Pcwi 14 rise and glide ski lift vkntfh

Image: Mike Schirf

The reasons to get out of bed before sunrise on a brisk winter morning are few. The best one, however, is to ski fresh, untracked powder or pristine corduroy. Another might be to nosh on a breakfast of warm, fresh-from-the-oven buttermilk biscuits dolloped in gravy. Luckily, with Canyons’ First Tracks program, you can experience both. So set your alarms.

You’ll meet at 7:15 a.m., part of an intimate group of brave early risers sipping coffee and excitedly anticipating the next two hours. As the sun makes its entrance over the distant Uinta Mountains, setting the sky awash in watercolors, you’ll be getting on the chairlift with ski patrol and local guides who ski like Olympians (because they are). You’ll share the mountain with this lucky posse before the resort is open to the public, gleefully gobbling up run after run, carving down sparkling corduroy, or floating through freshies in the trees. You own the mountain and its early-morning magic—a moose nibbling on a snack of scrub oak, mist rising through stands of frost-covered aspen, and, of course, zero lift lines. After two hours at this private party, other skiers and snowboarders begin to hit the slopes (slackers!), so you duck into Red Pine Lodge for a generous hot breakfast. As Park City slowly awakens far below, you know that the best part of your day is already behind you.

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