TR: USA 2014 Kirkwood, Drive to Salt Lake City, Canyons

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TR: USA 2014 Kirkwood, Drive to Salt Lake City, Canyons
Kirkwood Mountain

It has been a hectic few days since the last post. We managed to make it for our much-anticipated day at Kirkwood Mountain, as Toody’s last name is Kirkwood. Needless to say she did a number on their souvenir shop buying many family presents.

The snow at Kirkwood was a little better than we had experienced at Heavenly and Northstar, but the terrain options were still very limited, with groomers the only real option. We did enjoy that we basically had the resort to ourselves and the lack of yellow jackets (fun police, well speed) hovering by the slow signs compared with the other resorts. The decision was made to head for the highest point we could to see what top speed we could record, this did get a bit competitive with Jarryd getting a top speed of 117km/h. All in all Kirkwood is an amazing mountain, with some of the steepest and most challenging inbound terrain anywhere in the world when the conditions are better.

 

TR: USA 2014 Kirkwood, Drive to Salt Lake City, Canyons
Alex & Toody heading for the steeps

Wednesday was our last day in South Lake Tahoe. We skied Heavenly again managing to ski all the open runs. Conditions had not changed much during our stay. They are in desperate need of a significant storm soon just to continue to operate. The town compared to the conditions changed significantly during our stay, with it becoming more and more deserted by the day.

 

TR: USA 2014 Kirkwood, Drive to Salt Lake City, Canyons
Heavenly Park
TR: USA 2014 Kirkwood, Drive to Salt Lake City, Canyons
Thank you Heavenly

Thursday was a travel day for everyone, with three (Alex, Toody and Jarryd) heading back to Australia and myself heading to Salt Lake City. The 930km drive turned out to be much more picturesque than I had expect, with amazing views of the mountains and the desert. One of the more amusing views was of West Wendover the last town in Nevada with its big bright casino lights after 2hrs of driving through the desert. The last 200km are straight highway going through the famous Bonneville Salt Flats. Seeing the lights of Salt Lake City was very welcomed after 8hrs of solo driving.

 

TR: USA 2014 Kirkwood, Drive to Salt Lake City, Canyons
Douchebags all loaded up
TR: USA 2014 Kirkwood, Drive to Salt Lake City, Canyons
Alex’s sweet ride to SFO
TR: USA 2014 Kirkwood, Drive to Salt Lake City, Canyons
Heading into the desert
TR: USA 2014 Kirkwood, Drive to Salt Lake City, Canyons
Nice to see snow
TR: USA 2014 Kirkwood, Drive to Salt Lake City, Canyons
Sunset on the mountains
TR: USA 2014 Kirkwood, Drive to Salt Lake City, Canyons
Sun almost set

Friday headed up to Park City to ski Canyons for the first time, which is surprising considering I have done 3 significant stints in Park City over the past few years. On the gondola ride from the car park up the main part of the resort I got chatting to a nice guy, Ron.  He had a full-face helmet on and skied most days of the season at Canyons. He agreed to show me around as he was skiing on his own too. First run he headed to the park as he figured that was of interest to me. Straight away he gaps onto the first flat box and followed it up with the flat-down box. On the next chair ride we continued chatting, he asked how old I was and then proceeds to tell me he was 67 (no that is not a typo), I all most fell of the chair. I definitely want to be skiing like Ron when I get to his age, makes me feel that I have many good ski days ahead of me.

 

TR: USA 2014 Kirkwood, Drive to Salt Lake City, Canyons
My guide Ron – 67yrs

Canyons as a resort is much expansive than I expected, with terrain to suit all abilities. The snow here is definitely better than Tahoe but still not what is expected in Utah at this time of the season. There is still many closed runs and some sketchy cover in places but still plenty of options to keep you busy.

 

TR: USA 2014 Kirkwood, Drive to Salt Lake City, Canyons
View for lunch @ Canyons
TR: USA 2014 Kirkwood, Drive to Salt Lake City, Canyons
View across the Canyons
TR: USA 2014 Kirkwood, Drive to Salt Lake City, Canyons
Canyons
TR: USA 2014 Kirkwood, Drive to Salt Lake City, Canyons
Canyons

Managed to catch up and have dinner with the Team Buller Riders (TBR) camp, who are here to compete in their last mogul comp for the northern winter at Deer Valley. Looking forward to seeing how they go tomorrow.

Tomorrow I will also be heading over Park City Mountain Resort to see the final US Grand Prix Slopestyle and Halfpipe events before the Sochi Winter Olympics.

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