Deer Valley will start summer operations Friday
The upper slopes of Deer Valley Resort are still snowy, but the resort will open its drier portions for summer activities on Friday.
At 10 a.m., the resort will start running Silver Lake Express, Home Stake, and Sterling Express, the latter of which will only be open to scenic lifts while Bald Mountain dries out.
That means no bikes on Tidal Wave, Holy Roller, Aspen Slalom Tsunami, Naildrivers and others for now.
“That’s definitely the most popular (area) but, as you can see from town, there’s still quite a bit of snow up there,” said Emily Summers, a Deer Valley spokeswoman.
For mountain bikers, the consolation prize is half-price day passes (full price is $48 for adults) and access to the newly opened Undertow, an intermediate flow trail.
Summers said the trail follows in the style of the others that Deer Valley has designed in conjunction with professional trail building company Gravity Logic, such as Holy Roller, Tidal Wave and Tsunami.
Undertow will be served by Homestake, which was upgraded from a fixed grip quad to a high speed detachable quad before last winter.
Summers said the lift renovation was intended to improve summer operations.
“This summer’s addition of the Undertow flow trail and Homestake Express chairlift provides a link between our base area at Snow Park to Silver Lake, which is where the rest of the trails of this style are built,” Summers said. “These additions allow us to open our lower mountain for biking this Friday.”
In addition to Undertow, the lower mountain grants access to Four Point, Devo, Tour de Homes, NCS and Deer Crest. For dining, Royal Street Café will also open the season starting Friday.
Season passes for mountain bikers and lift rates for scenic rides are still regular price. The half-priced biking day pass rates will return to full price when Sterling Express opens for biking. For now, there are still feet of snow on much of Bald Mountain, and Summers said there may be some sections of the lower trail system that have snow on them.
“The first couple days we are open there could be possibilities of minimal snow crossings on those trails,” she said. “It just depends on if they are in the shade. Certain turns could be less exposed. Our crews have been out there working to get those open but it’s changing day by day.”
The resort will update its trail system regularly on its website at Deervalley.com and over social media. Summers said trails and lift statuses may change quickly depending on how fast the mountain heats up.
“Obviously coming off a huge snow year it’s been a lot of work getting the mountain ready,” she said. “We’re excited to get our hikers and bikers up here at least on our new trail on the lower mountain. We’re excited about the warm temperatures and hopeful to open things quickly.”
Twilight rides are back
Deer Valley Resort will continue its Twilight Ride nights, but this season, they will be held on Tuesdays, not Wednesdays. On Tuesdays from July 2 through Aug. 27, the resort will sell evening lift passes from 4-8 p.m. for $25, instead of closing at 5 p.m. as it will on other nights. The extended hours will grant access to the same lifts and trails as services during regular hours of operation.
“It gives people a chance to get up here after work,” Summers said.
For those seeking a little more assistance getting around Deer Valley’s trails, the resort will continue to offer the services of mountain bike guides and rental equipment.
This year, Deer Valley has purchased a brand new fleet of Rossignol bikes (All Tracks and All Track R-Duros of various sizes). The resort also offers bike lessons.
“Mountain biking is very different from just riding a bike, so if you have never done true mountain biking it’s good to get a lesson,” Summers said.
Patrons can also hire the same coaches to show them around the mountain.
For more information go to deervalley.com.
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Cyndi Schwandt, 68, was known in the mountain biking community for her love of purple, her enthusiasm for the sport, and her involvement in building the early trails system. On Monday she was remembered with a group ride.