Ski Blog... Been doing this since 2005!

January 14, 2010

Ski Utah Contest - Throwdown your Best Ski or Snowboard Style

Got an email for a new contest today:

I thought you may be interested in an awesome new social media program from Ski Utah called “Throw Down Your Best Ski or Snowboard Style!” The program is an effort to promote its annual White Sale (an amazing sale where you can score sweet deals on lodging, ski/snowboard rentals, lift tickets, and more in Utah)!

The “Throw Down Your Best Ski or Snowboard Style!” asks you to submit your epic photo or video showing off your big ski action or snowboard style. To check out the entries so far, please visit The Grand Prize winner for the “Throw Down Your Best Ski or Snowboard Style!” program will be selected by Ski Utah from the top 150 highest scoring entries, to receive a 5-day winter getaway to Utah for two with lodging at Resorts West, lift passes to 3 Utah ski resorts and free equipment rental. In addition to the Grand Prize winner, Ski Utah will also be rewarding one Best Wipeout or Trick winner, one Best Style on the Mountain winner, and one Most Viral winner.

The “Throw Down Your Best Ski or Snowboard Style!” program began on January 7 and ends February 4. To learn more, please visit

Good times. Check it out.

Posted by Justin at 02:40 PM

November 07, 2009

Wanna Buy a UT Ski Resort?

Here is a link to the online auction for Elk Meadows.

Then check their press release:

BEAVER, Utah--(Business Wire)-- The LFC Group of Companies, the leaders in online real estate auction marketing, is pleased to announce the latest campaign on their commercial property auction website the former Elk Meadows Ski Resort in southwestern Utah`s Beaver County. The property, comprising more than 1,100 acres of beautiful recreational land, is surrounded by a half-dozen of Utah`s most renowned national parks, including Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Dixie National Forest and Fishlake National Forest. Located just an hour from Logan, a city of more than 125,000 people and home to Utah State University, Elk Meadows is secluded yet accessible. The mountain is less than three hours from several of Utah`s major metropolitan areas, including St. George, Provo and Salt Lake City.

For 25 years, Elk Meadows was the secret getaway for skiers and snowboarders looking to escape the mammoth crowds of Salt Lake City and Park City in northern Utah. However, the mountain`s proximity to several national parks made it a popular destination during off-season, as well. In summer, guests enjoyed mountain biking, horseback riding, ATVing, fishing, hang gliding and more. Throughout the years, Elk Meadows was a popular destination for vacationers from southern Utah, southern California, Phoenix, Arizona and northern Nevada. In fact, Elk Meadows is less than a four hour drive from Las Vegas, Nevada.

"This is really a special piece of property, one that requires the broad exposure and universal accessibility that only an online auction can deliver," said Shawn Miller, Director of Sales the LFC Group of Companies. "With our Internet-based auction platform, interested bidders can easily conduct due diligence and place bids from wherever they are - an unmatched level of convenience for buyers that has helped spark substantial international interest."

While there is some infrastructure in place, Elk Meadows is a project that requires vision and persistence. This non-operational ski resort needs work, and the low minimum bid of $1,000,000 reflects that reality. However, it also makes for a tremendous opportunity to purchase a one-of-a-kind blank canvas at a bargain price.

Me thinks the auction firm needs geography lessons. USU and SUU are two different institutions and Logan happens to be closer to Jackson Hole, and quite possibly Big Sky than it is to Elk Meadows.


Posted by Justin at 01:24 PM

April 20, 2009

Utah Changes Liquor Laws--More Ski Friendly

New Liquor Laws go into place July 1, 2009:

Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. served up the most broad-based changes to Utah's alcohol policy in four decades Monday, signing legislation doing away with the state's one-of-a-kind private clubs law and changing the way restaurants can serve drinks.

Since 1969, patrons at Utah's bars have been required to be members of a so-called "private club," a construct designed with the strong involvement and backing of the LDS Church and aimed at restricting the flow of liquor.

"We made a little bit of history today," Huntsman said after signing the bill in The New Yorker, an upscale bar in downtown Salt Lake City.

Tourism officials in the state said the change will have an impact on the state's $6 billion a year tourism industry, but you won't see ads enticing tourists to "Come Get Drunk In Utah."

Ha. =)

Interesting changes that are much needed. As someone that does not drink (though this has only been the last couple years), Utah's laws are confusing and irritating. My friends have to go to private clubs and places like Applebees and Chilis have odd rules at the bar.

