Up-And-Down Offseason For Vail Resorts' Lift Plans

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Unauthorized road construction by Vail Resorts' contractors has prompted the U.S. Forest Service to force a delay of opening the much-anticipated Bergman Bowl at Keystone until to the 2023-2024 season.

Work had already begun this spring to prepare 550 acres of intermediate alpine terrain for the coming 2022-2023 season. That work including installation of a new high-speed six-pack chairlift.

However, in July, the Forest Service discovered that crews had built a temporary construction road beyond permit boundaries, and issued a cease-and-desist order until damage to fragile treeline and above-treeline tundra was repaired.

In hopes of keeping the much-touted project on schedule, Keystone officials quickly worked up a restoration plan to remove damage done by the road and reclaim a stream crossing that had been filled in by crews.

Despite saying the restoration project was one of the best they had ever seen, officials of the White River National Forest said further environmental review was necessary before work on the lift could resume.

That led Vail Resorts to announce that Bergman Bowl, long a hike-to and snowcat favorite off the top of North Peak, will remain as such until next summer's construction season. Other parts of the project, including expansion of the Outpost restaurant atop North Peak, placing snowmaking equipment in the area and doing trail work will continue this summer.

The nation's largest ski and snowboard resort conglomerate and purveyor of the Epic Pass, Vail Resorts continues to work on several other lift installation projects. At Vail Mountain, a new high-speed four-pack is set to run from the base of High Noon Express to the ridge-top Wildwood Restaurant. On the front, Game Creek Bowl enthusiasts will get up quicker with a replacement detachable six-seater on the same line as the old lift.

In neighboring Summit County, Vail-owned Breckenridge will give beginners and ski school-ers more runs to lap out of Peak 8 base with a replacement of Rip's Ride fixed-grip with a high-speed four-pack.

At Vail-owned resorts around Lake Tahoe, skiers and riders who go to Northstar California should expect to see a six-pack replacement of the four-seater Comstock Lift at the busy mid-mountain. And, visitors to Heavenly Mountain should be able to get to the top of North Bowl in almost half the ride time with a new high-speed chair.

However, Park City Mountain visitors and loyalists will have to wait for two replacement chairlifts at a busy juncture near the crossover to the Canyons area, as local citizens convinced the planning board to reevaluate the project. Vail Resorts has said it will appeal.

 

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Strap In For High-Wire Thrills On Ziplines in the West

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At least a dozen ski and snowboard resorts in six states in the West have strung ziplines at or near the mountain to augment their offerings during the summer months.

In New Mexico, Angel Fire put its zipline network at the summit, with broad views of Sangre de Cristo Range. Guide-required for four-zip tour with six people max. Tours run every hour until 1 p.m, Friday-Monday.

Neighbor Red Riverloads two-seat Pioneer Flyer for backwards pull up to 600 feet elevation. A short pause for viewing, and then pairs are released for 35-mph free-ride back down. A shorter zip ride is incorporated into Hidden Treasure Aerial Park.

A couple of Colorado mountain resorts have ziplines at the mountain. Vail's on-mountain Epic Discovery Park incorporates a kids-only zipline -- about 10 feet in the air -- among its adventure package.

Purgatory has strung a pair of short, parallel ziplines that load on a condo deck and run over the base village center. Not long, the Plunge runs on weekends and can reach 35 mph.

Utah is home to one of the world's highest and longest ziplines, at Sundance Mountain Resort. Tucked up above Provo, the Sundance Zip has four spans with side-by-side cables that total two miles in length. And, you drop 2,100 vertical feet with control of speeds up to 65 mph -- with mid-air stops, too.

Above Salt Lake City, zipliners climb a 50-foot tower at the base of Snowbirdand reach 30 mph on side-by-side cables, landing on the deck of the tramway building. The ride is 1,000 feet long on a 15% grade.

Over in Idaho, Zip Tamarackruns four tours a day for a max of eight people, which lasts four hours. Each tour hooks onto eight ziplines with two suspension bridges interspersed -- plus a total of 1.5 miles of downhill hiking between platforms.

In California, Heavenly Mountainhas several ziplines on the hill. The rock-star zip is Blue Streak, one of the longest at 3,300 feet with a 525-foot vertical drop. Speeds reach 50 mph. The nearby Heavenly Flyer also reaches 50 mph as it skims the tree tops on an 80-second ride. And, an introductory ride can be had on the Red Flyer, which goes 100 feet at 15 feet above the ground.

