep you challenged too.  Some much to ski but so little time. See you on the slopes.

Heidi Voelker’s Deer Valley

It’s that time of year again. The weather is beautiful but the feel of winter is fast approaching especially first thing in the morning when it’s in the 30’s. We’ll be on the slopes sooner than we know. I love this time of year because the air is so crisp, ski swap signs are all over, we’ve gotten an early snow fall meaning the season is just around the corner.

As I think about “It’s My Deer Valley” there are a few different scenarios. I can break down my skiing days in three ways:

  1. Family
  2. Clients
  3. Corporate & Press Tours

Each way skis differently. Here’s how:

1.  If it’s a family ski day, which I’m afraid will happen more rarely as I have lost my two young boys to ski race training (hmmm must be in their blood.) But when family ski days happen, they usually go something like this. The night before I mention we might have breakfast at Snow Park Lodge. This is a bribe in order to have them get to bed on time. Stefan automatically pipes up, “can I have my favorite baguette with jelly and jam”? In the morning I ‘m making sure Lucas is getting dressed and not procrastinating. Stefan meanwhile is outside boots on ready to go. We get to Deer Valley and the boys ask to be dropped off at the Skier drop off while I park the car. (Still not sure if this is just my kid’s not wanting to be seen with their mom or if they are just lazy and don’t want to walk from the car.)

After breakfast we load Carpenter Express chairlift. Without fail one of them asks “how many runs before we can have lunch?” Ugh! We drop into Silver Lake at mid mountain and ski down to the Wasatch Express chairlift. It’s usually about 10-10:30 a.m. Yes, I agree, it’s late but with two kids in tow I’m trying to keep harmony. After a few runs on Bald Mountain the brothers decide it’s time for Nastar racing. We stay here for a bit trying to improve each run time and also asking “mom, if I’m faster next run can we have lunch?” another ugh!!

I tell them they are skiing too fast because we’ve only been skiing for an hour. We then adventure over to Empire Canyon, heading there through unmarked area’s like Bucky’s Backyard, Toilet Bowl and X-Files. Remember skiing with kids you need to keep it fun. So after a few hikes across the Daly Chutes into X-files trees, then it’s lunch time!

Once we are in our lunch coma of Panini’s, pasta and fries we start to make our way back to Snow Park. But the rule is to ski as much off piste and jumps as possible. We make our way to the end of the ski area boundary even though; we are trying to make our way back to the base. We grab Lady Morgan chairlift and ski Centennial Trees, then it’s back up Lady Morgan and ski to Ruby chairlift. We race to Ruby’s glade and caution as we merge onto Hawkeye. Load onto Northside Express and ski around into Ontario Bowl. Sometimes this is worthy of 2 laps. It depends on the boy’s excitement and energy. Then onto Judge chairlift to ski towards to Crown Point chairlift.  At the top of Crown Point our chosen route is  Kimberly ski run where right past the bridge is the boys favorite jump. By now their legs are tired and we ski down Big Stick to the lodge. Our day is done.

2. Another way I show off “My Deer Valley” is with clients. I usually meet the client at their hotel or the Snow Park Lobby. I’m starting my 15th year at Deer Valley so many of my clients are returning guests and I already know what type of skiing they are looking for. (As always it depends and the weather and conditions.) They know already they have a full day of skiing ahead of them. I joke that we are going to ski hard and no lunch break. What would skiing be like if you didn’t have lunch at Deer Valley? Certainly not the true experience! The clients usually already have an idea where they would like to eat for lunch. We talk about goals they want to achieve for the day and map out our lines and away we go!

3. The third type of Deer Valley ski day for me is a press/corporate tour day. It starts out much like the client day but usually with a scheduled breakfast. These days I ski the mountain but usually circulate around to make sure I ski with each person (these groups tend to be bigger and provide the desired terrain they are looking for. In between all our turns we usually lunch it at Royal Street Café or wherever the company may plan to meet back together. My goal is to make sure a good time is had by all and when they say they are tired to ski the entire afternoon I break into a little smile. My job is done!

Lose yourself in Ontario Bowl and Woods!

