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Skiing Deer Valley

Skiing Around Deer Valley with Heidi Voelker

By

Skiing Deer Valley

Heidi Voelker and the Dream Ski House

Copyright Mike Doyle
With all the attention given to skiers needs and courtesies, it's easy to see how Deer Valley wins the hearts, minds, and votes of skiers. Last time I skied at Deer Valley I was able to meet Stein Erickson and on a recent visit I had the opportunity to ski with three time U.S. Olympian and Deer Valley Ambassador of Skiing, Heidi Voelker - it doesn't get much better than that.

Deer Valley - Proud to be a Winner

On this trip to Park City, I was staying at the Marriott MountainSide and, although I could have taken the MountainSide shuttle it was only a short walk to the bus stop and a quick bus ride to the welcome area at Deer Valley.

I arrived early at Deer Valley where it had snowed a good ten inches overnight and I wanted to walk around and take some early morning photos at the base area. Quite by accident I ran into Tom Merrill, a Deer Valley Mountain host who introduced me to Stein Eriksen on my earlier visit. As courteous and friendly as ever Tom was still happily leading one of the twice daily, free mountain tours introducing skiers to some really neat skiing around Deer Valley.

Inside the Snow Park Lodge, on one wall, near a very comfortable waiting and sitting area, are two framed covers of Ski Magazine's Best Resorts of the Year issue. Of course, these were the two consecutive years Deer Valley was voted #1 by readers.

Rightfully proud of this honor, Deer Valley does not rest on its laurels and is always looking to offer more services to guests. Deer Valley courtesies begin right at the bus stop with ski valets helping you get your skis.

This attention to guests needs continues throughout the day around the mountain and at the end your day, wouldn't it be nice to not have to schlepp your skis back on the bus. How does free overnight ski storage sound? Well, it's offered here at Deer Valley, only steps from the bus stop!

Skiing with Heidi Voelker

Heidi Voelker is originally from Massachusetts and I mentioned to her we must have certainly skied at the same resorts. Although, Heidi skied them much after I first did and much faster, for sure.

Heidi competed on the World Cup circuit for the U.S. Ski Team specializing in the technical races - Slalom, GS, and Super G and represented the U.S. in the Winter Olympic Games at Lillehammer, Albertville, and Calgary. Have no doubt she still loves to ski, loves to ski fast (and not so fast, thank you) and now at Deer Valley she really loves showing the area to guests.

When I told Heidi that it been a few years since I last visited Deer Valley and had never skied the Lady Morgan area she lit up with a smile and I knew I was in for a treat. Heidi is the kind of excited skier that can't wait to get to the top of the chairlift. She knows Deer valley and loves pointing out runs and bowls and beautiful homes but she loves to point those skis downhill.

First time on Lady Morgan

When we reached the top of the Empire Express, the six inches of new snow at the base had doubled to a good 10 - 12 inches of fresh powder and Heidi's enthusiasm was obvious to everyone she greeted. When we headed off and stopped at the top of Lady Morgan Bowl she was sure to point to where we were going to ski to and then we were off.

You can be skiing with five or ten friends, but when you get the chance to make your own first tracks in a Utah bowl of fresh powder that you never skied before - you are all alone in your own little piece of heaven on earth.

When I met up with Heidi she had a smile as big as I did and I knew we were going back up again. However, first we rode the Lady Morgan Express so I could see and ski the new terrain I hadn't skied on my last visit.

Daly Bowl? - How About a Daly Chute

As we rode the Empire Express back up, Heidi pointed out some skiers in Daly Bowl, and I mentioned I had skied that before. Not wanting to take me someplace I might not feel comfortable skiing, once I said I had skied there Heidi's smile lit up and I knew where we were headed - sort of.

Making our way down Orion to the top of Daly Bowl, Heidi said the snow was so good we should go over and check out the Daly Chutes. The term 'Chutes' can cause a tingling of trepidation and conjuring of narrow gaps of snow. However, the Daly Chutes are tree lined and funnel off an open top area. Heidi checked them until we found one I could round out on the top and turn nicely into the wide chute part.

Noting that there was that nice pillow of fresh snow to fall on I asked Heidi what the black circles were at the top near the lip of the chute. She calmly advised me that it was from the morning's avalanche control to trim off the wind blown cornice. I took a quick picture of that, thanked the Ski Patrol, and skied in.

It was great all the way to the tree line, where I tried to cut off some speed and got a nice face shot - face first - but it was great fun and I earned it!

Stein's Way and more Deer Valley

We had plans for lunch at the Royal Street Cafe located in the Silver Lake Lodge, but first I wanted to check out the view from the top of Bald Mountain and take a run on Stein's Way. This is a classic run and you don't have to be an expert skier to enjoy the view. In fact, there are green trails off the summits of all but Empire where a blue trail (Supreme) leads down to the green beginner trails.

There is so much to see around Deer Valley resort and we were able to make a stop at the Stein Eriksen Lodge. I even got a photo of Heidi with the Ski Magazine Dream Ski House in the background.

This was a great day of skiing around Deer Valley. I was able to ski new terrain I never skied before and do it with an enthusiastic Ambassador who loved to ski it as much as I did. Heidi Voelker and Stein Eriksen could probably live and ski anywhere they choose - they choose Deer Valley - visit and you'll see why.

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with a complimentary lift ticket for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.

Park City, Utah
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