By Correspondent Marlene Greer
For those who enjoy a good whiskey, a stop at the High West Distillery and Saloon is a must in Park City, Utah. Here, visitors can take a tour and sample some of the company’s well-known whiskeys and specialty cocktails.
During a distillery tour, we learned that only locally grown grains are used. We also discovered the difference between Scotch, whiskey and bourbon and that Utah was the critical 36th state to vote against the 18th amendment and end Prohibition. The tour is offered three times daily.
I’m not a whiskey drinker, but I managed a sip of white whiskey (which a nearby taster called moonshine), as well as a sip of double rye (not for me).
But the High West Lemonade cocktail with double rye whiskey was delicious and the fried, bite-size macaroni and cheese appetizer downright addictive.
Speaking of food, Main Street is the place to go for après ski dining. There are many good restaurants to choose from. Downtown restaurants on weekends are always full. It’s best to make a reservation, especially at popular places such as Zoom, owned by Robert Redford. It’s located in the old railroad station.
We stopped in Zoom on a weeknight — with a reservation — and the place was packed. We tried the crispy calamari with lemon jalapeno aioli (too spicy for my taste, but devoured by everyone else at the table), Wagyu bavette steak, seared ahi tuna and wild mushroom risotto.
The dinner was delicious, but the service slow. I felt sorry for our harried waiter; he obviously had too many tables to manage.
Visitors to downtown can catch the free trolley or public bus from Deer Valley, Canyons and most Park City hotels. So take a day or afternoon off from skiing and spend some time exploring Park City’s historic Main Street.
It was another beautiful day on Mammoth Mountain today. Temperatures are predicted to be in the mid 50s with light winds and sunny skies.
Its base depth is currently 60 inches at 9,000 feet and 90 inches at 10,000 feet. Thanks to recent snowfall, conditions are the best they have been all season.
Today all lifts except for Chair 20 were operating and all terrain was open. Lifts run from 8:30am-4:00pm.
Here’s a good video of all the spring action.
By Correspondent Marlene Greer
Take a stroll down Park City’s historic Main Street and you can’t miss Loosey the Moose all dressed up in her finest, the intriguing wind sculptures, the wonderful Park City Museum, and the chairlift where you can take a ride up to Park City Mountain Resort.
The Park City Museum is housed in the former city hall and territorial jail built in 1885. It tells the story of the city’s silver mining heritage and its transition to a ski resort.
Visitors can climb into an old mining cage and feel what it was like to be transported miles underground and explore the life of a miner. The many exhibits, historical artifacts, interactive displays and running documentaries will keep you busy for a good hour or two.
One fascinating tidbit was how two miners started the area’s first ski resort. But to get to the hill, skiers had to ride a mining car three miles underground, then step into a mining cage to ascend 1,800 feet to the surface. The trip took an hour.
It was snowing the day we wandered around town, so we couldn’t take in more than a quick glimpse of the many sculptures and outdoor artworks along Main Street.
We spotted the well-dressed and primped Loosey, a bear on a bench in case a visitor wanted to snuggle for a photo and a very realistic looking Native-American ready to let fly with an arrow.
There were also many intricately patterned metal windmills, the work of world-renown artist Lyman Whitaker, who for 30 years has been “gracefully capturing the spirit of the wind through his kinetic art.”
There are a dozen or more art galleries along Main Street, showcasing a variety of work from local and nationally known artists. Several have an emphasis on Western art and feature painted and sculpted bison, horses and bears, and canvases of pastures, wranglers and beautiful alpine autumns.
But there are also the wild and wacky, the delicate glassworks and the Hollywood icons.
By Staff Writer Richard Irwin
We often stopped to read the signs about the historic mining buildings lining some of the ski runs at Park City Mountain resort.
Visitors can take a free guided historic mountain tour and learn the history behind Park City. Tour guides provide a wealth of knowledge, as well as fun stories of how the runs got their names and behind-the-scenes vignettes from the 2002 Olympics.
Here are some fun facts you’ll learn:
• $450 million in silver was mined at Park City Mountain from 1,200 miles of tunnels.
• Park City’s silver mines produced 25 millionaires.
The tour is offered 10 a.m. daily at the Eagle Statue in the plaza or at the Summit Demo Center at 1:30 p.m.
A light snow started in the morning and would continue off and on for the rest of the day. Not a heavy Sierra snow, but the fine, dry snow that Utah is famous for. Its flakes were just big enough to sting your face if you took off your face mask.
Shooting by a terrain park we saw several boarders trying their luck on the jumps. Park City has three parks, including Eagle superpipe and Merrill minipipe.