And at Mt. Hood SkiBowl in Oregon, the resort has set up an aerial park the in air above the base area that includes an 800-foot long zipline. It's open Thursday to Sunday.

Many other resorts in the West sit near independent zipline operations, like Ski Cooper, Palisades Tahoe and Big Bear.

 

 

  147 Hits

Record-breaking SkyBridge expected to open at Boyne Mountain in time for fall colors

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MT. HOOD MEADOWS JOINS THE INDY PASS

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The premier Oregon resort becomes Indy's largest by skier volume

 

PORTLAND, Ore. (July 26, 2022) – The Indy Pass is proud to announce that Mt. Hood Meadows, Oregon is joining its coalition of independent resorts for the 22/23 season. Mt. Hood Meadows is one of the largest independently owned and operated resorts in the US and features 2,150 acres, 11 lifts, 85 named runs, and 430" of annual snowfall. It welcomes more skier visits than any other Indy resort partner.

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Sited majestically on the flank of Mt. Hood, Meadows features vast snowfields above the treeline. 

"We are very excited to welcome our home mountain, Mt. Hood Meadows, to the Indy family of resorts, said Indy Pass president Doug Fish. We know first-hand that Meadows is one of the finest resorts in North America, and their presence on the pass will elevate and support all Indy resorts."

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Double-black chutes and treed glades are plentiful in Meadows' Heather Canyon.

Meadows Chairman and CEO Matthew Drake says alignment with the Indy Pass continues the company’s efforts to expand access to quality mountain recreation experiences, stating, "It is our culture to innovate, implement new initiatives, experiment, learn and then refine. Our first year with the Indy Pass is another exciting experiment.”

Mt. Hood Meadows immediately becomes the crown jewel in Indy's Western region. It gives the Indy Pass a Mt. Hood anchor to compliment White Pass, Washington, and Hoodoo, Oregon, each about 2.5 hours from Portland. Meadows' reliable Cascade snowpack comes from the constant barrage of winter storms that pound the Oregon coast before slamming into 11,225' Mt. Hood. Its extensive terrain includes 1,700 additional vertical feet of hike-to snow fields and gate-accessed side country, affording Meadows premier status by any measure.

Mt. Hood Meadows Mountain Stats

  • Top of Cascade Express - 7,300 (9,000 at the top of hike-to terrain)
  • Vertical Rise - 2,777
  • Acres - 2,150
  • Night Skiing Acres - 140
  • Lifts - 11, including 6 high-speed quads
  • Longest Run - 3 miles
  • Named Runs - 85
  • Annual Snowfall - 430 inches
  • Indy Base Pass Blackouts: Holidays and Peak Weekends
  • 15K Cross Country trails available to Indy Pass and Indy XC Pass holders

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Mt. Hood Meadows' 430" of annual snowfall gives Indy Pass holders a season that lasts well into May.

July Payment Plan Ends August 1 - Interest-Free and No Credit Checks

Indy Pass offers an innovative, interest-free payment plan that allows purchasers to make equal monthly payments through December 15th. If purchased by August 1, payments are $49/month for an adult pass and $146/month for a family of four with two kids under 13. No credit check or credit app is needed, and no 3rd-party lenders are involved.

Indy Pass 22-23 Pre-Season Prices End September 12th

Indy Base Pass - Adult $299, Kids (12-and-under) $139

Indy+ Pass - Adult $399, Kids $189 (no blackouts)

Indy Base AddOn Pass - Adult $199, Kids $99 (partner and allied resort season passholders only)

Indy+ AddOn Pass - Adult $309, Kids $149 (no blackouts)

Indy Cross Country (XC) Pass - Adult $69, Kids $29 (no blackouts) 

About the Indy Pass -

After three seasons, the Indy Pass is the fastest-growing multi-mountain pass in North America. It offers 105 Alpine and Nordic resorts across the US, Canada, and Japan, each providing two days of skiing or riding, and ten Alpine Allied Resorts offering up to 50% discounts on lift tickets. Indy resorts are independent and uniquely authentic; most are owned and operated by multi-generational families. 

