How not to use a rope tow

You know you’re doing something wrong when you get off the ground using a rope tow.  Good luck skiing with that monster wedge.

-Petit

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As the East Coast gears up for Tuck’s, Utah is getting slammed!

In the last 24 hours, resorts throughout Utah, including Brighton, Solitude, and The Canyons have received over 20″ of new snow. Brighton alone, over the last 72 hours, has close to 60″ of new snow (58″ to be exact). A few things that I thought of when drooling over these numbers.

(1) It’s supposed to be 85 degrees in Boston, MA tomorrow, chance of snow is very low. (2) This 58” dump alone puts the Cottonwood Canyon area roughly 18″ above the largest existing base on the East Coast, which is at Jay Peak. (3) 58″ is over double the number of trails still open for skiing on the East Coast, which based on SkiReport is only 26, not counting Tuckerman’s. (4) With the additional snow, Alta has a base of 152″, that’s more than, Killington, Jay, Mount Snow, Okemo, and Stratton combined. (5) Flights to Utah leaving tomorrow and returning Sunday average around $450, which is almost exactly Brighton’s base to date of 480″!

Although we are not certified chaperons by any stretch of the imagination, quite the opposite in fact, should anybody need a companion or to travel out to Utah with over the next few days look no further. Although things are quieting down on this side of the country, we hope those of you checking in from the Left Coast have the chance to enjoy this offering from the snow gods!

Its that time of year— POND SKIMMING


I’m not going to speculate yet on the outcome of the 2009/10 season, because who knows, if all this rain turns into snow for just one day, there could be some life left in the season after all. However, the end of March and the beginning of April often marks the coming of a cherished past time in ski towns and areas across the country. Yes, POND SKIMMING. Many events took place this last weekend, but as the article linked here, notes, there are many events still to come at areas such as Mt. Sunapee, Loon, as well as some of the larger mountains in Vermont such as Sugarbush and Mad River. We’d love to get some first hand pics from any of the events from competitors and apres’ers alike.
I wanted to highlight a snow bunny skimming and found this pic…

Yeah, she didn’t make the “Snow Bunny” cut, but I applaud the bikini nonetheless. I mean, with the exception of the dude at the top, few people can actually make the event look good, which explains why most events are sponsored by beer companies. I’ve never participated in an event myself, but if I did, I’d probably go with something a little more subtle than the fella below, but again, its the effort that counts.

Ok, so after this guy, there’s really nowhere else to go with this post. Bottom line, these events get ridiculous, which is what makes them so much fun. Enjoy whats left of the season, and let us know if you find yourself participating in a pond skimming, or 0therwise festive spring time tradition.

Old School plus Ski Patrol equals HOT TUB TIME MACHINE.

Review.

Jackson Hole

We’ve obviously just had an insane trip out west to Jackson Hole, and on top of the live updates, I wanted to give everyone a good overview of the trip, mountain, and town that left me/us looking forward to our next trip. So, the first thing that comes to mind is the scene that is front and center upon arrival to the small airport in Jackson. It’s one of total awe. It felt to me like I had boarded a plane in reality (Boston) and walked off of the same plane into some kind of early western/skiing fairy tail. The Teton mountain range surrounds the airport and the entry way is surrounded with elk antlers collected from one of the many national wildlife preserves in the valley. Right away you know your somewhere special.

Taxi service from the airport is very reasonable, especially with a group, to Teton Village. The 25 minute taxi costs about $80 and most taxi’s can hold groups of at least 7, including gear. Taxi drivers out there are no joke, often dawning cowboy hats or at least a mustache, and don’t be surprised if the cab literally has to stop for moose in the road.

For us, arrival to Teton village (The Inn at Jackson Hole) was exciting, but admittedly left us a little surprised at the noticeably spotty snow cover on the mountain. Apparently Jackson only received about 60% of their average annual snow fall, which unfortunately accounted for the lack of cover on the lower mountain, and talks of the end of the season. We quickly forgot about the snow issues however, when we slipped into the 4 (really about 10) person hot tub at the resort, along with a few PBR’s, which is unquestionably the beer of choice around the mountain.

For food, we bounced around, dining at the Cowboy Steak House, below the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, Q Roadhouse, The Cadillac Grill, and Osteria in Teton Village. The meats of choice at the Cowboy bar were definitely Elk and Bison, and although that was our most expensive dinner, it was outstanding. As an aside, I would put the french onion soup in my all-time top 5. Who knew blue cheese tastes so good on onion soup? Our evening at Q’s was a large group affair and after the round of celebratory tequila shots were served, the tasty bbq, apps, and fish tacos did not disappoint. Q’s was the perfect choice for so many people (18) and turned out to be very reasonably priced. Osteria had me worried about price at first, but was also very reasonable in that regard. Its decor is kind of fancy, but with pizza’s and pasta as the primary items on the menu I was pleasantly surprised to spend only $36 for such a great meal and plenty of vino. The Cadillac is more of a local spot, featuring “reverse happy hour” from 10-12, offering two for one drink specials, which naturally attracts patrons and tourists alike. The Cadillac is located right next to the Cowboy bar, which is an absolute must hit for live country music and very authentic country western dancing. And what would this write-up be without discussing where we ate and drank for Apres? The Mangy Moose definitely stole the show for Apres. The Moose is right at the base of the mountain and serves very good bar food (read nachos) and the beer is always cold. Also, to be completely honest, the Moose features one of the best looking wait staff’s in the league, including a rumored former Lange girl. (not sure which girl or year because they all looked qualified to me)