Late in the day, we caught some high winds at the summit, but it was fine once you skied down into the valleys. It turned out to be another great day in our Park City adventure.
By Staff Writer Richard Irwin
Park City Mountain offers 3,300 acres of skiing. There are also nine, count them nine, bowls with 750 acres. That’s a lot of territory to cover, and coverage was excellent when we arrived in February.
We decided to warm up on Homerun, which turns out to be the longest trail, measuring 3 1/2 miles. Quite the warm-up.
Park City actually has 114 trails, with more than half listed as intermediate, while 31 percent are advanced.
The snow was a fine powder as we schussed under cloudy skies. At times, a pale white sun would barely pierce the cloudy veil, lending a cold, bleak light. But the skiing was hot.
As in our visits to other Park City ski resorts that week, there were hardly any lift lines. Park City has a total of 16 lifts, including four high speed six-packs and three high speed quads.
The mountain boasts a total uphill capacity of 31,000 skiers an hour, which would be tested on President’s Day that weekend with every hotel room booked solid.
But we beat the rush and could ski as much as we wanted. We were often alone on our own section of the mountain.
By Jerry Rice
The calendar says “April,” but it’s looking a lot more like winter – finally – at Mammoth Mountain and resorts in the Lake Tahoe area.
Mammoth received 18 inches of fresh powder this week and more than 36 inches since March 26. At Lake Tahoe, Squaw Valley’s seven-day snow total is 47 inches, and at Northstar California, about six miles north of of the lake, the resort welcomed 34 inches of new snow during the last several days – just in time for this weekend’s Spring It On! festival and pond skim contest.
“We’ve received so much fresh snow just before some of our most anticipated spring events, which means phenomenal skiing and riding and added excitement to this weekend’s festivities,” said Bill Rock, senior vice president and chief operating officer at Northstar.
Back at Mammoth, the new snow means a special on-mountain experience.
“Lift lines are typical for this time of the year, and skiers are able to spread out due to 100 percent of the terrain being open,” said Tim LeRoy, resort spokesman.
By Staff Writer Richard Irwin
It’s not often that a chairlift will drop you off in the middle of town. But then, Park City, Utah, is a special place, where skiers take their sport very seriously.
So we laughed as we watched skiers and snowboarders jump on the town lift to take them up the hill to the huge Park City Mountain Resort. Must be nice to catch a few runs after school, which more than a few students looked like they were doing. Skiers originally traveled underground through a mine shaft to a hoist, where they were lifted 1,400 feet to the mountain. Now you can just jump on the city chairlift.
We had a little bit of everything at the ski resort, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Wind, snow, fog — but we still had a great time exploring this Utah ski resort nestled up against the city with the same name.
We met up with our group at the Eagle Statue in the lovely resort plaza at the base of the mountain. It looks great with shops, restaurants and services on the first floor and lodging on several floors above.
Vasu Sojitra sped down the hill with abandon. He skied backward with ease. He maneuvered through the trees and even managed a helicopter turn or two.
The teenager, pictured above with the author, learned to ski on his one leg nine years ago through Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports. He skis on one fat ski using specialized poles with skids. And as happens with most people who learn to ski when they are young, Vasu seems fearless.
We took a day off from skiing Killington and headed over to nearby Pico Mountain, a 10-minute shuttle ride from the Killington Grand Hotel. There we met Vasu, an intern for Vermont Adaptive.
Vermont Adaptive has its headquarters in the newly completed Andrea Mead Lawrence Lodge at Pico. Its programs serve nearly 1,300 children, youth and adults with disabilities. Vasu is one of 400 interns and volunteers who assist in teaching those with disabilities how to ski using specialized equipment. He’s also one of the program’s many successes. Keeping up with him was a challenge.
Pico is a much smaller mountain than Killington – only 468 skiable acres with 57 trails and seven lifts. But its abundance of intermediate terrain, short gladed trails, and wide, green groomers make it a great place for a day of casual skiing and an ideal hill for Vermont Adaptive students to experience the thrills of skiing.
But there was nothing casual about skiing with Vasu. He joined us in an afternoon exploration of the mountain and tore down everything he encountered. A couple of times we took the easy route and met up with him at the bottom of the hill.
We asked the New England native what he loved most about the sport.
“Backcountry skiing,” he said without hesitation. “It’s the best.” This brought up another question of how he manages the uphill in the backcountry. He explained how he attaches small snowshoes to the feet of his poles, giving him the ability to walk in the snow.
It seems nothing will keep a skier from doing what he loves.