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DAY TWO — Twenty inches!
“I liked learning here because there is everything from beginners to advanced but it’s not too big so you don’t get lost,” said 11-year-old Emma Morgan, who now skis on a racing team here and whose Mom Laurie, a ski instructor, was showing me the mountain today.
But for Emma, like everyone else here, it is all about the powder. (Ski Utah does a daily snow report for all 14 resorts.) I met guys on the gondola who drove over from Park City just to ski the waist-deep powder. For Emma, it was the best powder day of her life. For her mom, it was the best of the season.
“When my kids were little, there was always plenty of easy terrain and a beautiful lodge to go inside for hot chocolate,” said Laurie Morgan. That Lodge, of course was built for the 2002 Olympics and it is beautiful.
Snowbasin, which is owned by Sun Valley, doesn’t have any on-mountain lodging. People either stay nearby in Ogden or in Salt Lake City. Another plus: lift tickets are 20 per cent less than at Park City Resorts. And everyone is so nice! I found that out first hand when I skied right off a trail—trying to avoid a child—and landed in powder up to my chest. It took a ski patroller and two instructors to pull me out—our legs kept sinking down and getting stuck!
“What kind of adventure do you ant to have today?” Laurie Morgan had asked me when we met up in the morning. I wasn’t planning to get stuck in the powder.
Truth be told, it was only my second morning on skis this season, it was dumping snow and I wasn’t feeling too confident. But two runs later from the top of the mountain—I loved that the gondola kept us warm—I was smiling— and still smiling after I got pulled out from where I’d fallen off the trail.
I like that the kids’ ski school is relatively small (there is also day care starting at six months and that Terrie Hanrahan, who supervises the children’s ski school , has 33 years of experience. Group kids’ lessons start at age four but a parent can get a private lesson for a three year old.
There’s plenty to ski here—2,830 acres with a vertical drop of 2,915 feet, 11 ski lifts, 104 ski runs, 4 terrain parks and a tubing hill. Did I mention this resort gets 300 inches of snow a year? Did I mention the mountain –even on this spectacular powder day—wasn’t crowded?
Snowbasin, I learn, is famous for its bowls, glade runs and powder stashes. For 11-year-old Emma Morgan, that meant “The Griz”—the Grizzly Downhill.
We leave Snowbasin after skiing to try another adventure—indoor skydiving at I Fly Utah where there is also a flow rider, climbing walls and Gold’s Gym—all part of the Salomon Center and a revitalized downtown Ogden that includes a quaint downtown packed with restaurants—all started when one couple decided to open Roosters, a restaurant and microbrewery in what was a derelict neighborhood.
It certainly Isn’t that anymore.
As I eat dinner, I think about all the unplanned adventures I’d had today–Fresh Tracks after a snow cat groomed the Snowbasin run following the epic snow, laughing with instructors and ski patrollers who helped me get out of the waist-deep snow that I’d tumbled into off-piste and lastly, and discovering Ogden, a town I’d never before visited.
I passed on the indoor sky diving. There are only so many adventures you can have in in one day.