The hoopla, the ribbon-cutting and the champagne bottle-smashing are long over with at Park City Mountain, and the new Quicksilver gondola has gotten down to doing its job: Connecting Park City and Canyons Resort.
Nearly 100 inches of snow fell before the first of the year at the Utah resort, meaning it could open up the new connector gondola on Dec. 18 – just in time for the holidays.
For Park City-ites who never skied or rode Canyons – or vice versa – the new lift opened up whole new horizons.
“It’s been fun to watch our guests explore Park City,” Park City’s Margo Van Ness told SnoCountry.com. “Folks are discovering their new favorite parts of the mountain.”
Resort officials don’t have specific numbers on ridership on Quicksilver, but anecdotal evidence indicates the new lift has become popular right away – especially with all the early snow.
The new gondola takes nine minutes to traverse Pinecone Ridge in either direction. Reports are that getting off at the midway station is gaining popularity, providing access to three new runs on the Canyons side and gate-accessed Thaynes Canyon black runs on the Park City aspect.
With the connection, there are a wealth of intermediate runs to enjoy. But it takes a bit to get to expert terrain from either base terminal. On the Canyons side, steeps-seekers must hit the groomers to the Timberline connector, then up Tombstone Express to Ninety-Nine Express and the good stuff in Red Pine Bowl and The Abyss.
On the Park City side, it’s still a three-lift ride to get to Jupiter Bowl and all the steep slashes off of Pinecone Ridge.
Anyone stranded at the end of the day (Quicksilver’s last gondola is at 3:30 p.m.) on the wrong side of the mountain can hop a free shuttle that runs every 20 minutes from 3:25 p.m. to midnight.
If all this sounds too complicated, Park City Mountain Snowsports School will gladly let skiers and riders hire a guide at $565 a day to get acquainted will all the new terrain made possible by the new gondola. Ph
Photos: Top -- New Quicksilver Gondola has opened up vast terrain at Park City (Park City Mountain/Facebook) Left -- There's plenty of powder in Thanes Canyon off new gondola (Park City Mountain/Facebook).