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Thread: Deer Valley NASTAR

  1. #1
    Senior Member Racer X's Avatar
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    I had the opportunity to race the Deer Valley NASTAR course over Christmas, and would like to give you all a report. Deer Valley takes a hit sometimes because of perceived issues of money and snobbishness, but I would like to report that they are running a first class NASTAR operation on one of the toughest NASTAR hills I have ever been on. Yes, the fees are a little high, but the medals you get are not you typical NASTAR medals. Here's my report:

    Registration: First class - they fill out the forms for you, so you don't even have to take off your gloves - step up to the window, they ask all the pertinent questions, fill out the forms for you, and all you have to do is sign, and pay your fees. Very friendly, thorough, and efficient. Here's the best part - they don't have the silly "bib numbers" that you have to remember - you just give them your NASTAR number when you step in the starting gate, and that's all you need. And once you register, if you go back fo a second day, no forms to fill out at all - just pay your money, and give them your NASTAR number when you step into the starting gate. I wish more venues made it this easy.

    Fees: $6 for one run, $10 for two runs, and each additional run after that is $6. A bit pricy, and encourages you not to keep making laps. Make two or three runs, and go enjoy the rest of the resort. It costs more, but..........

    Medals: .............the medals make it worth the extra price. They have custom made medals (not the typical NASTAR medal) that are about 3 times the size of the typical NASTAR medal, and are surely distinctive, for those of you who like to display them (mine are all "displayed" in a bowl on the back of my dresser, for what it's worth), and they make sure everybody gets a medal - even if it's just a participation medal. When the price of the medals in the gift shop runs around $15, it's not such a bad deal.

    The course: One of the toughtest, gnarliest NASTAR course I've raced on (which is kind of funny, considering it's Deer Valley). Granted, the day I was there, the regular NASTAR course on "RACE HILL" was under 3 or 4 monster piles of snow (most likely getting ready to be groomed for some celebrity race featuring the Kennedy clan, or some such thing), so the course was moved to the adjacent hill, but the pitch and length are exactly the same, and they share the same start and finish areas. This was steep, icy, and had a relatively tight (by NASTAR standards) course set. A real challenge. For you midwest racers, it was similar to the front face of Nubs, Challenger at Boyne Highlands, or McClouth at Boyne Mountain. NOT your typical NASTAR hill, by any means. If you were planning on going to Nationals, this would be a good course to train on. Very challenging, and very fun. The paceseetter was a kid from Ohio, who was wicked fast - 6 handicap, and set a blistering time. Definitely not a "tuck and go" course - you had to really get on the edges and make some GS turns.

    Here are a couple of pictures:

    First, looking up toward the start from about the third gate down:



    And from the same spot, looking down toward the finish area (you can see the everyday race course hill and finish hut off to the right in the picture):



    The steepness of the course, is pretty accurately conveyed in these pics. I heard more than one parent comment to me in the starting area that this was no typical NASTAR course.

    My overall impression: Although a bit pricy (if you're going to Deer Valley, I suspect you should expect this), it is well worth the money to make a few runs down their challenging course. The crew is effcient and friendly, and they set a nice course.

    A+ in my book. I'd make a trip there again to do NASTAR.

    I'll take a pic of the medals and post it here too.

    Hope this was useful to some of you.

    JMHO.
    If you win, but in so doing, lose the respect of your competitors, you've not won anything at all - Paul Elvestrom - 4 time Danish Olympic gold medalist in Sailing

  2. #2
    Senior Member IN.racer's Avatar
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    From the steepness and length of that thing you must be flying at the finish :shock:
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  3. #3
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    Got to mirror Racer X's impression. Deer Valley is where I first tried Nastar. Wicked fun and definitely the most challenging one I've done. has a nice dogleg and pitch breaks. Wish they had the unlimited runs though.

  4. #4
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    It does look steep! But the par time is only about 17 seconds. Number of gates looks like about 15-18 from the picture. So it sounds like it was fast, steep, but pretty short. The pitch might be good practice for Nationals, but double the length!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Racer X's Avatar
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    It does look steep! But the par time is only about 17 seconds. Number of gates looks like about 15-18 from the picture. So it sounds like it was fast, steep, but pretty short. The pitch might be good practice for Nationals, but double the length![/b]
    Point taken, but I've found that the most important part of getting ready for Nationals was experiencing ( and getting more comforatable with) the steeps that we don't normally see. That's a gate coming at you about every second or so. The length is not as critical, and even most of the Nationals courses usually flatten out for the last third to quarter of the run.

