At least a dozen ski and snowboard resorts in six states in the West have strung ziplines at or near the mountain to augment their offerings during the summer months.
In New Mexico, Angel Fire put its zipline network at the summit, with broad views of Sangre de Cristo Range. Guide-required for four-zip tour with six people max. Tours run every hour until 1 p.m, Friday-Monday.
Neighbor Red Riverloads two-seat Pioneer Flyer for backwards pull up to 600 feet elevation. A short pause for viewing, and then pairs are released for 35-mph free-ride back down. A shorter zip ride is incorporated into Hidden Treasure Aerial Park.
A couple of Colorado mountain resorts have ziplines at the mountain. Vail's on-mountain Epic Discovery Park incorporates a kids-only zipline -- about 10 feet in the air -- among its adventure package.
Utah is home to one of the world's highest and longest ziplines, at Sundance Mountain Resort. Tucked up above Provo, the Sundance Zip has four spans with side-by-side cables that total two miles in length. And, you drop 2,100 vertical feet with control of speeds up to 65 mph -- with mid-air stops, too.
Above Salt Lake City, zipliners climb a 50-foot tower at the base of Snowbirdand reach 30 mph on side-by-side cables, landing on the deck of the tramway building. The ride is 1,000 feet long on a 15% grade.
Over in Idaho, Zip Tamarackruns four tours a day for a max of eight people, which lasts four hours. Each tour hooks onto eight ziplines with two suspension bridges interspersed -- plus a total of 1.5 miles of downhill hiking between platforms.
In California, Heavenly Mountainhas several ziplines on the hill. The rock-star zip is Blue Streak, one of the longest at 3,300 feet with a 525-foot vertical drop. Speeds reach 50 mph. The nearby Heavenly Flyer also reaches 50 mph as it skims the tree tops on an 80-second ride. And, an introductory ride can be had on the Red Flyer, which goes 100 feet at 15 feet above the ground.
And at Mt. Hood SkiBowl in Oregon, the resort has set up an aerial park the in air above the base area that includes an 800-foot long zipline. It's open Thursday to Sunday.
Many other resorts in the West sit near independent zipline operations, like Ski Cooper, Palisades Tahoe and Big Bear.
Summer visitors to Colorado ski and snowboard mountains will see plenty of construction going on, as seven resorts across the state string new lifts for the upcoming season.
A modest price increase, more choice for multi-day passes, and a monthly no-interest payment plan are among the changes as the Epic Pass for the 2022-2023 winter season comes on the early-season market.
Coronavirus is still a worry, but now ski hill operators must wrestle with too few workers and not enough places to house the ones they’ve hired.
As the snow begins to fall, it's time to plan ahead and book a flight to your favorite Colorado resort -- whether flying in from East, West or in between.
It takes more than good terrain to be a truly great ski town. When you're walking in ski boots and lugging your equipment around, a town that sits at the base of the ski area or has a great bus system will make all the difference.
In Colorado, the most definitive way to know that summer is over and winter is not long off comes when the high-country aspen groves put on their brilliant yellow coats.
The month of August puts Colorado's mountains on display -- their high meadows flowing with chilly creek waters. What better to celebrate the high country with than a few mugs of craft beer.
When the snow melts and all that’s left of Colorado’s ski resorts are the seemingly endless trails, rushing mountain water, bright green aspen glades and wildflower-covered meadows, what is there to possibly do?
Chelsea Clapham and her family began snowboarding at Mammoth Mountain four years ago. They enjoyed it so much that they return to the resort year-round. “We like summer and fall up there almost as much as winter,” said Clapham, who lives in Santa Clarita with her husband, Shaun, and two kids. “We have family friends who let us use their condo, so we’re hooked.”
Thanks to a snowy March and persistent pent-up desire to hit the slopes, a slew of Colorado ski and snowboard resorts will keep their lifts spinning beyond original closing dates.
Gigi Girard, an OB-GYN in Louisville, Ky., says she has been to Vail approximately 50 times over the last 20 years. So, over dinner during our overlapping visit this month to Colorado's largest ski resort, I figured she'd be a perfect person to ask about how much her Vail experience during this Covid-19 winter differed from the norm.
Now more than ever, people will require a real sense of seclusion while on their ski vacations. Gone for the time being are the après ski parties, the socializing in the lodge during a quick break for lunch and eight-passenger gondola rides. These have been temporarily replaced with such wellness guidelines as chair lift rides consisting of family members only, food trucks as opposed to eating in the lodge and private ski instruction instead of group lessons.
Health officials in eight counties have not traced positive tests back to lift lines, chairlifts or ski slopes.
The holiday season is upon us and, despite the headwinds of Covid-19, thousands of skiers and snowboarders have been aiming toward the mountains for welcome relief.
Vail Resorts Inc., one of the largest financial contributors to Colorado’s cloud seeding program, has dropped out this year, leaving a major hole in the program’s budget.
Since the global coronavirus pandemic began, sports that lend themselves to outdoor social distancing (golf, cycling, hiking, fishing, etc.) have been red hot, and skiing and snowboarding hold the same appeal as cold weather sets in. Several new hotels are debuting at major ski resorts around the country, and while it is too early to say whether travel from outside the regions will be safe or advisable this ski season, it is worth begin informed if the travel landscape takes a turn for the better.
Vail Mountain will open on time, and with full terrain and lifts — conditions permitting, of course.
In a recent telephone interview, Vail Mountain Chief Operating Officer Beth Howard said operations this summer have given the company important insights in how to operate lifts, restaurants and other amenities safely as the COVID-19 pandemic persists. Winter is the focus now, she said.
“Summer’s been great,” Howard said. “It’s terrific to be up and running … we’ve been pleased with how it’s going.”
Schools in Aspen, Vail, and Crested Butte are reporting record interest and enrollment as part-time residents relocate to their vacation homes and urban buyers flock to mountain retreats.
Halfway up Vail Mountain and a few steps from Gondola One’s constant whirl, the view is stunning. Pine trees dot vibrant green meadows, with the grey crags of the Gore Range off in the distance, all under a cloudless blue sky.
A few small groups of people could be seen along the slopes, too, most hiking in masks.
Vail Ski Resort is one of many Colorado ski areas that have begun to emerge from hibernation after Gov. Jared Polis closed down the industry in mid-March as coronavirus barreled into the state. Now, these resorts are navigating a summer season like none before.Read the full story at CPR.org