As you likely know, COVID shut down all of our ski resorts in the beginning of March. That includes PCMR, Canyons & Deer Valley. Then, Park City asked all visitors to please head home. And just like that, it was the end of ski season…or was it?
For many folks who live in the shadows of some of the best ski runs in the country, the Siren’s song of un-touched snow and fresh powder was just too much. And even with the lifts closed, there was no stopping die-hards. We started seeing people quietly hiking up to get in one good run down. Remember, this is a very fit town. A common refrain from skiers who, in non-COVID times, hike up and ski down is, “Earn your turns.” There’s a pride to it. About a month ago, a gal carrying her snowboard on her back said, “No lifts? No problem.” A neighbor told us (from a safe distance) that when he’d hiked up the previous day, he’d seen two fellows from the resort on a snowmobile. He was worried that he was going to get in trouble. After all, he was poaching. But as they passed him all they just called out, “Stay safe.”
And there was a comradery to it. Several snowshoers started regularly hiking up every day after work. They’d share their waves of recognition and solidarity. It was like an unofficial club. No one hung out, but seeing familiar faces was comforting.
For anyone who took advantage of their proximity to the resorts, this has been an odd but special season. One I’m sure we’ll recount with a strange fondness. It was quiet, tranquil, beautiful. It was the season that the hard-core went back to basics. You want to ski down? Prove it. Hike up.
Now that the snow is finally melting, the skis, boards and snowshoes are getting lockered until next season. The mountain and road bikes are starting to emerge. Again, it’s an active town. So, we raise a glass to the end of poaching season. Hope you earned your turns.
Your Resort Resident
P.S. Vail & Deer Valley are offering discounts for next season to anyone who had a 2019/2020 season pass. See you out there.