Virtuoso Life - November/December 2017 - 146
Out & About
V I RT U O S O L I F E
Clockwise from top left: Pottery class at the Art Studio,
the Tree Room's pork loin, and sizing up Bishop's Bowl.
has a spa, a zip-line operation, and a yurt
full of cross-country and snowshoe equipment. There's even night skiing. But the real
pleasure of the place is the freedom to do
very little. One day, we spent a serene half
hour quietly shadowing Bob, the scruffy
local moose (named for Mr. R.), who likes
to surprise visitors heading back to their
rooms. Having fireplaces everywhere is an
invitation to hone s'more-building skills.
And there's no better way to enjoy a night in
with room service than during a marathon
of Redford classics such as The Sting, The
Way We Were, and All the President's Men,
available from the front desk.
On our last full day, we hiked up a service road above Sundance to a small ranch
where the resort keeps a stable of horses. We
didn't ride, because the alternative was just
as appealing - this is an un-resort, after all.
"Sundance stands apart from
other ski destinations in several ways: no crowds, incredible
powder, and great value - Virtuoso
travelers receive two adult lift
tickets with accommodations. The
property's seven homes are great
for multigenerational ski trips."
- Maggie Barton, Virtuoso
travel advisor, Atlanta
Instead, we found a big open break through
the aspens and pines and took a long gander
away from the trails toward Redford's unfettered wilderness, thinking there should
be an Academy Award for Best Picture Not
Shared by Cell Phone.
(BISHOP'S BOWL) ADAM CLARK
and "duuude!" Alta, a bit farther into the
Cottonwood Canyons, may boast more vertical feet, and massive Park City Resort can
have you snowboarding all day without seeing the same slope twice. But a little fresh
pow puts Sundance in a category all its own.
With just four lifts serving 44 spread-out
runs, it's manageable, not mega. And there's
less slope traffic, which means more opportunity for finding untouched tracks and
splendid isolation. From the top of Bishop's
Bowl in the shadow of 12,000-foot Mount
Timpanogos, we practically had the whole
place to ourselves. As we made our way down
intermediate Wildflower onto gentle Bear
Claw through talcum-y glades, Sundance was
like our own private piece of Utah.
"I sold it as a summer vacation for years,
but it was great to ski the mountain," says
Atlanta-based Virtuoso travel advisor
Maggie Barton, who visited Sundance last
January. "It's so authentic and intimate,
the backcountry is phenomenal for adventurers - and there's never a lift line."
The base lodge, however, was bustling.
On the patio behind the Owl Bar, a team of
superstar canines put their best paws forward at a fund-raiser for avalanche rescue
dogs. Locals and apple-cheeked ski patrollers clinked Mormon-approved 3.2 beer
around a stone fire pit before the party
moved inside, pups and all. The restored
1890s structure features a gleaming rosewood bar salvaged from a saloon in Thermopolis, Wyoming, where Butch Cassidy's
Hole-in-the-Wall Gang used to drink.
It was a sepia-toned warm-up for the Tree
Room, the romantic dinner restaurant built
around an actual oak trunk and decorated
with rare artifacts from Redford's private
collection of Native American art. The actor
and his wife, Sibylle, have a home on the property, and this space, under antler chandeliers,
functions like an extension of the family dining room - it's where you'll likely see Redford
when he's in town. And if not, dishes such
as rabbit agnolotti and buffalo strip loin are
delicious distractions. Meals are pleasantly
relaxed. People here turn in early.
Frankly, it's a relief not having a million
activities on the menu. Many winter destinations overwhelm you with options such
as sleigh rides and snow biking and skiparagliding (an actual thing). Yes, Sundance