Snow-crazed adrenaline junkies can get their powder fixes, achieve speeds that make their hearts race, or stand on top of the world. These activities aren’t for the faint of heart, but the memories are priceless.
Photography: Courtesy of Wasatch Powderbird Guides and Utah Olympic Park
Spread Your Wings
Helicopter skiing can offer a bit of a dichotomy. One moment you’re covering your face with your arm to avoid the windy, swirling cloud of snow as the helicopter lifts off; the next, you stand atop a snowcapped peak with nothing but pure, unadulterated quiet. Perhaps this is why Wasatch Powderbird Guides has attracted happy customers for almost 40 years. Led by guides (many of whom have been professional skiers or patrollers) who return season after season, guests rip through six to seven runs of deep powder caches from challenging intermediate slopes to expert chutes. A stocked backpack helps stave off hunger between the included breakfast and après-ski lunch at either Snowbird or Canyons, depending on your departure point. All that’s left is to sit back, keep your tips up, and plunge into the white room. Wasatch Powderbird Guides, 801.742.2800, powderbird.com
Sneak Out Back
Imagine skiing six resorts in one day, banking an average of 16,000 vertical feet, and getting first tracks. Welcome to the Ski Utah Interconnect, a guided ski tour from Deer Valley to Snowbird that gives powder hounds a taste of the backcountry. With all of the hiking and traversing required, only advanced skiers with good stamina are invited. Case in point is the famed Highway to Heaven, a 300-yard sidestep that has been known to create post-lunch indigestion. With unparalleled views of Little Cottonwood Canyon, the Salt Lake Valley, and Park City, any discomfort is quickly forgotten, however. Insiders know that powder baskets make hiking a little easier, and you won’t want to forget your camera. Come rested and well-hydrated (no après-ski bender the night before). And don’t let a sudden storm scare you off: while the views might be compromised, a powder day in progress can give you some of the best skiing of your life. Ski Utah Interconnect Adventure Tour, 801.534.1907, skiutah.com/interconnect
Shoot the Rapids
Ever wonder what it feels like to careen down an icy track in a bobsled going 80 miles per hour and pulling five Gs? Even regular folks can experience the rush of dropping the equivalent of 40 stories in less than a minute at the Utah Olympic Park, the venue for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Safety comes first here: professional pilots drive the sleds that carry three additional riders, age 16 or older. Want more? Daredevils can also give skeleton a try by lying on their stomachs and sliding face first at speeds up to 50 miles per hour. Unlike the bobsled, the skeleton is not enclosed, so the start is halfway down the track—which still provides a number of nail-biting turns. With your nose just inches from the ground and your body paralleling the sled, you’ll look like a levitating superhero and feel like a rock star. Utah Olympic Park, 3419 Olympic Pkwy, 435.658.4200, olyparks.com
Pack a protein punch with a locally made all-natural snack. If you’ve ever had a ski day so epic that you didn’t want to stop for lunch, then PROBAR is your answer. Founded by Art Eggertsen, a local snowboarder, the company makes meal replacement and snack bars from whole, organic, vegan ingredients. Loaded with antioxidants, the preservative-free delights stay soft and chewy, unlike some competitors’ offerings. The Arts Original Collection and Sweet & Savory bars provide enough energy from first to last chair, and you can’t go wrong with the Koka Moka, made with chocolate, coffee flavor, Brazil nuts, and almonds. Pick some up at Fairweather Foods, Silver Star Ski & Sport, Atticus Teahouse, or other local retailers. PROBAR, 800.921.2294, theprobar.com
If you think acupuncture is only about needles, think again.An ancient form of healing, acupuncture not only improves recovery time, concentration, and endurance, but even helps deter injury. The key for needle-wary clients is to consider a more comfortable alternative to traditional Chinese acupuncture. Husband-and-wife team Wyatt and Melissa Krajeski practice Japanese-style acupuncture, which uses smaller, more pliable needles. These seasoned locals remain in the room with clients for the entire session, inserting the needles superficially for a more gentle approach to balancing the flow of energy throughout the body. For those who push their ski days to the limit, the resulting sense of deep relaxation will be just what the doctor ordered.
Longevity Acupuncture, 1901 Prospector Ave, Suite 30, 435.655.1578, longevityparkcity.com