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Interconnect helps you navigate Utah’s best ski resorts and your Innkeeper is the Lead Guide

Interconnect helps you navigate Utah’s best ski resorts

To ski six of Utah’s best resorts in one day, you can navigate the route on a guided tour on the Interconnect: Deer Valley, Park City Mountain Resort, Solitude, Brighton, Alta and Snowbird.

Utah's 'Interconnect' ski packageSkiers on an Interconnect tour head into Utah’s Solitude Mountain Resort after having descended more than 2,000 vertical feet. (Brian E. Clark)
By Brian E. ClarkMarch 7, 2014, 4:36 p.m.

DEER VALLEY, Utah — Carving turns through light, puffy powder at just one of the resorts in Utah’s Wasatch Range is plenty to write home about for most skiers. But to ski six of the state’s premier areas in one day — linked by way of the backcountry — is a true coup, especially when the sky is a cloudless deep blue and untouched snow lines the bowls.

You don’t have to be an experienced mountaineer to pull this off. Schussers can navigate the route on a guided tour on the Interconnect, which starts at Deer Valley and weaves through Park City Mountain Resort, Solitude, Brighton and Alta — with dips out of bounds — before finishing at Snowbird.

I’ve skied this day-long, 25-mile route several times over the last decade, and although it wears me out, I would recommend it to any advanced-to-expert skier who likes to get off the beaten track.

If conditions are right, skiers will get thousands of vertical feet of untracked powder, a good workout and enough stunning views of craggy peaks to overload their brains. On one of my adventures, we were blessed with 10 inches of light, fluffy snow that billowed over our knees as we linked turns down the slopes. Alas, snowboarders aren’t allowed on these trips because they’re not permitted at Deer Valley and Alta resorts.

I met Dan Griffith, who has guided for Ski Utah on the Interconnect for three years, and fellow guide Bob Merrell at Deer Valley’s Snow Park Lodge, where they reviewed our route and briefed us on how to use avalanche transceivers. Then our small group, which included five other skiers, headed for warm-up runs off Bald Mountain and Flagstaff Mountain.

Though Deer Valley and Park City are contiguous, the resorts don’t share lift tickets, which means you can’t duck under the boundary rope unless you’re on the Interconnect. Griffith checked in with the ski patrol as we left Deer Valley, something he did several times that day with various ski patrols. Once inside the Park City boundary, we jumped onto a trail called Tycoon, followed by a tree run in the Black Forest area.

Primed for the backcountry, we skied to the Jupiter lift and rode it to the top of Park City, elevation 10,026 feet. There, we waited while Griffith told the ski patrol we’d be heading out the so-called Back Door into Mill F Canyon.

Once we were through the trees that hid our escape from Park City’s groomed runs and chairlifts, the terrain opened up into a vast glade of untracked snow, surrounded by tall peaks. We double-checked our avalanche beacons and set off down the slope, carving broad arcs in the powder. Then we were into the trees for more whoops, hollers and big-time fun.

We descended more than 2,000 vertical feet, ending at Big Cottonwood Canyon Road. We clicked out of our ski bindings, hoisted our skis to our shoulders and walked across the highway into the classy little Solitude Mountain Resort. After a quick break, we stepped back into our skis and skated over to the Sunrise lift.

Once on Solitude’s slopes, we got in a few runs on Paradise and Paradise Lost, as well as a few turns in the trees off Queen Bess. At the top of the Summit chair, we skied onto the Sol/Bright Trail that connects Solitude with the Brighton Ski Resort, also in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

By that time, our stomachs were beginning to growl, so we did only a few turns off Brighton’s Milly Express lift before returning to Solitude for lunch at the Last Chance Sunrise Grill. With all those runs under our belts, the tomato bisque and chicken fajitas hit the spot. We also shared stories about ski adventures in Latin America, Europe and North Africa.

Then, bellies full, we rode the Summit lift back to the top of Solitude, paid our respects to the ski patrol and began the seemingly long trudge on the out-of-bounds Highway to Heaven, which leads to the Alta resort, also in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Though the avalanche risk was low that day, we stayed about 50 feet apart just in case.

It’s not that far — only a quarter-mile or so as the crow flies — from Solitude to Alta. Trouble is, crossing the Highway to Heaven — which some wags call the Highway to Hell — means sidestepping and traversing up about 200 vertical feet (the rough equivalent of a 20-story building) across a relatively steep and exposed bowl. Add to that, you have about 12 pounds of gear (boots and skis) attached to each foot. And you’re at an elevation of 10,035 feet.

Though I’m in pretty good shape, I had to stop every few minutes to catch my breath, wipe the sweat from my brow and enjoy the view. But it was well worth the effort.

Depending on the snow and the physical condition of the individual skiers, Griffith said it can take 15 to 40 minutes to do the traverse. (My group’s time was about 25 minutes.)

When we’d regrouped on the far side of the Highway to Heaven, Griffith had a glimmer in his eye.

“Want to climb some more?” he asked.

