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Up, Up And Away: Bowls To Ski And Ride In The Rockies


Choose a mini-bowl to ski at Sun Valley. (Sun Valley/Facebook)

Few experiences on a mountain rival pushing off down a massive alpine bowl, with nothing in your way and infinite lines to follow. And the Rocky Mountain resorts have many to choose from.

While often it takes a hike or snowcat ride to get to a bowl, SnoCountry.com took a look at those cirques and basins in the Rockies that can be reached from the top of lifts without much more than a traverse.

There are dozens to choose from. Here are some of them:

Kachina lift brings bowl skiing and riding to all. (Taos Ski Valley/Facebook)

Taos Ski Valley opened Kachina chair two years ago, and Kachina Bowl is now one of its most popular runs. A full 150 acres, the bowl has blues, blacks and extremes – and a new way into powder-stash Hunsiker Bowl.

Check out lines in Baldy Bowl. (Alta/Facebook)

At Alta, hop off the top of Collins chair and traverse into Baldy Bowl to find freshies. Choices spread across all the way to the connection gate to Snowbird. Run-out funnels into Collins mid-station for quick turnarounds.

Jupiter Bowl separates from Park City groomers. (Park City Mountain/Facebook)

Over the ridge, Park City refutes its “groomer city” reputation with Jupiter Bowl. All runs off the 10,000-foot summit are double blacks, and Jupiter chair makes laps easy. Traverse too far and you’ll have to take Thaynes Lift up to get back to Jupiter chair.

Idaho’s Sun Valley has “mini-bowls” that course down off 9,150-foot Bald Mountain. Eight runs sit in treeless gullies that find their way back to Mayday or Christmas chairs.

Rendezvous Bowl rivals any. (Jackson Hole/Facebook)

Rendezvous Bowl atop Jackson Hole rivals any for wide-open, unrelenting skiing and riding. You have to take tram from bottom to get into it, but it’s worth the time, since Cheyenne, Bernie’s and gnarly Casper bowls are within reach, too.

Vail's Back Bowls are huge. (Vail/Facebook)

The Back Bowls at Vail offer up innumerable lines off the summit ridge. High Noon Express is the main lift, but the new Sun Up chair provides laps on Sun Up Bowl. South-facing, so beware of quickly changing conditions.

Head up to top lifts at Big Sky for bowls. (Big Sky/Facebook)

Montana’s Big Sky befits its name with 5,800 acres inside the ropes – most of it below treeline. Take the time to ride a couple of lifts to get to Lone Mountain Tram, and a whole new world opens up. Gullies galore, with brawny Deepwater Bowl and South Wall cirque ready to challenge.


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