First Snow of the Season

We had the first snow this morning!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My kids were off the wall with excitement. Little Guy even penned a song: “It’s snowing in the morning! It’s snowing in the morning! It’s snowing in the morning! I can’t wait to play! Because I love to play in the snow!”I tried to capture it on video tape, but by the time I got to the camera app on my iPhone, it had devolved into this….

Kids First Snow Fall

Big guy asked me to grab his snow gear for school—and attempted to make a strong argument for snow pants. Mind you, it was barely a flurry at our house, and nothing was sticking to the ground. Though, in a few days, it’s supposed to look like this.

I had already surprised myself by finding his jacket, hat and a serviceable pair of gloves in the downstairs closet. Finding snow pants that fit? Probably pushing it. Little guy’s jacket, too, was hiding in plain sight, and a pair of fleece mittens plus a hat were tucked in the appropriate pockets in the handy shoe organizer where I keep such items.

Still, the whole exercise filled me with a slight sense of panic. I need to buy new boots for Big Guy,  and check the fit of Little Guy’s last year’s boots. And with the flakes flying, these errands that were lurking in a back compartment of my brain suddenly took on a sense of urgency. The good news is, there’s a new kids’ gear store at Deer Valley—one where I can replace the lost gloves, beef up my collection of kid-sized base layers, and seek out new snowpants for big guy that will stay the course for his little brother, too. I’m actually excited to shop—in part because there is a new kids’ gear store opening at Deer Valley, called Next Gen, located in the lower level of Snow Park Lodge, where the now-shuttered Kindersport once operated. I’m looking forward to finding some new-favorite brands, and scoring deals on my old standbys. It’s opening December 3, so I’ll report back after I’ve had the chance to shop!

If the snow has you thinking about ski season, don’t panic. You can still purchase your Deer Valley Season Pass at the early season rate until October 31!

My Favorites Part 2 – Ski Runs

It’s hard to talk about my favorite spots on the mountain because there are so many. It comes down to the specific day’s conditions. Each area has its advantages depending on if it is sunny, snowing, flat light or powder! I usually assess the weather and whoever I am skiing with and then I decide my skiing route from there.

If it is a bluebird day and the new snow has been skied out (hard to find lately considering we have so much snow) Bald Mountain is the spot, hands down. I usually start out on Nabob and then ski all the groomers. These runs are the best for strong steep intermediates. After Nabob I usually go to Keno, then Legal Tender, Wizard, Tycoon and Reward (if it is groomed). When all these runs are groomed it is the closest thing to the feeling of being in a world cup race. I call this “Ego Snow”.

When I ski Bald Eagle Mountain, I love to ski Big Stick. This run is a classic GS trail. Starts off rolling, drops into a great steep section then at the bottom you better hold on because you’re going to have tired legs when you hit the compression. Another fun run is Solid Muldoon. This follows the Carpenter Express lift line so you must be ready to show off your best skiing. A must do is Success to Last Chance. This route will take you past some of the private homes of Bald Eagle.  Many of these homes are elaborately decorated and have earned nicknames such as “the bear house”, the “raccoon roost” and the “tree house”.  

On Deer Crest, I would say Jordanelle ski run is my favorite. It’s a mile long with a vista you must see to believe. Usually when I have friends visiting this was their favorite run to rip down. I think it helps bring back the memory of their downhill days!

When it’s snowing with flat light, I try to ski in the trees for some depth perception. Sometimes that can’t be done depending on the group I am with. If it’s snowing and flat light the best area to ski is off the Northside Express chairlift. This is our most popular area because there is something for any member of the family or ability level.

OK…now to the big stuff! After a storm or if it’s snowing and accumulating a lot during the day I usually ski off piste all day. I love it when people say there are only groomers at Deer Valley. I have had two groups mentioned this to me and that’s the easiest way to find out that I love a challenge. Usually, after I prove them wrong, they are asking me to stop by 2 p.m.!

