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Photo TR: Late-March Snowboarding in Utah


dj snow
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Since summer is coming up fast, how about a quick look back at winter?

 

For three days back in March (specifically, the 24th, the 25th and 26th), a friend and I headed up to Utah to check out three of the state's fine ski areas: Snowbird, Brighton and The Canyons. We flew into Salt Lake City, rented a car, and went from there.

 

Salt Lake is really convenient for winter sports enthusiasts: You can be at a mountain in little more than a half-hour drive from the airport... And there are tons of choices! It would take at least a few more trips back to Salt Lake for me to explore all of the resorts clustered around the city. Convenient access, plentiful snow, and oh yeah... Fry sauce! It's the ideal destination.

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Just in time for the last run at The Canyons, the clouds begin to break! Perfect timing, as we had a flight to catch. The trip could not have gone better, and I will definitely be back next winter! Thanks for reading.

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Look, it's my snowboard! And my leg and foot too. Note: This is not a rental snowboard. It is privately owned. (If you got that reference, you win kudos from me.)

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Note that I'm looking DOWN to the tops of these signs... Yeah, they do get a lot of snow here!

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My first trip to snowboard in Utah, and I get treated to a powder day at The Canyons... Couldn't have planned it better.

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Looks nice (and believe me, it got much better/deeper than you see here)!

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Finally up on the mountain, you can see that it's been snowing!

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Here's part of The Canyons base village. They're building a lot of rooms/condos here. Still a lot of rough edges (like the pavement), but hopefully in a few years it'll be taken care of.

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Day Three: The Canyons. And hey, it's snowing! The high winds delayed opening about an hour, but the snow muted all complaints.

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This trail brought to you by Wrangler Jeans.

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That said, if you went looking for it, you could find some pretty tricky stuff! (No, none of those tracks were mine.)

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Brighton had lots of groomed, open runs like this one. A good place to learn to ski or snowboard.

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There was a slopestyle competition going on this day at Brighton. This girl was not the winner.

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They also had cotton candy!

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The air was clear and the views were great at Brighton.

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Next day: Brighton. Brighton seemed to be more of a local, family mountain. Definitely milder terrain than Snowbird.

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Here's a look up from the Creekside base lodge, taken as I reflected on the day.

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My award-winning Snowbird Tram Photo. Like it? Send your royalty payments to dj snow.

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This is a "nice scenery" shot from Snowbird. As you can see, the weather was just lovely.

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Back to Mineral Basin yet again. Watch out for all those trees!

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Hooray, the tram has arrived to whisk us to the peak! (To be honest, I'd rather use a chairlift instead of a crowded tram.)

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Oh, did I mention? Snowbird has a tram to the top.

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Here's one of the groomed, named trails in Mineral Basin. It was fairly steep, I reckon.

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Now we're looking down into Snowbird's Mineral Basin, a big, wide-open bowl on the backside.

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Reverse angle, featuring even more beautiful mountain scenery. (Note: Peak in background is not part of skiable terrain. Thank you.)

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First stop: Snowbird. Here's a view of the mountain with their new lodge in the foreground.

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Salt Lake City really deserved the Winter Olympics! I've skiied in the Park City area several times and it's really lovely. They almost always have great conditions!

 

Looks like you had a great time! Did you try any of the local restaurants, they're kind of famous for having good cuisine up there too!

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Park City itself is full of good-looking restaurants, but since we weren't staying there, we didn't have much opportunity to explore. I would like to stay in the Park City area sometime, though. And Park City Mountain Resort has the coolest setup, with a trail that leads you over a bridge and across Main Street, dropping you off at a town square right by all the town's restaurants! Then, after you're done in town, hop on the lift (also right there on the square) to get back to the resort and the snow. Maybe next time I can try that.

 

That said, we did stop at Deer Valley to eat dinner one night. Deer Valley has been consistently voted by readers of Ski Magazine as having the "Best Food" of any North American ski area. They won't let me ride my snowboard there, but they will gladly take my money and let me eat there. So I did, and it was quite good.

 

Photos of food from Deer Valley:

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"Kobe beef" sirloin steak.

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Pecan-crusted pork tenderloin.

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Crawfish bisque.

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I went snowboarding at Canyons before. Truly amazing. Beats the crap out of California's ski/snowboard resorts.

It was rather impressive. The Canyons is simply massive, with peak after peak after peak to explore. And they're planning to add about 200 more acres for next season! I haven't been to any California resorts, but I can tell you that The Canyons was certainly good times.

 

Incidentally, The Canyons is part of American Skiing Company... A company that acquired a number of resorts across the country, found the debt load too much to handle, and recently sold off some properties to raise cash and hopefully return to profitability. They also relocated their headquarters. Sound familiar?

 

Too bad you snowboard.

Why too bad? For most people the ski/snowboard territorialism went by the wayside years ago. Check out the parks to and you'll see skiers and riders hanging out together, for instance. It doesn't matter what's on your feet; what matters is how you well you ski or ride and how you act toward others on the mountain.

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Glad to see you had tons of fun!

 

I went snowboarding for the first time this past winter up at Brighton for night runs (15 dollars for 5 hours can't be beaten!!). It was a blast, I found that I picked it up quickly and had a great time. So much fun that I went back in two weeks for more.

 

So that brings my ski/snowboarding trips to 3...and I've lived here my whole life, I'll be doing more of it in the future though, it's fun.

 

Also it's cool to see Snowbird in the winter, I went up there this past summer and had some fun. All day pass for Alpine Slides was some of the best money I've spent!

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Not to mention mountain biking at the resorts.

 

Just put your bike on the chairlift and it takes ya to the top of the mountain. I think Snowbird does this, but I atleast know Sundance does, and I'll need to go back this summer.

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