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Utah Travel Headlines

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Utah's Dry Powder Wins Accolades From International Skiers

John Henwood, writing for ski-i.com, has great things to say about the dry powder at Utah's ski resorts. He skied Canyons Resort near Park City and came away impressed.

He was a little put off by Utah's liquor laws, but said he'll return anyway because the snow is so good. Read his report here. Below are excerpts.

We’d skied British Colombia, California, Colorado, Montana and Wyoming, but there was a Utah-shaped gap in our North American skiing CV, which we thought we should put right. Deer Valley looked an appealing base particularly as it’s a ‘no boarders’ resort, but we listened to advice that Canyons might suit us better.

After a monster snow year in 2010-11 the locals were whingeing a bit about poor falls this season, but clearly they had never experienced a bad snow year in Europe. They’ve had an aggregate of 150 inches this season and mid-mountain depth was around 57 inches during our February trip – more than enough to keep all but the most curmudgeonly happy, and they look after it so well.

There are long – some very long – cruising blue runs, plenty of greens for the less ambitious and, at the other end of the scale, some double-blacks that call for max concentration. In this latter category Fear Gully is particularly well named. My main criticism is that the trails are not particularly well or consistently marked and some are not quite where they appear on the resort’s trail map.

To sum up Canyons, it can be as steep and challenging as Jackson Hole, but at the same time the long cruising runs are almost in the Big Sky league. The nursery slopes are as good as you’ll find anywhere.

Considering how much of Utah’s economy is tourism based it remains remarkably po-faced about the consumption of alcohol and perhaps it’s time some enterprising state politician proposed change.

It won’t stop me from skiing Utah again, but next time I’ll make sure I don’t arrive on the Saturday of a holiday weekend after the shops have closed.

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