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My First Trip to Utah

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
February 1 to February 5 - Our first trip to Utah.
The trip consist of my wife and I...plus our best friends who just recently moved to Texas. The guys will ski...the women will shop!

Day 1 - Travel Day and (hopefully) some skiing
We leave Louisville, KY at 7 am on this beautiful cold morning in Kentucky. I have not skiied since our Colorado trip last year...so I am very excited! I have already signed up for the "Quick Start" program...which lets you fly in and ski free on the same day. You can choose either Deer Valley or Park City for the free skiing. Since our condo (Fox Bay) was located near the Jordanelle Gondola at Deer Valley, I decided to ski there on this day. Our plane change was in Minneapolis...and that went well. We arrive at SLC around 11 am. Everything is going great...I will be on the mountain in an hour! WRONG! Have you ever experienced that wonderful feeling of watching the baggage carousel stop...and you still haven't gotten your luggage? My wife got hers...but mine was lost in Minnesota. Thank God an EpicSki member told me a long time ago, "always pack your ski gear in carry-on"! I had packed my new helmet, my boots, one pair of thermals, and one pair of ski pants in my carry-on. I WILL ski this day! We got our car and drove to Ski n See to pick up my ski rentals. I like to demo new skis...I usually never bring mine. I FINALLY get to Deer Valley about 2:30 pm. It is very cold this day...and the runs are pretty icy. Remember that Utah has not gotten a lot of snow this season. I only ski for about 90 minutes before I head to the condo. I am freezing and tired of skiing on ice. Our friends fly in later that evening.

Day 2 - Park City
My friend is a great skiier. He can ski black/double black with no problems and is pretty fearless. Today he decides he is going to try snowboarding for the first time. I urge him to take a lesson...but he wants to learn on his own. He picked up skiing quickly...so he thinks he can do the same for snowboarding. We split up because I am taking a private lesson this morning. And what a great lesson it was! We meet after the lesson and decide to take a run before lunch. We take the Pay Day lift up...I will take a Blue run down and he will take a Green. He is still having issues snowboarding..although he can now go 100 feet before falling. I get to the bottom and wait for him...and wait....and wait. I finally see a snowmobile go by with someone in a stretcher. My first thought is, "could that be my friend"? After another 10 minutes, I decide to ski down to the medical building. Yep, there he is. He neck is stabilized and he doesn't remember anything about the accident. Evidently he was found unconcious on the slope. They believe he was out for at least two minutes. His helmet had a big crack in the back. So I believe he caught an edge and went backward and hit his head on the icy hardpack of the green run. The wives soon arrived and he was put into an ambulance and taken to University Hospital in SLC. He still doesn't remember anything before the ambulance ride. I went ahead and skiied for a couple more hours since there was nothing we could do at this point. I get back to the condo at 4 pm and we go to SLC to pick them up. He has a minor concussion and the catscan was negative. He is advised to take the next day off from the slopes. Thank God that we both bought helmets this year. This could have been very bad.

Day 3 - The Canyons
I get up early and find my friend ready to go. He is feeling very well and wants to go skiing! At least he remembers my name...so I guess he is going to be okay. I have heard good and bad things about the Canyons. I will say that overall, it was a great ski day. It is true that getting around on the mountain can be tough...you seem to ride a lot of lifts...but the runs were fun and not too icy. We did encounter one woman who had just fallen on her snowboard. Her arm is laying in a position that is not really possible. She is screaming "where is my arm...where is my arm"?? When her boyfriend touches her, she screamed even louder. We stay around until ski patrol arrives. At that point, I decided that I have no desire to try snowboarding...ever. We ski hard all day and really have a lot of fun.

Day 4 - Deer Valley
We plan on skiing until 2 pm today. The Superbowl is on and the women want us to spend a little time with them. So we are there for the first runs of the day. We find that the left side of Deer Valley has some great runs...but it is very icy over there. After my third fall (nothing like going Mach3 down a nice Blue run and hit a huge patch of ice) we decide to explore more of Deer Valley. We finally make our way over to Empire...some nice runs there! Although most of the good runs are totally bumped out...we do find some nice skiing. We work our way back over to Jordanelle and we are done for the trip. That "last run" was depressing...just knowing the trip was soon over. We did race down the Jordanelle Blue run...which was fun. I lost by only 10 feet. Maybe next time.

We fly out the next day...to great sadness. I wonder what it is like to live in the mountains and to be able to ski every day. One can only dream.

I loved my trip to Utah. Of course it would have been better if there was fresh snow...but being from the great ski state of Kentucky, I was very happy to just be there. The attached picture was taken on the last day at Deer Valley, overlooking the reservoir.

I can't wait to go back!
post #2 of 3
Wow--sounds like it was a war zone around you. How did you like Jordanelle? That is one of my favorite runs, and Little Baldy is usually empty no matter how busy the rest of the mountain is. Unfortunately, the snow quality is usually not on par with the other mountains. Glad you had a good time.
post #3 of 3
Sounds like a great time. I went out last year and it will now be an annual trip (just got back). Saturday I was at Alta eating lunch outside with my jacket off, soaking in the sunshine, eating a bowl of chili with an ice cold beer and thought life doesn't get much better than this .
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