Photo courtesy of Ski Utah
They seem like they are worlds apart since each of Utah’s 14 ski areas carries such a distinct personality. Each has its own face. Each has its own mountain map. Each draws, in part, a defining crowd. And yet ski surveys constantly report on Utah’s “skier accessibility’’ and how quickly skiers can make it from the baggage claim to the ski lift. And not just one or two slopes, but hundreds in a matter of minutes.
Back in 2005, a group of skiers under the guidance of Ski Utah skied 11 of Utah’s then 13 resorts in a single day—all during daylight hours. What they found was that each resort did, in fact, have its own personality and terrain. Alta has its history, Snowbird its stark turf, Brighton its terrain parks, Deer Valley its manicured grooming, Canyons its family appeal, Park City Mountain Resort its variety, Snowbasin its ties with the Olympics and Powder Mountain its expansive powder fields.
“We proved it was possible, only in Utah,” says Ski Utah President Nathan Rafferty of the feat, which allowed the group to make 12 runs at the 11 resorts and ski 19,226 vertical feet all during winter’s short daylight hours. “Experiencing the atmosphere at each resort is almost like going from one country to another.”
Though skiers can go from tarmac to tram in under an hour, skiing all the resorts in a day is a task rooted in impracticality, since—without partnerships between resorts—lift tickets would cost more than $800 for the day and would allow for only one run at each ski area.
But, with a little advanced planning, visiting two or even three Utah resorts in under seven hours is possible and stands to earn you bragging rights for bagging more than one peak in a single day.