So, when the snow has fallen (or still falling) here are the best powder lines:

I usually rush right over to Empire.  However, if the snow safety is not yet completed I start in Mayflower and work my way to Empire.

 Let’s start at Empire – My first hit is the Lady Morgan Bowl fall line. Most of the time this is so good it requires another run. For my third run, I head to the Daly Chutes! I lap Daily Chute a couple times and then to Chutes 7-10 before hitting the X-Files (Don’t know how to find the elusive X-Files? See the previous blog post from JF Lanvers).

Challenger Chute

Once I have thoroughly covered Empire I push on to Ontario Bowl. I either hike in from Ontario ski run or take the traverse from Hidden Treasure.  Ontario Bowl always has a funny way of pulling the “YEE HAWS!!” out of me. The same as Lady Morgan Bowl, Ontario also requires a few passes. Sometimes I have found myself Ontario Bowl all day and only forced to leave when my legs say quit.

I find that most skiers follow this same route and head to Empire first after a big storm.  So by the time you get back to Bald Mountain and hit Mayflower Bowl, Triangle Trees, Sultan Trees and Sunset Trees there are still many great lines!

Then there are my favorite spots for skiing with the kids. They usually take the lead and it’s directly to Bucky’s Backyard and jump and Ruby’s Roost. They would stay here all day if I let them. These runs are off of Bandana and are very bumpy and rolly and of course, that is why they like them. Another favorite for kids is Oompa Loompa Land, this is an opened glade and makes the children feel as if they are skiing some big terrain.

Stefan Skiing Powder

The above is just my opinion in how to ski Deer Valley. I don’t really have a favorite spot because the entire mountain makes me happy! But I hope you have fun exploring my suggestion ski patterns on any given day.

See you on the slopes. More snow to come on Sunday and Monday, says the weatherman — stay tuned!

December: Snow, Deals & Events!!

Where do I even begin with what is going on at Deer Valley these days.  Since opening a week ago the conditions have been fantastic and so have the deals.  The Mariposa is still running their 2 for 1 on entrees until December 17.  It is a great treat if you have not been before or if it has been a while.  If you missed our $30 lift ticket this week in honor of our 30th Anniversary all I have to say is I am sorry… but I hope really hope you were able to take advantage of that deal!

 There is a lot going on at the resort this month starting this Sunday, December 12: Utah Winter Games Learn to Ski Clinic. First-time skiers are taught basic skills in a group lesson format. Small classes are organized by age and ability, participants must be eight years or older.  Monday through Friday, December 13 – 17: Mahre Training Center Ski Camp.  This five-day session, conducted in part by Olympic medal winners Phil and Steve Mahre, provides fundamentals to all ability zones. It includes six hours of daily instruction by Deer Valley’s top Ski Instructors, indoor sessions, unique Mahre Training Center progression, video and other amenities. On Friday, December 24: Santa Claus will pay a special visit to Deer Valley Resort. Santa will be visiting with guests in the Snow Park Lodge area from 9 to 11 a.m. From noon to 1:30 p.m. Santa will visit guests in the Silver Lake Lodge area. Guests are invited to bring a camera and have their picture taken with Santa.  Then on Thursday, December 30: Deer Valley’s annual Torchlight Parade.  The Torchlight Parade will be held at approximately 6 p.m. (dusk) on Big Stick ski run on Bald Eagle Mountain.  Complimentary hot cider and cookies will be served.

As I mentioned early the skiing has been really great this year with all of the early season snow.  I got out of the slopes today which will be one of my only a handful of days this season.  I am expecting my second baby in February so skiing will be limited.  But, I am sure glad I got out to take a few runs the snow was coming down and the conditions where great.  They are calling for close to a foot of snow over the next couple of day so come on up and enjoy some turns!

October Snow

How much things can change in a week! I unexpectedly woke up to the sound of snow plows the last week and thought maybe it was a bit premature.  However as I looked out the window, sure enough the rain hard turned to snow over night. I probably had almost 4 inches in the driveway. It continued to snow most of the day but more importantly it stayed cold, until today!

