This past Sunday was a ski day to be remembered. After picking up and extra 4” early in the morning to bring the 72 hours total to 16” and the snow cover on top to 134”, the skies cleared just when it was time for the resort to open and we skied all day in mid winter conditions, but under April floodlights! We did the Triangle Trees three times, moved on to Mayflower, did the Bowl and Orient Express, at times in 16 inches of new snow, and by the moment we got to Centennial Trees, on Lady Morgan’s side, we had to stay on skier’s right to find some fresh “pow” ignored by the “army” that roamed through the sector. A delectable lunch, with a charming young couple, that made room for us at their empire Empire Lodge table, was yet a great moment, and to top it all, when we were done, we ran into a friend who wanted to keep on skiing for the rest of the afternoon, and could not escape following us into Ontario Bowl that, by that time, had been ran over as if it were an autobahn! We still managed to get some great packed powder under the Wasatch Lift and all the way down on “Big Stick” and when we took off our skis, we could still not believe it was April 10!
It is hard to believe that our 30th winter season has just come to a close. Thank you to everyone who visited this year!
If you made it up here over closing weekend, you know that the snow conditions actutally felt like mid- January. The season ended with back-to-back powder days!
Our summer season of lift-served hiking, biking and scenic rides is scheduled to begin on June 17 (conditions permitting). We will keep you updated on summer operations as there is still A LOT of snow that needs to melt. The resort closed on Sunday, April 10 with an impressive snow base depth of 132 inches!
In the meantime, you can still enjoy some of your favorite Deer Valley foods. Deer Valley Grocery~Cafe is staying open year-round and will continue to offer a changing daily selection of freshly-made on-site and to-go items throughout the spring and summer. Hours will be expanded to 8:30 p.m. to include dinner service during Deer Valley’s summer season. Deer Valley Grocery~Cafe has a beautiful deck overlooking the Deer Valley duck ponds and will continue deck service throughout the spring and summer as weather allows.
Thanks again for a wonderful ski season!
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!
First and foremost, make sure you have plenty of sun block. I learned the hard way! When skiing at high altitudes, the sun is more intense especially when reflecting off the snow. It’s best to start skiing as early as possible before the sun is at its peak.
Absolutely sunglasses or goggles are just as important as the sun block. The spring sun and snow are more intense on your eyes.
Another perk to starting your day earlier is Corn Snow! As the temperatures become warmer the snow gets very soft and this can be difficult and tiring to ski. Corn Snow is what we call the conditions before the snow gets to a mashed potatoes type consistency. Corn Snow is almost as good as a powder day!
It’s not a bad idea to wax your skis too. Spring snow can be dirty and your skis will not glide as well as they should which makes unnecessary work for you. Be aware of your energy level on those warm bluebird days. Skiers tend to become tired quicker in the due to varying snow conditions.
As always, the cure to tired legs is a hot tub during après ski to get ready for the next day of sunshine!
We’ve had a few bluebird days so far, but with plenty of snow left and 7” last night, you may have a great sunny day with corn snow and the next day be out enjoying the powder again!!!
See you on the slopes.
Grey skies threatened to snow all day on Thursday. Ski Patroller TJ Somers got out into Centennial Trees off Lady Morgan Express to find a little untracked snow.
With 7″ of snow last night and 2-3 feet of snow expected by Sunday, this will be buried in the fresh white stuff all over again. There will be PLENTY of fresh tracks this weekend. Gotta love Utah!
What a great storm! I didn’t have many photo opportunities as we were really busy out on the mountain all weekend, but here are 3 of my favorites from the past couple days.
This is what the grooming looked like on Sunday afternoon… after 20+ inches of snow and a lot of skier traffic.The top of Carpenter Express Chairlift on President’s Day The first sunny view of Daly Ridgeline and Claytons Peak in the background on President’s day. It was simply stunning.
This Thursday, as the gray skies were charged with snow, ready to fall and as I was skiing Empire Express, I chose to play around the X-Files. As I was ready for a second lap, I stopped on my way by Daly Chute #4 to get a closer look and had the following conversation with the Chute:
Chute #4: Hi, I haven’t seen you around in a while!
JF: Sorry, I was just skiing by, going to the X-Files…
Chute #4: I can’t understand what makes these trees such a big deal…
JF: You’d be surprised how fun they are today with six inches of new snow!