Suckers for punishment and always on the lookout for untracked powder, we tossed our skis on our shoulders and marched up an additional several hundred feet above Twin Lakes Pass.

We found some of what Griffith called “hidden lines” in a north-facing glade of trees and set off, dropping about 1,800 vertical feet through the powder and ending at Alta’s Albion base area. Because time was starting to run short, we did only a single run in the Secret Saddle area.

Then we rode the Sugarloaf lift to the top of Alta and crossed into Snowbird, the last ski resort on the Interconnect, as the daylight was beginning to fade. One by one, we dropped into Mineral Basin and headed down the Bassanova run — named for Snowbird founder Dick Bass — going off-piste a few times when the powder called.

We had one last chairlift to catch. At the bottom of Mineral Basin, we hopped on the Mineral Basin Express and rode it to the top of Hidden Peak, elevation 11,000 feet.

Then we began our descent, heading down by way of the Middle Cirque and Silver Fox runs. At the bottom of the mountain, my legs felt like jelly as we grabbed some libations and snacks at the General Gritts store and settled into our van for the 40-minute shuttle back to Deer Valley.

Within five minutes, I was asleep.

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Win an Interconnect Tour

March 11, 2014 View Online | Forward To a Friend
FS EXCLUSIVE

Book an Interconnect Tour with Ski Utah and enter to win a pair of Rossignol skis.

The Ski Utah Interconnect Adventure Tour links up to six of Utah’s world class ski resorts, and provides advanced and expert skiers the chance to experience the epic backcountry of the Wasatch Mountain Range. Book an Interconnect Adventure Tour today, starting at $295, and be entered to win a pair of Rossignol skis using the code “MyRossignols” at checkout.

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Cornoa Ski Beach at Park City Mountain Resort

EVENT DATE/TIME

Mar 8, 2014
12:00 pm

DESCRIPTION  

Corona Ski Beach at Park City Mountain Resort

An on-mountain experience for the whole family, with games, food and drinks for all ages!

Located in the meadow at the mid-station of PayDay Lift, we’ll be grilling, gaming and having an all-out good time! Look for the fenced in area between PayDay and Heckler Runs.

 

LOCATION Park City Mountain Resort
UT
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
WEBSITE http://parkcitymountain.com

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Park City Lift Ticket Deals for Spring Skiing

Lock in the best deal on lift tickets for your spring ski and snowboard vacation to Park City Mountain Resort!

For our best lift ticket deals, head over our online lift ticket store, where you’ll find discounted lift tickets at up to 35% off when you buy at least 2 days in advance. The deals vary by day and also by product, so although some products are a bit limited on some days, there are still plenty of great deals available. To help you out, are a few quick tips to navigate your way to the best discount on your lift tickets:

  • Look for different combination of tickets like two 2 of 7 day tickets instead of one 4 of 7 day ticket
  • Add a ski or snowboard rental to your ticket purhcase and you’ll get a great deal on the rentals in addition to your lift ticket
  • Select the product you want to search for without a start date to see a calendar listing of all the rates for that particular product, depending upon inventories it might be cheaper the day before or after, the day you are searching
  • As you search, please be aware that our lift ticket inventory is based upon availability, if a particular product is running low, we will note “only XX left“, if someone else books those products before you, unfortunately that pricing will no longer be available to you

Once you make your purchase, we’ll send you an email with barcodes to bring to any of the ticket windows here at Park City Mountain Resort – please remember to bring this confirmation with you.

Tickets purchased from our online lift tick store come a few restircitions – all sales are final, non-transferrable, must be used for the dates selected and payment will be required in full on all purchases.

Park City Mountain Resort discount lift ticket calendar

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4 feet of snow the Last 7 days!!

We’re all taking a deep breath after a week of beautiful Park City Mountain Resort snow that rivaled any similar stretch of the last few seasons. How about exactly 4 feet in the last 7 days?

 andy-week-powder
I wasn’t even trying to hide a smile getting fresh tracks on Red Fox, off Pioneer Lift, Saturday Feb 8

Around the middle of last week, models started coming together, powder fanatics were sharing weather map images across Facebook and Twitter, and the Pineapple Express was being whispered about by optimistic powderhounds who didn’t want to jinx anything.

And then it happened. 4 inches Thursday of last week. 14 inches Friday. 12 inches Saturday. 6 inches Sunday. And then a little sun before another 10 inches Wednesday and Thursday! Lift tide after lift ride, I was hearing people hooting and hollering all over the mountain, and I was having so much fun I didn’t even feel my legs getting shredded ’til I got home.

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Some of my funnest turns of the season in the Black Forest Sunday February 9

And one of the best things about skiing in Utah: we’re never that far from our next storm cycle. Keep up with the latest Park City snow report 24/7 right HERE, and we’ll see you out here as we get ready for a great spring season!

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Grab a Partner!!

I know I say this every year, but the Big Mountain Battle is my favorite event. Seriously. No questions asked, hands down, this one is the best. This year, it lands on Saturday, February 22.Registration is open!

