Participate in the Alta Time Capsule!
I have mentioned Liftopia quite a bit in the past, and they still rock. But here are new KILLER lift ticket deals that just came to my attention, facilitated by Backcountry.com. The best part about these deals is that all the proceeds go to the Utah Avalanche Center.
Save money and donate to one of the most important non-profits in Utah at the same time!
Sidenote: Discounts are based on regular season pricing. For a couple of weeks you can still get early season prices from several Utah ski resorts.
Although we had a great snow event in October, and a major pounding with “Winter Storm Brutus” early in November, the snow in the Wasatch has been scarce since. Rather than dealing with rocky traverses we decided to spend Thanksgiving this year down in Southern Utah. My folks visiting from central NY, two wee ones, short days and cold nights inspired us to do something we have never done before: rent a house instead of camp in the desert near Gooseberry Mesa.
Sidenote: We found Gooseberry Mesa Loge in Apple Valley on VRBO. If you’re looking for a rental in that area we highly recommend staying there…especially if you have young kids!
We have done our share of pedaling in Southern Utah in the autumn, but never this late in the year. The low sun angles and temps made for a pleasant and unique riding experience (for us, anyway). During the 4th week in November the prime hours during the day for pedaling Gooseberry trails were from 10am-2pm. Before 10am it was quite chilly, and after 2pm the sun was real low and the chill was returning.
Both days (rode South Rim and JEM/Rim Trail) temps hit in the upper 50s and perhaps even 60. Pretty darn ideal. I made a short edit with the YouTube video editor. Be sure to watch the whole 2:10, or at least the last 45 seconds 🙂
Updated November 23, 2015
I am a huge fan of sustainable manufacturing…especially ski manufacturers. There are THREE in particular in my stomping grounds of Park City and the Wasatch Mountains of Utah:
RAMP skis are manufactured by skiers in Park City. Takes about 30 seconds of turning their skis, or visiting their website for that matter…to know they’re a special company. I have been skiing the Peacepipes for several years.
You will not see any big Black Friday or Cyber Monday banners at the Free The Powder website. Real deal, functional, powder ski gloves that are ALWAYS more than reasonably priced. Now you know.
Founded and designed by former U.S. Ski Team racers, Soul Poles are hand-made bamboo ski poles straight out of Park City, Utah. Yes, bamboo. #plantyoursole
If those rootsy UT-based manufacturers don’t have the ski gear you need, here are some hand-picked cyber week ski deals from web retailers I recommend. Ski bum budgets considered!
This season officially marks 75 years of skiing at Alta! Of course before the ski area opened there were a select few “ultra humans” accessing Alta’s terrain via Park City & Big Cottonwood Canyon…including Alf Engen (Alan Engen interview by Johnny B), who was hired by the Forest Service in 1935 to determine the area’s potential as a winter sports site. Check out the Alta Historical Timeline we put together for AltaCam a spell ago. It’s due for an update, but it’s still worth browsing.
Back on Nov 1st Alta Ski Lifts posted the following question to their Facebook page: Question: If Alta Ski Area was transformed into a tasty microbrew, what type of beer would it be? The question generated a buzz with over 50 people taking a guess (including my guess, which was the Dubhe Imperial Black IPA LOL). Well later that day, it was clear why that question was asked with a follow-up post:
Ladies and gents, we here at Alta Ski Area are proud to present the Alta 75th Anniversary Ale. This thirst quenching steep and deep dry hopped Pale Ale, brewed in collaboration with Wasatch Beers, is the perfect pairing for those deep days to come this winter. Drink up and enjoy.
So there you have it. Not only do we get another year of skiing “The Greatest Snow on Earth”, we get to celebrate the 75th year with an Alta-dedicated pale ale after the lifts close. For more info check out this excellent write-up at the Alta website.
Gear up, snow is coming!
