Posted By: Matt Farinelli, December 14, 2016
In my experience, opening days are usually exciting but at the same time generally forgettable. As far as my all-time first days go, most have seen more icy groomers than pow turns. Well not this year. Not at Solitude.
I wasn't there for true opening day on Friday, December 2, which I was certainly bummed about since Utah just finished up a 40-inch-plus storm cycle earlier in the week. Then a little bird told me (via @skisolitude on Instagram... hint, hint) that PoHo (Powderhorn) and Eagle Express weren't opening until first thing on Saturday, December 3, and things were suddenly looking up.
Posted By: Jess & Brian Maness, May 2, 2016
With the great weather and multiple/consistent powder days, this year's ski season was arguably one of the best winters in recent memory. Even with a lot of personal changes and large upcoming events (new house, wedding planning) we managed to get up to Solitude every weekend, even managing to fit in a few weekday runs as well. But with all the bluebird days and 13" overnight dumps, I think our favorite memory of the season comes down to one day.
Back in December, Brian brought his friend and colleague, Justin Gomes, up to Solitude for his first day of snowboarding. Justin moved to Salt Lake from from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a year ago. Brian spent the majority of the summer convincing Justin that sliding or skiing was the only way to spend winters in Utah.
The final straw was when Brian gave Justin his old competition board stating, "Now you have no excuse."
Posted By: Jess & Brian Maness, April 20, 2016
When I met Brian in 2011 at a wedding, he told me how he was an avid snowboarder from Montana. However, he noted that he had initially learned to ski as a little boy, and made the transition to snowboarding in the early 90’s, as it was “the totally sweet” thing to do at the time. Pictures in Brian’s parents’ home tell me that he also adopted popular 90’s snowboarding hairstyles such as the awesome long bull cut, over-sized Burton shirts and pants so baggy that no belt could hold them up.
When we lived in Seattle, I would ski while he would board. Pretty simple. No problem. We tackled any and all terrain in any conditions. In bumps and trees he would beat me down the mountain. On shoots and straight-aways I would beat him. It worked out fine.
When we moved to Utah in 2013, Brian made a proclamation, “It’s time for me become a skier again.” I was surprised and assured him that there were plenty of amazing boarders in Utah, and that he shouldn’t feel pressured by the billboards and skier on the Utah license plate. In the fall I came home from work to find that he had bought a full set of boots and skis. Not only did he buy skis, but he bought the heaviest and tallest pair of backcountry skis I have ever seen. These were so far out of his league I thought for sure he would be back on the board in no time. Nonetheless, I realized that now it was up to me to teach my then boyfriend how to ski.
Posted By: Jillian Vogtli, April 13, 2016
Posted By: Ryan Mayfield, March 6, 2016
Solitude Mountain Resort Avalanche Mitigation. Presented by The Ski Channel.
Posted By: Matt Farinelli, February 20, 2016
Powderhorn. I call it “PoHo." For starters, it’s a pretty apropos abbreviation. It's also perfect, because when people text me to see where I’m skiing, “PoHo” is the longest response I want to type without gloves on. However, the real reason I like this nickname is because my friend Julianna said it and I immediately though it sounded like something Samuel L. Jackson would say in just about any movie. As in, “That po’ ho’ didn’t even see it comin’!” Whatever, you get the idea. What it boils down to is that I’m an unabashed fan of anything SLJ related as well as this chairlift I’m about to gush over.
Posted By: Jess & Brian Maness, February 12, 2016
Valentines day is one of the more polarizing holidays of the year. There are really three main stages of Valentines Day depending on your current relationship status. Stage one: you are single and all of the images of hearts, cupids and overwhelming love only point out your crushing loneliness to an annoying degree. Stage two: during the first 2-3 years of a new relationship. During this "honeymoon" period you exhaust way too much creative energy and funds on making it a day your significant other will always remember. But after you've surprised them with a singing quartets at work or filled their car full of roses you tend to settle into stage three: a nice dinner with the two of you is more than enough.
This year with a recent house purchase both Jess and I were feeling a bit of a financial squeeze. We both agreed that Valentines Day was an unnecessary expense and planned on skipping it altogether. But, unknown to her, I had started saving up some of my per diem money from a couple recent work trips so we would be able to have a nice and well deserved dinner.
Posted By: Ryan Mayfield, February 4, 2016
Two Olympic skiers walk onto a nordic skate skiing track. One is an Olympic Nordic Skier and coach and the other an Olympic Mogul Skier, seeking to be a skate skier. Neither knows the others background. What are the chances of this encounter?
As I met my instructor Aram Hajiyan, I notice his tag simply stated that he was the Nordic Center Manager, which is the truth. But never did he mention during our one and half hours together that he is also an Olympian who competed for Armenia in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. In hindsight, I think it was better I didn't know that until afterwards. The following is exactly what happened at the Solitude Nordic Center.
