I have put my skis away for the year as my January buy one get one free AMEX cert trip was fun, but my last trip to Utah was some of the best skiing I have ever had in my life. It was just amazing and so much fun!
For any trip, I do a ton of planning. Naturally the first is how to get there. I looked at points, but while searching found a great price just buying tickets in 1st class for about 50% over coach. Plus, since I had a $400 bump ETV, just buying was the way to go to earn a bunch of MQM’s and RDM’s. Plus, booking in the higher fare class gave me a nice bump in Skybonus points to get my next redemption I wanted. The trip was great and the lunch was one of the best things I have ever had on an airplane.
This cold grilled steak with potato salad was just the best. Lisa had a chicken & goat cheese pizza that she really liked as well.
The crew also was just tops and I found an interesting Chairman’s award plaque on the wall. I also gave out one of my Charmian’s cards to one of the FA’s on this flight, Venus, as she was tops!
The next step, where to stay. I love hotel upgrades and suites and grand spaces. But, for me, as long as it is clean, heat works, price is right or price in points, that just works for me. I have already posted a report about the Marriott property we stayed at HERE.
One of the many reasons I just LOVE Salt Lake is that you can drive to so many resorts in about 1 hour. When it comes to skiing, a van is just nice. Even though we were just 4, my nephew snowboards, so a ski rack is nice or room inside works too. I have my ski hikers I travel with but as I did when I searched for a car for my Grand Cayman trip, I looked at the price from all sorts of places, including using Ultimate Rewards to pay for van. UR’s via Enterprise proved to be the best deal, not only in cost, but in availability as most other locations did not have any vans. Booking via UR, I chose to use just 1 single point and then paid for the rest on my Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to get bonus points and the rental protection the Visa Signature cards provide. Plus, a ski rack was included in the price. Once I got there, they did not have any vans with racks, so, I was given a free upgrade to a just about brand new Suburban 4 wheel drive.
Day one was a free ski day thanks to the Quick Start program at Park City. We hit the slopes by 4ish and got some nice warm-up runs in. One fun thing going on was that Disney was filming for a new movie on the way called “Cloud 9″ in the half pipe with tons of smoke, tricks and strobe lights. Sorry, but I did not get any shots.
Day two we were off to Snowbasin. We picked up discount tickets at Alpine Sports in Ogden on the way. This is another great thing about Skiing Utah. Ski & See, Canyon Sports and a bunch of others all sell discount tickets to most of the resorts. We saved $9 each off the $82 day rate at the resort.
Our first days of skiing were “bluebird” and conditions were good as the week before they had been just dumped on with low moisture snow; not just a little, they got 3+ feet of snow.
Snowbasin was a quaint little place before the 2002 Olympics, but that all changed and now the main lodge is huge and 2 high speed gondolas cover most of the mountain. Nice when it is snowing like crazy but a bit warm on sunny days. It is a big mountain and a good mix of beginner, intermediate at expert runs. You can feel conformable at any experience level at Snowbaisn and enjoy the day.
After skiing all day, we used a $50 off Restaurant.com coupon to enjoy a great steak at JASOH! in Ogden (no we did not try the Yak)!
Day 3 was up to Powder Mountain and some runs with reader Steve (he had a nice guest post this week on the blog btw). I truly love PM. It is a huge area with lots of intermediate runs. If there is a powder day, this place is just great, but we had another day of sunshine.
The lodge is old and classic and the lifts are not the speediest, but the place is rarely packed like the other big resorts. If you go to Utah, make time to visit this place!
Day 4 we were going to take off, but decided to go meet our other friends who had just arrived at Brighton. The discount pass you can grab at Ski and See can be used as a full day pass OR, after 12:30 for a twilight pass from 12:30-9:PM. We slept in and by the time we got up to Brighton at lunch it had started to snow. It just DUMPED on us all afternoon long. The powder was deep and so much fun to play in that we did not get the day off we had first planned. With this much “fluffy fun” we just had to play. Brighton is another GREAT place for all skill levels. Plus, all the runs all funnel down to the main lodge. I love Brighton and you should make it a place to go during your visit!
Day 5. My legs are burning, but the snow was non-stop and more was on the way. We decided to head back to Powder Mountain and we were so happy we did. The skiing was the most fun I have ever had in my life. We found tons of fresh, fluffy runs all day long. Just WOW! We were also very happy we got the Suburban upgrade from Enterprise as when it was time to leave, a bus and a bunch of cars slid off the road on the way down the mountain. This blocked the road so we stayed put for a few hours and had a beverage and some pizza. Make a note, on a powder day, make sure you have 4 wheel drive going to PM!
Day 6. We almost took the day off, but since we were in Utah, why not ski one last day. We went back to Snowbasin and it was packed. Conditions were nice after all this fresh powder and more that day, but we took it easy and enjoyed the last day of fun.
So that wraps up this year’s ski trips and they were a blast. I now have my mileage run to IST soon, then a spring trip to Sweden on Delta, a great seminar in May, my PHX mileage run also in May, then a summer trip to Sweden and on and on! Oh what trips we can take on points, ETV’s and a bit of cash! :-) – René
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