Connecting the Dots with the Ski Utah Interconnect Tour
The hardest decision to make when skiing in Utah is often, which resort to ski? For the folks who always order the appetizer sampler or suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), the Ski Utah Interconnect Tour might be for you.
What’s an Interconnect Tour?
Now in its 35th season, the Interconnect Tour links together Deer Valley, Park City, Brighton, Solitude, Alta Ski Area, and Snowbird ski resorts. Participants can depart from Deer Valley and hit up to six resorts—along with some backcountry terrain—on the way to Snowbird with some uphill travel along the way. Or try the more difficult tour, beginning at Snowbird and side-stepping, traversing, and hiking your way through Little and Big Cottonwood.
The thrill for many of the Interconnect Tour is being able to ski the varied resorts in a single day—something that would be near impossible and also wildly inefficient if being done by car. While the resorts of the central Wasatch are nary more than a mountain pass or ridgeline away from each other, these same geographic barriers create three distinct canyons, each with its own road or highway to travel to the upper reaches where the chairlifts begin. Looking at a map really puts all of this into perspective.
It’s no secret the ski industry community has long dreamed of physically connecting these resorts via a few strategically placed chairlifts, gondolas, or roads open through the winter. But, for now, the only way to make a few turns at half a dozen resorts in a day is with Ski Utah’s Interconnect Tour, and a burning a few calories along the way.
Get to Know the Guides
First and foremost, the Interconnect guides are tried and true experts in skiing, snow safety— including avoiding avalanches and other backcountry hazards—and getting their groups safely to their destination while having a whole lot of fun along the way.
Lead guide Deb Lovci has been guiding groups for a few decades through the Wasatch, which she knows like the back of her hand. I’m pretty sure you could hand her a map of the Wasatch with all the words removed and Deb could fill in the name of every valley, peak, stream, and ski line from Alta and Wolverine Cirque to Deer Valley and the Daly Chutes. No wonder Outside Magazine named her Best Ski Guide in 2015. And she does it all on telemark skis. Who needs your heels attached when Supergirl was likely molded after Deb? Fun fact: The large pack she totes around holds enough chocolate for the whole group. No bonking when Deb is in the lead.
44-year old guide Brian Brechwald has an impressive resume as well, though he does tend to lock his heels down from time to time. If there’s a stash of untracked powder to be found, Brian will sniff it out for the group. It’s like a sixth sense.
If you’re lucky, some of the other guides on your trip might be the boisterous Jay Burke, who proudly states his ski preference as “not telemark,” or Luke Ratto, who spends the work week managing skiutah.com and weekends repairing broken gear. Whether you need a lesson in burping the ABC’s or a quick boot or binding repair, these guides deliver.
The standard Interconnect Tour is, well, far from a standard ski day. It’s unforgettable in every way. But, if you’ve done it once before, and/or have a group of strong backcountry skiers who want to work a little harder and reap the powdery rewards, private tours are the way to go.
Private tours are also a great way to slow it down and move at your group’s pace—perfect for families wanting a unique ski day, or a group of friends looking to change things up.
On these tours, your group can work with the guides to decide where to ski with custom start and finishing points, as well as terrain and route opportunities not available on standard tours.
“Private tours give us the opportunity to fit the tour to our client’s ability,” says lead guide Deb Lovci. “If they are hard chargers and want to rack up some vert…we are up for that. Plus, it is nice for the group to all know each other—it creates really fun dynamics!
Who Can Interconnect?
While no previous backcountry experience is necessary, all participants must be advanced to expert skiers in good physical condition. A typical tour includes walking, hiking, and traversing, in addition to skiing diverse snow conditions. Outside the resort boundaries and away from groomed runs, rope lines, and signage, Mother Nature decides the snow conditions. Luckily, the experienced group of guides always seek out the best snow, as this group of snow safety experts wants to ski primo conditions too!
Not sure you can do it? Lovci recalls her favorite guest: “This older, tiny women on the tour for her (I think) 25th wedding anniversary was on her own! Her husband doesn’t ski well enough, and it is something she has always wanted to do. She was so much fun! Lots of moxy.”
Some chocolate may have been involved in this effort, but what happens on the Interconnect Tour stays on the Interconnect Tour. Book your Ski Utah Interconnect Tour online, or call 801-534-1907, Monday through Friday.
Individual: $395 per person includes two Ski Utah guides, lunch at one of the on-mountain resort restaurants, lift access, transportation back to the point of origin, and the coveted finisher’s pin.
Small Private Tour for up to 6 skiers: $2,900
Large Private Tour for up to 12 skiers: $4,300
Ski Utah Interconnect Tour Logistics
Departs Deer Valley: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday
Departs Snowbird: Thursday and Saturday
Participants must be 16 years or older, and those between ages 16 and 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. This tour is not designed for the timid.
Due to the nature of the Ski Utah Interconnect Tour, snowboarding is not permitted.