This will bring Utah into a more mainstream position and will help tourism.

Lots of the Mormon rules in Utah are good things--especially their driving laws for teenagers--but others are oppressive to non-Mormons. Just the nature of the state. You go there and deal with the culture the best that you can.

Posted by Justin at 10:43 AM

January 15, 2009

Skiers Ski All 13 Utah Resorts in One Day

From Ski Utah:

Salt Lake City, UT - On Tuesday, Ski Utah and a team of nine skiers successfully skied all 13 Utah ski and snowboard resorts in a single day. This is the first time in history that every resort in the state has been skied in one day, breaking the record of 11 resorts in a day set during the 2003-04 winter season.

The mission began at Brian Head Resort in southern Utah at 4 a.m. The team drove to the Giant Steps run and enjoyed pristine corduroy snow under the light of a large moon. Mother Nature continued to provide perfect bluebird weather conditions throughout the day. Spectacular snow conditions were complemented with perfect temperatures, mountain-blue skies, gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. The final stop was at Beaver Mountain, near Logan Utah, over 360 miles north of the mission’s starting place. The group arrived at Beaver Mountain just before 8 p.m. and enjoyed three celebratory runs off the Little Beaver Lift. In between, Ski Utah staffer Chris Pearson shuttled the group from ski area to ski area by van.

"With an international airport just minutes from our mountains, Utah is the most accessible winter destination in the world,” commented Ski Utah President Nathan Rafferty. “Skiing 13 in a day, using only a van and skis, really underscores this point."

The team assembled by Ski Utah to accomplish the feat included: Ravell Call, Deseret Morning News; Amy Anderson, Park City Television; Bill Weidner, Ski Utah Member; Jessica Kunzer, Ski Utah; Andy Bauman, Park City Television; Jake Bogoch, Skiing Magazine; Kendall Card, Ski Utah; and Brian Schott, Freelance Writer.

Good times. The Wasatch Front rocks. So much to ski and so close to everything.

Posted by Justin at 01:16 PM

Skiers Get Lost Near Powder Moutain, UT - Spend Cold Night

From the SLC Tribune:

A husband and wife spent a night huddled against a rock after skiing outside the boundaries of Powder Mountain resort in Eden, the resort's snow safety director said.

Following some tracks, the pair skied out of the eastern side of the resort, at about 2 p.m. Monday, said Powder Mountain snow safety director Roger Arave.

They continued down a canyon in the La Plata area, ending up about three to five miles outside the resort boundaries. Though they passed boundary several signs, foggy conditions made visibility poor, Arave said.

The pair decided to find a protected place to spend the night, Arave said.

The next day, they futilely tried to reach the resort again on their own until about 3 p.m., when they were found by a group of snowmobilers from the nearby Monte Cristo recreation area.

Though they were without matches or a cell phone, the pair made it through the experience unscathed, Arave said.

"They seemed to be in pretty good shape for the ordeal they had been through," he said.

Glad they made it out OK.

Posted by Justin at 01:14 PM

November 08, 2008

Politics and Utah Ski Industry

You have got to be kidding me:

SALT LAKE CITY - Utah's growing tourism industry and the star-studded Sundance Film Festival are being targeted for a boycott by bloggers, gay-rights activists and others seeking to punish the Mormon Church for its aggressive promotion of California's ban on gay marriage.

It could be a heavy price to pay. Tourism brings in $6 billion a year to Utah, with world-class skiing, a spectacular red rock country and the film festival founded by Robert Redford, among other popular tourist draws.

"At a fundamental level, the Utah Mormons crossed the line on this one," said gay rights activist John Aravosis, an influential blogger in Washington, D.C.

"They just took marriage away from 20,000 couples and made their children bastards," he said. "You don't do that and get away with it."

Salt Lake City is the world headquarters for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which counts about 62 percent of Utah residents as members.

The church encouraged its members to work to pass California's Proposition 8 by volunteering their time and money for the campaign. Thousands of Mormons worked as grassroots volunteers and gave tens of millions of dollars to the campaign.

The ballot measure passed Tuesday. It amends the California Constitution to define marriage as a heterosexual act, overriding a state Supreme Court ruling that briefly gave same-sex couples the right to wed.

The backlash against the church - and by extension Utah - has been immediate. Protests erupted outside Mormon temples, Facebook groups formed telling people to boycott Utah, and Web sites such as began popping up, calling for an end to the church's tax-exempt status.

