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Sundance Mountain Resort: A Skier’s Sun Dance

The Sundance Stories Pt. 3

Renew and regenerate — two words that apply to a week’s respite at Sundance Mountain Resort. Tucked into the shadow of Utah’s great Mount Timpanogos, Sundance is a ski resort designed to connect people with art, sport, culture, and nature.

[two_third]It was established in 1969 by Robert Redford as a true getaway, one that offers skiing and snowboarding, adventure and wellness, plus a suite of lodging, dining, and Native American cultural experiences. All of it has evolved slowly and with care; a private preserve with one goal in mind: to offer guests renewal and regeneration, just like a sun dance.

They call it a sun dance — tribal ceremony practiced as a prayer for life, world renewal, and thanksgiving. It is said that groups of indigenous people — sun dancers — perform sun dances each season to maintain creative power with the universe, preserving their ability to renew and regenerate.

Let’s start with the skiing. The 450-acres of skiable terrain is home to 45 runs for every level of skier. There are wide open bowls ideal for powder turns; meandering trails that are immaculately groomed; and narrow, gladed chutes for adventurous skiing. Each season, these runs are blessed with an annual average of 300 inches of snow, often deep and dry, with the luxurious feel of silk. Ask U.S. Ski Team member Steve Nyman to name his favorite powder spot, chances are he’ll tell you it’s Sundance.

Oh, and let’s not forget the restorative nature of the sun. With 229 days on average of sun each year, Sundance has plenty of it. Head for ‘Bishop’s Bowl’ and enjoy the sunny views of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. Or watch the sun as it comes up over the east mountains and hits the west side of Mount Timpanogos — the second highest peak in the Wasatch will look like it’s dancing. Take a swift run down ‘Bear Claw’, Sundance’s signature groomer. Instagram a shot snapped on ‘Wonder Boy’, named after a baseball bat in Redford’s The Natural. Or do as Sundance’s general manger, Chad Linebaugh, suggests: “Ski ‘The Sting’, a chute that’s one of my favorites, especially if I want to be challenged.”

Renewal and regeneration are further enhanced by Sundance’s signature lodging. In an era of high-rise condominiums and mass base-area development, the Redford family has chosen a different approach. Known as rustic yet elegant, lodging at Sundance is slopeside — it’s within steps of the ski runs. But Sundance’s guest homes are hidden below the treeline in a shaded grove of aspens — naturally, it’s a forest with a river running through it.

Not far is the Spa at Sundance. Set up as a nature-inspired eco-spa, the facility’s natural surroundings and Native American influences provide a wellness menu that is, at its core, designed to restore peace and inner balance. Six softly lit treatment rooms blend Native American traditions with natural products; private in-room treatments are also an option. The Sundance wellness menu includes stone and body massages, sage and sweet grass skin rituals, nail treatments, aromatherapy, and mindfulness meditations.

And finally, as with skiing, spa-ing, and restorative lodging, there are regenerative aspects to practicing fine art and appreciating culture. Sundance has these in spades. First, with galleries and dining establishments featuring items from Redford’s Native American art collection. And second with the art studio on site for jewelry making, photography, painting, and pottery. Inside the Sundance glassblower studio, guests can watch as glass blowers transform hot molten balls of discarded glass into art pieces — the experience is poetic, just like sun dancing.[/two_third]

Enticed to discover your own form of sun dancing? Find out more. Click on www.SundanceStories.com