Park City Ski Trip
Snowbird - The Canyons - Deer Valley
Whole Foods - Moochies - Red Iguana
 Wednesday March 26th - Sunday March 30th 2014

Click each picture to make it bigger, then back to return here.

Overview - My 50th birthday celebration, and what better way to spend it than skiing.  

Here I am blasting off from FLL flying to DEN.    Look at the 4th picture, that's the longest runway in the US. 

This is where I stayed for 4 nights, the Laquinta Salt Lake City Airport.
They have free breakfast and a shuttle that takes people back and forth to the airport.    This allowed me to return my rental car early and save some money.     Despite what you might think, there was no noise being so close to the airport.   I requested and received a 4th floor room facing the airport.   The view wasn't much, I could see the planes taking off and landing, but they were far away.    I heard a train off in the distance more than the jets.    This location is great, easy access to the expressway, clean hotel, and you can return the rental car early using the shuttle.  


The rooms have a fridge.    Pictures 3 and 4 is the breakfast area.    Each morning, I ate an orange, with yogurt, and took an apple to eat on the ski slopes.     They also cleaned the AC units while I was there.   Picture 5 is the letter they gave to the guests.    The crew started on the 4th floor, taking each unit out of the room.   They took them to the parking lot and pressure cleaned them with water.   

Here I am driving to the ski shop.    I rented from the same place I have each trip, Canyon Sports.
The reviews on Yelp had been bad, so I expressed my concerns and they made sure my bindings were set correctly.    I rented standard Rossignol 160, they were ok, but I switched them out for a wider ski, Rossignol Phantom 80 in a length of 165.    These skis were much better and follow a trend of people using a wider ski that can handle powder better.

After picking up my skis, I headed to Whole Foods for dinner.   SLC has 2 Whole Food locations, one near downtown, and one near the expressway.   I ate at both locations and each is great.  How does it work, grab a plate, fill it with salad, weigh, and pay at the register.   They know how much the plate weighs, so you don't pay for that.    

Above are pictures of the bus stop that takes skiers to Snowbird/Alta.   The 951 arrives the Hampton Inn at 07:53am and the cost is $4.50 each way, exact change required.     The bus makes a few more stops in downtown SLC before heading out to the ski resorts.     The return bus picks up from Alta at 03:36pm, and SnowBird at 03:52pm.   In some cases, the bus is the only way to reach Snowbird/Alta, becuase snow tires are required. 

Day 2 - Here I am at Snowbird on Thursday March 27th.   Powder anyone?    Snowbird got dumped on, it was cold, and snowing the entire time.   The Mineral Basin bowl was closed to intermediate skiers because of poor visibility.   They closed the blue and green runs, and put signs up saying experts only.   I wanted to take the tunnel to the other side, but this wasn't meant to be.


More pictures of the runs at Snowbird.   I took the tram to the top, and came down a blue square trail called Chips Run.  

For lunch, I had a veggie pizza from Tram Car Pizza (called the Silver Fox), located in the main plaza on level 2.   The pizza was awesome and they have great reviews on Trip Advisor.     Then I had a Mean Green Juice from a juice bar next door.    I told them exactly how to make it and they delivered.  Mean Green Juice is made of Kale, Cucumber, Celery, Apples, Lemon, and Ginger.

Here I am, back at Moochie's.    Could I eat anything here since I started eating healthy?   The answer is yes, an eggplant sub and onion rings.   Ok, maybe not the most healthy dinner compared to Whole Foods, but I can't pass this place up.  In picture 4 you can see the Jumping Jalepeno sauce, I put a ton of this on my sandwich and rings.    I ate half the sub and took half back to the room for later.

Day 3 - Friday March 28th.   Here I am at The Canyons.   A transporter takes people from the parking lot to the main village.

To start the day, I took a trail called Chicane to the Timberline and Iron Mountain Express lifts.   These take skiers to the far left side of the map.   No one was here early in the morning, most beginners stay in the middle area.

I continued making my way back to the middle of the resort, taking trails such as Pinecone to Panorama to Elk Dance to Harmony.