The terrain at Jackson is consistently some of the best I’ve experienced, featuring Corbet’s Couloir (shown right), which begins with a 20ft drop into an extremely narrow chute. Although I did not experience Corbet’s first hand as it was closed to the public, there is good stuff all over the mountain. I am not great with all the lift and trail names, but based on the weather, we found that starting on the Apres Vous quad and following the sun across the mountain was the best bet for soft snow, ending the day with a few tram rides up to the top. My highlight, for best snow and overall experience,was the hike and subsequent run down from the head wall, which is a traverse from the tram and about 20 minute hike to the top. (There are multiple pics from the top in the gallery)

Bottom line, the mountain didn’t have enough snow for us to see its best, but there is no question that there is great stuff all over the mountain.

For a planned trip, like ours, it’s always tough to try and plan around schedules and deals so with that comes the risk of spotty conditions, but regardless, Jackson is a great choice!! From the authentic Cowboy feel to the challenging terrain, I would put the whole experience on the top of my list!

– C.E.brO


Deer Valley

Ok, I understand what might be going through your head right now… “bunny hill”… i sort of thought so as well before spending a long weekend there.  Deer Valley is truly a place for those who enjoy getting pampered… i mean they will literally blow your nose for you (ok, maybe not literally, but they do have good looking/well dressed people standing all over the place offering you a Kleenex or offering other things that can make your life a little bit more convenient).

Let’s start with a little bit of background; Deer Valley is about a driver nine-iron from Park City Utah, based in the Wasatch Range.  The resort is one of a number of downhill ski areas that are within driving distance of Salt Lake City, including Park City Resort, The Canyons, Alta, Snowbird, and others.  The resort dates back to the 1930’s when the first trails were cut and the location was the host of a Winter Carnival.  Robert Burns and Otto Carpenter arrived about a decade later and built the first ski lift at Deer Valley Resort, in 1946.  Frankly, at the time, merely having a ski lift was thought of as a total luxury, and so it’s safe to say that Deer Valley has been catering to the elite for many decades.  It’s also good to keep in mind that one of the draws to skiing in the Wasatch Range is the consistently dry and fluffy snow, and the consistent annual snowfall of 400+ inches (501 inches/ year on average at Alta!).

Fast forward to today; Deer Valley includes just over 2,000 acres of skiable terrain and 3,000 feet of vertical.  The resort continues to expand it’s footprint, adding the Lady Morgan peak (it’s sixth mountain) just 3 years ago.  The resort has an uphill lift capacity of ~46,500 people per hour, which sounds like quite a lot (and sounds like there could easily be too many people on the slopes!), but Deer Valley has an answer for that: limiting ticket sales to 6,500 per day.  When I talk about amenities, I mean things like free ski-valet at the base for anyone returning to ski the next day; free shuttles all around the resort, 5-Star slopeside dining, and uniformed hosts all over the place, eager to help in any way.

Now, the skiing; yes, there are lots of beautifully groomed blue squares (and a set of “double-blue-squares”) which are great for leisurely skiing and fast cruising.  The resort also has some steeps, trees, and bowls, offering quite a bit more challenging terrain for those interested.  I found that most of the guests prefer the groomers, which meant that I could fine freshies up on the bowl even 24 hours after our 12″ dump!

Deer Valley has also been the recipient of numerous awards over the years, including its listing in the top-American ski resorts for many years running.  In 2002, Deer Valley was even awarded with the privilege of hosting the Olympic moguls, aerials, and alpine slalom events!

It’s tough to call fault to anything at Deer Valley, because I truly did have a great time there, but I would say that over the years the resort has sold and developed a ton of real estate that is truly “slopeside”… spanning from the new St. Regis at the base, to Stein Erickson’s in the middle of the mountain, to the hundreds and hundreds of private homes that dot the trails, and manage to get 90% of the way up the mountain.  What that means is that you can be plowing through fresh powder, listening to the birds chirp in the trees, and feel the gentle mix of sun and breeze on your face… but then you can look left and see a family in a Suburban pulling in to a private drive.  In my view, Deer Valley has developed the land too much.

Enjoy your next trip to Utah and if you are in the mood for some serious pampering, you should really consider Deer Valley.

-D

Mangey Mustache March

It should come as no surprise that after three days of fun in the sun here in Teron Village, that the mustaches are flowing like PBR. As one of our own, we’re proud to say this is one of the best around.
No no no sir, APRES VOUS. Well done.