Well the journey started out at 4am with my Dad picking my up, you will be amazed how hard it is to fit two pairs of skis and 2 massive bags into a range rover!!! Usual story of Aberdeen to Heathrow, Wagamama stop for food, then boarding our flight to Dallas. Dallas was rushed, grabbed some chicken wings and twislas and onto SLC. Arriving in SLC grabbed our nice rental car and headed to the Midvale Crystal Inn hotel, our home for the next 11 nights. We dumped our stuff then headed to Red Rock for some food but eating at what really was 4am didn’t go down too well, sleep time and then out to enjoy the greatest snow on earth tomorrow!
First day was at Alta, dove up LCC and thinking dam there is lots of snow low down, arriving into an almost empty car park and heading in to the Powder house to get dad rental skis. Dad decided on the Soul 7s for the next 10 days skiing after the great reviews they have been getting. Back to the car and me picking up my ON3P Billy Goats and off we went up Collins and down Sugarloaf for a nice easy cruising first run to see if we can remember how to ski since I hadn’t done it in 6 weeks and dad a year. First day was awesome with the highlight being about the 10th person to start the Devils Castle hike and being about the 25th person to ski it! Massive fail for me once I finally made it to the top as I had left my GoPro in the restaurant, quick call to dad and he got it for me. The GoPro was handed in to the shop there, showing how nice everyone is here as in Europe that would have been gone! The nice fresh 6-inch run was certainly the highlight of a fun day where we skied all the lifts at Alta.
Since we had bought the Snowbird spring pass, day 2 was Snowbird our main home for the 10 days skiing. Started first thing in the bowl then worked our way over to gultch side, skiing as much as we could on piste. Stopped for our usual hot chocolate and snack at 11, love sitting in the outside bit there, awesome view and atmosphere. Up the tram and Baldy was open, time for a wee hike, dam the run was fun, I had to do it again! The second wonder up Baldy I ended up skiing Keyhole on what was some lovely snow and felt like no one had been there except a few tracks! Spent the afternoon just lapping Peruvian express and the tram, dam it was a fun second day!
Day three was somewhere new so Dad picked Deer Valley, was so interested to see what the fuss was about. Loved the fact that you park then walk through and onto the snow, buy your not so cheap pass then up and over then up again. We literally skied every lift from left to right then stopped in a gorgeous mountain restaurant and had what my dad described asthe best cookie he has ever had! The restaurants there were all lovely and pasta for lunch was outstanding too! WE spent the rest of the day cruising about, at about 2 it was snowing light but not the best visibility so my Dad stopped, at this point it dumped with snow and there was a good 2-3 inches on piste in the next hour that made the next two hours awesome fun, big GS turns flying about wee jumps off the side. Well Deer Valley I actually prefer you to PCM but behind Brighton and of course AltaBird.
The Sunday at Alta is best remembered for not the morning, which was ok but the afternoon. Same story lunch at 1 ish dad skied till 2, only difference being it started to snow at about 11 and just the odd shower. The last run before lunch I was heading down Collin’s past Watson’s shelter and I couldn’t see a thing so it was turn right and lunch. Eating my lovely Turkey chilli, we noticed the weather had gotten worse – windy and snowing. Once Dad left me I skied high traverse a couples times and couldn’t see too well but the runs had some great snow and you had to just trust there was nothing under the fresh snow to hit, hard work on the legs. Skied down to the base then decided lets try Wildcat, up which felt like a stupid long time on the lift, it looked good, off the lift then around and dripped under the lift, hmmm this is fun. The run was awesome light fluffy windswept snow, it had to be done again and again and again. Did 6 laps of Wildcat and now I know where the terms free refills comes from each line was naked and wow was it fun! Dam at the end I felt like a snowman but that was the best afternoon skiing I have had in a long time!
Day 5 was at Snowbird; it was a lovely bluebird day after the 5 or 6 inches fresh the day before. I made sure we were on the first lift at 9, and the day was similar to day 2 at the Bird, bowl in the morning, main side in the avo. I just lapped the tram all avo from about 12 and had so epic runs of cirque and baldy. Light fluffy snow out of the warm direct sunlight… certainly one of the more fun days of the trip! Day 6 was similar to day 5 except not so fresh, again same pattern avoiding the direct warm sun and skiing the whole mountain!
Day 7 at Solitude, hmmm this was oneterrible day, never skied there before and can see how it is good with fresh snow but really both of us were not impressed and prefer Brighton. The day was a stupid warm day, with sheet ice first thing then water skiing by 12, we gave up about 1230 and headed down to chipotle and that was certainly better than the skiing!
Realising from the forecast the next two days are going to be warm but nowhere near as warm as it was the day before, the next two days were again Snowbird and in my head I couldn’t wait for the lovely steep slopes. It was a fun two days and I got used to the softer conditions and ploughing through sticky snow, just he sticky flats scared the hell out of me! Even on 191cmskies I felt I was going to go over my tips! It was the same pattern of soft warm bowl first thing to avoiding the sun later in the day. Only downside was that Baldy was closed taking away all that lovely terrain!
The last day of the trip was Alta Demo day, my third year in a row there and it’s a fun day, I had registered but decided not to try any skis partly as I am so happy with the Billy Goats plus if I buy anything for skiing next year then it will be to replace my Full tilt boots that were heel lifting on my left boot. The day itself was a fun easy cloudy morning, softened up fastand skied Supreme to Wildcat, eating my last bowl of chilli at Watson’s shelter. From 1 I skied the last 3 hours by myself mainly off the high traverse, even skiing the backside which was horrible and sticky to then get to the base of Collins to find the lifts closed due to lightening and that the backside was closed - oops!!! After the 20 minute wait I was back up lapping Collins and High rustler.
Once skiing was finished it was a last meal in SLC and our third outing to Cheesecake factory, which I love but ate far too much food at! Love staying in the cityand choosing the restaurants from Five Guys to Ruth’s Chris and having the flexibility of the car. First thing the Sunday headed to the airport and boarded our flight to Vegas and 3 lazy days after all the skiing then home back to Scotland. The trip was awesome and already thinking about next year!