If you live in Park City you’ve heard it many times before. Sometimes it’s in a mocking tone, sometimes it’s not. Whatever the context and whatever the tone, “The Deer Valley Difference” is a force to be reckoned with. It could mean many things to many different people. It could be the fact that you pull up to the curb with your family from New York and Deer Valley employees rush to your car. They take your skis and carry them to the snow for you. It could be the fact that my worn out Patagonia pants wouldn’t hold a candle to the ski apparel gracing the slopes up there. It could be the fact that they don’t allow snowboarders or denim warriors for that matter (if you don’t know what that is I don’t know what to tell ya…). It could be that supposed amazing turkey chili or those handmade chocolate chip cookies that are still warm. Maybe it’s “the beach” up in Silver Lake Village. Maybe it’s the perfectly groomed runs for all those skiers who can’t imagine going off piste. Those are all ideas of what “The Deer Valley Difference” may mean to some. I think I get it though. After today, I know I get it. To me “The Deer Valley Difference” is the fact that Deer Valley doesn’t open until the second weekend of December. They don’t want to open two or three runs. They want to create a memorable experience for their skiers by waiting on Mother Nature to deliver the goods.
I am so thankful for days like today when I get to experience my own version of “The Deer Valley Difference.” We rolled up to the bottom of Empire at about 9:30 a.m. Mo’ Nat delivered the goods, Utah style. All 19″ of them. It was cold. Nine degrees or so. The sun was out. It was a perfect bluebird day. Clear, crisp, not a cloud in the sky and all sorts of powder. So we started up and soon I realized I had layered out of fear. Many, many layers. I was warm and pleasantly surprised. Exchanging stories, questions, thoughts and just a good old fashioned catch up time with one of my faves. It made for a sweet trip up. We did a couple different aspects. The snow was fun. It felt good to climb. It was beautiful. As a splitboarder, I don’t get too many opportunities at the ol’ DV. To me, today was a perfect representation of “The Deer Valley Difference.” Thanks Deer Valley! You rock! (even though that probably wasn’t your intention)