DEER VALLEY RE-DISCOVERED
11th January 2020 | James Cove, Utah
Last modified on January 13th, 2020
The first resort we’re hitting in Utah is Deer Valley. Consistently voted the No1 resort in the USA. So, is it?
There’s nothing quite like throwing open the curtains in a ski resort in the morning and being greeted by such a view.
Or driving to a resort with these views out of the window.
And heading up the first lifts to the top.
And at the top.
Deer Valley is certainly the No1 resort for scenery in my opinion.
Today I was going to be in for a treat as my guide was the Deer Valley Ambassador – none other than Heidi Voelker.
A three time Olympian and regular on the World Cup circuit in the late 80s and early 90s.
She was quite simply one of the best skiers I have skied with and perhaps the most fun.
We reduced each other to hysterical laughter for much of the time and skied our arses off.
More of my day with Heidi later – much more.
So, what about the resort itself?
It was the first resort to go unashamedly upmarket and try to attract the rich and the famous.
It set the standard and may others have followed – skiing without the discomfort.
It is known for its 5* hotels, excellent levels of service and on slope helpfulness.
From uniformed hosts all over the mountain offering help and advice.
To tissue dispensers at the bottom of its lifts.
It has 21 lifts, 103 ski runs, six bowls, 820 acres of gladed tree skiing and claims 7.6m of snow each year.
It has a cap on lift ticket sales so the slopes don’t get too busy.
The rich, famous and the aspiring have homes here.
Now I must confess it has not been one of my favourite resorts in North America as I find it a bit too manicured.
I had never really found any challenging skiing here – more cruising the groomers, than steep and deep.
Today that was all about to change.
‘You wanna do the groomers or something more fun?” Heidi asked me as we set off.
Minutes later we were at the top of the Mayflower bowl.
“Which is your favourite area?” I asked.
We were soon at the top of Lady Morgan bowl.
“C’mon James hurry up or you’ll miss the fun.”
And as we headed to the Daly bowl and shutes the views continued to be utterly fabulous.
The image perhaps doesn’t quite do it justice but the Daly bowl is steep enough.
It’s a small jump in of a couple of metres or so, and then a great pitch down to the bottom.
I was glad to make it without mishap.
Then it was into the trees.
Now I should say that Deer Valley is world-famous for its groomed skiing and the pistes.
But you’ll have to take other people’s word for it as we stuck to Heidi’s favourite areas and they are well way from the groomers.
As I said, I have visited Deer Valley in the past several times and to be honest I have been somewhat underwhelmed.
Well, I was wrong.
Heidi had uncovered a whole new Deer Valley for me.
And as we bade our farewells I asked her what she thought of the nearby resort of Alta.
It is one of my personal favourites in the whole of North America.
Scroll down this article from a few years ago to find out why as we swung by Alta.
“You know, I have never been,” Heidi replied.
“What?!” I responded.
“You must go and soon,” I said.
“Only if you come with me and show me round. I’m not going unless you come.”
We shook on it.
I now know at least one resort I will be skiing in the season of 2020/21.
My next stop is Park City Mountain Resort… a day in Deer Valley with Heidi is going to be a hard act to follow.
A very hard act.
I’ll do my best.