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Park City Mountain Resort: April 19, 2014

thetrailboss

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Date: April 19, 2014

Resort: Park City Mountain Resort, Utah

Conditions/Weather: Variable Spring with adequate base depth; sun and clouds, 50's-60's.

Report: My Snowbird pass had three free days at Park City and, with the final weekend imminent, I had to use one of them, especially since I had never been to PCMR before and wanted to ski it before it [possibly] joins the evil Vail Empire ;) So this was it. A free day (well, paid for by the pass) and great weather. My wife gave me the full day to enjoy it and I skied every minute I could.

I got a bit later start due to the spring conditions to let things soften. My drive was a bit stressful because of the SLC Marathon...I had a hard time getting out of my neighborhood and took one hell of a detour...30 minutes more than the usual drive. So I was frazzled when I got the parking lot. There were not many cars.

The set-up was typical west coast--parking lot next to the snow. Instead of hiking to the base village, I opted for the ticket trailer. No problem getting my free day.

I have a ton of photos, some of which I will add later. And this is appropriate because the camera was the next part of the adventure--it dropped out of my pocket between the car and snow and for the first hour I was scouring the snow, parking lot, car, and pack for it. Some good Samaritan turned it in to the main desk and I claimed it (thank God).

So the first hour was a couple laps off the First Time HSQ and Payday HSQ hitting Payday and Silver Hollow. Payday was still firm, but it was a nice run. The alpine slides and mountain coaster were impressive.

Found my camera and made a beeline for the upper resort via Crescent HSQ. I suggest this lift as it dropped me at the first peak on the ridge. I skied a nice Claim Jumper down to Silverlode Six Pack and then headed to the main summit. I intended to work Silverlode, but got detoured onto "Mikey's" which had nice spring conditions. Motherlode, an older Yan Triple, was a slow ride, but offered some good steep cruisers and glades. I hit Parley's Park and Prospector, which were groomed to spring perfection, before exploring Mel's Alley and the otherside of the Silverlode area. At this point, anything groomed was delightful while the ungroomed was still a bit firm in places.

With this in mind, I decided to try a different exposure and headed to Jonesy's and then cut over to McConkey's Six Pack to work the top. I assumed that Jupiter was open (it wasn't) so I figured that McConky's would give me a sense of what to expect up higher. McConkey's Bowl had a striking resemblance to Sugarbush's FIS and was just as fun, albeit a bit sticky. I did looker's right the next run and found better snow. A spin down Georgeanna to Tycoon was nice, except for a few sticky spots, but the subsequent runs on Sunrise, Buckeye, and under the lift were all good. I was able to work this area very quickly thanks to the fast lift. It had great terrain variety and some good woods lines.

I felt like some more laps here, but wanted to work another part of the area. Intent on getting to Jupiter, I headed to Thaynes via a nice bumped up Double Jack. I was bummed to see that Jupiter was done for the season, but that loss was my gain because I spent the next hour working Thaynes and enjoying the funky vibe of this area with a short and fast Yan Double (with 60's music playing at the base). Keystone, Hoist, and Thaynes were in very good shape with nice, corn and soft bumps (some stickiness here and there). I just loved this section....lots of fun and nobody was there.

Time was flying by and I wanted to work some more of this aspect, so I hit "Mikey's" again and worked Motherlode Triple, a longer and slower triple. Motherlode Meadows was sticky but fun....it had good pitch but nothing to really warrant a double black diamond.

By now it was about 3:20 and I had very little time, so I worked Bonanza trail pod to get a feel for it hitting Belmont, Jonesey's, and Bonanza with the latter two flatter and easier to ski than Belmont (sticky natural).

It was now 3:45 so I took Homerun down the ridgeline and to a cat track that led me over towards Crescent where I was cosmically pulled down a sweet, long, steep corn-filled Silverskis. Next time I will plan on working Crescent as it has some sweet steep terrain that has long runs and some good birch trees.

Crescent had closed so I ended the day by riding up Payday and skiing the namesake run down to the bottom.

I look forward to visiting again and skiing Eagle, King Con, and Jupiter.

I had good energy and was able to ski the spring crud/corn/mashed potatoes all day with brief bathroom breaks. Lots of amenities were closed, but that was OK by me because I ate my granola bars on the lift and drained my Osprey water reservoir.

Lots of locals out shredding. Never really any lines. Good, very good terrain.

Out of the PC areas, I give this a very, very close second to Deer Valley. I almost rank it better because it has more advanced terrain that has better pitch and longer runs. I don't rank it higher because some lifts are slow and the layout is odd....not as easy as Deer Valley. Some of the facilities are also not as new. It is better than Canyons because it is easier to understand and navigate, has better grooming, and had better lift layout with faster lifts where you'd want them. I would like a HSQ for Motherlode though.

Better than expected. I will have to go back next year (hopefully).
 
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