I arrived at The Canyons with a positive outlook, and I promise that I tried to keep that positivism up, but it was truly a feat.
My first impression was good. I thought the Cabriolet ride from the bus stop to the Gondola and base was cute. I even managed to find an $8 off coupon to use towards the lift tickets. The base area was charming like most ski areas are. The walk to the Gondola from the Cabriolet was a cinch. The gondola ride was pleasant and the Red Pine Lodge area was bustling and full of energy. Then we skied down our first run, Chicane, and it all went downhill (literally) from there.
Instead of going into everything we did today, which will bore you because I was bored doing it, I will tell you the pros and cons of The Canyons.
Comfort: None of the lifts have a footrest, and some of them are very long! Maybe I'm spoiled, but I enjoy having a footrest, and while I understand they can't be on every lift, at least the newer lifts should have one. Also, there are no tissues at the lift lines. Nonsensical! Spoiled? Maybe, but I think tissues in a ski area are common sense. Also, the bus stop is after Park City Mountain resort so when you get on at the end of the day, there is no sitting room and you have to stand in your ski boots holding your skis/poles/gear. How frustrating is that?
Food: Dining gets a below average rating for ski resort fare. The food was likely the worst ski area food I can ever recall eating.
Accessibility: There isn't any! Getting around The Canyons is a nightmare. I probably spent more time on cat-tracks than on actual trails today. The Canyons is a big place, and whoever designed the area certainly did not take into consideration how to get around. We even found ourselves side stepping up hills just to move around the mountain. Not cool my friends, not cool. It's also hard to ski the left and right sides of the mountain in the same day. Because it was so hard to get around, we didn't actually do much skiing today, even though our vertical feet skied comes out to be 13,354vf. I think most of that was on cat-tracks though. The only good run we found was a black diamond called G-Force.
Courtesy: Snowboarders and skiers alike were exceptionally rude at this mountain. The trails are narrow here but yielding to downhill skiers (a rule in the Ski Patrol Responsibility Code) wasn't given much consideration by others on the mountain. I was consistently cut off without so much as an "on your left/right".
Not only that, but when my mom was cut off by a skier, she pulled over to the side and stopped. So did the other woman, though I'm not sure for what reasons. I was stopped on the side of the trail where the woman was and my mom was on the other side. I asked my mom if she was ready to go and she said she was waiting for the other woman to go because my mom felt she was slower and didn't want a faster skier coming up behind her. Then, the man who was with the woman says to my mom, "Do you have a problem?" Seriously, dude. Our problem is your attitude acting like you own the mountain and are better than everyone else.
Another "totally awesome dude" was behind my mom at Towin, literally a tow rope that you hold on to to take up up a small hill, and got agitated when my mom needed assistance from the operator because of her less than perfect left shoulder. He could have walked faster up the hill than waiting for my mom to get help, but instead he chose to give an attitude reflecting "If you have a bad shoulder then what are you doing here." What a douche-y dude.
In my opinion, the people who usually ski at The Canyons are NOT the tourists. The tourists come for the day and never go back, because they either a) can't figure out the mountain b) get hit by a rude rider c) get food poisoning. The people at The Canyons are the locals claiming their territory. They don't want the visitors there, and they act like it. Well let me tell you something locals, we tourists are bringing you money so you better be nice. If tourists don't ski your mountain because we don't like it, your mountain will close because it won't have any money. So, there.
Watching the insane hiker skiers go up for fresh tracks.
The view from the top of Sun Peak Express.
The waffles at the Bruges Waffle house. It was SO completely delectably delicious that it might have been worth the $176 lift tickets and the $4 for the actual waffle. Ok, maybe not, but it was absolutey the best part of the day. We even opted to eat waffles rather than going down a trail.
All in all, The Canyons was a TOTAL FAIL and I am so glad that we didn't buy more of the discount tickets when we got off the airport. Today made me really appreciate how awesome other mountains are and how privileged I have been in my ski vacations over my life.
Tomorrow we're off to Deer Valley, THANK GOODNESS! Shane will get his first taste of the Deer Valley, the complete opposite of The Canyons. I'm sure in his eyes it will look that much sweeter after a day at The Canyons. He said the best part of his day was going down the Cabriolet back to the bus stop. Until then...