He is calling for skiers to choose any state but Utah and for Hollywood actors and directors to pull out of the Sundance Film Festival. Other bloggers and readers have responded to his call.

"There's a movement afoot and large donors are involved who are very interested in organizing a campaign, because I do not believe in frivolous boycotts," said Aravosis, who has helped organize boycotts against "Dr. Laura" Schlessinger's television show, Microsoft and Ford over gay rights issues.

"The main focus is going to be going after the Utah brand," he said. "At this point, honestly, we're going to destroy the Utah brand. It is a hate state."

Seriously? This is supposed to intimidate Mormons HOW? A cursory understanding of the history of the Mormon Church would enlighten him that Mormons tend to be less than threatened by what happens outside of Utah. The boycott might affect some tourist businesses, but the Utah Ski Industry and the Sundance Film Festival are not run by the Mormon Church. So to get back at Mormons, attack Utah. To get back at Mormons, attack the Utah Ski Industry.

Dude, if you want to go after the Mormons, you gotta bring more than just a bunch of pissed of homosexuals to that kind of party. You gotta start by martyring someone. Mormons have been through more than just a boycott or two. I have family members from generations back that pushed handcarts to Salt Lake to flee religious persecution. And to have a bunch of California gays talking about hate and a hate STATE... that my friends would be Missouri. That is a hate state. Tell the gays to leave California for Massachusetts by handcart and when they get there, to talk about hate states.

Please take your dollars and stay away.

Posted by Justin at 04:40 PM | Comments (2)

April 10, 2007

Statistics on Utah Skier Visits

I have added a new page with detailed statistics of Utah skier visits from the state's Demographic and Economic Analysis Department. Check out the new page and info. Here is the chart:

Some interesting info, but Skier Visits have increased dramatically since 2001.

Utah still lags far behind Colorado as a national ski destination, but the state has a ton to offer. I rec'd an e-mail today that said the following:

I was lucky enough to ski Breck in January and Snowbasin in March. What are your thoughts on Snowbasin? Skiied it on a Wednesday and Thursday. No lift lines and the two gondolas were awesome. Different atmosphere than Breck.

Check the stats for Snowbasin:

  • Vertical rise: 2,959 ft (902 m)
  • Average yearly snowfall: 400 in (10 m)
  • Total lifts: 12
    • 1 Tram
    • 2 Gondolas (high speed detachable)
    • 1 Quad chair (high speed detachable)
    • 4 Triple chair
    • 1 Double chair
    • 1 Magic carpet
    • 2 Hand rope tows
  • Total lift capacity: 14,650 people per hour
  • Skiable area: 2,650 acres

Compare this to Breck that receives roughly five times the number of skier visits on the same acreage. Here are Breck's comparable stats:

  • Vertical rise: 3,398 feet (1,036 m)
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 300 in
  • Total Lifts: 29
    • 2 high-speed 6-passenger SuperChairs
    • 7 high-speed quad lifts
    • 1 triple lift
    • 6 double lifts
    • 1 8-passenger gondola
    • 4 surface lifts
    • 8 carpet lifts
  • Total lift capacity: 37,880 people per hour
  • Skiable Area: 2358 acres

Utah is nearly untouched. Colorado gets 12M + skier visits per year to Utah's 4M. Alta-Snowbird is absolutely massive and Snowbasin, Solitude, Brighton, and the West Side resorts getting half as much traffic as Park City.

Long story short--Utah has far fewer people than Colorado and the resorts are much less crowded. Down side is that the nightlife is lacking (save Park City) and the beer flows like water--but it has the same alcohol content and tastes like water too. Utah has a very different feel than Colorado, but as far as pure skiing, I prefer Utah. No, I take that back--I prefer Alta, and it happens Alta is in Utah. I have yet to try Snowbasin, but plan to early next year. Just been spending almost every day at Brian Head this season.

Posted by Justin at 03:44 PM

April 08, 2007

The Year That Was in Utah

The SLC Tribune has an article on the year that was in Utah:

"We got some good early snow," he said.

But starting in November, a high pressure ridge parked itself over the West until about February.

That weather pattern acted as a bubble, forcing snowstorms to other areas, he said.

Utah's loss was Canada's gain, as many storms shifted to the north, McInerney explained.

Meager snowpacks, which reached about 50 percent of average in northern Utah, are not only bad news for skiing, but they also spell trouble for the Salt Lake Valley's water resources in the summer.

