Utah's Skiers, Snowboarders Find More Conveniences This Season
A new chairlift, acres of new terrain, expanded parking lots and more snowmaking mark what folks will see when they venture into the Utah mountains this winter.
Starting up north, Beaver Mountain has added more parking spaces. At the base, crews have begun building a new 25,000-square-foot lodge that will hold space for skier services, food and beverage, and retail next season.
Nearby Cherry Peak has put in a tubing park served by a magic carpet just to the viewer's left of the main lodge. On the hill, more snowmaking infrastructure went in this summer.
Up above Ogden, Snowbasin has addressed the popularity of the Strawberry Peak area with the new Demoisy Express high-speed six-pack. The new chair is expected to both relieve congestion and make it easier to traverse a long ridge and return to the base area.
The new high-speed will load next to the gondola and rise nearly 2,000 vertical feet to a sheltered dropoff point just short of the top ridge. From there, trails lead to and from the frontside Middle Bowl Express, and skiers and rider get a choice of the alpine terrain of Diamond Bowl or the Strawberry treeless steep slopes.
Neighbor Powder Mountain has tweaked its ownership model to makes its real estate more attractive by designating three two existing chairlifts -- Mary's and Village, and a new high-speed in the Raintree sector -- for homeowner-only skiing and riding. But another 500 acres of gnarly steeps, called DMI, has opened for guided tours off the upper north boundary.
As a nod of changing conditions, Powder installed its first snowmaking equipment. Night skiing now coasts $19 for some 300 acres under the lights.
Down below, Nordic Valley has had a tough run of it so far this season. The Eden-based mountain lost one of its two chairlifts -- the 53-year-old Apollo double -- to major mechanical issues. In its place, Nordic Valley has 18-seats sled towed by snowmobiles to bring folks to the upper mountain high-speed Nordic Express. Management says it can handle about 200 skiers-riders an hour.
Two new runs -- blue Beserker and black My Backyard -- were cut over the summer, and more parking spaces went in. In January, the resort's base lodge caught fire and was destroyed. The mountain was closed for several days, but is now open with temporary facilities.
Always cramped for parking, Sundance spend the summer tweaking the parking and access around the base of Jake's Lift, and then adding a new beginner run from Jake's to the upper parking lots.
Down south, Brian Head opened more glade runs -- from beginner to expert rated -- in the trees beneath Wildflower chair, and alongside the Shotgun run. More snowmaking went in, too.
And Eagle Point went deep into the inner workings of both the Skyline and Monarch chairs to upgrade for more efficient operation.