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Friday, October 24, 2008

Park City Snowshoe, Dine, Ski...

The Park City area offers more than just great downhill skiing. Sir Harold Evans wrote this interesting article for Conde Nast Traveler. He describes snowshoeing to a remote yurt for a gourmet dinner before buckling on the skies.

Here are excerpts.

The yurt is limited to 32 at tables for 6 and 8. All the water and food has to be hauled in during the day by snowmobile, but it seems only natural that there is a baby grand and a pianist. Accustomed to magic by now, one takes it for granted that the meal prepared on the spot by chef Adam Findlay is original, quite first-class, and gracefully served...

There is another service on offer, going back, they say, to the 1800s. It is called ski-dating, which means a man and his fancy head into the snow strapped to the same pair of Nordic skis by fore and aft bindings. If a couple take a tumble in the snow, it is hard to disentangle and get up again, which may be a tactical advantage...

Having taken up the sport (skiing) in midlife, I had then co-written a best-selling instructional book about skiing and co-produced six ski films for television, employing the stuntman from the James Bond movies; as the years rolled by, it is entirely possible I muddled up our roles. I should have kept my mouth shut. After a couple of ski weekends with their schools, my children nagged me to lead them to speed down exciting mountains, and my reluctance mounted, not out of modesty but out of shame. Once I entered my seventies, I discovered on a solo trip to Aspen that I was not quite the limber, youthful daredevil of my stories...

I nursed one comforting bit of knowledge—that the snow in this part of the West is the alchemy of dream. Having lost much of the heavy moisture farther west, and been dried out by the deserts of Nevada and western Utah, weather systems produce snowfalls, at higher elevations, made up of stellar dendrites, light crystalline snowflakes. There is a world of difference between floating downhill in this kind of powder and fighting your way through treacherous—and humbling—surfaces of crud, porridge, or slush...

Read the entire article.


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