Salt Lake magazine
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Ski (all of) Utah Sweet as Honeycomb: Solitude imparts first chair experiences — all day long

January 30, 2017

There was no hemming or hawing over the decision.

Solitude had gotten two feet of snow in the 48 hours preceding our arrival. And so we went to the place you go when heaven bestows such blessings.

We went to Honeycomb.

Vivian Bengtson had been on her board all day at that point, looping powder runs off Summit lift, while we were just arriving for an afternoon shred. No matter. She was as enthusiastic about hitting the ‘Comb as she would have been for her first run of the day.

Because — at Utah’s most fittingly named resort — it’s really the same thing. A three minute hike to the edge of the Black Forest imparted untracked runs the sort one generally expects to find only when lifts open or line drop. I crossed a few tracks en route the aspens at the bottom of Navarone, but not many.

Days like this always make me wonder: Where is everybody? And always the answer comes back: Well, who really cares?

Viv has been riding Solitude since she was a little girl, and she attests these experiences are not an anomaly. If you know where to look, and even if you don’t but you’re simply willing to poke around, this resort holds its powder for days, and sometimes as much as a week after a good storm.

And not just in Honeycomb. When that canyon closed, we watched Viv pop 360s into powder pockets under Eagle Ridge, then headed back to Apex lift, from where we dropped into the barely touched roller coaster runs under the newly cut Summit Access West track.

We toasted the day with drinks at Library Bar. There was no one else there. And that felt right. We’d found Solitude.

Next stop: Brighton.

Matthew D. LaPlante is skiing or boarding 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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