Utahan tales: Sundance review ’11 – “The Best is Last”
(Part 5 of 7 part series: Utahan Tales a 5/5 frolic in Utah: ’11-12 ski season)
What can be considered an iconic flick in American cinematography, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid fed my infantile fantasy of cowboy superheroes. Even as the young adult I was when the movie was released in screen and I was released upon the world. Butch and his side-kick Sundance were anti-heroes whose questionable ethics could be seen as whitewashed by their “honor among thieves“ morality which clearly portrayed their deep quality of loyalty and commitment, misguided as it was.
Wasn’t this my self-image. Young, brash, confident, adventurous, but ultimately merely seeking truth and justice within the tough cosmos of reality? Or beyond my imagination, was I just another youthful piss pot looking for fun regardless of the risk and rules? Even now, I prefer the first perspective. But I do realize that so much in life depends which end of the stick you grasp. And it is reassuring to know my mother – God rest her soul – would agree with me … uh … maybe, I hope.
Sundance ski resort is the brainchild of Robert Redford, who along with Paul Newman plus many other film icons starred in the movie classic. It is not only home to a famous film festival, but one my my favorite ski areas. Here’s why:
1. The vertical drop is 2.140 feet
2. It’s compact (450 acres) and quaint retreat
3. It’s the famous Wasatch powder
4. It’s an easy drive from Provo and Salt Lake
5. It’s un-crowded, especially at the top. (Arrowhead lift)
6. Its family friendly.
7. The rates are reasonable.
9. It has a great bowl at the very summit.
10. The were school groups there that day, so I’ll bet it has a good youth program.
11. The kids staid on the lower slopes. It remained un-crowded
12. It’s well-groomed and maintained
13. Zip line about 2 miles long (3rd longest in USA) open in winter (select days & weather permitting)
When I skied it, the film festival had wound down. Provo had received a 6” frosting of powder the night before, the sun (as seemingly always) was shining brightly. How could I go wrong, right? Only this was after four consecutive days of skiing Big Cottonwood Canyon (Brighton & Solitude), Power Mt in Ogden, and the Canyons (Now One Park City).
It was part of a small circle route to visit (or in a couple cases, revisit) the various resorts around Salt Lake City. My ski buddy said he was with me all the way. The catch phase was “Five-in-Five” representing our goal of skiing 5 areas in five consecutive days. Sundance was the last of stops.
The entire trip was a Christmas gift to my buddy, Bob from his wife, Jane. I’d like to believe I was included in her generosity as consideration for all the time and effort contributed to the Xtreme Team program Jane has initiated and supported for the youth and families at the Buffalo Ski Club. Jane will might tell you I was included because she knew I would make Bob go. Bob will now definitely tell you he’ll never go on another ski trip with me again.
However Bob was with me the whole way in this trip. Well almost. He did call it quits a bit early and toured the base-area while I skied out the clock. So It’s his testimony that the village was worth the visit; nicely laid out with some unique shops. I’d hardly label Bob a “shopper” so I do accept his analysis. The surprising thing is, we didn’t stop for any refreshments apres. Guess the fifth full day took its toll. Yes, I will have to return for more than just good skiing. It’s called the “Owl Bar”. But we did enjoy a good draft for lunch in the log. summit warming station, the “Bear Claw Cabin”.
A sizable cache of memories exists from this trip, but being this a man’s trip, it was a fast-food, yes even a hamburger event. I recorded my first experiences with “Five-Guys” AND “In-n-Out Burger”, two fine institutions I continue to “relish” frequently.
Come, Ski With Me!