Fall is upon us here in Park City, Utah. We’re in the middle of “first winter” — where it snows early and those new to the area freak out. It is followed by “second fall” where the snow melts fast and it feels like fall again. Followed by “second winter” which last until March. We got a wet, heavy snow a few weeks back that resulted in a tree from my property falling on my neighbors house. That was fun. The snow has since melted and mother nature has been recently toying with some more snow but it’s not really sticking.
Last year was fantastic season on the mountain for the family. I was able to get 36 days on the mountain, almost entirely at Park City Mountain. I’d normally be happy with 10-15 ski days when I was living in California or New York/Connecticut. We only committed to the EPIC pass last year. It was hard not to want to keep hitting the largest mountain in the United States and the second largest ski resort in North America behind Whistler Blackcomb. Park City Mountain is gigantic. The terrain is super cool. We were exploring new trails all winter long. Brooklyn got more than 45 days on the mountain! She’s been really enjoying learning the all-mountain terrain with Park City Ski & Snowboard (PCSS) where they did their lessons at Utah Olympic Park.
This year we are approaching things slightly different — the family got the EPIC & IKON base passes this year and we’re hoping to hit a wider variety of mountains. The local, blackout and kids versions of the passes are solid discounts over normal adult pricing so it’s not as bad as it sounds. And we tend not to go to the mountain when it’s super packed anyway. It pays to be a local. The EPIC and IKON passes provide solid coverage across most of the best mountains around this area. Some folks in Park City can get super crazy — they get the EPIC and a dedicated mountain pass where they get the IKON pass as an add on. For example, EPIC plus Deer Valley Season Pass and then add on the IKON. That would be for the true Deer Valley lover. For those coming to visit, I highly recommend evaluating the various cross mountain passes because the day passes are outrageously priced. Hit a week in Utah plus your local mountain and your pass is paid off.
Mountain Collective, Yeti Pass, Reciprocal Pass and the Indy Pass are the other multi mountain ski passes with coverage in Utah. All are unique with they pros and cons.
|Resort||Opening (estimated)||Distance From Home||Ski Pass|
|Alta Ski Area [map]||11/20/2021||33.6 miles||IKON, Mountain Collective|
|Beaver Mountain [map]||TBD||134 miles||Indy Pass|
|Brighton Resort [map]||11/20/2021||36.4 miles||IKON|
|Deer Valley Resort [map]||12/4/2021||12 miles||IKON|
|Park City Mountain [map]||11/19/2021||10.2 miles||EPIC|
|Park City Mountain (Canyons)||11/19/2021||7.5 miles||EPIC|
|Powder Mountain [map]||TBD||76.4 miles||Indy Pass|
|Snow Basin Resort [map]||11/24/2021||61.4 miles||EPIC|
|Snowbird [map]||12/1/2021||32.5 miles||IKON, Mountain Collective|
|Solitude [map]||11/19/2021||34.5 miles||IKON|
|Sundance Resort [map]||12/10/2021||41.2 miles|
|Woodward Park City [map]||11/19/2021||2.4 miles|
It will be interesting to see what happens with COVID this coming ski season. EPIC Pass run by Vail Resorts published this in terms of COVID restrictions for the 2021-22 season. The two most notable items is no reservation system and masked only required indoors. I’m excited not having to worry about reservations and not wearing a masks outside.
In terms of gear, last year I upgraded my 20+ year old battle skis to entirely new gear — Salomon QST 92 and Salomon S/PRO 100‘s. Huge upgrade from my old Solomon Pilots that were so old that they little “shock absorbers” were leaking. Haha. The new skis are shorter and wider on foot and a modern day design compared to my old skis. The QST 92’s have decent float on powder but I might look out for a wider powder ski later down the line. For now, these are a great all mountain skis.
Finally, I just wanted to pay my respects to “the Farmer” who was a staple at Alta. I didn’t know him at all but appreciated his passion for the basics joys in life.
Here’s to a great 2021-22 ski season! #prayForSnow