Lead Photo Credit: Alterra Mountain Company
When it comes to Utah, there is no question that they have gotten the mother load of snow this winter. It’s been nonstop powder days for the state and its many ski resorts – something I experienced first hand as I both flew into and out of Utah this past weekend in major snow storms.
Park City (where I visited) and its two resorts, Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley, have certainly been the beneficiary of all of this amazing powder. Deer Valley, whose previous record of 484″ was broken on March 16 now sits at an all time high of 596″ for the season. Meanwhile Park City Mountain Resort smashed their previous total of 512″ with a whopping 617″ so far this season.
“2023 is a winter season we will never forget. Both Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort opened early (in November and beginning of December) and both announced season extensions (to April 23), making this the longest ski season in Park City in over 30 years,” says Dan Howard, Vice President of Communications for Visit Park City.
With historical snow total records being broken with each and every new storm (like the one that wrapped up on April 5) visitors have come in droves to partake in all of the Park City fun.
“President’s Week and Spring Break have brought so many families to the slopes from both the East and West Coasts, and we are excited to have everyone back for a true celebration this year,” elaborates Howard.
Although it may be a bit of an afterthought given all of the snow, this “true celebration” includes spring skiing and all that goes along with it. Nonetheless, the show must go on. And, it will, particularly this weekend in Park City. There, Park City Mountain Resort is set to host its annual pond skim party and Spring Gruv concerts while Deer Valley puts on the last weekend of their Brews and Tunes Après Series.
Pond Skimming into Your Spring Gruv
The pond skim is a right of passage at many ski resorts across the country. There’s nothing quite like watching a bunch of costumed skiers and snowboarders send it downhill in hopes of crossing the awaiting pond. For some, the end result is glory, making it all the way across to the delight of roaring fans. For others, its crash (or splash) and burn all to the tune of oohs, aahs and “ouch that really had to hurt” from the crowd.
Park City Mountain Resort’s Eagle Super Pond Championship will test the mettle of many daring pond skim competitors. Set for this Saturday, April 8, you’ll want to make your way to Mountain Village to take in the sites. There you’ll find 150 brave souls destined for glory or doom. The event kicks off at 12:30 and over the next hour and a half competitors will be judged on splash size, skim distance and, of course, best costume. Then stay for the party as the DJ continues to spin the tunes and hand out prizes to the winners.
“Park City Mountain’s Pond Skim is a fun event that brings the community together to celebrate the end of the season, explains Emily McDonald Communications Manager at Park City Mountain Resort. It’s gives our community an opportunity to enjoy the spring weather on the slopes while cheering on friends and neighbors as they skim across the pond. Live music, food and beverages just add to celebratory atmosphere.”
Once the festivities in Mountain Village wrap up, there is no need to end your day. Head on down the road to Canyons Village and get your Spring Gruv on. There, another DJ will be spinning from 3-5 and warming up the crowd for Cousin Curtis to take the stage. The Umbrella Bar is sure to be hopping and in normal, not Armageddon-like snow years, skiers and snowboarders would be dancing in the field in front of the stage. This year, that field is under several feet of snow, but I’m sure that the dancing (perhaps in ski boots) will still go on. So too will Spring Gruv which has one more epic weekend left after this one while the Mountain Village side of the resort will remain open through the extended April 23rd date.
Deer Valley’s Brews and Tunes Après Series
Now in its second ski season, Deer Valley’s Brews and Tunes is giving visitors plenty of reason to stay and hang out a little longer après ski. What started out last spring as a way to ramp up the après scene at the base of Deer Valley has now turned into a regular addition thanks to its growing popularity.
“I had (and have) a very good networking circle of local breweries here in Utah, and they were my best resources to implement something quickly for the Spring. The attendees all really enjoyed the events, and we got a lot of positive feedback, explains Josh Hockman, Director of Food and Beverage at Deer Valley Resort.
Over the summer they moved the event to Bald Mountain and riding the wave of its popularity ran Brews and Tunes every Friday and Saturday this winter.
Each weekend, Deer Valley showcases beers from local breweries like last weekend’s Uinta Brewing event whom they have a tasty collaboration with, appropriately named Deer Valley Amber Ale.
This weekend you can expect even more mouthwatering offerings from Salt Lake City’s Proper Brewing and tunes from Mountain Town Music. Who knows? Maybe they’ll even play a little Yacht Rock in honor of Proper’s popular IPA that bears the name Yacht Rock Juice Box.
“The continued traction of this event has proven that it will be something we will continue with over the coming year, says Hockman, we have already begun booking for the upcoming Summer season.”
Whether you are on the Ikon Pass or Epic Pass, just being in Park City for your spring break this weekend is going to be worth it. With all of the snow that has fallen this winter it won’t be hard to find some really great stashes at either Deer Valley Resort or Park City Mountain Resort. Then, once your incredible day of skiing and riding ends and après ski begins, the party continues. Whether it’s Deer Valley’s Brews and Tunes Après Series or Park City Mountain’s Pond Skim and Spring Gruv the totality of your experience is something you’ll never forget.
Rich Stoner is the founder of the après-ski lifestyle clothing and media brand, All About Après, and the co-host of the Beyond the Après podcast. No stranger to the ski and après-ski scene, Rich has been a long time contributor for many publications on topics like skiing, gear, beer and food. However, his passion is on the slopes and enjoying good times with good people. You can find him perfecting his craft carving turns and drinking beers in the Green Mountains of Vermont. @allaboutapres