Lifts are starting to spin, avalanche reports are beginning to roll in and the shredders of the Wasatch are making their last-minute fitness pushes to get their bodies strong for ski season 2017-18.
Here are some new developments at Utah’s ski resorts this winter.
It’s Alta’s 80th anniversary, and the resort is installing a new high-speed quad lift to replace the old Supreme and Cecret lifts. The new Supreme Lift will run closer to Alf’s Restaurant and allows the resort to remove lift terminals from sensitive wetlands.
Among Alta’s new instructional offerings is the eight-week Alta Explorers course for novice skiers ages 9 to 13. The classes will take place Saturdays from Jan. 20 through March 17 and cost $695 excluding lift passes. For more information, visit www.alta.com/the-mountain/clinics-and-camps/team-alta-youth.
Beaver Mountain is hosting expanded adaptive skiing options through the Logan-based Common Ground Outdoor Adventures. A new, fully accessible adaptive sports lodge has been completed about 30 feet from the main lift, and ski and snowboard services now will be offered seven days a week — up from four last year. For information, visit http://www.cgadventures.org/.
Skiers can expect digital upgrades at Brian Head, with WiFi being expanded to most of the resort’s terrain — it previously was only available at the lodges — and the resort is launching a fully interactive app. It will provide powder alerts and condition reports and allow skiers to log their laps, track vertical feet and follow their children in ski school.
For snowboarders with dual passes to Brighton and Solitude, the SolBright traverse will be an easier ride this year with trail modifications on the Solitude side. Riders will be less likely to get hung up on undulations and will be able to move more quickly between the resorts.
Cherry Peak has added a new lift, called Summit, which will carry riders to the highest point of the mountain above Smithfield in the Cache Valley. It will give skiers and snowboarders access to 1,300 feet of slopes in the resort as well as backcountry skiing in the Mount Naomi Wilderness Area, said Operations Director Dustin Hansen.
The resort also is offering $199 passes for students this year and trying to reach out to families that didn’t think they could afford to ski before. “We want to help them create those ... memories without hurting their pocketbooks,” Hansen said.
Six Olympic athletes are at Deer Valley this winter for the resort’s Ski With a Champion outings. Individuals or groups of up to six skiers can join an athlete for a full day ($2,000) or half day ($1,200) on the slopes. For more information, visit www.deervalley.com/WhatToDo/Winter/SkiWithAChampion.
Also in the Olympic spirit, the resort will host FIS World Cup events Jan. 10-12; the competition is an OIympic qualifier and could shape teams for the 2018 Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
For large groups with $10,000 to spare, Eagle Point Resort in Beaver is offering more chances to rent out the entire resort. The fee covers lift tickets, rentals and resort staff services for up to 200 people. Two weddings have been scheduled for this season; to book an event, visit https://www.eaglepointresort.com/groups-weddings/you-wish.
Nordic Valley is celebrating its 50th anniversary this winter. Out-of-towners who want to give the Ogden-area resort a try can include it in a tour with the Ski3 Pass if they book two or more nights at participating hotels in Ogden. The pass offers one full day each at Snowbasin and Powder Mountain and a full day and night at Nordic Valley, which is fully illuminated for skiing after dark. For more information about the Ski3 Pass, visit www.visitogden.com/ski-ogden/ski3.
Beginners will have more options at Park City this year with a new conveyer belt lift and beginner trail at the Park City Base Area.
History buffs at the resort also can take in Park City’s mining heritage on the new Silver to Slopes historic ski tour, free to those with lift tickets. A guide will lead guests to historic mining buildings and other relics in the resort. Skiers will need at least intermediate abilities. Tours begin daily at 10 a.m. at the Park City Mountain Village and at 1 p.m. at the trail map near the top of Bonanza lift. For more information, visit https://www.parkcitymountain.com/explore-the-resort/activities/winter-activities/historic-mountain-tours.aspx.
Powder Mountain is “preserving the pow” this year by capping day passes at 1,500 skiers and riders per day and season passes at 3,000. With 8,464 acres, visitors can have a lot of snow to themselves.
Snowbasin is replacing the old Wildcat three-seater lift with a new, high-speed, six-person lift. It will take just 5 minutes to rise over 1,290 vertical feet. The resort also will boost snowmaking in the Wildcat area to allow access to that terrain earlier in the season.
The Creekside Lodge has been remodeled, adding more than 13,500 square feet. It will house the Mountain School and ticketing as well as more dining options. The Cliff Spa, on the roof of The Cliff Lodge, also has been renovated with new radiant heated decks, fire pits and more communal areas.
Solitude has made improvements to the Roundhouse Restaurant and the Last Chance and Moonbeam lodges. The resort also realigned the Solitude part of the SolBright connector trail for easier snowboard access and added a new Rossignol rental fleet at the Nordic Center.
Guests will find a new outfitter store near the base of Jake’s Lift. Sundance Mountain Outfitter 2 provides equipment rentals and repairs.