22/23 RESORTS

DOWNHILL RESORTS - 92

PACIFIC REGION - 15

ALASKA -- Eaglecrest Ski Area

BRITISH COLUMBIA -- Apex Mountain Resort, Manning Park, Sasquatch Mountain

CALIFORNIA -- China Peak, Mt. Shasta Ski Park, Snow Valley

OREGON – Mt. Hood Meadows, Hoodoo, Mt. Ashland

WASHINGTON -- 49 Degrees North, Ski Bluewood, Hurricane Ridge, Mission Ridge, White Pass

ROCKY MOUNTAIN REGION - 19

ALBERTA -- Castle Mountain Resort

ARIZONA -- Sunrise Park Ski Area

COLORADO -- Sunlight Mountain Resort

IDAHO -- Brundage Mountain, Kelly Canyon, Silver Mountain, Tamarack Resort, Pomerelle, Soldier Mountain

MONTANA -- Blacktail Mountain, Lost Trail Powder Mountain, Red Lodge Mountain

UTAH -- Beaver Mountain, Eagle Point, Powder Mountain

WYOMING -- Meadowlark Ski Lodge, Snow King Mountain, White Pine Ski Area, Antelope Butte

MIDWEST REGION - 24

IOWA -- Seven Oaks, Sundown Mountain

MICHIGAN -- Big Powderhorn Resort, Caberfae Peaks, Crystal Mountain, Marquette Mountain, Nubs Nob Ski Resort, Pine Mountain Resort, Shanty Creek, Swiss Valley Ski Area, Tree Tops Resort

MINNESOTA -- Buck Hill, Detroit Mountain, Lutsen Mountains, Mount Kato, Powder Ridge Winter Recreation, Spirit Mountain

SOUTH DAKOTA -- Terry Peak Ski Area

WISCONSIN -- Granite Peak, Little Switzerland, Nordic Mountain, Trollhaugen, Tyrol Basin, The Rock Snowpark

EASTERN REGION - 20

CONNECTICUT -- Mohawk Mountain Ski Area

MASSACHUSETTS -- Berkshire East Mountain Resort, Catamount Mountain Resort*

MAINE -- Saddleback Mountain, BigRock Resort, Black Mountain of Maine

NEW HAMPSHIRE -- Cannon Mountain, Pats Peak, Black Mountain, Waterville Valley

NEW YORK -- Catamount Mountain Resort*, Greek Peak Mountain Resort, Swain Resort, Snow Ridge Ski Resort, Titus Mountain, West Mountain

VERMONT -- Bolton Valley Resort, Magic Mountain, Saskadena Six, Jay Peak Resort

*Catamount straddles NY/MA border

MID-ATLANTIC REGION - 10

NORTH CAROLINA -- Cataloochee Ski Area

PENNSYLVANIA -- Blue Knob Resort, Montage Mountain, Ski Sawmill, Shawnee Mountain

TENNESSEE -- Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area

VIRGINIA -- Bryce Resort, Massanutten Resort

WEST VIRGINIA -- Canaan Valley Ski Resort, Winterplace Ski Resort

JAPAN TOHOKU REGION - 5

Geto Kogen - Kitakami, Iwate

Aomori Spring, Nishitsugaru District, Ajigasawa

Okunakayama Kogen - Ninohe District, Iwate

Shimokura/Pandora - Hachimantai, Iwate

Tazawako - Semboku, Akita

CROSS COUNTRY RESORTS - 14

BRITISH COLUMBIA - Sovereign Lakes Nordic Club, Manning Park Resort

MAINE - Black Mountain of Maine

MICHIGAN -- Tree Tops XC

MINNESOTA -- Mapelap Resort

NEW HAMPSHIRE (2) -- Waterville Valley Resort, JacksonXC

NEW JERSEY -- High Point Cross Country Ski Center

NEW MEXICO -- Enchanted Forest XC

OREGON -- Mt. Hood Meadows

VERMONT -- Woodstock Nordic Center, Rikert Nordic Center

WASHINGTON -- 49 Degrees North Nordic Center

WEST VIRGINIA -- White Grass Touring Center

ALLIED RESORTS - 10 (Discounted Lift Tickets for Passholders)

MASSACHUSETTS -- Bousquet Mountain

NEW HAMPSHIRE -- Dartmouth Skiway, King Pine, McIntyre Ski Area, Whaleback Mountain

UTAH - Cherry Peak

VERMONT -- Burke Mountain, Middlebury College Snow Bowl

WASHINGTON -- Loup Loup Ski Bowl

WISCONSIN -- Paul Bunyan

  181 Hits

Massanutten Resort Is Celebrating 50 Years of Memories!

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This upcoming winter season at Massanutten will be nothing short of epic.

