The Canyons


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Ali and I spent last week in Utah. We stayed at the Sundial Lodge in The Canyons Resort area. We originally intended to ski at other areas like Deer Valley, but we ended up doing all of our skiing at The Canyons.

The first day was a little scary, while we explored the mountain we found a decent number of trails closed, along with typical spring conditions. It had been in the sixties over the weekend and it was around fifty on the mountain that day. At one point, we ventured up the Ninety-Nine 90 lift which took us to the highest peak on the mountain. I missed the sign that said, “Expert only, no easy way down!” and so I wasn’t concerned until we were standing at the top of a bumped up double black diamond trail. This wouldn’t have been so bad, but we hadn’t done any bump skiing yet, and so I wasn’t ready to tackle that. On top of everything, I forgot the camera, and the vista from Ninety-nine 90 was amazing — this meant we’d have to come back.

After exploring the mountain, I was worried it wasn’t going to be the best ski vacation. Fortunately, weather predictions for the rest of the week had the weather turning colder; also there was talk of a big snow storm coming. They were calling for 18-24 inches.

Tuesday we were holding our collective breathes and waiting for the snow storm. We found a few really good trails, all of them bumped up and most of them pretty darn steep. We stayed on them almost all day. The snow was in great shape and the trails we skied on were a blast.

That night we went to the Wasatch Brew Pub for dinner. We ate there for dinner many years ago and remembered having a good meal, so we were looking forward to it. I enjoyed my dinner, but Ali’s, while tasting good, didn’t agree with her (ironically it was the salmon, the salmon moose). I think she had a mild case of food poisoning; fortunately the Grim Reaper did not come to collect her. We ended up skipping skiing on Wednesday to give her time to recuperate. Late Wednesday afternoon we went to Kimball Junction and saw the movie Breach.

By Thursday it was apparent the snow storm wasn’t going to materialize as predicted. I think we ended up getting 6-12 inches over the course of two days. It definitely helped, but it wasn’t the dumping we had hoped for.

We did more bump skiing that morning. We were hoping we’d get a break in the clouds so that we could get some shots from the top of Ninety-nine 90. Just before noon the weather broke and the sun came out. We hurried up to the top of Ninety-nine 90. While Ali took pictures from one side of the lift, I climbed up the other side to see if I could convince myself to go down the harder/steeper part of 94 Turns. As I was standing there, a group of people were heading into the back country. I really wanted to ski in the back country, but it was recommended you travel with a partner, beacon, shovel, etc. and I didn’t have any of the gear for that adventure. For that matter, I don’t even know if I have what it takes to get myself to make that first turn on terrain like that, but I hope to find out one day. What I can tell you is that I did do the hard/steep part of 94 Turns, and it was L-E-G-E-N-D-A-R-Y.

Neither Ali nor I are great bump skiers, but we really enjoy it. The downside is it really takes a toll on our legs, and by the end of Thursday our legs were completely shot. I wasn’t sure I was going to have anything left for Friday.

As it turns out, I didn’t have anything left for Friday. It turned out to be our shortest ski day. We tried some new terrain I had spotted the day before; it was gladded terrain off of the Saddleback Express lift. We ended up spending the bulk of our day there, and it was a great way to finish out the week.

Here are the trails we skied and here is the trail map

Monday Tuesday Thursday Friday
Chicane Saddleback Express (lift) Saddleback Express (lift) Saddleback Express (lift)
Tombstone Express (lift) Kokopelli Kokopelli Kokopelli
Another World Pine Draw Pine Draw Pine Draw
South Fork Mainline Mainline Mainline
The Drop Shortcut (lift) Shortcut (lift) Saddleback Express (lift)
Tombstone Express (lift) Grizzly Super Fury Ecstasy
Another World Zap Sun Peak Express (lift) Mainline
Ripsaw Sun Peak Express (lift) Eclipse Saddleback Express (lift)
Peak 5 (lift) Eclipse Sun Peak Express (lift) Gallery
Upper Crowning Glory Sun Peak Express (lift) Mainline Mainline
Royal Massacre Chicane Saddleback Express (lift)
Serenity Alley Tombstone Express (lift) Shadows
Harmony Spider Monkey Another World Mainline
Tombstone Express (lift) Sun Peak Express (lift) South Fork Saddleback Express (lift)
Another World Mainline The Drop Elk Ridge
Ripsaw Shortcut (lift) Tombstone Express (lift) The Meadows
Ninety-Nine 90 (lift) Super Fury Another World Saddleback Express (lift)
94 Turns Sun Peak Express (lift) Ripsaw The Pines
Talis Garden Mainline Peak 5 (lift) Mainline
Peak 5 (lift) Shortcut (lift) Upper Crowning Glory Shortcut (lift)
Upper Crowning Glory Super Fury Middle Crowning Glory G Force
Middle Crowning Glory Sun Peak Express (lift) Power Alley Sun Peak Express (lift)
Harmony Eclipse Peak 5 (lift) Mainline
Dreamscape (lift) Massacre Mystic Pines  
Deja Vu EZ Street Ninety-nine 90 Express (lift)  
Panorama Eclipse 94 Turns (hard part)  
Dreamscape (lift) Sun Peak Express (lift) Talis Garden  
Snow Meadow Massacre Peak 5 (lift)  
Panorama EZ Street Upper Crowning Glory  
Dreamscape (lift) Eclipse Royal  
Panorama Sun Peak Express (lift) Harmony  
Dreamscape (lift) Mainline Dreamscape (lift)  
Twilight Shortcut (lift) Deja Vu  
Harmony G Force Daybreak (lift)  
Tombstone Express (lift) Zap Dawn  
Sidewinder Sun Peak Express (lift) Harmony  
Saddleback Express (lift) Mainline Tombstone Express (lift)  
Snow Dancer Shortcut (lift) Sidewinder  
Saddleback Express (lift) G Force Saddleback Express (lift)  
Kokopelli Zap Kokopelli  
Pine Draw Sun Peak Express (lift) Pine Draw  
Mainline Mainline Mainline  
Shortcut (lift) Shortcut (lift) Shortcut (lift)  
Doc’s Run Doc’s Run Doc’s Run  
The Drain The Drain The Drain  
Doc’s Run Doc’s Run Doc’s Run  

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