PARK CITY, Utah — Every year, on December 30, spectators old and young, gather on the deck of the Snow Park Lodge at Deer Valley Resort, and this year will be no different. Once the sun goes down, they’re treated to the annual on-snow show known as the Torchlight Parade.
Approximately 100 ski instructors may decide on the day to stay and ski in a long, slow, snake-like formation down the Big Stick run holding bright lights delighting watchful eyes.
Approximately ten more skiers then join in, punctuating the show with an awe-inspiring synchronized performance up to the Lodge. The ten skiers wear outfits seen easily against the darkened ski run while they ski dance down.
Those ten, who comprise the Syncro Team, have already started twice-weekly training, which will ramp up to nightly from December 26-29. They volunteer to take the last chair up Carpenter Lift and practice the synchronized ski choreography, set to music.
The team is one-third women and two-thirds men, aged 20-60s. Back in the 90s, the Deer Valley Synchronized Ski Team used to travel to compete. Each season in April in Aspen, they represented Deer Valley in the annual national competition where squads from ski resorts all across the country competed.
Donna Matturro McAleer has been on the synchro squad since 2005 and its leader since 2012. She’s a prime example of the varied interests of the staff. Not only has the West Point graduate and Executive Director of statewide nonprofit The Bicycle Collective competed on the USA Bobsled Team, she also had Deer Valley Ski School colleagues volunteer to knock on doors on her behalf during her national congressional campaign, with a Deer Valley Ski Patroller as her Campaign Manager.
McAleer told TownLift, “It improves our individual skiing, as well as our individual teaching, and we enjoy the camaraderie. The lights on the mountain at night, reflecting from the snow, is a beautiful thing to watch.”
Many Deer Valley guests taught during the week show up to see their ski instructors’ show and partake in the hot chocolate and other food and beverage offerings for sale in the festive après ski, family-friendly environment. For many visitors and locals alike, it’s become a family tradition.