Backdraft 2 Trail Pat's Peak

Pats Peak Ski Area officials have announced “Operation Cascade Basin.” The planned expansion over the next three years will see the addition of a new triple chair and up to six trails and glades.

“This summer will be the busiest as the mountain operations crew will be installing a high-capacity triple chairlift and unveiling at least four new trails in time for the 2013-2014 season,” says Pats Peak's Lori Rowell.  “This is a completely new section of the mountain that has never been skied before and offers an easterly exposure, giving Pats Peak some of the most sun-drenched slopes in the state.”

“Operation Cascade Basin” has been in the planning and permitting stage for the last two years and received its final permits this past fall. Following this summer’s construction, additional terrain will be added in future years. Skiers and riders received an indication of what’s to come with the debut of the Backdraft trail this season.

“Pats Peak has been locally owned and operated by the Patenaude family for 50 years and we wanted to do something really big. We wanted to give all of our patrons a giant birthday gift,” said General Manager Kris Blomback.

The new triple chairlift will open up another dimension of skiing and riding with the addition of 20 plus acres of new terrain for novices and intermediates. Experts will have several glades to choose from, including one with snowmaking coverage.

“We’ve experienced tremendous growth over the last few years, and we wanted to do something to give back to our guests. It’s very important to keep our product exciting and fresh. Opportunities available in the future in the new area include the possibility of an additional terrain park as well as expanded night skiing,” added Blomback.

Rowell said that snowmaking will increase in “lock-step” with new terrain. Also, new snowguns, pumps, pipes and hydrants will all be added to ensure quality conditions.

As was reported by earlier this season when the resort reached its half century milestone, Pats Peak is a throw-back to early Yankee ingenuity, with an emphasis on family and staff. To that end, expansion will allow the Patenaude family to retain key personnel over the summer and execute this project with in-house employees.

Adding to that economic impact is the fact that mountain management will mesh local talent with seasoned specialists. With the growth, Blomback added that the employee base in the winter will expand.

A section on the resort website contains maps and renderings of the new trails and lift. Additional information about this exciting project, including a blog and photo journal, will highlight the progress of the project. Posters have also been set up in the lodge depicting the expansion.

Using Facebook, guests and pass holders will get to determine the names of the new trails on Cascade Basin.

Photos: Pats Peak