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Brundage Mountain to Replace Centennial Triple Chair

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Media Contact:
April Whitney
208-634-6632
april@brundage.com

Brundage Mountain to Replace Centennial Triple Chair
with High-Speed Quad as part of $25-$30 Million in Resort Investments

McCALL, ID (Monday, July 25, 2022) -- Brundage Mountain Resort is pleased to announce that the Centennial Triple Chair will be replaced by a high-speed quad in time for the start of the Winter 2023-24 season. The front side lift upgrade is a key part of the resort’s 10-year improvement plan, which includes a new, modern, day lodge, on-site lodging and an extensive list of on-mountain recreation upgrades. 

The new chairlift – a Dopplmayr 4CLD -- is a high speed, detachable quad. It will have a vertical rise of 1,616 feet and will result in a swift, six-minute ride from base to top terminal. Construction on the new lift will take place in summer of 2023.

The existing Centennial Chairlift, a fixed-grip CTEC triple, was built in 1990, the 100-year anniversary of Idaho’s statehood. The lift expanded Brundage Mountain’s terrain considerably, opening up a large section of southside terrain that includes popular runs like 45th Parallel and Temptation. 

The new lift - which will be called the Centennial Express - will cut the ride time by more than half, from 14 minutes to 6 minutes, and increase uphill capacity from 1300 people per hour to 1800 people per hour. 

“Upgrading the Centennial lift to a high-speed quad does more than just cut down the ride time,” says Brundage Mountain General Manager, Ken Rider. “The loading experience will be so much smoother – especially for families – which will make some of our best terrain infinitely more accessible.” 

“Having two high-speed quads in the base area gives us more flexibility and redundancy for moving people up the mountain, which is especially important on busy days and holidays, and during challenging weather conditions,” says Rider. 

The investment in the Centennial lift is just one piece of a comprehensive improvement plan that dates back to the early 2000’s. The effort picked up steam in recent years after the resort was acquired by a small group of Idaho-based owners.

 “When the new ownership group formed in November 2020, we took a long, hard look at the immediate and future needs of our beloved Brundage Mountain,” says Brundage Mountain President, Bob Looper. “Our priority is to maintain the low-key character of Brundage, while building toward a sustainable future. Keeping lift lines to a minimum and keeping slopes uncrowded is a top priority, and upgrading the Centennial lift is a key first step in improving and expanding our lift infrastructure.”

Additional improvement projects that are already underway include the construction of a new, state-of-the-art Ski Patrol facility and updates to the Ski and Ride School. Those efforts will pave the way for construction of the Mountain Adventure Center portion of the new, modern day lodge to begin as early as this fall. Brundage is also building new employee housing facilities and base area infrastructure this summer and working with CIMBA on a new 8-mile mountain bike trail between Brundage and Bear Basin.

Brundage Mountain plans to invest between $25 to $30 million dollars in the resort over the next 2-3 years and is excited to release more specifics on additional improvement projects in the coming weeks and months. 

A brief outline of the 10-year plan is available here: www.brundage.com/brundage-mountain-maps-out-10-years-of-resort-upgrades/

Photos and B-roll are available for media use. 
Download here:

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Background: Brundage Mountain Resort is steeped in Idaho history and offers a charming, accessible local vibe. Brundage has been providing a high-value, family-friendly skiing experience for more than 60 years.

Known for the “Best Snow in Idaho”, Brundage Mountain is blessed with more than 320 inches of base area snow annually, which creates a consistently satisfying mix of bluebird and powder days throughout the winter season.  

Future improvements at the independently owned resort will expand the on-site recreational experience and complement the endless adventure-based experiences on the vast Payette National Forest in Brundage Mountain’s backyard, all while preserving and enhancing the attributes that make Brundage “The Last Great Place” (Skiing Magazine). 

If you would rather not receive future communications from April Whitney, let us know by clicking here.
April Whitney, On Behalf of Brundage Mountain Resort PO Box 1062, McCall, ID 83638 United States

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  137 Hits

Inland Northwest Resorts Embrace Bikes, Hikes And Quietude

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Between the crest of the Cascades and western front of the Northern Rockies, a half-dozen ski and snowboard resorts stay open -- in varying degrees -- during the summer months for all to cool out a bit.

Summer activity menus ranges from the full-on "adventure park" concept to mountain biking and scenic lift rides to mellow hiking and meditating upon Nature.