For the past couple of winters I have been proud to be riding Garage Skis. Proud for one because my friend custom builds these out of his garage in the Salt Lake valley. But I was also proud to be on skis that were handmade in the USA, rather than built by machine in a land far away. My Garage Skis have served me well, but like any hard charging ski they are pretty much done after 80-100 days skiing in the Wasatch. They held up with quite the beat down, considering last season was literally “the winter of no snow”. The 2011-2012 season was one of the worst snow years on record in LCC.
So when I started thinking about what skis to line up for this season, it occurred to me that RAMP Sports was now building skis by hand right in my back yard. For my day job, RAMP Sports is a client so I was already familiar and intrigued with their mission and branding strategy. I had also seen some press recently about their new factory here in Park City. I decided to reach out to them because it is my goal to support ski companies (well, any outdoor company) with a sustainable vision. Not only are RAMP skis built by hand here in Park City, they are all about responsible green practices and materials and do plenty to walk-the-walk when it comes to these things.
When I reached out by email Vanessa and Polly responded right away. They invited me to the factory for a tour and to spend some time learning more about the brand. To simply say “I was impressed” would be an understatement. Although I already knew this, it was easy to see they were on to something good just by interacting with the team, and observing the company culture close up. Take a look at the embedded video below with Brant Moles. It says it all and speaks clearly to why RAMP Sports is such a unique start-up in the ski industry. What other ski brand can have team members come to their factory in the USA and mold their own skis?!
Similar to the attributes of Soul Poles that I like (featured on my last post) RAMP Sports is local, walking-the-walk when it comes to green business practices and giving back to the community. Stay tuned this winter because I am going to have LOTS more to say about these guys…especially once I get my boots locked into some Peacepipe 2013 Skis after the first big Wasatch dump!
BTW the best place to get your hands on RAMP skis are directly from them. Visit their website to browse/shop. Take a look!
I knew they were in PC, and although I heard the company name mentioned by friends, and saw some stuff online, I only just recently had a closer look. It took hearing Park City resident Bryon Friedman (Soul Poles founder) on KPCW (our local radio station) talking about their bamboo trekking poles for me to think to myself: Hmmm, I need to email Bryon and see if I can check these out. So I did. Bryon responded immediately, had me in to the shop for a tour and set-up me up with some “Original Soul” poles for this winter. To say I am “Psyched” is an understatement.
As soon as I held them in my hands, my first thought was that everyone is going to be asking me about these on the lift. I know I would be intrigued if someone sat down next to me with Soul Poles. REALLY slick and unique looking product! Of course the best part to me is that they are sustainably manufactured BY HAND here in Park City, not to mention their durability.
Some Soul Poles highlights include:
Early this ski season I was contact by Mary Palmer who also lives here in Park City. She found this blog, noted we had two young kids, and offered to send us a copy of her children’s ski book: Safely Ski from A to Z
I have to say a big THANK YOU to Mary…it was perfect timing this year for us to have your book!
So far this has been Ellie’s epic skier year. She went from stomping her feet skiing between my legs last winter, to Level 3 in three lessons at Alta Ski School this winter. By the last of her four lesson package in February she was riding the lifts with the class. Her instructors were really impressed with her balance at 4 years old. She was pedaling her bike @Trailside pump track when she was still 3, so maybe that has something to do with it 😉
I believe having this book for bedtime stories while she was learning to ski safely in real life was an incredible opportunity, not to mention the learning value of relating the safety message to letters of the alphabet. Not only does Ellie ask to read Safely Ski From A to Z regularly now, but her 2 year old little brother loves it as well.
Today at work we swapped around YouTube avi footage that’s been getting around social media as of late…at least in my neck of the Interwebs. I decided to post three. They are all impressive to say the least. The lift carnage in two of them is #badass (St Francois-Longchamp & Chimbulak respectively), but my favorite is the Telluride Monster off Ajax Peak…top one listed below. LOVE the boulders mingling in the snow slide and whole town of Telluride cheering @ around the one minute mark 🙂 The second one listed is also in CO by the town of Ophir -Check these out and comment to let me know which one you like best!
For more information on Telluride visit Telluride.net.
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