Things are looking grim in the Wasatch for skiers right now, as we’re nearing the end of the first week of December and the primary color in the mountains is… brown. Sure, most ski resorts in Utah are open, and that’s great if you’re okay with ripping it up on thin ribbons of man-made ice. But for us powder hounds, the dry conditions are equal to being blindfolded in a strip club.
For years, I’ve worn either a fleece or softshell jacket during the winter months… and froze my ass off. Sick of being cold, I finally got wise and got an insulated jacket. After wearing The North Face Redpoint Jacket for a season, I wondered why I never put down the coin for a decent, warm coat before. My eyes were opened and The North Face Redpoint became my go-to jacket for pretty much everything, while the fleece languished in the closet.
As an outdoor junkie, the latest in technical gear is pretty much all I want for Christmas (at least as far as gifts are concerned.) I’m always happy to receive an REI gift card so I can go out and buy my holiday outdoor present, but sometimes it is nice to daydream about getting some of the more expensive stuff that’s out there. So here is my pie-in-the-sky Christmas wish list for 2009 that may give you some gift ideas for your own outdoor junkie.
There are very few opportunities to ski for $15 at Utah resorts, and there aren’t many options for people who want to ski for a good cause. But Brighton has come up with a way to combine the two into a sweet way to ski cheap and help out Utah charities at the same time.
As a skier who enjoys riding both in the backcountry and at resorts, I have mixed feelings when stories are told of resorts trying to expand their acreage by overtaking pristine mountain landscapes. On one hand, I think it would be awesome to have new in-bounds terrain to explore. On the other hand, I’d hate to see lift towers and crowds swarming what was once a favorite area for backcountry enthusiasts.
Alta has closed itself to all uphill traffic, which can only mean one thing: they’re preparing the mountain for downhill traffic. In fact, Alta has announced that they will be opening on Wednesday, November 25, thanks to Sunday night’s storm that brought colder temperatures and dropped 10 inches of snow on the Wasatch.
Finding ways to ski for less at Utah resorts can be a challenge. There are local discounts out there, such as Utah resident special prices at Deer Valley, or the Cherry Picker Pass at The Canyons. But unfortunately, Utah doesn’t have the kind of love-for-locals that Colorado skiers get. Over there, Coloradoans can get a season pass to three resorts (Arapahoe Basin, Keystone and Breckenridge) for only $399. Those of us living in Utah have to scrounge for deals.