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Thread Starter 
Ski trip report,
by Utah first-timer

Sat 15-Feb. Arrival at SLC, transfer to Park City. From the charter bus, i check out the area and wonder: Where's the mountain? This place looks like Killington! As usual when travelling with my ski (social) club, condo accomodation at the destination. Phh, I'll never get used to it's-never-to-late-to-get-depressions-brown and -beige furnishing.

Sun 16-Feb. **Park City**. Light snow, grey skies, but it's all below treeline skiing so the flat light is not a real issue. My skiing buddy got himself a pair of 177 G3 demos at the Summit Demo Center. Skiing around the place, and swapping out demos against 178 Atomic's C.9 's after lunchbreak. He's not a heavy weight, so they are perfect for him. BTW sidecut identical to 178 P50 Platinum and similar in stiffness, so they are quick edge to edge and forgiving. Later we learn, this ski is marketed as a "girl's ski", and that's not a guy thing, is it. I'm getting fed up with the cruising and bumping, so we move on to Jupiter lift. Ahh. that's getting closer to what i had envisioned. Nice rolling terrain, bumps, tree's, it's great to work the mountain here, accompanied by some fresh white falling during our explorations. On the second run already, a thunderstorm rolls in over Jupiter Bowl, so the fun's over, "they" start shutting down lift by lift, down to King Con, each lift right in front of our nose. That was a short day, but the right thing to do after all. About two hundred folks finally get stranded at the bottom of King Con lift with the ski patrol yelling at the crowd to stay cool. I find myself having to apologize for asking the simple question what the patroler's plan was. After ten min's or so the ski patrol starts funneling the crowd down a little canyon. Pretty ugly, the better skiers try to run out irritated intermediates who get tripped up. Reminds me a bit of Nascar. Finally at the bottom of the little canyon, it's only a five min wait for a bus, which takes us back to the resort base. This was well organized after all, the bus even had "Mtn evacuation" on the destination board. Some people believed the nice ski patrol gal that the walk back from the end of the canyon to the resort base was maybe 15 to 20mins. It turns out that the bus ride alone takes 10mins, and you got to know which turns to take, so i'm glad we waited for the bus. Back at the base we realize that my buddy's skies are still on the mountain, so we arrange to keep the demos for another day for free - Deer Valley is on Monday's agenda, so there's no chance to swap the demos on Monday.

Monday 17-Feb. *Deer Valley*. With the premature end of the previous day, the apres-skiing started a little too early for me. In fact, i am paced by my stomach today. That most of the place is groomed beyond fun does not help either, i just can't manage to ski over my bad hangover. By lunch i'm feeling miserable and unmotivated, so i split from the rest of the group. The wax is long sucked out of my bases by the aggressive groomed white, so i decide to go into the bumps off Empire Canyon. After a couple of runs, i move on to Flagstaff Mtn. More bumps, which are pretty easy, but too much for my stomach. At Northside Express it cramps and i throw up in the single's line. I even tried to choke down three times, but the fourth rebound was just too much. Nothing a shovel of white wouldn't have fixed, though. I express my apologies to the lifties and go up. Well, that's it, i'm leaving. At the top of the lift, I'm getting checked out by a patroler from a distance, but i'm OK, so he figures it's not me to be concerned about falling out of the chair, so i ski off just as if nothing had happened. I hope he's given up waiting for a guy in a yellow jacket. No more incidents skiing back to the base. I spend the time trying to figure out a strategy how to keep my stomach at bay in the bus . And now the most confusing event of the entire trip happens as i walk towards the bus platform with my skies over my shoulder. A nice gentleman in the all green Deer Vally uniform approaches me with the dead serious words: "I am a professional in carrying skies". I'm : . He repeats: "I am a professional in carrying skies". Psyched by the weired day, i figure i must have violated some city code by carrying my skies with the tips backwards. The nice gentleman recognizes my confusion, and tells me "I carry skies". Reluctantly i hand over my skies, even more confused as the nice gentleman shoulders my skies with the tips backwards himself. So obviously he is NOT the professional he claimed to be! Aha, I have been decieved by the serious appearance of some crook. Remember how "the out of towners" got ripped off in the hotel lobby? I have yet to move an inch, i am paralized, because i realize i have no chance to chase the guy down with my ski boots on as he takes off with my skies! In the meantime, my confusion has caught the attention of bystanders, they are laughing like there was no tomorrow. I have another realization of there's something terribly wrong with my picture. I finally manage to escape my little world of reasoning based on wrong assumptions, and break out in laughter as well, and follow the nice serious gentleman to my bus were he drops my skies in the bus' ski rack.

