By Ryan Dunfee
Jonathan Cheever got his start at tiny Nashoba Valley outside Boston, and wasn't until he got a free snowboard lesson at Attitash in New Hampshire that he found his love for snowboarding. He got honors in high school and finished college in Massachusetts before moving out to Utah, where his talent at managing massive airs in the halfpipe and on the jump line have led him to a successful career as a snowboardcross racer. As a member of the U.S. Snowboard team, Cheever has placed consistently in the top ten at the X Games and World Cup, and became the U.S. National Champion in 2011 while finishing 3rd in the world overall. When he isn't training on the hill, working out at the new USSA Center of Excellence training facility in Park City, or rehabbing from a ruptured Achilles tendon, Cheever is paying his way as a plumber, just as his father did. On the odd day off from all of that, he still manages to sneak in a few good pow laps at Canyons off the Super Condor Express and the Ninety-Nine 90 quad.
Place to ski on a Powder Day:
Not telling. Seriously. Okay, I will let you in on two secrets. One, jump on a lift with a ski patrol or staff… Not the staff wearing the Canyons jacket's either. You want someone with a radio, so when you hear "Condor opening in five" or "99 will be opening shortly," go there fast. There are plenty of stashes to last for days, but you need to know where to find them. Secondly, some of the best terrain is right in front of you. While some are making a mad dash to the “goods” that may be closed for Avy danger, there are hundreds or thousands of acres of pow with easy access that never get tracked.
Place to get snacks for the powder day backpack:
Canyons may be under-rated with the likes of the Cottonwood Canyons resorts. I like it that way. The chairlift backcountry access is second to none. You can have three or four off-piste runs under your belt before noon and then take a cruise to the bottom of Tombstone and hit the Tombstone Grill. Refuel outside, and then get a couple more before calling it a day. Hike out, and then ride down to the chairlift… so simple. For the love of God, don’t ride alone and don't go without proper avy gear.
Place to ski on a spring day:
The spring is when it gets good. Early morning, high elevation and you are still getting face shots. A good chunk of Canyons is north facing.
Place to take the family skiing:
Red Pine is great, but it tends to be a black hole for tourists. I would make some hot laps off of Sun Peak. The terrain is mellow, there is an array of high-speed lifts to choose from and the Sun Lodge is never crowded. If you want to eat something a little fancier, just make your way up to the Lookout Cabin at the mid station on Orange Bubble Express. Once your family is done eating, burn some turns on the north side of the resort.
Place for Dinner:
My roommate Bill Mallon is a cook over at The Farm. Some of the best food I have had in Park City, or even the country, has been there. It's a little pricey, but well worth it. Everything is local.
Place for Aprés:
You're talking to an athlete here. I suppose at the end of the competitive season I may stop off at Red Pine lodge for a brew and catch up with some people before riding down… or taking the Flight of the Canyons gondola down if I am real lazy.
If there is an event, like the US Grand Prix in March where I'll be competing to get my U.S. title back from Nate Holland, I will be at Red Tail.