Every time I think I'm "in the know" of who's who in Utah skiing I see an article like the one on Brian Clark's Snow Blog and realize I've got a long way to go.
That's the beauty of the various ski resorts - each resort has their own crew of permanent fixtures who appear each fall with the snows and slip away with the melting snow into "other lives" until the smell of winter's snow fills the air.
Jim Engle has been part of this routine at Solitude Mountain Resort for over 25 years - faithfully showing up at the season pass office to plunk down his hard earned cash in trade for hopes of powder days and sunny spring corn. The ROI must measure up as the following season he ponies up once again.
From the article Jim is says of Solitude:
"There is good out-of-bounds access here like other ski areas, but I really think the snow is better here," said Engle, who moved from his native New Jersey to Utah in 1982.
"But because of the way Solitude is laid out on a north-facing ridge, the snow stays better here longer," he said. "Alta and Snowbird are the most impressive resorts in Utah, but I think the snow stays better here longer."
I'm sure every skier who calls him or herself a local at one of Utah's resorts could quickly point out similar reasons they call their hill "home". For Jim, it's enough to keep him coming back and silently getting down to the business of skiing powder all season long.