Rather than towing this guy’s van, Solitude’s parking crew made their point loud and clear! Hope it washes off.
Rather than towing this guy’s van, Solitude’s parking crew made their point loud and clear! Hope it washes off.
I almost turned around this morning and went home…almost. Did one of the biggest dumps of the year really have to happen on a Friday night? This morning rolled around to massive snow outside and massive lines of people who wanted up the canyon to partake of the white goods. I live at the bottom of Little Cottonwood Canyon and knew that the line would probably be backed up to 2300 East. I headed out of my neighborhood and headed west to Highland. Wasatch was going to be a zoo and I didn’t want to get stuck in LCC’s traffic. Both canyons were closed until 9:00 so that UDOT could take care of business. All this snow means high avalanche danger and if you live around here you know what that means for our canyons…especially LCC. I cruised up Bengal and emerged onto Wasatch missing the backup on 9400 South. I couldn’t believe what I saw. President’s Weekend was last week…WTH! Cars as far as the eye could see. People were partying on Wasatch and the only thing moving was the flashing lights of the police as they cruised past to take care of whatever business was at hand. Turn around I thought? I looked at my boys in the back who would probably be just as happy playing the WII all day. I was the one super stoked to get out of the house this morning…not them. I thought of all things I could accomplish on a Saturday off of skiing but, the assured knowledge of soft, fluffy, waist deep powder kept me on the straight and narrow. Slowly, we began moving and as I finally turned up Big Cottonwood Canyon I knew I was committed, no matter what! Skiers were swarming over the bus stop and the sides of the road trying to hitch up the canyon…probably because the ever present cops were turning back anyone without 4 wheel drive. As soon as my trusty Volvo was waived passed by the unhappy copper, I was shocked to find that the road cleared right up and I thankfully cruised up the canyon without any further delays.
Thank the man above I stuck with my desire for powder because it was beyond sweet. Yeah, there were probably a lot of people cruising around Solitude but, Noah, Tristan and I didn’t notice them as we ripped our first run through Eagle Gate. Isaac had happily disappeared with his DEVO class and I let Noah miss his race to shred the pow pow. We also picked up one of his fellow DEVO buddies who decided he would rather free ski than wait around to find out what his results were from his race.
The snow was deep and light and blew up around us as we bounced down untracked run after untracked run. When you are 8 and 9 respectively, 20 inched of freshies (which were still piling up) takes on a whole new meaning. Tristan and Noah were whooping and yelling as they followed me off rock bands and through drooping pines bent with the weight of the newly fallen snow. Breathing powder doesn’t happen every day and when you are sucking up the famous dry stuff that skier dreams are made of, you have to be grateful that you live in a state that claims “The Greatest Snow on Earth!”
There was a slight hiccup in our perfect day when little Tristan lost his ski on Evergreen. After a few minutes of searching, I became unhappily aware that we could be there for awhile. Of course, Tristan was trying to make it back to hear the results of his race when he rolled in a deep snow drift and lost his rockers (literally). It wasn’t like he could just ski out of the rock band which lay below us with one ski and I definitely didn’t want to return someone else’s kid without a ski so, 2 hours later, a few tears, frozen fingers (Noah…not me…I was sweating you know what), prayers…and cuss words (I won’t lie), the mini Rossi finally was found…thank you kind stranger!
Missing the awards ceremony by a good hour and a half, we finally cruised into Moonbeam to warm up. The day started off crazy, had some epic moments in between along with ahemmm…hiccup….but ultimately, I wouldn’t have traded the d*m* lost ski for missing the goods to sit at home. So glad I didn’t turn the car around when I really, truly wanted to.
Oh, and did I forget to mention that Tristan won the GOLD in his race!!! He WON and didn’t get to hear them call his name. Oh well, hopefully, his mom will forgive me and let him come rip it up again sometime soon!
Congrats Tristan G.!
Well, while the war rages on my Facebook page and the folks at home have nothing better to do than throw spitballs at each other, I decided to take my eight year old Noah OUT TO HONEYCOMB!
Ahhh…The sun is shining, the winds are calm and for the moment, spring is in the air. This is Utah so I know not to get too used to the sunshine as the weather here is some of the wackiest. Snow will head in and the temperatures will drop (which we really want to happen anyway) and hand warmers will once again be all the rage. But, for now it’s nice to don the spring gloves and light layers and soak up some sunshine! After a week of real estate classes (my license expires this month), writing, kids and everything else that goes along with being a mom, I felt like I just wanted to burn off some calories and get some much needed exercise. Sometimes, skiing is just not much of a workout when you do it so much. You got to mix it up a little so after dropping the extra baggage (kidlets) off at DEVO, I decided it was the perfect morning to escape out of the gates for a little action.
Picking up another DEVO dad (don’t worry, he is married), for a little company and also as a safety measure, we headed over to Summit Lift. The sun baked, east facing slopes out of the Powderhorn gate made my lust for soft pow even greater and I began to get excited for the line that was going to make my day perfect. It has been a few days since the last pummel of fresh snow and with the warmer temps and skier laden canyons I knew that where I was headed may just be one of the last untouched stashes left in either canyon without a major hike to wear me out. DEVO Dad, who had never been out to my little secret stash was eager to learn a bit more about the mountain which he regularly skis with his family.
DD could definitely hang when it came to traversing and side stepping so we made our way out to the “stash” fairly quickly. As we traversed along the north facing slope of Honeycomb and made our way over chunks of avi debris (man made) and set up, crunchy snow my DEVO dad wasn’t 100 percent sure that soft as feather powder was waiting for him around the next bend. I was promising a sick line, deep powder and the Holy Grail of Solitude so, I knew I couldn’t disappoint. I have skied this line weeks after a dump and it always perfection so, I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.
