Since I was on the Western Slope for the holidays already, I drove the additional 5 hours to SLC and was the first to arrive. I made numerous trips to the airport to pick everyone up, but we finally got settled in and headed up to our condo in Park City. Will found this fantastic condo that is located right next to Canyons Ski Resort. It was beautiful and the perfect location for our mini-reunion!
|Heidi, Jon, Katie, me, and Will|
We spent our first day on skis at Alta Ski Area. We had an eclectic mix of skiers with us so I knew the day would be enjoyable! Jon hadn’t skied in years, Heidi hadn’t skied since she broke her femur, and Will hadn’t been on planks in 14 years since he had torn his (same) ACL three times. In short, we were a bit of a skiing mess!
Luckily, our day at Alta turned out gorgeous! I hate to admit this, but Utah is getting some insane snow right now– Alta has a 200″+ base while mountains here have less than half of that. Steamboat, my fave mountain Colorado, has been getting major props for receiving mucho snow this season and they even have 60″ less than Alta! No bueno, y’all.
Anyway, this abundance of early-season snow in Utah made for some pretty sweet conditions. Will, Jon, and Heidi remembered their previous ski skillz and all of them were able to go down greens immediately. After a few runs, Jon and Will graduated onto some blues and Katie and I were able to duck into some sweet powder stashes in the trees.
After lunch, we continued to play! Heidi opted to stay on the lower mountain where she felt more comfortable while the rest of us headed up top to check out the highest point at the resort. Luckily for us, there was an stunningly gorgeous black run that provided Will with the perfect opportunity for a photo shoot. Y’all, he got some amazing photos! Is he talented or what?!
|Katie, crushing it!|
|Absolutely love this photo of Steve, even though it’s not Will’s favorite|
|And me. The pink makes me easy to spot!|
I. Love. My. Pink. Snowpants.
After such a beautiful day at Alta, I was worried that our next day of skiing wouldn’t compare! Steve suggested Solitude Ski Resort and we decided to listen to his local expertise. So glad that we did! I loved Solitude and could not get over how few people there were! I like to think that Colorado has a surplus of skiers and that’s why our resorts are always full (and I only ski mid-week!) but regardless of the reason, it was insane how empty Solitude was! And, it was even New Year’s Eve!
|Will and me|
Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to check out the back area known as Honeycomb Canyon, and I am still disgruntled about that. We finally made our way to the top, but the canyon closes at 3pm and we had just missed the time cut-off. Fortunately, Katie and I embarked on our own adventure so I didn’t wallow in my disappointment for too long!
We had found a nice, long blue run that wrapped around the entire mountain and would be suitable for all abilities in our group. However, once there, we realized that this particular run hadn’t been groomed yet. As such, it was marked as “experts only” since ungroomed runs typically have lots of deep powder and unmarked obstacles. Because of this, Will and Jon opted out and headed down the mountain. I’ve been a skier for 25 years and can ski anything, so I was ecstatic when Katie asked me if I still wanted to give the run a try!
Initially, the trail was groomed but that ended abruptly with a pile of snow that was at least waist high. After climbing over the snowbank, she and I took off through the knee-deep powder and enjoyed our fresh tracks and untouched views. It was a perfect bluebird day!
|The view while I caught my breath!|
After a few pillow drops, we both started to realize that we had absolutely no idea where we were. Luckily, a random snowboarder popped out of the trees and we asked how to get back to the base. We knew we were in trouble when he responded by asking, “Do you want to go to Solitude or Brighton?” Apparently we had screwed around in the trees so much that we had almost skied over to an entirely different resort!
|Thanks to Katie for this photo! This was our ridiculously long traverse back to the base|
Luckily, we both have amazing skate-ski abilities and had to do a very awkward and exhausting trek back to the base….although I will admit that my poor little triceps were hurtin’!
PS I got to test out my new Nordica Hell and Back alpine boots on this trip also– a review will be coming soon!
Do you ski or board?
What’s the most epic powder day you’ve ever experienced?
I lived in Steamboat during the 2007-08 season which was insane! Peeps still talk about it up there because we received so much snow and I often had days where I’d come into school only to find all of my students had called in sick for a powder day! Literally, it was waste deep ALL SEASON!