Learning to ski has long been on my Bucket List, so what better time to learn than National Learn to Ski month. This was certainly a trip of firsts. I had never skied, never been on a ski lift and never even been to Utah. It was love at first sight. There was snow covered mountains as far as the eye could see. It was much whiter, much larger than I had anticipated. It took my breath away!
Arrived in Salt Lake late afternoon. Picked up boots, skis and a much needed helmut at Ski-N-See. It didn’t take but a minute to know that ski boots are incredibly uncomfortable. I learned that they SHOULD feel uncomfortable but not painful. Armed with all the tools I’d need to ski for the next three days we headed up the mountain about a 20 to 30 minute drive to Deer Valley where we would spend the next two nights. Our beautifully appointed condo “Shooting Star” was tucked away in Empire Pass.
Dinner was up the street at the Deer Valley Lodge Seafood Buffet and it was an “Extravaganza” The Zagat Restaurant Guide lists the Seafood Buffet in ‘America’s Top Restaurants.’ Best of all, Deer Valley supports the sustainability of our oceans.
We had a great breakfast at Deer Valley Snow Park Lodge and the French Toast with banana butter was worth every calorie. This is where I met my Ski Instructor Gary.
While his drivers license said he was 60 years old looked half his age. If its affects on Gary are any indication, Skiing seems to be the Fountain of Youth. (Gary pictured below with Jessica of Ski Utah)
Gary helped me with everything, from making sure my boots were on correctly to picking me up after I ever so gracefully rolled down the Bunny Hill.
Gary made learning fun and shared in my joy and excitement as I perfected my pizza wedge! It was exhausting and I was more than ready for lunch in Deer Valley’s Royal Street Cafe .
Joining us (she must have heard about my athletic prowess) was Deer Valley’s Ambassador of Skiing, Heidi Voelker. Heidi was a 12-year member (1985 to 1997) of the U.S. Ski Team and has competed in the Olympics three times.
Victuals at High West Distillery & Saloon
This day began with a hearty breakfast at the Park City Mountain Resort. Then introductions. Today’s Instructor Sam was from England. Now I would be able to embarrass myself internationally. Like Gary, he had incredible patience and a great sense of humor.
Ahi Nachos and Fish Tacos for Lunch at Legends Bar & Grill
A short drive up and around the mountain and we arrive at the naturally spectacular Alta. Built in 1939 the Alta Lodge is truly “The Original SKI Lodge” Experience
Dinner, butternut squash ravioli, at the Alta Lodge was incredible.
Breakfast at the Alta Lodge
My Alta Ski Instructor Art again had the patience of a saint. With each passing day and new instructor I improved. The Bunny Hill remains my Mount Everest, my double Black Diamond. But, that’s the beauty of a ski vacation. While my comfort zone was lower to the ground Rick could be found barreling down the Blues with the experienced skiers. Something for everyone and we all had a great time!
After a fabulous week in the mountains learning to ski, we headed back to Salt Lake City for our last night in Utah. Of course, we had a little Apres Ski. (I excel in this area)
It was an amazing week. They say Utah has the ‘Greatest Snow On Earth’ I’ve got to say I agree. We’re already making plans for a spring ski trip!!