Tuesday 18-Feb. ****Alta*****. Two folks of the group have wheels as they were driving in from WY and CA for the week. We form a little breakout group. Driving back the Cottonwood canyon, i see quite a lot of mountain now, but not a whole lot of snow. This changes as we approach the end of the canyon. I quickly realize the canyon effect snow is for real! And my first impression is that's some nice mountain, too. Looking around the base area i get even more excited as i see the transfer tow, ugly and slow like a JH moose, and a couple of 50's style buidlings, even uglier. I conclude, yes, everybody cheering the no-nonsense character of the place is just right. This places is for the skier inside the skier. I kick off the day warming up on a handful of cruising runs. I convince my skiing buddy to split from the group, and check out the terrain off the Supreme lift a little. I look for a reasonably easy line while lifting up, and drag my buddy through the gate. He's an advanced skier, so it's time for me to be the skipper here. I can see his healthy respect, he's really pushing the envelope now. So i decide to first traverse a little and than cut back towards the lift line, staying way above the cliffs, and ski around the cliffs down a little chute. My buddy needs a little coaching now, i tell him that sliding off a narrow section is no shame. At the bottom he's still a little shaken, so i give him a feeling of accomplishment by telling him that this has been some serious skiing now. He did not fall or get out of control, so that's a strong base to build upon. We head for the lunch break, he's stoked now. After lunch we check out East Greely. The snow there has been sitting in the sun all morning and is pretty heavy and chopped up, so we head over to work the terrain off the Germania lift. That's great stuff, my buddy gets more confident, we check out some other way down the mountain based on his proposal. In the meantime, snow showers started rolling in, but visibility is still good thanks to the trees around. We return to the area served by the Sugerloaf lift, and discover a little canyon which is again a lot of fun to ski down. At the end of the day, i found all expectations of Alta exceeded, this has been the day i was waiting for awhile now.

Wednesday 19-Feb ****Solitude****. We're stoked by the Cottonwood canyons. Another trip over there, the breakout group is reduced to only one vehicle now. We find the best snow of the trip today, along with blue skies. Picture perfect. No crowds, and the first sighting of snowboarders since Sunday. Nice terrain in the headwall forrest, and much more i could not cover, because i am running out of time. The wheels want to leave because the light is becoming flat in the afternoon, and everybody's tired pretty early in the afternoon already, too. Bummer, but it's not the time to force the issue.

Thursday 20-Feb ***The Canyons***. Conditions are considerably worse than in the Cottonwood canyons. Southern exposures are closed due to lack of coverage. Groomers are slippery in the morning already, so it's easy to convince my skiing buddy to head over to Ninety 90 Ninety. We find pretty good snow in Aspen Grove, so i figure the glades off Peak 5 should be good. In fact, they were excellent considering the allaround conditions of the place. The trees are evenly spaced, woods cleared out, and the pitch is consistent, except in the approach to the lift line, where it's getting a little steeper. I start firing on all cylinders. Now i really have to wait for my buddy, but no big deal. We make a handful of runs there, and head over to the red pine lodge. I discover that the pizza there is excellent. I hate it when grease drips from a pizza like from a Harley, but this is great, fresh pizza. Keep up the good work! The rest of the afternoon we spend trying to find some decent snow, but Peak 5 has been best by a big margin.

Friday 21-Feb ***Park City***. Some fresh since Sunday has helped the place a little. All the other skiers of the group are washed out, so by afternoon it's two to go, one to go and off i am alone, working Jupiter Bowl and Peak, as well as McConkey's. The latter is really skied off, which is a bummer, while Jupiter Peak is blown off. But still enough of good runs to be had, so i knock myself out.

Saturday 22-Feb Departure from SLC. I learn that more than one set of skies are officially charged with an additional $80, but yet another nice gate agent gentlement waives that, he must understand that the airline is run by people who wrongfully assume one set of skies would be enough for a week+ skiing.