Powder Day at Sundance

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by Paul Maraschiello

It was snowing hard when I started to drive to the Sundance Ski Resort from Midway, near Park City. As I drove, the snow came down harder and harder. I went over the mountains and kept following the truck ahead of me. I never even saw the sign for Sundance, it was snowing so hard. When I got to Provo, the police had the road going the other way blocked off. Going to Sundance that day was not possible. Later I found out that they had closed the access road due to the possibility of avalanche. So, I found my lodgings and settled in for a quiet day in front of the TV.



Accommodations
After staying in a fancy room at a brand new resort, I was a little disappointed to be checking in at the Provo Super 8. I was really surprised by the room. This was a REALLY nice room. It was fairly large with a kingsize bed and a jacuzzi in an alcove off the bedroom which I used to soak my tired muscles after a day of skiing. In the morning they provided a complimentary continental breakfast that included a waffle-making machine that dispensed fresh batter and then cooked the waffles in minutes. For reservations at this moderately priced motel, call 801-374-6020 and tell them that you read about them in the Ski Bum News.

Sundance
I headed up the access road and found myself at Sundance. This is a small ski resort by Western standards with only three chairlifts, BUT there is a lot to ski. The top elevation is 8,250 ft. with a vertical drop of 2,150ft. They have 41 runs on 450 acres of land. There is one quad lift and two triple chair lifts.

I had the pleasure of a guided tour by the Assistant Ski School Director and his wife. They were fun to ski with and I really enjoyed their company. We explored the mountain all morning. There are some nice bowls

Skiing
One of the Ski Instructors took me to the ski shop and the staff there fixed me up with a pair of powder skis for the day. The Ski School arranged for me to ski with the Assistant Director of the Ski School, Greg Newton and his wife Leigh. They were very pleasant and fun to ski with. We rode to the top of the mountain and skied all the Intermediate trails and a few of the easier Expert trails. I had a chance to ride all the chair lifts and got an excellent over view of this ski area. The trails were in good shape with soft moguls on some and groomed conditions on others. Although Sundance is small, there is plenty to ski. We hit trails like Grizzly Ridge, Maverick, Flatnose and Outlaw. We took Bear Claw to the bottom of the Arrowhead chair and then rode up again and skied over to the Flathead chair.



I saw plenty of very steep bowls and shoots that would delight the powder hounds and those looking to make "freshies". As I was with two people who really knew the trails, I just followed them and had a really great morning skiing with my guides.



When we went to the base area, Leigh gave me the tour of the cluster of buildings at the base. We visited the Tree Room restaurant, Foundry Grill, and Art Shack where potters and glass-blowers do their thing. She showed me the theater and other sites at the bottom of the mountain. I had a bowl of chili for lunch in the small base restaurant and then met up with three guides who took me around after lunch. We spent most of the afternoon skiing the trails serviced by Ray's Lift. They showed me sites that were used in the Filming of Jeremiah Johnson and the scenery at this ski resort is very beautiful. By the end of the day, I was ready to head back to my hotel room and soak in the jacuzzi.

My overall impression of Sundance was very favorable. I was told that celebrities often ski at Sundance. The ski area is small but it has a lot to offer skiers of every ability. They have accommodations on the mountain but it's very close to Provo where you will find more modestly priced places to stay like the Provo Super 8. Season passes are extremely reasonable ($475 Adult Unlimited & $275 Adult Midweek) with an Adult weekend lift tickets going for $45 for a full day, $36 for day and for a $24 twilight. With a midweek ticket for $35. Children ski for $20 and Seniors for $12. I'm sure these prices bring a few local people to the slopes. They have cross country skiing and do allow snowboarders. They have a bar but you must pay a $5 membership fee just to but a drink, so do your drinking elsewhere unless you are staying there.

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