Letters from Melissa: Experience Steeps and Stashes

October – 2016

Dear Thor,

As the ski season quickly approaches with some early snow in the peaks above Deer Valley Resort, I had the chance to run along the Mid-Mountain Trail on my birthday a few weeks ago. I love to witness how nature changes the look and smell of the mountains, the ski slopes and the trails. It was almost fall and I could sense the changing season with the leaves taking on an earthy smell. I passed a few wildflowers that had retained their colors – an aster or an Indian paint brush here and there.


Coincidentally, as I was finishing my run, I found a beautiful white feather calling my attention. It had an almost pink glow to it, making me think it had fallen off some child’s boa necklace. For me, white feathers symbolize courage. I had just passed below the entrance to the Daly Chutes and said to myself, “Wow, I skied those last ski season with Thor.” Then, I thought, “I can’t wait to ski them again!”

We East Coasters know ice, but we don’t know deep powder, steep slopes, or glades. That is, until I moved to Park City four years ago! This past ski season changed my life, just as I was entering my 50s, too, particularly those three days of skiing “Steeps and Stashes” with you!

As our first day of instruction was coming to an end, we were at the very top of the resort where we snuck off the main trail through a break in the trees where a sign said, “Open. Avalanche Hazard Area.” We were on our way to Deer Valley’s most expert area, the Daly Chutes, with numerous steep ravines into the Daly Bowl and the infamous X-Files. For newcomers to Deer Valley, your three-day program proved to be the perfect introduction to some of the more inaccessible trails in all of the resort. When I first looked down though, I thought, “No way.”

But your quiet and calm demeanor persuaded us all that we could ski these chutes. We watched you, our fearless leader, glide effortlessly over the lip, just after reminding us of the key elements-most of all to trust our abilities. You complimented each of us as we came through the steepest section, but also critiqued our stances or pole plants, which we would continue to work on later in the sessions.

We would all say good-bye at the base later in the afternoon, knowing that we had improved dramatically and we still had more time to ski with you and gain more skills, techniques, and most of all, confidence. Steeps and Stashes was proving to be an incredible experience, mostly highlighted by your patience with all of us as you watched us take risks that we would not normally have done on any given ski day.

I highly recommend that locals and visitors find time to consider new challenges and experience Steeps and Stashes on the slopes of Deer Valley Resort – your way!

Cheers, Melissa

Read more articles from Melissa. 

Letters from Melissa: Steeps and Stashes

Letters from Melissa: The Brass Tag Bar

One Response

  1. Larry Magid says:

    Love this! Well written and motivational. I’m ready for the ski season to start NOW!

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