Early ski season is always a game of cat-and-mouse between skiers eager to hit the slopes and snow waiting in the wings.
Deer Valley’s obsession with perfect conditions is for all locals to see, as the resort produces generous amounts of snow during the early season to fully satisfy its guests. This is one reason why early December skiing is always excellent, but in most cases and except for precocious snow falls, it happens largely on man-made snow.
So when Deer Valley Resort opened up more new terrain on December 16, smiles could be seen on all faces and I certainly made sure I’d be part of the ensuing feeding frenzy. That’s right, plenty of untracked powder snow was on the day’s menu! The snow accumulated since the early November precipitations was a dense powder, quite skiable, but one that required a skier’s full attention.
As usual, I felt a tiny tinge of anguish prior to launching myself deep into the pow, but my fears proved largely overblown. All directional sides worked (left, right, and straight down), my legs didn’t wobble too much and a couple of benign spills at the beginning of the first run reminded me of the frontier that exists between groomed runs and raw powder!
To my surprise, my legs that were one year older held steadily after those initial falls, which must have been – I assumed – a rite of passage, or a small price to pay for a day of great fun. I ended up spending my time skiing laps on Rattler, a steep run just under the Wasatch chair, and one of my very favorites on the mountain.
Ski Patrol was spot on when they decided to open up this new terrain. The snow accumulation was just right; at no time did I feel or hear the terrain beneath my skis. It was pure joy all the way down. My energy was surprisingly good and I was wise, or lucky enough, to stop skiing before any signs of strain or exhaustion would even surface.
As any skier knows, there’s never a single dull day on skis and this one didn’t fail that rule. In the evening, though, was I really exhausted! I dozed off reading my book and very soon found myself in bed sleeping like a baby. Nothing like some great skiing and cold winter air!