Beaver Creek Debuts Mountaintop Learning Area
New learning area atop Beaver Creek. (Abby Hein/Beaver Creek)
Virtually all ski and snowboard resorts put their beginner areas at the base where terrain is modest and access easy. Not at Beaver Creek.
The Vail-owned resort will introduce Red Buffalo Park this season located at 11,400 feet, the mountain’s highest reaches. As part of the package, a new high-speed quad called Red Buffalo Express will replace the fixed-grip Drink of Water chair to decrease uphill riding time to just over four minutes – and become the last primary lift on the mountain to go high speed.
With a slew of 13 gentle green trails winding around 200 acres just off the summit, the new “family and adventure learning area” will include Kids’ Adventure Zones, ever-changing snow sculptures, beginner and intermediate terrain parks, and a portion of the Upper Sheephorn trail dedicated to teaching only. There will even be a new Cookie Cabin to give skiing and snowboarding students a respite spot right on the mountain.
“We expect this improvement to take significant volume off Cinch Express, Beaver Creek’s second most-popular lift, and it really is an improvement befitting of Beaver Creek’s luxury, family experience, as it enhances a key beginner and family area of our mountain,” said Beaver Creek’s Beth Howard.
The adventure zone features Jack Rabbit Alley, a trail that begins at the top of the mountain and winds through the trees to challenge advanced and intermediate skiers – including Wild West Trail where skiers and riders go through a Conestoga and stop at a Native American teepee. And, the Mystic Maze interpretative trail give youngsters a chance to learn about native wildlife.
Ski and snowboard students will have to ride the Centennial Express and Cinch Express high-speed lifts to make it to the new teaching area.