This season sucked in a bad way for me. Early snow, but no mid season snow at all. I finally had my place done and Brian Head got 225" of snow (and a huge chunk of that came in March). Normal snowfall is over 400".

But take what you get and thank the Ski Gods for the wonderful sport. It still was a ski season and the laws of averages mean that sooner or later we will have another 600" winter like two years ago.

Posted by Justin at 11:21 PM | Comments (1)

September 30, 2006

Several Colorado and Utah Counties have Highest Life Expectancy in the US

This article from the Vail Daily discusses a new Harverd study about life expectancy in the US:

It’s a classic chicken-and-egg question: Do people in Colorado have behaviors that make them healthier, or is it because living in Colorado makes them healthier. ... Is it somehow healthier to live in Eagle County? That’s what a new study from Harvard University seems to say.

Eagle and six other counties located along the Continental Divide in Colorado lead the nation in longest average life expectancy — 81.3 years. Four of these seven counties — Clear Creek, Grand, Eagle, and Summit — have ski areas, with Loveland in Clear Creek and Winter Park and SolVista in Grand.
Rounding out the nation’s top-40 places for life expectancies are:

• Five more counties from mountainous areas of southwest Colorado: San Miguel, Ouray, Mineral, Hinsdale, Gunnison, and Archuleta);

• Five from Utah — Morgan, Summit, Washington, Cache, Cache and Rich — all but one in mountainous areas.

Chicken or Egg... Tough call. I guess it doesn't matter the exact causes from my point of view. When it comes to better schools, you don't need to know why the schools are better to want to live in the District and send your kids there. When it comes to healthier places to live, if that is something you value, that is somewhere that you consider living.

Better schools draw better students. Better life expectancies draw like minded people and become self fulfilling.

Posted by Justin at 06:22 PM

September 11, 2006

WWBD--What Would Bode Do

From the What Would Bode Do section of the news, Utah Lawmaker Michael Morlet talks about banning alcohol at ski resorts:

(KCPW News) State Representative Michael Morley says he's dropping his plans to crack down on alcohol at ski resorts. This week, the management of Brian Head Resort sent a letter to Morley responding to his complaints and those raised by a resort visitor.

"If they will follow up on the things they've committed to here, I'm probably gonna back off," says Morley.

The Spanish Fork lawmaker Morley sparked a panic in the resort community last week when he threatened to run a bill that would nearly ban alcohol at ski resorts.

In a letter, Brian Head's general manager vowed to ban all open containers from ski lifts and better train lift operators to handle signs of intoxication. Resorts have the ability to revoke lift passes and call the police in some cases.

Morley says his threat had the desired effect, and he no longer believes the state needs to pass new laws. Ski Utah director Nathan Rafferty says all of Utah's resorts are committed to enforcing rules similar to those mentioned in Brian Head's letter.

First off, alcohol and skiing is retarded. I am not much of a drinker at all, so I just cannot see the logic behind skiing drunk. Or having open containers on the lifts. You are out in freezing temperatures, and if you are like us, off piste hitting powder. Imagine making a mistake and getting injured. You want to be in control. Now I guess skiing groomers where ski patrol can come over and give you the "sled of shame" ride down makes it less dangerous, but let's face facts--skiing is dangerous. I wear a helmet and don't understand people that think it is completely safe. It is not.

But then again people think boating while drunk is a good idea too. Until someone drowns. Same with skiing. You get hit or wreck or freeze to death or get frost bite because you are toasted and then it isn't fun and games anymore. What I am wondering is why the resort isn't already cracking down on open containers and busting people for skiing drunk or being impaired. I want ski patrol to be keeping people safe, not focusing on busting people poaching lift tickets or using someone else's season passes (inside reference that some readers of the site may find humorous).

Posted by Justin at 01:20 PM

April 13, 2006

Utah May Set Record for Skier Visits

Utah may have set a new record in skier visits, passing 2004-05.

It's not for a lack of snow or winterlike conditions that have Utah ski resorts preparing to close. The snowstorm last Saturday was definitely winterlike in nature — cold and snowy. And, with only one exception, Utah resorts are holding a snow base well over the century mark.

But, as always happens, skiers believe it's time to move on and so resorts, with one exception, will be closed by midmonth.

Three resorts — Sundance, Wolf Mountain and Beaver Mountain — have already closed. Scheduled to close on Easter Sunday, April 16, are Brian Head, Brighton, The Canyons, Deer Valley, Park City Mountain Resort, Powder Mountain and Solitude. Alta will close the following day, April 17, which will leave, again as always, Snowbird, which has set a closing date of May 14 for daily operations and May 29 for weekend skiing.

