By Marlene Greer, Correspondent
It was snowing for the first time in three weeks when my stepdaughter and I arrived at Deer Valley Resort in early February: Six inches of soft powder over groomed hardpack and just under freezing. Ideal conditions.
We were standing midmountain looking at the trail map trying to decide where to head to for some easy intermediate terrain. We had tried Bald Mountain earlier and found it too chopped up. It also has a 9,400-foot summit, so we were looking for something a bit easier on our first day on skis this season.
A mountain host gave us some great advice.
“Head to Flagstaff Mountain. There are some beauuuutiful blues off the back side,” the friendly Aussie said with the enthusiasm of a skier on a powder day. Everything was an exclamation!
“Take Hawkeye first. It’s excellent! Groomed with a nice pitch,” he advised. “Then try Sidewinder; it’s a bit steeper, but still nice. They are all just beautiful runs!”
This was our first trip to Deer Valley, and we found many “beautiful blues” in the next two days of skiing. We particularly liked Little Baldy Peak. The runs were groomed, nearly deserted (even on a Saturday) and there were no lift lines. We felt like we had the place to ourselves.
Deer Valley, one of the three major ski resorts in Park City, Utah, covers five mountain peaks and 2,026 acres. All levels of terrain can be accessed on all peaks with the exception of the resort’s highest — Empire Peak at 9,500 feet — which offers intermediate and expert terrain only.
Most of the lifts have high-speed quads, giving skiers more time on the slopes. The resort is surrounded by private property, so you’ll see large homes on the side of many runs.
Look for the Raccoon House and the Bear House off Last Chance Trail. Both have whimsical critters of all sizes hanging from the roof, sitting on the deck, peeking in windows and hiding in trees.