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Tucker's 53 Year Journey of Utah Winters

We were back on our skis early Sunday morning. Traffic was nothing compared to Saturday's Perfect Storm but we still had to hunt for a parking spot at Park City at 9a. We made our way around the mountain starting with Eagle and hitting every lift to Jupiter. We had a few good lift conversations, the most memorable with a local grandma skiing with her son and two grandsons from Buffalo. She and her husband, a ski instructor, used to live in Salt Lake City and drive to work at Park City Mountain Resort for years. In 2007, they had a close call on I-80, which resulted in a move to Park City. She was coaching her pre-teen grandsons on proper ski technique as we rode Silverlode and looked down on Prospector. She was adamant that her brood would not be hip-swingers and properly keep their upper body quiet. The boys didn't say much, obviously what grandma says goes.

By noon, we were happy with our ski day and looking forward to lunch with my parents at the Boneyard. My Mom forgot her ID, but made friends with Howie the Bouncer so we could all enjoy our meals, with water. Howie told us a story about a stint as a restaurant manager and dragging a customer out by the ear after he made a waitress cry. Howie isn't a big guy, but has lots of tattoos and years of stories to tell. My parents had their own story to tell after going to their Sundance jobs that evening amid a power outage, which resulted in several cancelled movies and accompanying chaos.

Everyone is at Sundance, the Mountain is ours!

Working on keeping my upper body still

The next big storm moved in Sunday night and didn't let up until Wednesday! We started and ended Monday with snow removal and woke up to more on Tuesday morning. We had already cleared our calendars and after digging out of our 2ft of snow in 24hrs, headed to the mountain. It was one of the best days we've had in years! For the 1st hour, we rarely crossed another ski track off of King Con which hadn't had ski traffic since 11:30 on Monday. It was deep and all ours! The rest of the morning, we did laps on Crescent which was also incredible and fun. We are still smiling as are many Utahns and tourists that timed their visit with this storm.

Our best interaction on Tuesday was with Tucker. We ended up riding the King Con lift with him back-to-back. We didn't ski the same run, but the timing was such that we pulled into the corral together. He's a strong skier, has a beard, and like all of us on Tuesday, sports a very big smile. Over two lift rides, we realized we were sitting with the real deal and someone we wouldn't forget. Tucker lives in New York, 10 minutes from the Canadian border. He spent his 1st winter in Utah in 1964, working at Alta. I'm guessing he was 18, if that. He proceeded to travel west to Utah every year for a decade to spend the winter working and skiing. He told us stories of his time in Little Cottonwood Canyon and I had goosebumps watching his joy as he recalled such good memories. If the powder wasn't knee deep, I'd have listened to stories about skiing in Park City and Alta in the 60s and 70s for hours. He got quiet as he told us the middle of the story and from what we could tell, his wife fell ill and he had to put skiing on hold for several years.

After a few moments of silence, Tucker perked back up and told us that four years ago,  he started coming back to Utah for the winters. Jimmy is here too and even though 53 years has passed, they are whooping it up on the mountain like they did in '64. They love skiing in the trees even when their "older" friends like to stick to their routine runs. Tucker said he hit a tree recently off King Con, but has shaken it off. As we put our tips up on that final lift ride and said our goodbyes, Tucker asked us to keep working so we could fund his social security but to make sure we also took days off to ski just like we were doing today. It was a very special interaction and combined with the amazing conditions, one that will not be forgotten.

Finally remembered to take pictures on our last run - somewhere in the aspens off Crescent lift

Powder Smiles for Miles!


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