As we traversed around the corned into the coolness of the pines and aspens, the snow went from wind packed to sugar as it began to softly blow about our skis as we pushed along the trail. Emerging into the narrow opening that was to be our run with the beautiful empty canyon smiling at us from far below our mouths broke into grins. Taking a moment to let our hearts stop racing from the super fast trek and tighten our boots down only made our anticipation greater. DD couldn’t believe what he was seeing and both of us couldn’t wait for the ensuing moments. “You ready to hit it” I said. “Let’s go” came the reply.
The world disappeared with each turn and I became lost in the beauty of the mountains, the steady rhythm of my turns and the soft snow which gave way to each flawless carve as I made my way down the perfectly pitched slope. At the top, the pines which were ideally spaced beckoned me to cruise in and out and I did so with ease. The stillness and peacefulness of the moment seemed only broken by my own breathing and the random holler of joy that erupted from somewhere behind me every so often. The trees gave way to fun little rollers and gullies which just asked to be hopped over and carved up. After popping over the last big roller with a giggle erupting from somewhere within, I finally came to a stop and looked upwards. Seconds later, DEVO Dad cruised over the last steep pitch with a grin as wide as the canyon. “That was so awesome!” he said. He couldn’t believe that such perfect snow could be found at Solitude (on such a warm day with the last snowfall a week earlier). “It is so beautiful, the line, the pitch, the rollers, the snow…” I smiled to myself. It is a perfect run and no matter when I take the time to hike out, it never disappoints. Maybe the last little bit of road that you have to return on dampens the joy…but just a tiny bit…not enough to stop me from heading back out for round two!
We were back at Eagle express in under 30 minutes and it seemed so surreal that we had just gone from that to this. The moment had passed and as we settled onto the lift I glanced over and saw the twinkle in DEVO Dad’s eyes. I am most certain he was looking forward to the next time he would make the trek out…perhaps to share the pure perfection of this run with another unknowing friend. Or, perhaps he may just keep this little bit of new information to himself so, he can be certain that the next time (and I know there will be a next time) he is out there that it is still just as pristine and untouched as his very first line.
Oh, did I forget to mention the name of my favorite run in the Wasatch? Well, I guess I did and I think I will just leave it unnamed. You may already know where I am talking about or you may be able to figure it out from my description but if you don’t and you are really dying to know, you will just have to find this year’s resort issue of SKI magazine. I took so much heat from my mentioning this particular run in SKI that I promised I would NEVER EVER do it again. Besides, part of what makes this run so special is that it’s…well…EMPTY!
High above the hustle and bustle of the Salt Lake Valley, unassumingly tucked away in The Inn at Solitude, can be found the Solitude Mountain Spa.
Solitude’s spectacular peaks and snow drenched slopes are some of Utah’s finest creations. This quiet, peaceful and unpretentious resort entices visitors from all over to come and experience the famous Wasatch snow and exciting terrain in a friendly, low-key environment. Solitude, for the most part, is considered a day use area with many visitors coming up from the valley. This is a result of most skiers and boarders who park in the lower lot and give little thought to the quaint Bavaria
nesque village which is situated at the base of the Apex Lift. Many unknowingly pass the village by with little more than a glance at the clock tower as it strikes the passing hours. If you take the time to step onto the cobbled paths which meander through the picturesque village you will find that Solitude has more to offer than just the Moonbeam Lodge and incredible skiing. Restaurants, shops and cozy European lodging will take you back to yesteryear when life was simpler and the pace of every day life was just a little slower.
The Solitude Mountain Spa encompasses this notion of peace and relaxation and although, you will find that this is not a 5 star spa with glitzy amenities abounding, you will discover that it does deliver 5 star quality, service and a friendly, cozy atmosphere without the cost of larger more decadent spas.
Owned by Solitude Mountain Resort and managed by the incredibly knowledgeable and talented Suzanne Hawk the spa offers a fantastic selection of treatments, facials, massages and packages as well as the opportunity to create your own package perfectly suited to you. Suzanne and her staff of experienced estheticians and massage therapists are trained to know exactly how to treat and relieve ski specific soreness and fatigue as well as restoring and pampering the skin with treatments designed for clients who spend their time out of doors in the sun and elements. Whether your idea of relaxation is a 20 minute escape from the kids at lunch or 5 hours of pampering with your favorite friends, The Solitude Mountain Spa has something for everyone.
Only 20 minutes from Salt Lake means that it’s not just the tourists who should take advantage of this little sanctuary nestled modestly in the natural, alpine setting of the Wasatch but, locals as well should take advantage of the opportunity to detox the mind and relax the body in the most perfect of locations. Grab a friend and head up the canyon for a facial and warm, blissful stone massage or just come up for a custom pedicure sure to beat the quick ones found in the city.
With Valentine’s just around the corner, The Solitude Mountain Resort as well as the Spa is the ideal location for a romantic getaway. If you don’t have time for an overnight stay just come up for a massage for two and a romantic dinner at St. Bernards. Solitude is the ultimate surprise for your Valentine and Solitude has made it easy with a custom Valentine’s package designed just for you!
Solitude’s Sweetheart Deal can be found at this link:
For more information on the Solitude Mountain Spa check out www.skisolitude.com. You will be able to find all of the services offered as well as any specials that may be available.