Every time my skiing takes me around Flagstaff and Empire Canyon, I always make a point, on my way back to Silver Lake and Snow Park, to ski Ontario Bowl or the adjacent woods. I find it a great alternative to the Ontario or Hidden Treasure runs that are widely used by all the other skiers. If I decide to ski the Bowl, I will rarely hike to its very top from the entrance gate located off the Ontario run, but rather catch the traverse found on skier’s right, at the top of Hidden Treasure. This access gives me all the choices I want while saving me both time and effort.

Like most skiers, I often traverse all the way to the main bowl that offers the most open terrain and then ski down to the bottom of the Ontario run before catching the Judge lift, or why not, riding again Quincy for some additional laps. There are however two notable alternatives to the main bowl and one of them is the expansive wooded area, called “DT’s trees”, that stands to the skier’s left and can be accessed from the beginning of the access traverse. This section, where the trees are gladed well enough to allow turns in most directions, is quite sheltered, keeps the snow fresh longer and offers an infinite array of runs that are never the same. The only trick is to maintain a diagonal direction so as not to “run of out trees,” something that can be easily mastered after just a few descents.

My favorite line however is located on the edge of the trees and on the ridge portion that separates the trees from the bowl. While this run may get bumpy at times (a price to pay for its popularity) it’s always fun and varied as its grade changes all along the way, keeping the itinerary interesting. It ends up by funneling into the trees and lands somewhere above the Quincy chair. So if you didn’t know the Ontario Bowl and its multiple options, make sure to keep them in mind on your way back from Flagstaff and Empire; soon you’ll consider it your “dessert” too, after a long and fun-packed ski day!

Mountain Mamas

I mean no disrespect to my colleague, JF Lanvers, who has posted here http://blog.deervalley.com/skiing/revisiting-the-measure-of-skiing-part-2 about The Measure of Skiing. But my Utah ski days are measured not in vertical feet, but in adjectives. And the word of the day, friends, is EPIC.

All it took was a buncha inches (that’s a technical term) of fresh Utah Powder  falling Monday night to begin the flurry of Facebook posts, the frantic plans to meet up at the mountain—moms leveraging their kids’ school schedules for all they’re worth.

I reached out to a gang of gals, and wasn’t entirely sure who’d wind up in my Powder Posse.

With sunrise came that gorgeous, glistening blanket of white that had me scurrying to get my gear loaded along with Little Guy for the carpool to preschool. We collected his buddy and began the “epic” part of the day that relates more to my studies of Odysseus. Seriously, everyone who thinks they can drive willy, nilly on slick, just-stormed-upon streets, please…don’t. It took 45 minutes to make it to the preschool from my house (a 15 min drive in normal circumstances) due to untold numbers of spinouts and wrecks. We navigated our way safely, and, once the kids were in the classroom, I texted madly to my pals to hang in and wait for me….Thank goodness they did.

Let me add that the three women who wound up in my posse today (and my apologies to Lisa and Donna….I tried, but every time you sent a text I was deeper in powder than a person should have a right to be! More on that in a minute) are all three women whose company I have enjoyed for years—but never once on the slopes. So I had no idea what level of skiers I was rallying with.

I do know that when Olivia and I met up with Jill and Sarah on this frigid but bluebird morning, Sarah and Jill met us with the following sentence…something that could only be interpreted as a challenge:

“We just did a groomer and it was really boring. Take us someplace cool.” 

May I just say, my ego bloomed under the umbrella of their trusting that I could deliver? Holy. Moly.

 Here we are, all pumped up to take on the World of Pow.

 

And so, deliver, I did. That’s right, dear readers, my warm-up run this morning was through the trees between Hidden Treasure and Square Deal (thanks Leticia) into the powder and bumps. 

 

Olivia was off in a flash—we didn’t see her again until we finished the run. She’d waited patiently for us at the bottom of Red Cloud.

Jill and Sarah and I whooped, hollered and pounded our way down the hill.

Next up—a quick blast over to Empire. Olivia recruited Sarah to cut into Lady Morgan with her, while Jill elected to check out Anchor Trees, my new favorite stash. It did not disappoint, as evidenced by my grin in this pic, snapped at the end of the tree run.

The clock was ticking as we met up with the other two at the base of Empire. “I have about 45 minutes,” said Olivia, noting her school pickup schedule. “Let’s go into Ontario Bowl!”

 This is the moment where I would ordinarily cue the Chords of Doom…you know Duh Duh Duh Duh….in the lowest octaves of a piano. But Olivia, clearly the most skilled and aggressive in our midst, was beyond encouraging. So we said, Great!