At this point, said Nathan Rafferty, president of Ski Utah, "We don't know final numbers, but I'm confident we will come close and could even exceed last year's record. The one measure we have at this point is the number of hits on our Web site, which are up 25 percent over last year."

What this means is Utah could come close to the 4 million skier-day mark. Last year's record was 3.8 million skier days.

That being the case, the 2005-06 season will match closely the 2004-05 season in skier numbers and snowfall.

Posted by Justin at 10:42 AM

February 24, 2006

It Was the Best of Times... Worst of Times

The following article is from the Arizona Republic dated today.

Utah is poised to set its third consecutive record by exceeding last season's 3.9 million skier visits, Ski Utah spokeswoman Hilary Reiter said.

Snowfall along the Wasatch Range - home to 11 resorts including Snowbird, Park City and Alta - has been about 157 percent more than the total in an average season.

Utah is loving life. How about Colorado?

In Colorado, so much snow has fallen that many mountain towns have piled it high on street corners and in parking lots. Aspen has had more than 21 feet of snow, with many longtime residents saying it's the best they have ever seen, Aspen Skiing Co. spokeswoman Kristen Rust said.

Colorado resort managers are hopeful they will set a record for skier visits this year. The previous record of 11.98 million was set in the 1997-98 season; last year, the total was 11.81 million. From October to December, the resorts reported 3.1 million skier visits, said Rob Perlman, president of the trade group Colorado Ski Country USA.

What about Snowbowl, Arizona that has been battling to get snowmaking capability added so that they can have a consistent season?

Meanwhile, folks at the Arizona Snowbowl near Flagstaff - in the midst of a drought - continue to wait for enough snow to open, a year after posting a season record 460 inches. Since October, they have seen about 20 inches of snow, resort spokesman David Smith said.

The delay has cost millions of dollars in revenue, "and you can put that in capital letters if you want," he said.

"It's extremely frustrating to sit around and look at the slopes and see dry grass where typically they should be covered in white," he said. "The hope is still there that we'll still be able to have a good season, at least the latter half."

20 Bleepin' Inches? 20? Come on people. I don't know what Arizona did to deserve another Fire Season like 2003, but this is gonna be a bad one. There is no snow at all. We are going to be engulfed by flames shortly. I mean like Arizona needs massive fires to add to the already heated nature of our state.

We need rain in a bad way. The high country needs some snow. We are past due.

Posted by Justin at 01:28 PM | Comments (1)

January 14, 2006

Major Storm Moving Across Utah Tonight

A major storm is coming tonight and I am lucky enough to be at Brian Head. They are expecting as much as 2-3 feet at Alta/Snowbird, but considerably less down south where I am.

In other news, my Granite Countertops are in and I have a sink now. We had been brushing our teeth, doing our dishes, and getting our water to make coffee from the bathtub. I am going to publish a bunch of pics later today, but suffice it to say, PIMPED is the only way to describe the place.

So here's hoping that tommorow, the powder is at least ankle deep and that I stop to use the new sink to fill the coffee pot and brush my teeth before getting too excited and hitting the slopes.

Posted by Justin at 10:33 AM

November 02, 2005

Northern Rockies to get more snow over next three days

The Northern Rockies are getting their fair share of snow due to the Jet Stream flowing further north and a high pressure system over the four corners region. This means snow for Alta, Park City, etc., but nada for Brian Head. Snow for Summit County, but none for Wolf Creek.

From the National Weather Service Forecast for Alta:

Tonight: Cloudy...windy. Snow likely after midnight. Accumulation around 1 inch. Lows at 8000 feet around 30. Southwest winds 25-35 mph. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Thursday: Snow in the morning...then snow showers likely in the afternoon. Colder. Accumulation 3-6 inches. Highs at 8000 feet in the lower 30s.

Thursday night: A chance of snow showers in the evening...then snow likely after midnight. Cloudy...colder. Accumulation 2 inches. Lows at 8000 feet near 20. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Chance of around a foot of accumulation of the next 2 days.

Why do I feel like one of those cheesy Junior Weather reporters that show up on the local news? My life right now is resigned to watching weather reports and scouring E-bay to by a "weather machine". BTW, my early season trip to Wolf Creek has been postponed until further notice... until further snowfall is probably more accurate.

Posted by Justin at 10:51 PM