Deer Valley Resort, October 25, 2010

I definitely got the itch to ski last week as the snow fell.  I went to the Warren Miller movie premiere in Park City and organized my ski stuff for the season. Even though today is a beautiful Utah day the desire to ski is still strong. My skis, boots and ski outfits continue to arrive at the front door. My boys are looking for their new ski stuff too, but I have to remind them that Santa brings new skis only if they are good. Although this week’s weather is supposed to be nicer , the mountain tops are still white.  At least I’ll still get to exercise outside a few more times to make sure I am ready for opening day, December 4!

See you on the Slopes!

“Get it in Gear”

Opening day may be more than a month a way, but in our household, ski season is ON. How did I know? For one thing, Big Guy, age 7, appeared in our bedroom last Friday morning at the crack of early to exclaim, “It’s going to snow on Monday!!!” He’d been checking Doppler Radar on the computer, apparently.

 The weather defied his prediction, however, offering a dusting that very evening on the top of Bald Mountain. Thus, our preparations kicked into high gear.

First, we adjusted the fit of the helmets. Little Guy, age 3, now fills out his helmet just a bit past the smallest setting; Big Guy’s fits on the largest setting of his. Little Guy is otherwise well-equipped with hand-me-down ski clothes from big bro, and the too-cute-for-words 16cm boots, which were a gift last year from his “ski Aunt and ski Uncle” and Elan Spyder skis purchased for him last year by his parents and the grandfather known affectionately as Parka. You can see him modeling the boots, along with his erstwhile companions, Dine Dine and Ding Dong, below. You’ll notice that he’s sporting them indoors—and while their intrinsic value as an any-outfit accessory is unimpeachable, I must put in a plug here for the age-old tradition of letting your kids play in their gear inside the house. Find a carpeted area and have them practice putting on, walking around in, and taking off the boots, then help them click in and out of the bindings and help them shuffle their feet along the carpet a bit. The more playtime they have with the gear indoors, the easier it will be to get their buy-in to put the stuff on when it counts. And believe me…no ski day was ever enhanced by a gear-related meltdown.

 

But, the gear has to fit in order to play this game. In this spirit, we piled into the car with Big Guy’s ski gear and headed to the local shop to whose Grow-With-Me program we are subscribers. He’d burst through three shoe sizes in the past 7 months, so it was no surprise the boots were too tight. Even less surprising, it was time to jump up 10cm in ski size—and the tech told us as we departed that he’ll count on seeing us mid-season for a longer ski yet.

Next stop, the outlet mall, where we replaced the ski jacket that had been lost—yet again!—at the end of last season. (Am I the only parent who has considered having jackets surgically attached to her kids?) Also purchased, some après ski mocs for Big Guy.

Next on the list: new goggles and some new gloves for the Big Guy, too. I can’t stand the shoddy make of most kids’ ski gloves, so if you’ve had luck with a particular brand, leave it in the comments section.

45 Day Countdown!

We have had an amazing fall here in Park City with some unbelievable colors.  I can not believe how long the leaves have hung in there.  I am personally waiting for those temperatures to drop and hopefully we will see some snow on the peaks.  It is crazy to think but we are only a little over a month from opening.  For those of you who have not purchased your season passes don’t forget that October 31 is the early season deadline. For those of you wanting to join our Locals Coupon Book program first-time participants must purchase their Coupon Books by November 30.

Before we open for the ski season we have some of our usual great fall events coming up.  Two not to miss are the “Transylvania Tea Party” blood drive and the Navajo Rug Show.

Friday, October 29: Employees of Deer Valley Resort will host the “Transylvania Tea Party” blood drive, a Halloween season tradition. The Transylvania Tea Party Blood Drive was started seven years ago by Deer Valley staffers who wanted to help local health care facilities augment their blood supplies. Members of the public are also warmly welcomed to donate blood at Deer Valley on Friday, October 29, 2010. The Transylvania Tea Party Blood Drive will take place Friday, from noon to 6 p.m. at the Snow Park Lodge. Current Deer Valley staff is being encouraged to participate in full force, and the Blood Drive is open to any community members who wish to donate blood. Walk-ins are accepted, but community donors are encouraged to make an appointment by calling 435-645-6654. Light refreshments will be provided.