Here's one of my favorite runs, called Red Pine Road.   To reach this trail, take the TombStone Express lift to the top, head to the left, and the trail is the first on the right.    This trail is great because you ski through trees, yet you are still on an open trail.


Here I am at the top of the Saddle Back Express lift.   Great views from up here.    

Here's a few pictures of the Kokipelli run which leads to Echo and Flume.   I basically made my way from the left side of the map, to the right.  

Here's a shot of the Boa trail and a couple pictures of the resort area.   People would rest on beach chairs, listening to the music, and hanging out.    In the last 2 pictures are a double black trail called  High Peak where skiers had to hike up the mountain, you can see them in the far left side of the pictures.   It is much steeper when you see it in person.      No, I didn't ski this trail, I stayed on the blue square Boa trail and made it down the mountain in one piece.  

Day 4 - Saturday March 29th.   Here I am at Deer Valley.

On this day, they had a moguls final because there was no snow at Heavenly.    

A few pictures of the Silver Lake Lodge area.    I headed over to the Wasatch Express lift.   Here I checked into SouthWest for my return flight home at the exact time I could, got boarding positions of A55 and B02. 


Here's a few shots heading up Mt. Bald.     Wide open blue square trails that were groomed.

Here I am skiing down a groomed black diamond trail called Stein's Way.    I took my time skiing slowly going side to side across the trail to reduce speed.    This was an achomplishment for me, making it down a black diamond, even if it's groomed.   It was a goal I had when visiting Deer Valley, sorta like a challenge of the day.  

Here's a double blue square trailed called Tycoon.    Wide open spaces, this trail leads to a black diamond called Reward which I skied down.

Here's the start of Reward, this trail was not groomed, so I had to take my time and go slower.      In the last picture is another shot of Tycoon, which I skied down after surviving Reward. 

Here's shots of the main trails that lead back to Silver Lake Lodge.   These are wide open blue square.

I made my way over to the far right side of the map, which includes the Supreme trail.   The views from the top of the Empire Express lift were stunning.  

A run down the Dakota trail, which lead to Pearl, and my legs were shot.   I made my way back to the Silver Lake Lodge area, came down the Success trail, and by that time, the snow was turning to slush because of the higher temperatures.   The locals know how to ski in it, but I was sliding, so I called it a day.

OMG, OMG, OMG, it's the Red Iguana.    What a way to celebrate after a great day on the slopes.    I had veggie fajitas, which comes with the side of salsa, and guacomole.   I also ordered guacamole tacos to go which I ate in the room later that night.   I'm noticing that more and more restaurants are offering vegetarian dishes, and the Red Iguana delivered.

I returned my skis and told Caynons Sports I'd give them a good review on Yelp, which I did.   Then I returned the rental car taking the La Quinta shuttle back to the room.   It picks up at door number 6.   When you get to the airport, call this number and request a pickup.    1-801-366-4444.   The driver will show up 10 minutes later and take you back to the hotel.   

Day 5 - Sunday March 30th.    Checked out of the La Quinta, rode the shuttle back to the airport, and flew home on SouthWest.    The flight from SLC to PHX went fine, no delays.   But in PHX, there was a 2 hour ATC Delay, even though the weather was fine in PHX and FLL.    The pilot said there was construction in FLL, and we had to "wait our turn."    Huh?    This was a bummer, ended up getting home at 07:40pm, 2 hours late, but everything was ok.   When I arrived in FLL, the entire terminal was full of people, every flight on the board was delayed.     I hope this doesn't become the norm with flights being delayed just because there's too many planes in the air.   

Conclusion:  Great trip, everything worked, no problems besides the 2 hour delay on the flight home.    Regarding the ski resorts, all of them were awesome, but I had the most fun at The Caynons.    Deer Valley was a close 2nd since I skied down a couple black diamond runs.    This was my 4th trip to SLC in 5 years, what does that tell you?    Not only that, I talked to many people on the lifts that are from Florida.    They either have a vacation home in SLC, or they move there to retire.   

End of Report.   Thanks for reading. 

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