Deer Valley ski resort in Park City, Utah makes the top 5 of every list of worldwide ski resorts that are best for beginners.
It’s easy to see why Deer Valley would make the top of any list, with its picturesque views, unlimited supply of fresh powder, and its proximity to the historic Park City, but there’s more to it than that. Deer Valley boasts some added perks that any beginning skier (or the parent of any beginner) should look for when choosing a ski resort.
Safety is a top priority when hitting the slopes, especially for beginners, who can be tripped up by adverse conditions. Most resorts have beautiful slopes the day after a storm, but things get a little dicey in the days that follow.
Icy slopes, exposed rock and turf, and crusty snow can all be a nightmare for a beginning skier. Resorts that can boast miles of slopes tend to show signs of wear and tear a lot later than resorts that are more compact. Visiting a resort that has a good reputation for keeping the slopes groomed and supplied with fresh powder, whether natural or machine produced, will provide a smoother ride for a novice.
Visiting one of the more crowded resorts for your first few times skiing can make the learning process slow going. It’s hard to concentrate on getting your technique down when you are competing for space on the slopes with a crowd of other skiers. When you factor in the amount of time waiting for a lift ride on a busy day, you might not end up with as much practice time as you had hoped.
Resorts that are less busy, or that limit the amount of people they let in each day have a much calmer atmosphere that is better for those who are still learning the ropes. Some resorts only sell a certain amount of lift tickets each day. If you purchase a lift ticket in advance for a limited admission resort, and then start your skiing session in the late morning or early afternoon, you’ll see an even smaller crowd.
There are a very few ski resorts (just 3 in the U.S) that don’t allow snowboarders, and they are ideal for beginning skiers. Watching daredevils in action is fun, but it can be a little unnerving for a novice to have them whizzing by while you’re still getting your footing. If you’re going to be in the area of one of the skiing only resorts (Alta and Deer Valley in Utah or Vermont’s Mad River Glen) it’s worth it to take the time to practice the basics in a board-free zone.