    If I had to recommend one over the other, I'd recommend practicing on steeper terrain (even if is is a bit shorter) rather than on longer length courses.

    JMHO
    If you win, but in so doing, lose the respect of your competitors, you've not won anything at all - Paul Elvestrom - 4 time Danish Olympic gold medalist in Sailing

  6. #6
    Senior Member ChiTownChick's Avatar
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    I think that Deer Valley NASTAR course is the course they had back in 2003-4 that was just their Deer Valley race course in those days. They did not have NASTAR at that time. I raced that course but wanted NASTAR so stayed on the PCMR course (sweet little Blanche) the other days so I could get results posted.

    It was a more challenging course but not that difficult, steeper than most but not intimidating. I say it was "Sitz-ish" in Steamboat terms.

    It may be a different course, but it sounds like the medals they give are the one's they gave back then. I remember that hill because there were two courses set up side by side and this a-hole guy challenged me to race him, like I could not do it, and he raced along side on the course next to me thinking he would rattle me. I beat him.

    The things you remember.....


    ChiTownChick :cool:

  7. #7
    Senior Member olskier's Avatar
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    Racer X,

    Thanks for detailed description and photos.

    My 2 cents:

    It's a Blue trail on the Bald Mtn., named the "Race Course", after a half of Nabob or Birdseye trails. Lifts: Sterling Express or Wasatch Express. The second lift is good for multiple runs, just take right after finish. See DV trail map.

    Nice course, actually 2 parallel runs side-by-side, you can choose Yellow or Green. It's not a bunny slope like in Park City or some other resorts with little turns and tucking all the way. Pretty rhythmical work: right-left-right-left.... just don't be late. I wish most Nastar cources were like this, could be a little longer though (and steeper :wink: )...
    The only challenging part is to stop in small area after the finish line, because of a pretty straight line through last 3 gates and descent speed at the end.
    You can instantly see your time on the screen, in addition to announcement thru speakers. Nice.

    2010 update for pricing: $10 - 2 NASTAR runs, $6 - 1 NASTAR run and some more options, but no unlimited runs. Indeed, more expensive than some other resorts, where $5 - 2 runs, $1- each additional run, etc...
    But Deer Valley has training timed runs - $3 - 1 run, $15 - 6 runs and so on. Just no HC and medals.

    Open from 10 am to 3 pm.

    So my advice: do training runs to be familiar with the slope (after first 2-3 turns your cannot see the next gate because of a little drop), choose your preferred Yellow or Green course with your best HC (there is a detailed updated time table on the booth with all options for all groups to find your HC by time), and do NASTAR runs. Good luck!

    P.S. See some medals below (made in China, as most things nowdays... :mrgreen: ). Bronze looks nice.


  8. #8
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    This course certainly supports my point that NASTAR results are not comparable between resorts.
    You can bet that the winners in the nationals will be people from resorts that race on the steeper hills that are like the courses set for the nationals.
    Us poor smucks that are racing on low gradient hills and perfecting the technique that wins on these hills are beaten from the start on a steeper course.

    I estimate that at least 80% of NASTAR courses are of the low gradient variety.
    These 80% pay NASTAR's bills while the Nationals are for the big mountain 20%.
    I call this a bait and switch because NASTAR pretends all courses are equal.
    Without reasonable course standardization NASTAR fails in its goal of providing nationally comperable racing experiences.

    Don't take it seriously and NASTAR is fun....take it seriously and you had better train somewhere else.


  9. #9
    Senior Member jclose8's Avatar
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    Don't take it seriously and NASTAR is fun....take it seriously and you had better train somewhere else.[/b]
    I don't get it... So are you saying that you are one of the ones who take it seriously, or not?

    If you take racing seriously, why are you scared of slightly steeper hills? It doesn't take much to find a run steeper than Birch run. Do you ever free ski? Take some runs on Smokey, Chute, and Scarface.... It will make you an overall better skier, and maybe you won't look at a moderate pitch like "Buck" at Crystal as "steep."
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  10. #10
    Senior Member putterman's Avatar
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    Dakine, according to your stats page, you haven't even raced Nastar this year. What gives? Have you sworn off Nastar, but still want to complain about it, or haven't been able to get out yet?

    I agree with Jamie, it is unclear as to whether or not you are serious. From the sounds of your posts, you are serious (seriously angry if nothing else), therefore, maybe you should take your own advice and go train somewhere else...
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