Just like any Dad who is focused on fostering his kid's love for skiing, almost always, I'd inform the instructors that he is a "Very Good " skier and quite experienced on big mountains, but I'd rather they put him in Blue Groups since he is still pretty light (39lbs last weigh-in!) and it was pretty amusing to see him get bumped up at both DV and Solitude to the Black groups, and there was this little guy skiing with 9 to 14 year olds...they loved his passion for skiing and ski-smarts..there was of course a huge number of face plants as the snow increased in Solitude and Alta and it was all powder ... (Dad took far more tumbles). Anyway, here are some pics - Utah skiing is just something else...The Greatest Snow on Earth is a well-deserved honor for the locale.
For the Cognoscenti amongst you: Skis used:
Deer Valley : Dynastar Legend Sultan 85's (85mm waist)- perfect, powerhouses
Solitude: Head Liquid Metal - not happy at all but good for training in deep snow, it was rough but managed
Alta: Volkl AC50's (82mm waist) first day - felt too stiff and those Marker Bindings were a b*tch to step into when banana-bail occurred, just not happy. Switched to K2 Phat Luvs - great skis for the conditions (102mm waist). They had sold out of the Legend 85's and actually the K2's suited the conditions much better.
1. Deer Valley 3 days: Regardless of any opprobrium, Deer Valley is actually quite big, has long, broad runs for all levels of abilities. While the old man here did mostly the blues and blacks which were groomed, with some exceptions of a few mogulled up blacks (hard work for this old guy), my little boy had a blast, he skiied everything pretty much including a couple of the Daly Chutes - he loved it. Food on the mountain is best we have experienced in North America, their free ski storage at the base of each lodge is extremely convenient, and they are most helpful all-around. Ski instructors for kids were tremendous and very positive, fostering a love for the sport. The only run where my boy got pretty tired and knocked around on was "Champion", humongous man-made moguls used for racing, he insisted and bugged the instructors so they took him, and it was a great experience. Deer Valley pics below:
Stein's Way overlooking Jordanelle Reservoir Panorama:
Heading to the Inn at Silver Lake, after a long day of skiing:
2. Solitude: 3 days. (Tuesday was hardpack, rock-ice, and windy as sh*te, almost 50mph on top of Summit chair). Solitude is really quite nice and lives up to its name! One observation several others have posted about and I have to concur, mountain trails and lifts seem hard to figure out even though it does not look like it on trail map and lift system while modern generally (except Summit chair) seemed a tad confusing. Unfortunately, a serious mechanical breakdown on Wednesday led to the closure of the Sunrise chair which is the easier way to access the Summit chair but the Mountain mgmt were pretty helpful by providing cat rides up to the Summit chair (the traverse across this individual did through deep powder through trees etc to get to the cat was one serious aerobic workout, huffing, puffing and wheezing all the way there!)
Solitude - First Real Powder Day, Wednesday last week
Solitude, nice little Sleigh Ride from Village to Moonbeam base:
Solitude: Traversing out at top of Summit Chair to drop in on powder field into Honeycomb Canyon - Run is Voltaire (son did the gnarly drop-ins via Black Forest and Navarone, Dad wisely stayed away from those tight, sometimes cliffed out, tree-ed steep terrain runs!) Traverse rough on the old man but the ride down Voltaire to Honeycomb return was unusually beautiful.
Alta: On Saturday West Rustler was just incredible, they called it "West Buffler" since it was wind-buffed to perfection, natural ice-cream or cake icing, better than any man-made grooming this humble skier has ever experienced. It was quite the scene on Friday when power went out in LCC, incredible situation, I know folks who were stranded on Collins lift for over 1 hour. I did'nt hear official cause of failure but there was some correlation to dust-storm and winds from Tuesday screwing up electronic master controls plus rumors of transformer blowouts, and finally replacement equipment delivery showing up at Brighton instead of Alta. Regardless, mountain mgmt jerry-rigged, portable diesel generators to get Wildcat going, Supreme remained closed all day, and Sugarloaf was powered via diesel box on Groomer Cats. Human ingenuity at its finest!
Am on Saddle Traverse getting ready to start run:
Alta: All smiles after big powder face-plant:
There is some video..to follow on later date..Really miss being there but Dad's knees are quite stiff, now on 2nd day of respite back in the city.
Edited by dustyfog - 4/6/10 at 1:26pm