Funniest moment of the day? Sarah, noting the trail signs as we headed toward the Bowl—“Oh, look, Ontario’s a green.” Yeah, sweets, not so much.

We took the easy entrance, just above Hidden Treasure, and traversed through the most peaceful glades I’ve ever experienced. The bowl opened up and it was open season on our knees. But we gamely made our way down under Olivia’s casually elegant guidance (oh, just make your turns in the open spaces, and go really slow as you get to the runout on the bottom).

 

Little did I know that Jill was snapping shot after shot of me working my way through the powder in my ill-matched skis (yep, the racing skis. Note to self: must buy powder skis, STAT).

 We were positively ebullient with the bragging rights of a double black under our belts. Olivia snapped a pic of the three of us, then scurried off with a promise to meet up again for more runs VERY soon, and we three headed for some groomers to cool down. We zoomed down Nabob, shrieking and hollering (not that different from the other runs, now that I think of it—at least from a sound-effects standpoint). And I yelled, very loudly (yes, I know, that’s SHOCKING) “Moms on the MOOOOOOVE!” And a rallying cry was born.

 

So, who’s in? I’ll be gathering some girls for skiing on Sunday—come find us. I’ll be the one in the leopard jacket. It definitely packs a punch of confidence.

A Week in Review

Now that last week’s major storm is over and another one has just begun, I thought I would catch you up on my last week with all the powder skiing since there wasn’t much time to blog during the 70” of new snow!! It all began on Wednesday while skiing with my brother. He doesn’t get to ski much so when he is here it’s all nothing until he tells me he is done!

The weather was a bit intense as the snow continued and the visibility wasn’t great. But there were no worries because if you fell it was into A LOT of soft powder. We started in Lady Morgan bowl and did about four laps. I had my nieces and my sons who picked up powder skiing quite fast for their first time. I was most worried about my son Stefan considering the snow depth was taller than him but his determination to keep up certainly got him through. We made sure to check out the Daly Chutes. My nieces who don’t ski much both rallied and jumped in. I was so impressed with their determination to enjoy the conditions. Of course, I didn’t put them down Challenger so we skied Chute 10. After Stefan started running out of gas we made our way to Ontario Bowl before breaking for lunch at Silver Lake Restaurant. We lapped Ontario Bowl some more and it was so good everybody agreed to keep going. This was about noon time and the powder was still deep and barely tracked out.  I think Ontario Bowl is some of the best powder skiing you can get.

My brother was still ready for more after lunch so we went into Sunset Trees. When I ski with groups (even if they are my family) I stay in the back to make sure everyone makes it out or I’m there to help (in case of snow snake). Being the youngest, my brother will never tell me if he is getting tired. This is his time to eat up the skiing. But, I did finally get him to say he had enough once he double ejected and we looked for his skis for a good 15 minutes (lucky by standards).

The next day I had some clients so I decided to spread the love and sent my family to Park City Mountain Resort. Where my children did their job and toured the family around. It is a rough life for 9 and 6 year old boys to know the mountain so well and so soon.  Then the 24th I skied in the morning with a new client on Bald Mountain. This part of the mountain lived up to its usual skiing. It was a beautiful morning and it felt like we were on top of the world or in heaven (as you can see in the photo below).

We skied above the clouds most of the morning. We ripped up Stein’s Way, Nabob and Tycoon. In the afternoon I skied with my family again and we decided to have the family race at the NASTAR course which included my 2 brothers, my 2 sons and myself . The outcome can usually be guessed, but this year my brothers won. Yes, Craig won fair and square because Eric and I missed some gates and got disqualified! I haven’t lived this down and I don’t think I will until I can redeem myself when he returns late January. However, I can’t forget to mention that Craig did get in trouble for hitting the gates. We left the mountain after a great day of skiing to go home and wait for Santa and so Craig could clout.

I’m amazed at how great the skiing remains days after the storm. Our grooming is impeccable and the bowls and trees are still soft and not bumped out. Yesterday and today I had clients and I brought them into places they wanted to go and new places that hadn’t been to.  There are still some good lines in Centennial Trees and X-Files! Rumor has it, that storm hitting today and tomorrow will be bigger than the last. Stay tuned, because if so I will be in Mayflower Bowl. I haven’t skied Mayflower all year because there’s just too many other areas to get to!