Friday – Sunday, November 12 – 14:  The 21st Annual Navajo Rug Show & Sale.  This year’s Annual Navajo Rug Show will celebrate 21 years of bringing Navajo Elders to Park City to share their culture and sell their rugs. The Elders and their families travel from different parts of the Navajo Reservation and while at the Rug show demonstrate skills such as carding wool, spinning yarn, weaving rugs, and singing traditional songs for school children and the public. A benefit fundraiser takes place on Friday night from 6 to 10 p.m. at Snow Park Lodge and will feature a rug preview and sale, live auction of donated items and packages, entertainment and hors d’oeuvres.  The Rug Show and Sale continues on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.  Admission to the Rug Show on Friday night is $30 for adults and $10 for children under 12, and on Saturday and Sunday is $5 cash and/or $5 worth of donated canned goods per day. For further information on the weekend activities please call 435-649-0535 or visit the Adopt-A-Native-Elder website.

Keep thinking snow!!

Fall/Winter Lodging Packages

Now that the leaves are changing color and we know that snow if just around the corner I hope everyone is thinking winter.  One of my favorite things to look forward to on those blistery days if I am not on the slopes is having a glass of wine in front of the fire.  I had the pleasure of staying at one of our properties this summer called The Lodges with my family.  Since then I keep thinking how I should book us a room during the winter so we can either hit the slopes or cozy in to one of their beautiful units.

Weather you are thinking of coming out on a girl’s weekend, all the boys or with the family, Deer Valley has some great lodging deals.  They are so good that I am encouraging all of my friends to come out and they don’t have to stay at my house.  So I am encouraging anyone looking to come out this winter to check out the specials.  I have listed them below but you can always check out our website!

 Maximum Value Package

Get one night free along with one free day of skiing. To qualify, purchase our special three-night lodging/three-day lift pass package and you’ll get one night’s lodging and ski for a fourth day absolutely free. Offer valid December 4 – 17, 2010 and March 27 – April 10, 2011.

 Exceptional Value Package

Save 25% on lodging and Deer Valley Resort lift tickets at a wide range of accommodations! Package includes lodging at participating properties and daily lift tickets for each adult in your party.  Offer is valid resort opening December 4 – 17, 2010; January 3 – 13, 2011; January19 – February 9, 2011; March 27 – April 10, 2011 (resort closing). Package is also available february 27 – March 05, 2011 at a 15% discount.  (Children’s two-day or longer lift tickets are also available for purchase at a discount).

 The Lodges at Deer Valley Exceptional Family Package

Kids ski free and save 25% on ski rentals! With family friendly amenities including an outdoor pool and hot tub, free continental breakfast, on-site Deer Valley ski rental shop, comfortable and cozy rooms and complimentary in-town shuttle.  The Lodges, located in close proximity to Snow Park Lodge and ski school, is the perfect choice for families vacationing at Deer Valley Resort. Offer is valid resort opening: 12/4 – 17/10; 1/3 – 13/11; 1/19–2/9/11; 3/27 – 4/10/11, resort closing.
Receive up to two complimentary lift tickets for children 12 and under with the purchase of two adult lift tickets.  Receive up to two ski rental vouchers valid at any Deer Valley owned and operated rental shop valid for children 12 and under. Based on availability and not valid with any other offer. Minimum three nights lodging is required.

Pre-Holiday Special!

$99-175 a night*
Save 25% on lodging at select properties Resort managed properties for stays between December 8 – 25, 2010.

Sundance Film Festival Special!

Buy 3, Get the 4th Night Free
Buy three nights, get the fourth free at select resort managed properties during the Sundance Film Festival, January 19 – 31, 2011.