Early Season Skiing in Park City

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I will be honest; ski conditions in Park City have been pretty light. The Wasatch Mountains have not been graced with the bottomless sugar as early as in past seasons. Temperatures have been cold enough, but we just haven’t seen the necessary precipitation. My three hometown ski resorts, Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR), Canyons, and Deer Valley have made a lot of snow to open up more terrain. But the skiing is still fun and a particularly stubborn high-pressure system has resulted in lots of bluebird days.  Here is our 2013/14 early ski season recap.

Ski Conditions in Park City

All three ski resorts in Park City are open with most of their runs and lifts in operation. Because our snowfall has been lighter than it has been in the past, Deer Valley, Canyons, and PCMR have been making snow in earnest and the cold daytime temperatures and subzero nighttime temps have helped the cause tremendously. PCMR is mostly open and the skiing is pretty darn good, considering the limited amount of natural snow they’ve had to work with. Tree skiing is okay, but you might end up stump-hunting. And PCMR is dutifully working on getting all of their world-class terrain parks open. For a full report, check out their mountain conditions.

Deer Valley opens later than PCMR, usually the first week in December, to capitalize on the snowstorms that typically roll through Park City in late November and December. This year, the snow gods delivered and that, combined that with some man-made snow, has allowed them to open terrain with more natural feeling snow conditions. Deer Valley is running both the Lady Morgan and Empire lifts. So those of you who like to rip bigger lines and bowls will have plenty of terrain to choose from. And the well-kept groomers that Deer Valley is famous for are wide-open for those that prefer more mellow terrain.

Canyons has so much terrain and kind of a funky layout that opening up all of their terrain is more difficult than the other resorts. I personally think that a lot of times they open up some of their more difficult terrain a little too early, which is bad-news-bears for your ski bases. So be forewarned – check out the black and double-black diamond runs from the chairlift.  Your skis will thank you for it. However, Canyons always manages to open some great groomers early in the season and they are known for longer runs in these areas so get ready to lay your skis over. Once they get enough snow, the huge amount of acreage at Canyons promises fresh snow for days.

All the Fun

Early season skiing in Park City can be a ton of fun. Those few weeks ramping up to the holidays are a bit quieter and the lift lines are a lot shorter. I personally had more than my fair share of good snow in the Lady Morgan Bowl off of the Empire Chairlift at Deer Valley. A bit of traversing, quick thinking, and some good luck awarded me three days of great mid-deep powder skiing.

So next year, think outside the box and book a ski vacation to Park City in mid-December. Less people, shorter lines, and all the services are in place to make your stay great. Our five Jans resort locations, along with our flagship store, are open and ready to get you into rentals, new ski boots, or even on an awesome new pair of skis.  And if you’re lucky, a surprise storm could yield you not one, but two or even three powder days.

Be sure to check us out when you’re in town.

— Paul Boyle, Marketing Specialist