I was at Deer Valley this past Friday (3/16) and Saturday (3/17). After major league concern, I was very pleased with the conditions. No, it is not fresh powder premium but it is fun and very skiable.
Head high (summit), hit it early (9am) and plan on wrapping up early (2pm-2:30ish). The groomers are fast in the morning and the ungroomed is decently bumped up. As you face the mountain, ski the left (sun-facing) runs earliest and work to the right. The direct sun softens the snow pretty quickly; in a couple of hours, a run can go from sweet and fast, to mashed potatoes, to corn to slushy-ski stopping crap. This is not a tragedy, as you simply move to a different facing section of the mountain. As the morning progressed, I found nice snow in the shade on the side of runs. Some runs that were pretty soft were getting perpetually skied up the middle and sunny side; however, the shaded side(s) had nice welcoming snow. They skied awesomely. It was amazing to find these untracked or barely tracked areas. I was freaked out over nothing.
Empire Canyon was best around 11:00am. It was unreasonably frozen before this and got pretty mucky after 1:00pm. The blacks off Mayflower lift were moguled but fast and fun early (10:00 ish). We spent most of our time on Bald Mt. We trekked over to Ontario Bowl only to find a hard coral field and decided to save that for next February. Empire Canyon is worth checking out for some open bump runs. Groomed Solace and Orion were worth checking out. Top section of Solace (black bumps) was very nice.
On a personal note, I was able to fulfill a personal ski fantasy of skiing in a bikini top. Saturday's sunny skies and balmy temps totally called for a Roxy bikini premiere. I found a lovely fresh line down Reward and flew. It was as sweet as I dreamed it could be. So, think about any individual wardrobe fantasies you have. This is the trip to make them reality.
Before leaving last week, I was genuinely freaked out as I watched the temps soar. I thought about canceling. I contemplated going to Colorado. I was despondent. Oh my God, I am an idiot (friends and family, print that for your personal file). After years of week-long ski trips, this was THE BEST WEEKEND OF MY LIFE! Everything was so good. People had a great attitude, the mountain was fabulously groomed each day to deliver a good time DESPITE the warm temps and the shade was my friend.
Come in from the ledge and warm wax your skis. You will have an awesome time!