Stairway to Heaven
Fantasy Ridge is OPEN!! That is what I read today while I sat in the Fire station wishing I was on that ascent to the top of the ridge. I honestly can’t think of a more exhilarating hike at any resort in the Wasatch. The route starts at a decent degree of slope and keeps on demanding fitness as you gain elevation rather quickly. Soon you are looking left and right and realize that the precipitous drop to oblivion is within several feet on each side of you. I’m sure the boy’s in Red setting the trail and dropping bombs got their heart rate pumping on this climb. The views are incredible. When overlooking Honeycomb Canyon to the right and looking over Twin Lakes to the left you realize you are somewhere special. Only the sound of your heart pounding and your lungs heaving breaks the silence as you contemplate the route down. The options are endless and it is a difficult decision sometimes on where to drop in. You have easy entries into epic powder and some rather technical intro’s that may require a mandatory air somewhere down the line. Fantasy Ridge always offers a memorable run for skiers with the ability and desire to ski one of the most classic slopes around. Only at Solitude.
It has been about a year since I jumped on a hardboot carving snowboard with my buddy Mark. He has 36 days and counting on the mountain already and is looking forward to alot more. I re-discovered how fun it is to jump on this snowboard whose width is almost as narrow as some of the powder skiis out there these days. You stand with both of your feet facing the same direction at an angle and off you go. It is a completely different technique than regular snowboarding but when you get the hang of it there is now better way to carve some trenches on Solitudes groomed slopes. The wildest ride is when you literally get on edge and nearly make a 360 degree circle. I bow out around 260 or so but with some practice and speed I’m gonna make it some day. I have to say that it still amazes me that a 30 minute ride will get you up here to enjoy a world class ski mountain that feels like a private resort. We met a guy from Virginia who was raving aout how awesome the snow was. With the couple of inches that keep falling every couple of days the snow is soft and carve -able so you don’t wash out very easily. Not only is C is for Carving it also is for commitment. When you get on edge on these carving boards you are on the “rails” and it requires you to commit to your line and you are rewarded with a sweet arc that feels awesome when done right. The moderate slopes seem to suit it best allowing you to “lay it down” a little bit as you hover over the snow. That is where the commitment part is definetly required. At the end of an awesome carving session I would have to say S is for Solitude…….Get up here for President’s Day weekend the forecast looks great for some great skiing and maybe even a Sun Tan!
On any given Sunday you can find a great skiing experience as Solitude. What you will find on the weekends is lot’s of families enjoying the great terrain and facilities on the mountain. It was great hitting the slopes with “Oma” and Aunt Becky who make it a routine of spending the weekend skiing at the resort. My 10 year old Ariel was busy showing off and scaring her Grandma as she ducked in and out of the trees just off moonbeam. It reminded me of when I was a kid where we would find the “deer trail” off of the Sunrise lift. As a small kid it was easy to snake your way through the trees while as an adult it requires a little more attention. The sun was shining and we were soaking up the “resort”. Skiers were enjoying the weather hanging out on the deck above the moon beam center while others were busy enjoying their lunch break inside. It still boggles my mind that even with a full parking lot there was no waiting in lines for the lifts. We enjoyed the freedom of skiing the mountain free of the crowds that plague other resorts on the weekends. I usually rave about the advanced skiing on the mountain on Solitudes phenomenal powder days but I can honestly say I am very impressed by the immaculate grooming Solitude provides to it’s skiers. Another great reason why people choose Solitude when they take the family skiing. As another “resort” day concluded I know where I am going to be on any given Sunday. Solitude