Up near the Canadian border, Schweitzer Mountain looms above Lake Pend Oreille and Sandpoint, Idaho. A chairlift ride gets you to mountaintop restaurant Sky House for views, brews and food amidst the Kanitzu National Forest. There's a summit disc golf course, too, and more than 40 miles of MTB trails head down to the resort base -- home to dual ziplines, climbing wall, trampoline and more.

Jump across into Washington and check out 49 Degrees North, one of the northernmost resorts in U.S. It's old-school summer on Chewelah Peak: No lifts, no "attractions" other than a half-dozen MTB and hiking trails along service roads. Mid-summer mean huckleberry picking season all over the resort's three basins.

Still in Washington is Mt. Spokane outside the state's largest city east of the Cascades. The non-profit day hill is open for hiking and biking (no lifts), and Saturdays' Brews and Views at the summit's Vista House.

Back into Idaho, Silver Mountain above Kellogg boasts Idaho's largest indoor water park -- perfect for cooling down in a hot summer. Park has a dozen stations, including flow rider for surfing, lazy downriver tubing, Minor's Island for kids, and a overhead rope course. On the mountain, the nation's longest gondola runs carries lookie-loos, hikers and mountain bikers for fresh air at the summit.

Right at the Montana-Idaho border, Lookout Pass is a short drive from silver boomtowns Wallace and Mullan. Few bike routes compare with the famed Hiawatha Trail, operated by the resort. A premier rail-trail, the 15-mile, all-downhill ride straddles the state line with 10 tunnels, seven train trestles, interpretive stops and drop-dead views of the Bitterroots. At the resort, chairlift runs Friday-Sunday for hiking, mountain biking and soaking in the scenery.

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South Idaho's Mountain Resorts Bring On Summer

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A summer road trip in the Rockies should include time in southern Idaho, where a half-dozen ski and snowboard mountains flip to summer.

There's no shortage of strenuous biking and hiking, relaxing strolls through the wildflowers, music performances and more around the base areas of South Idaho's mountain resorts -- from Idaho Falls to McCall to Boise.

Bogus Basin continues its summer renaissance. It's home to Idaho's only mountain coaster, with 4,330 feet of twists and turns at up to 25mph. The Boise home hill's Basin Gravity Park debuts a one-mile beginner X-C trail, an extension of the Around the Mountain route, and a technical downhiller.

Tamarack takes advantage of its lakeside location by building a watercraft fleet over the last couple of summers. This summer, new jet skies and surf boats joins with paddleboards, kayaks and pontoon boats on Lake Cascade. On the hill, the 27-mile MTB park expands with a couple of intermediate flow trails, and a summit loop.

Kelly Canyon has begun lift-served MTB action to deliver riders to an 18-mile network of trails, plus a 4-mile special loop that will be a training ground for interscholastic riders. New at Kelly, just outside of Idaho Falls, will be UTV side-by-side rentals.

Brundage has built a 20-year reputation of solid hiking and biking trails on the mountain near McCall. The mountain added six new trails for this summer, including a dramatic uphiller into Lakeview Bowl. A scenic chairlift ride unveils a 360-degree view of Payette National Forest and environs.

As usual, Sun Valley offers up a plethora of summer activities and events for summer visitors. Downhill MTBers can ride the gondola to the ridge atop Bald Mountain while, down below, the resort links with a 30-mile cruiser system of paved, non-vehicle riding. Events highlight with performances on the famous ice rink at the resort above McCall.

Neither Soldier Mountain, Pomerelle nor Pebble Creek spin chairlifts during the summer. So at Soldier outside Boise and Pomerelle near Twin Falls, uphill MTBers take the lead to climb the mountain on their own. Just south of Pocatello, Pebble Creek will be open for special events and private affairs only.

  136 Hits

Park City Residents' Appeal Puts Halt To Chairlift Replacements

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Park City Mountain regulars and visitors will have to wait at least another season before riding replacement chairlifts that were designed to reduce crowding at the base and on the mountain.

Therefore, skier and riders at one of America's largest ski areas will have to be content with the workhorse Eagle chair that is one of the main ways to get onto the mountain from the base area, and the Silverlode Express which loads at the crossover junction between Park City side and The Canyons side.

On June 25, the Park City Planning Commission agreed to allow an appeal by a quartet of Park City residents that installation of the two chairs didn't align with the resort's 1998 master plan. In addition, the commission said that resort ownership needs to update its parking plans around the busy base area to align with current carrying capacity estimates.

