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Want Steep? Chute 4 Has Steep.

Chute 4 from the cornice. You ready? Credit: FeedTheHabit

Deer Valley Resort in Park City, UT has a reputation for catering to its clientele.  Aside from the great food and fabulous customer service, it pampers skiers with groomed perfection and valet service, Yet, the resort is often dismissed by hard core skiers who feel that there is nothing on the mountain that would interest them.   

To those folks I simply say, ”Go to the Daly Chutes off the Empire Express Chair.” Riding the chair, the chutes are visible to your left.  As you exit the chair to your left, you make your way down the Orion Trail until you see the signs for The Daly Bowl and then an upward climb/traverse to the cornice on top of the Daly Chutes area. 

Depending on the weather and the condition of the snow that is blown into the bowl area, the openings can be varied.  Sometimes only a few chutes (which are numbered) are open and you must choose the correct ones as you stand at the top of the windblown and steep cornice. 

Last week I chose Chute 4 twice, and, as I dropped in to the windblown snow, I immediately began a series of steep jump turns down the throat of the chute.  Coming up on an exposed rock section, I veered to the right and finished in a wide open bowl area that was strewn with debris from avalanche blasting the day before. 

After weaving through the large snow chunks and into the trees, the chicane of seldom used tight trails eventually brought me out in plain view of the Empire Lodge. 

The chutes are all skiable and if you can manage the roller coaster trail through the woods on the way over to the bowl area and eventually to the top of the cornice, you will be treated to a selection of some steep but manageable terrain that definitely quiets the naysayers. 

In addition to the challenging terrain of the Daly Bowl and Chute area, if you make your way all the way over to skier’s left of the resort, you can access the Sultan, Wasatch, and Mayflower chairs and experience some fast and steep groomers. 

The signature run is Stein’s Run named after the legendary Stein Eriksen who was the Director of Skiing at Deer Valley for many years and an Olympic and World Championship medalist.  Usually this area is quiet, and you have free rein to rip GS turns to your heart’s content,  another plus for those who think that Deer Valley is not challenging. 

All in all, a word to advanced skiers would be that although the terrain at Deer Valley does not rival Jackson Hole, Alta, or other areas with challenging expert terrain, the Daly Chutes will not bore you, and you definitely have to pay attention on your way down any of the selections. 

Don’t knock it until you have tried it.  Seniors get the benefit of a $125.00 lift ticket on certain days compared to the usual $209.00 tab.  And of course the Ikon Pass is accepted at Deer Valley.  

Check out a video trip down Chute 4 from Deer Valley.

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