I must admit, having never visited Utah before, I held the typical stereotypes: 3.2% Pabst, movie stars, and a handful of kick-ass little ski resorts within an hour?s drive of SLC. And when Ski Utah offered to take a few of The Ski Journal staff down for a weekend at Camp Wasatch?a summer camp for a collection of grown up kids working in ski media?Wibby, Gunderson and I jumped on the opportunity to find out just what Utah was all about.
Arriving to low 80s sunshine on Thursday evening, we were greeted by Counselor Jessica Kunzer behind the wheel of a jacked up 4wd van headed for the mountains. Our chandeliered Deer Valley condos confirmed there was certainly a place for the rich and famous in the mountains of Utah, but the 8% ?Devastator? beer, labeled with a fire-breathing Ram stomping on the skyline of downtown SLC, and tequila in the fridge dispelled one myth: You can party in Utah? and we did. Joined by a small group of media people from Colorado, Socal, and Idaho, the group bonded as quickly as the bottle of Herradura disappeared.
But anyone who?s been to summer camp knows that it?s late to bed and early to rise. Our three-day itinerary read more like a 2-week vacation. Water ramps (with a guest appearance by Lynsey Dyer), mountain biking at both Snowbasin and Sundance Resorts, bobsled rides, a visit to the Salomon Center for simulated sky-diving and a few face plants on the flow rider. Wine tasting (with a very popular hard alcohol corner), a double dose of brunch at Solitude and Alta, a casino night featuring lobster and blackjack at the Rossignol offices, a reggae festival at Brighton and a Bluegrass festival and spa visit at Snowbird. We would hop in the monster van and rally the backroads through the Wasatch, a dozen delirious media-ites awash in overindulgence in food, frolf, and festivities.
By Monday it was apparent that the small collection of canyons around SLC provides big opportunities for outdoor recreation. Summer Camp: it?s not just for the kids anymore.
Thanks to Jessica Kunzer, Ski Utah and all of its partner resorts, Rossignol, Salomon, Smith Optics, and all of the people involved in Camp Wasatch. Now how about we try to organize something called ?winter camp??