Epic Adventures Across the Wasatch Mountains
By Ann Wycoff
If fresh tracks, powder stashes, soul- stirring views and backcountry bliss sounds appealing, then an adventure awaits for those interested in ducking under the ropes and exploring the pristine terrain of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. Entering its 30th season, Ski Utah Interconnect Tour takes advanced and expert alpine skiers in good physical condition on the ultimate skiing odyssey, exploring the area’s stellar resorts and off-piste terrain. “It’s a truly unique experience to Utah—there’s nowhere else in North American where you can connect up to six areas in a single day without getting a bus, helicopter or car,” exclaims Interconnect’s lead guide, Deb Lovci.
Intimate groups, ranging from three to a maximum of 12, ski under the watchful guise of two highly trained guides who lead both Deer Valley departing and Snowbird departing tours. The latter has the option to explore Deer Valley, Park City Mountain Resort, Solitude, Brighton, Alta, Snowbird and the backcountry terrain between these resorts, while the more advanced, Snowbird departing adventure requires more hiking and explores steeper terrain in the backcountry connecting Snowbird, Alta, Brighton and Solitude.
The big news for the 2013/2014 season is that trips can now be completely customized to suit the wishes of skiers, according to Ski Utah’s Interconnect Manager, Luke Ratto, who’s also an
Interconnect guide. “In the past we had a pretty standard route for both tours, but now our private groups can pick their starting and ending destinations and the resorts they want to focus on, so the options are much grander. Our guides can really show off their deep knowledge of secret powder stashes and favorite out of boundary routes. And with more advanced groups, we can make bigger pushes to get more vertical.”
As many of the Utah resorts get over 500 inches of snow per year, and the fact that these tours navigate elevations between 8,000 and 11,000 feet, participating skiers need to be able to handle a mélange of snow conditions from deep powder to crust and crud. Snowboarding is not permitted due to the amount of sidestepping and traversing.
“Our trips are also a great intro to the backcountry of the Wasatch Mountains. We have a lot of folks traveling to Utah to tour beyond the resorts and our guides can deliver a safe overview of the area,” adds Ratto.
“Interconnect has a 100 percent safety record. Our guides are highly trained in avalanche safety and know these mountains intimately,” declares Lovci whose been guiding for 22 years.
“Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone,” she chimes. “Too many people stay in the safe zone, skiing the same runs, carving the same turns. Come explore with us— there’s a whole other world out there. I have the greatest job on earth, showing people the greatest snow on earth, right here in Utah.”
Private Group (1-6) $2,000
Private Group (1-12) $3,000
Age 16 or older; 16 – 18 year olds must be accompanied by parent
[/onethird] [onethird] GUIDES:
2 per trip who deliver avalanche safety insight and tips.
More Info: www.skiutah.com[/onethird] [onethirdlast] GEAR TO BRING:
Camelbacks/water, powderbaskets on ski poles, snacks, and camera.
Avalanche beacons, lift access, lunch and transportation[/onethirdlast]