Hey! A DV endorsement from Powdr, our resident ridge tourer- That says a lot. Actually, I'm always suprised at how many tele skiers and folks I'd expect to see in the backcountry show up at DV. Yesterday was no exeption. It was a spectacular cold and sunny day with perfectly groomed cruisers. The snow quality was excellent after a day of high winds and a few inches of pow the day before that. Off trail was pretty much bumps (perhaps not in the woods- I didn't go there) but there was nice, crunchy corduroy everywhere that you could really set an edge into, even at the top of Bald Mountain, where the wind usually just leaves scrapey stuff.
My kids were in ski school and again, I just can't say enough about how great everyone is there. My four year old was in a lesson with one other kid- with one of those handle-on-the-back harnesses ( for the lift) and an edgy-wedgy. My eight year old was bombing all over the mountain with a little wolf pack. The missus and I cruised from breakfast to lunch to latte and spied on the kids. At the end of the day, after hot chocklate in the lodge by the fire, the valet helped me load the skies on the car- something I used to laugh at until I had all these extra tiny skis to carry. It's a wonderful time to be here, the Christmas crowds are gone and if it ain't snowing it'll be bright desert sun.
I'll add that my favorite area is still PCMR, it's where I have my pass- because of the back bowls, Jupiter, Scotts, Puma, McKonkeys, etc. when there's powder and the miles of uncrowded cruisers when there's no new snow. It's unpretentous- DV can get a little old- and has no development other than at the base. Too many condos just ruins the whole experience.
I've no comment on the Canyons- I've yet to figure it out.
Alta's the queen, INHO, but she's on the other side of the hill. Very different, of course as you know. It's been a low snow year -wasn't it '97 that we had 20 powder days before Christmas in the Wasatch?- The traverses are really sketchy-rocky in places, but the goods are there, if you're adventurous and good at double unweighting- works great- just shift your weight to the top of your boots!#@. More snow expected this Wednesday and Thursday, so it'll get better....