Posted By: Jeremy Pugh, January 31, 2016
Aaron pops out of the trees in Honeycomb Canyon smiling through a snow-laden beard.
“Dude, we are coming back up here. There’s like three feet of powder in these
This is exploring Solitude with my younger brother.
We don’t see each other as often as we’d like even though we live in the same city. Usual life's reasons are to blame, he’s got twin 3-year-olds, I’m a busy freelancer, blah, blah blah. But we miss each other in that aloof, "all is well man" way, so I pretty much jump at any chance he and I get to pal around as just us brothers.
Posted By: Jess & Brian Maness, January 19, 2016
You may be the type of person who makes a mental note of how many ski days you’ve logged this year, or an ongoing plan about how you can always squeeze in one more hour of skiing in between work and errands. There are others who find themselves waking up on a Saturday morning, staring out the kitchen window, actively debating whether or not to start putting on their ski gear or crawl back into bed with a cup of coffee and Netflix. Even if you love skiing, the motivation to get headed in the direction of the ski slopes is sometimes the first challenge of the day. As a clinical psychologist, I can tell you that motivation is nothing more than the direction and intensity of your effort (hopefully towards the mountain). What can be helpful in ensuring that you accrue as many ski days as possible this year is understanding what affects motivation when you have already come up with 100 reasons to stay inside.
Posted By: Nick Como, January 18, 2016
I haven't been as excited for a Christmas present since...I can't remember when, as I was for the ribbon cutting on the new Summit Express, which opened on Christmas Eve, 2015.
The previous Summit was a classic, vintage double lift. So vintage, in fact, Solitude sold off the chairs individually rather than in its entirety to be recycled to a smaller mom-and-pop resort. Clearly, it was time for an upgrade.
A new lift here has been planned for almost a decade, but the lift line and bottom station had been a constant debate for just as long. One idea was to start the lift in the village, next to Apex and take a straight shot over Lake Solitude to the peak. Another plan was to replace Sunrise and Summit with a combination lift that would have an angle station at the top of Sunrise, then on to the peak.
Posted By: Ryan Mayfield, January 13, 2016
Solitude Mountain Resort is hosting a multi-day, hands-on Backcountry BASECAMP in conjunction with Backcountry Magazine. Held Saturday, January 16 through Monday, January 18, editors of Backcountry Magazine, local guides and forecasters, AIARE instructors, and apparel and gear experts will be at Solitude Mountain Resort for the kickoff of BASECAMP's 2016 North America tour.
Posted By: Nick Como, January 6, 2016
My (future) in-laws, Laura’s sister, Melissa, and her husband, Kiley, decided to come down to visit for an impromptu weekend of skiing at Solitude Mountain Resort. Neither of them had been on the slopes in well over fifteen years, and had never progressed beyond the intermediate level.
I assumed they would leave their decade-old gear at home in Idaho and take a lesson their first day at Solitude. A lot of rust can build over the years: literally on gear, but also figuratively on ski form and ability. Not only has gear dramatically improved in fifteen years, but that's a long time to be off of skis. For all intents and purposes, it’s close to having never skied - which seemed obvious to me.
“Nah, we’ll be fine,” was the response I got, “We’ll just wing it.” I’ve seen many ski trips begin and promptly end with this plan. So, I signed them both up for a three-hour private lesson and equipment rentals immediately.
Posted By: Jess & Brian Maness, January 5, 2016
With the inversions, low temps and icy roads, winter in the Wasatch Valley can be a long and dark time of year. The lakes have frozen over, the mountain bike trails are covered in snow and any outdoor festivals have packed up for the year. Cabin fever sets in as you and your loved one cycle through a DVR full of re-runs and brace for that ever increasing heating bill. Luckily, we live 20 minutes door-to-door from some of the best skiing in the world, an opportunity for the two of you to burn off some much needed energy. But, like any couples activity, you need to approach it with some patience, mutual support, and of course, understanding. Bickering and fighting on the chairlift does not look good on anyone, so here are a few tips to avoid an "IKEA" sized fight on the slopes. (Most married couples with get that reference.)
Posted By: Jeremy Pugh, December 31, 2015
It’s the one holiday that invariably disappoints. It’s a night out in heels trudging through the snow, waiting to get into a club, huge cover charges, cheap champagne, forced enthusiasm coupled with dark rumination about the year that was, a shot of something you’d never drink on any other occasion, followed by more cheap champagne. No kiss or a kiss with the wrong person. All of it leading to a wadded up tuxedo jacket in the corner the next morning and a hangover to welcome in 2016.
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