A quartet of Colorado resorts in the Epic Pass system is set to show off improvements as the 2021-2022 ski and snowboard season gains momentum.
What's new on the four mountains follows recent trends to unclog chokepoints at lift terminals and to open up more terrain for novice and intermediate skiers and riders.
At Breckenridge, moving around the five-peak, 3,000-acre mountain has always been a challenge, but owner Vail Resorts continue to add lifts to make it easier to get around its recent terrain expansions on Peak 6, 7, and 8.
This season, a new high-speed quad -- dubbed Freedom SuperChair -- will take skiers and riders from the bottom of Peak 6, below Zendo Chair, to the top of Independence SuperChair on Peak 7 above the restaurant.
Beaver Creek unveils its new on-the-mountain novice area in McCoy Park. Located adjacent to the high-alpine Larkspur Bowl, the new terrain is dominated by green runs with a unique twist: glade runs on moderate pitches.
A main McCoy Park Express high-speed quad bifurcates the 250 acres, while fixed-grip four-seater Reunion Lift returns skiers and riders to the front side. McCoy Park also has its own restaurant perched on the ridge at about 10,000 feet, plus snowshoe and x-c areas. The area closes at 3 p.m.
At Crested Butte, the oldest chairlift on the mountain has come down. The last two-seater on the mountain, the Peachtree chair will become a fixed-grip triple for the short ride out of the base and onto primary beginner terrain. Crews spent the summer re-grading Augusta trail and environs to provide a more consistent pitch for inexperienced skiers and riders.
Mothership Vail Mountain remained quiet this summer, construction-wise, outside of normal maintenance and snowmaking upgrades.
Keystone's mainstay Peru chairlift will get a facelift, as a new 6-pack high-speed chair went up in the same footprint this summer. Mountain officials expect the increased capacity to reduce congestion at the main base area.
Remember that while Epic Pass resorts have dropped the pre-arrival registration system, they still require masks for all indoor settings, reservations for many on-mountain eateries, and proof of vaccination for on-mountain indoor quick-service restaurants.