I’D RATHER SKI DEER VALLEY

 

When I’m in Park City, I always have a choice regarding which ski area I’ll be skiing. The Ski Bum News ranked Deer Valley the best ski area in America because Deer Valley got high marks for: service, on-mountain food, grooming, powder snow, challenging terrain, easy access, variety of terrain, apres’-ski, and off-hill activities. At Deer Valley, the emphasis is on SERVICE. They really treat their guests well and that philosophy extends to the way they treat their staff, according to several employees I met on the chair and the fact that so many of the employees have been there for so many years.

You really feel welcome at Deer Valley. From the moment you get there, they try to make your visit as pleasant as possible. They pick you up in the parking lot in a shuttle and take you to the base lodge where you can rent equipment, have a bite to eat or purchase anything you forgot to bring with you.

Accommodations
A was staying at the Hotel Park City, a four-star hotel complex., an all-suite hotel. Each guest room features a fireplace, kitchenettes or full sized kitchens, separate living rooms, washer & dryer, jetted bath tubs with separate shower and private patios with golf, pool and mountain views. I was housed in the new Cottage accommodations which range from 650 – 1500 square feet and are located on the golf course and cross country course, just 130 yards from the new Silver Star ski lift. There is a huge fireplace in the hotel lobby and there was a fireplace in every room of my cottage. There was a jacuzzi and an outdoor hot tub. The bedroom was elegant and the kitchen/livingroom was also very opulant with leather furniture, big-screen TV and a fully equipped kitchen. Fine dining is available at Ruth’s Chris Steak House within the Hotel. For casual dining there is the Bandannas Grill & Bar.

The Spa at the hotel provides eight treatment rooms, including a spa suite, pedicure room, hair & manicure salon, dry & wet saunas, hot tubs, his & her locker rooms and meditation rooms. Adjacent to the spa is the health club and movement studio offering yoga and Pilates classes. They are located on the main road as you come into Park City and offer guests all the amenities you would expect at a luxury hotel. Rates start at $199 and up. When you book your stay, don’t forget to tell them that you found then in the Ski Bum News.

The Mountain
From the Snow Park Base Lodge, you look up Bald Eagle Mountain which is 8,400 ft high. Solid Muldoon and Big Stick are some of my favorite ski runs when I am trying to get to the freestyle venues that include the 2002 Olympic Winter Games runs, Champion (site of freestyle moguls), Know You Don’t (site of alpine slalom) and White Owl (site of freestyle aerials).

Most of the slopes at Deer Valley are manicured, so no matter what Mother Nature does, you have a nice surface for skiing. Now if you want CHALLENGING terrain, Deer Valley has that too with all the moguls and powder you could want. On Empire there are steep bumps, there is bowl skiing at Deer Valley and even seeded bumps on the mogul course or you can ski a steep short run next door at Know You Don’t.

I like to ride up the Carpenter Express chair and ski over to the Sterling Express chair so I can warm up on blue trails like Birdseye, Nabob, and Keno. I’ll take a run down Wizard and ride up to Wasatch Express where I can ski the bumps on Rattler or hit steep black diamond, Stein’s Way which is a real blast to fly down when it’s groomed and challenging when it is covered with soft bumps after a big snowfall. From Stein’s Way, you can ride the Mayflower lift and ski Morning Star and the Mayflower Chutes which offer bumps and powder.

I like having lunch at the Silver Lake Lodge where there is a wide variety of food to choose from and on sunny days you can sit on the porch and work on your tan. After lunch, there are a lot of trails to explore at Deer Valley. I headed to Empire and turned the tables on the ski bum who camps out at the top of the mountain to photograph skiers so they will have a memento of their trip. I took a couple of runs on Orion and Supreme and then continued to explore that part of the resort. Hawkeye, Lucky Star and Boulder are easy to get to when you come down from Empire. The Ruby Express chair leads to easy blue trails where I practiced my turns, relaxed and enjoyed the scenery.

I heard that Deer Valley had opened up a new mountain called Lady Morgan and I was interested in checking it out. This mountain has a few black diamond runs called Argus, Hillside and Magnet that were bumped up. There are also blue and green runs on this mountain for the less adventurous skier. Lady Morgan boasts an elevation of 9,000 ft. and features mostly advanced and expert skiing. It was fun to check out and I met some nice people from the Washington, DC area riding that chair.

Mountain Stats
Deer Valley has 6 mountains with 2,026 skiable acres, a 3,000 ft. vertical, 99 trails and 6 bowls serviced by11 high-speed quads, 2 double chair lifts and one 4-person gondola.

Deer Valley is one of the few ski areas in the USA that doesn’t allow snowboarders.