Holiday Skiing

By Ray Grass Dec 29, 2009
What locals have learned about skiing holidays and weekends

Holiday skiing. It's one of my favorite times. Santa on the slopes, skiers from all over the world visiting and a string of torches on parade.

I’m surprised at the number of people who say they'll wait until after the clock strikes midnight and a new year begins before they put on the skis.

The main excuse is: Too busy . . . family, friends and lift lines.

There always seems to be open time between gatherings, at least I've found it so over the years.

That leaves lift lines. And, with a little planning even here there are solutions.

What "locals" have found is that on weekends and holidays the secret is to move away from the crowds.     

     -- Start early. Be among the first to be seated on a lift and then head for the higher runs. It typically takes awhile for the crowds to make their way to the upper areas.
    -- Break early. With high-speed lifts these days a skier can usually get several early runs in before, say, 10:30 a.m. or so. While others are out skiing, it’s a good time to enjoy a hot drink and snack. There are usually no lines.
    -- Ski during lunch. After the break, head back to the slopes while others are headed in for lunch. Surprising how lines shrink during the noon hour.
     -- Break after lunch. Take another break after crowds have moved back onto the slopes.
     -- Ski late. By mid-afternoon skiers start moving down to the base to head for hot tubs and evening activities.

With the number of high-speed lifts available and some proper planning I’ve been able to get in all the skiing my legs can stand during the holidays.

Something else I enjoy is talking with others going up the lifts. I've found it interesting to discover where they traveled from, what brought them to Utah and whether or not they were here for the first time or returning. I'm always surprised to discover how many return skiers there are. And, how many, in different words, have "discovered" Utah skiing.

I also recommend taking in a torch-light parade on New Year's Eve.

So I leave you with this message: Happy Holiday Skiing.