For those of you who don’t know, the Big Mountain Battle is an on-mountain scavenger hunt for all ages and on-snow disciplines. We’ve got three different divisions to pick from: 12 years old and younger, Intermediate and Advanced. Your division determines your course and checkpoints in your on-mountain hunt. Here’s the fun part: the course is completely up to you and your partner. We give you the checkpoints and a Flaik GPS device, and you plan your route from there to see if you’re the smartest planner or know the mountain the best out of everyone else competing. Everyone starts at the same time at the Loran Larsen Park (accessed from the summit- Bonanza Lift will get you there).

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This event is exactly what I need when my mid-season slump hits. I’ve been skiing all season, hitting my favorite spots, and I’m ready for a challenge. This event forces you to look at the mountain in a completely new way: can I get to this checkpoint from this one? Will that lift get me to that checkpoint? You get the idea. It’s awesome. If my enthusiasm isn’t coming through here, check out the video explaining the race below, with our course champion and ski patroller Tim.

 

One more little bit of enticement for you snowboarders out there who complain that it’s impossible to beat skiers: we’ve got a snowboard division for you. Compete against other snowboarders and earn the title of being the smartest, most knowledgeable pair of riders out there.

Still not convinced? We’re going to have an opportunity drawing with buckets of swag during the awards party after the race, along with two season passes for PCMR during the 2014-15 season that are up for grabs. You’re welcome.

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Apres the Right Way with our signature 50th Cocktails by High West

Toast our Golden Anniversary in style – and make it the best ski apres ever – with any of our four signature 50th anniversary cocktails by the guys at High West Distillery.

cocktail-image

Our High West friends are helping us celebrate our Golden Anniversary season with a pair of specialty cocktails that you can only get at Legends Bar & Grill in our Legacy Lodge or at High West next to the Bottom of Town Lift. Quit ‘N Time, named for one of our runs accessing Main Street and the distillery directly from the resort. Enjoy a spiced lemonade served hot with High West’s Double Rye ® and OMG Pure Rye ®, or get the chilled version combining the double rye whiskey with High West’s Son of Bourye.

Fool’s Gold, a nod to another one of our runs and the drink’s distinctive color, fuses High West’s Son of Bourye ® with fresh lemon juice and house made lavender syrup for a delightful twist on the classic Sidecar cocktail.

Or put some color in your apres with the Hidden Splendor, fusing High West’s Vodka 7000′ with pomegranate juice and topped with sparkling wine.

Smooth out a great day on the mountain with one of these delicious cocktails, available through our entire Golden Anniversary season!

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Watch the Superbowl at Park City Mountain Resort

Watch the Big Game at Legends

Spending Sunday morning on the mountain is a no-brainer. But, if you’re still wondering where to catch the big game after conquering the slopes we’ve got just the place for you: head to Legends Bar & Grill in Legacy Lodge. Equipped with 3 large flat screen TVs, a full bar and delicious food, Legends can be your home away from home… just steps from the snow. Game-day specials include:

– Miller Lite buckets (5 beers to a bucket) for $17
– 22 oz. Miller Lite drafts for $5, served in a pint glass that’s yours to keep

– Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip, always a fan favorite, for $10.95
– Crab Dip for $10.95

Legends opens daily at 11 a.m.

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World Cup Weekend with Fresh Snow!!!

A fresh blanket of snow is welcoming the world’s best athletes in aerials and moguls to Park City for the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup at Deer Valley Resort, January 8-11.  Next weekend, witness the pipe event of the season at the VISA U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix at Park City Mountain Resort. Events are free to the public.

At the center of it all, you’ll find Park City – a true ski town with over 100 restaurants and bars, dozens ofshops and galleries. And all of it, including an endless selection of lodging possibilities from slope-side condos to full-service hotels and fully-furnished private homes, is just a 35-minute ride from Salt Lake City International Airport. It’s the winter vacation of a lifetime.

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FIS Freestyule Ski World Cup 2014

 
 
Why Prudential Utah?
Park City Event News
 

   

 

The 2014 FIS Freestyle World Cup will take place January 8-11, 2014 at Deer Valley Resort. The FIS Freestyle World Cup is the world’s most prestigious freeski athletic competition outside of the Olympics and will include aerials, moguls and dual moguls competitions at Deer Valley Resort. Competitors from around the world will challenge each other and themselves on Deer Valley’s 2002 Olympic runs. Join thousands of spectators as the best freestyle skiers from around the globe compete in mogul, dual moguls and aerials. It’s an event not to be missed!

 

To kick off the 2014 FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup on Wednesday, January 8, at 7 p.m., a free live concert will take place on lower Main Street in Park City. The celebration continues immediately after the concert with a spectacular fireworks show. All events are free to the public. For details about the event visitwww.deervalley.com

 

Wed, Jan. 8th – Evening Entertainment ~ Lower Main Street

Thur, Jan. 9 – Mogul Finals ~ Champion Ski Run

Fri, Jan. 10 – Aerial Finals ~ White Owl Ski Run

Sat, Jan. 11 – Dual Mogul Finals ~ Champion Ski Run