Chute #4: Hey, that’s just a temporary condition; why don’t you come a little bit closer…
JF: I’m not sure, I just wanted to say hello.
Chute #4: Are you telling me that you’ve become a big chicken? Get a bit nearer to the edge, take a look down!
JF: I’m impressed with what I see…
Chute #4: That’s what most people who come up here tell me before they turn around and ski elsewhere; what happened to courage? They say they’re “just dropping by,” but in truth they won’t!
JF: I’m not like that…
Chute #4: Okay, show me!
JF: I won’t jump the cornice though; I’ll catch it from skier’s left.
Chute #4: Good boy…
Now, enjoy the video!
I’m not talking about the situation that describes an event in which a rare combination of circumstances will drastically tip the natural order over, nor do I want to allude to the book and the movie covering the phenomenon and that is the source of the expression.
What I want to talk about is what happened this past Monday, late afternoon, when the skies suddenly became dark and snow began to fall like it would never stop. It kept on storming into the evening and the following morning, we woke up to a picture-perfect weather and to over 10 inches of fluffy new snow.
Now, this is what I call a “perfect storm,” when the precipitation arrives after a full workday for some, or a fun-filled vacation afternoon, when the heavy snowfall doesn’t impede traffic too much or create unnecessary stress on skiers and other mountain folks that have to work their way around it.
That’s right: Regular night snowstorm followed by bluebird skies and super light powder in the morning; that’s the only circumstance in my book that deserves to be called a perfect storm, and we have many of those in Deer Valley: A timely, convenient and generous precipitation that supplies days of fun for mountain lovers!
There are a number of reasons that I love the Sundance Film Festival. First, there are the films—I saw a couple of documentaries that knocked my socks off this year: Rebirth and Hot Coffee. But in many ways, the festival holds personal appeal. I get to spend time with colleagues with whom my contact is limited to phone, email and Facebook messages. Not the least of these are my friends at Self Magazine, where I worked as Entertainment Editor before I moved to Park City.
These women, who edit a healthy lifestyle magazine for women, practice what they preach, pushing the envelope on their comfort zone in the name of staying healthy and active. To wit: a few years ago, the magazine’s executive editor and managing editor decided to take lessons at Deer Valley—in part because their kids had taken up the sport. They loved it. At the same time, other of our colleagues met me for first chair in what would become a tradition of a Self Sundance Ski Day.
And, so, the morning after I attended their lovely dinner event, “Honoring Women who Make Women Look Good on Film,” I met my friend Lauren, the magazine’s publicity director (we also, by some coincidence, went to college together) for a handful of turns and some Snow Park lunch. The previous evening, I’d sat with a documentary filmmaker and explained how, in part, working at Self had inspired me to leave New York for a new life here—what better way to capitalize on all that information I’d learned writing about healthy habits than to move to a place that thrives on them?
In truth, I pulled a locals move, and met Lauren at Silver Lake at the crack of noon. By then, she’d already taken a tour with a Mountain Host, and had that glint in her eye I’ve come to love. “It was great—we took one run on every part of the mountain,” she noted. “But they didn’t want to ski as fast as I did…” I cracked up—Lauren’s unofficial skier nickname is Speedy. So, we zoomed along the groomers (safely, in control, making full use of our edges, thank you very much), and then looked for little pockets of crud and moguls to test out our off-piste legs. On the chairlift, she told me about her 5 year-old daughter’s first weekend of ski lessons, and we compared notes on parenting beginning skiers.
After a while, I took her over to Hidden Treasure, explaining ahead of time that I like to use the flat area to skate for a thighs and glutes workout. Lauren looked for a powder stash on the side, and found herself grounded for a minute. “That will teach me!” And we had a good laugh before heading to Homestake so we could cruise Homeward Bound—a must see for any DV visitor.
I look forward to Sundance for just these moments—sharing my new life with old friends. We happened to luck into a bluebird day—which made us giggle excessively over the fact that we once did our traditional ski day in blizzard conditions, and our legs could barely keep up with the fresh pow.
Over lunch, I confessed to having a slight case of nerves at the prospect of my upcoming 3-day Women’s Ski Clinic (three full days! Yikes!) – And tried to entice her to plan her Sundance travel to include the weekend next year. Here’s hoping!