Where are you, I said. Driving back from Sundance, she said. I've never skied there before. Wow. It was sooo fun, and so laid back. This was a recent call from my friend Kate, who lives in San Francisco, but comes to Utah often for business, especially right around the time of the Outdoor Retailer show. This was her first time skiing at Sundance Resort, and she was blown away by the beauty of the mountain, the terrain, and the fact that after many years of coming to Utah on ski-related business trips, she had never been there before. I get this all the time. I know countless locals in Park City who live only a short drive away from Sundance Resort, yet have never skied there. Maybe it's because there is a bounty of skiing at Deer Valley, Park City Mountain Resort, and The Canyons, that us locals easily take for granted. Maybe it's because when you visit the Sundance Resort website to casually browse for quick info about the mountain, you have to scan the entire homepage before you find a tiny link that even mentions skiing. Maybe it gives the locals the impression that the skiing is secondary, but I can tell you that would be a false impression.
One of my local's secrets is to hit Sundance for a ski day or two during the Sundance Film Festival. For one, it always snows during the festival, so you know the conditions will be good. This last week of storms: case in point. This could mean many laps of untracked shots in Bishops Bowl on a powder day. If you get hungry and need a break, you can step out of your skis and head into the Bearclaw Cabin at the top of the mountain for a signature tin of nachos, then walk outside, step in your bindings, and pick up right where you left off, dropping back into the bowl. All the while, you are graced with amazing views on clear days that rival any resort in Utah. Sundance really shines as a place for a family ski day, especially if you have little ones. There are cool mellow trails that wind around the mountain, more than enough adventure for my 5 year old who gets excited about saying she went all the way to the top of the mountain. The skiable acres are relatively small (under 500 skiable acres) compared to other resorts, but it skis a whole lot bigger than that.