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Ski (all of) Utah Glorious: Films and freshies on a bluebird day at Sundance

February 8, 2017

JJ and I will be arguing about the movie for years to come.

He thoroughly enjoyed it. To him, “My Happy Family,” was like getting to peak in on the way an intergenerational family from Georgia — that’s country, not state — handles the tumult sparked by a middle-aged woman’s decision to move out and live on her own. “I forgot I was watching something fictional,” he said. “Every one of the characters was so real to me.”  

I felt the same way, and was thus far less impressed. “I just felt voyeuristic,” I said. “It felt like we were just looking in on another family’s mundane problems, but we’ve all got mundane problems.”

This, of course, is what the Sundance Film Festival is all about. We don’t have to agree on everything.

But at least on one thing, JJ and I see things completely the same way: Just about everything we did before walking into the movie (in our snowboarding bibs and boots) was little short of divine.

It was the first bluebird day of our trip, and while we did not for a moment lament the epic snow we’d enjoyed throughout our journey, we were happy to see the sun. We were also happy to see Brian Wimmer, who couldn’t have been a more apt host for a day dedicated to skiing and movie-watching — I’d first gotten to know Brian decades ago as “Boonie,” the lifeguard on ABC’s Vietnam War-era drama “China Beach.” Though he’s had dozens of roles in the 26 years since that show went off the air, Brian’s real love is here at Sundance Resort, where he’s officially called the “fly fishing and activities ambassador,” which as far as I can tell is really just another way of saying “I’ve got my dream job.”

As a younger man, before his days in Hollywood, the Orem native helped cut a lot of these runs. Today he’s employing that knowledge to help us poach powder.

That’s just we do. Cruising through icicle-coated aspens and traversing to find untouched lines in wide-open bowls. And yes, six days into this exhilarating-but-exhausting trip, we spent some time on the groomers, too, cruising down and parking our boards just steps away from the resort’s almost ski-in-ski-out movie theater.

Yeah, we can agree on this: It was glorious.

Next stop: Eagle Point 

Matthew D. LaPlante skied or snowboarded at all of Utah’s 14 ski resorts—in seven days—with fellow powderhounds Jared “JJ” Jones and Erik “Swede” Price. Follow their trip on Twitter: @SkiAllOfUtah.

Andrea Peterson

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