This year the snow is terrific out West in Utah. Already most of my Facebook friends that ski or board are posting from the chairlift. After twelve years in Utah I find myself skiing in the Appalachians. There are no grey rocky ridges, fewer acres to choose from and many stumps still showing on the hills. The hospitality is great though! If you tell someone you've been skiing out West for a few years, all of a sudden you appear to be a Western Ski Guru. In some ways, I guess I am and am feeling fortunate. I've skied with some of the best skiers west of the Plains in places like Brighton, Snobird, Park City, Canyonlands, Solitude and Snowbasin. Once in January we spent a night at the Holiday Inn off 9th East and 9th South and I recall sitting in the hot tub with several skiers from Chicago. It was unimaginable that Salt Lake City was warmer and more appealing. Though apparently it is. The sun is relentless, the weather is dry and the powder is dry and refreshing. If you land in a pile of powder out West, the snow does not stick to you or your clothes. It is dry and fluffs off easily. The other day I found myself in a Goodwill store frantically searching for a jacket to wear as I was invited to ski at a local resort. Somehow though grace I was able to find something that looked 'pro' enough to be taken seriously. I was introduced to a lineage of newbie instructors who seemed to be somewhat enthralled with my presence. I was very happy to be taken on board for a day at least. The rest of my fate is to be announced soon enough. The snow is fine and it was 55 degrees and sunny so it was a very beautiful experience. My skiing skills seemed to stay with me and I was able to make it through the day with the director of the slopes and the director of the school. One of the cool facts about skiing in Utah is that the city bus can take you to Snobird. The city bus can take you to the ParknRide as well which will take you to a variety of resorts. Unlike Utah, Virginia has its share of vineyards and breweries. There are commercial vineyards along the Blueridge highway. There's a fair share of breweries as hops grow well in Virginia. There are pubs in Park City, but few are on the road and there are no vineyards. Alcohol is not necessarily a way of life in Utah, where it is in Virginia. Utah still shines above though as it's mountains can't be beat. Utah has the 'greatest snow on earth'.
December 21, 2013