In essence, the appeal halts any plans for replacement lifts this summer at the 7,300-acre ski and snowboard resort. And, the appeal puts more pressure on owners Vail Resorts to sort out vehicle parking options that have been a sore spot for years, and further exacerbated by a Provo company's plans to cover one primary parking lot with commercial development.

Before plans were waylaid by the appeal, the 30-year-old fixed-grip triple Eagle was to replaced by a six-pack detachable chair to double uphill capacity and cut riding time to get to the Thanes Canyon area. Plan also called for the six-pack high-speed Silverlode Express to become the resort's first eight-person chairlift. Uphill capacity would nearly double to get skiers and riders out of what has become the busy Miner's Camp mid-mountain junction where people either stay on the Park City side or take a gondola to The Canyons side of the resort.

Vail Resort's officials opposed the appeal but have said that construction of the two replacement chairlifts is on hold, at least for this summer's construction season.

 

 

  184 Hits

Our New Name

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OUR NEW NAME

 

Saskadena Six

The Name Has Changed. The Mountain You Love Hasn't.

 

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  264 Hits

Get Up And Out There: Mountain Biking In New Mexico's Mountains

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Summertime mountain biking has taken hold at most ski and snowboard resorts in the West, including a trio of northern New Mexico mountains whose MTB trail maps cover more than 100 miles in riding routes.

At all these resorts, base elevations are 8,000 feet or more above sea level. Flatlanders should allow a day or so to get acclimated before taking on strenuous rides. Drink plenty of water and carry more with you. Thunderstorms regulary roll through the southern Sangre de Cristos, so pack rain gear and warm clothing.

At Angel Fire, mountain biking has put down deep roots. Host to pro MTB competitions in the past, the resort has built an enviable bike park. A web of trails feeds off of the high-speed Chili Express, and the park's 60-mile trail systems consumes most of the front side of the mountain. Plenty of downhill for freeride and technical MTB-ers -- 2,000 vertical drop -- and miles of easy beginner routes, too.

The northern New Mexico resort boasts a base skills park, a dual slalom course, a long uphill-only trail and upper mountain hiking offshoot. Resort quote: " ... the best skinnies, jump lines, manicured flow and super chunk trails the United States has to offer."

Over the ridge, Taos Ski Valley is in the nascent stages of bike-park bulding. The resort has carved out its MTB trail system on its backside. Lift 4 out of the Phoenix base delivers riders to the head of Kachina Basin, right below 12,481-foot Kachina Peak.

Once there, two choices await: a 4-mile green run that winds back and forth down the hill, and a 1.5-mile blue run that is more directly downhill. On the front side there area a couple of beginner flows and steep-steeps, but no lift access this summer.

Down the Rio Grande, Pajarito Mountain spreads across 280 acres below a ridge above Los Alamos. Volunteer-built and raw in nature, the Pajarito Bike Park begins on the Aspen and Mother chairlifts that run up the middle of the trail map. Topping out at more than 10,000 feet, some 48 trails total 39 miles in length, and tend toward the higher skill levels on both downhill and technical routes.

The lifts run on Saturdays and Sundays only, and tickets must be bought at the hill. The park is part of the Mountain Bike Power Pass system that includes all-summer season access to Brian Head in southern Utah, Purgatory in southwest Colorado, and Spider Mountain Bike Park in Austin, Texas.

 

  104 Hits

Indy, Ski Cooper Pass Muscle Up For Reciprocal Ticket Competition

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Indy Pass and Ski Cooper season pass -- the nation's largest reciprocal partner passes -- are up for sale, meaning at least 146 U.S. ski and snowboard mountain can be had for short-term skiing and riding all season long.

For skiers and riders with wanderlust, both passes lure road-trippers by clustering its pass with partner mountains within easy driving distance of each other. The more adventurous can head out across state lines to cash in their multi-day pass. An adult Ski Cooper pass is now priced at $329 until September, while the price of an Indy Pass sits at $299 until September.

The Indy Pass and Ski Cooper season pass continue to bolster their partner resorts lists (and more may be added this summer). On the Indy Pass, skiers and riders get two days free at at 87 U.S. resorts (plus one in Spain), while Ski Cooper's 58 partners welcome them for three days. The vast majority don't have blackouts or other limitations.

In West, the Cooper season pass has four new partners: Wyoming's White Pine, Washington's Mt. Spokane, California's Mt. Shasta Ski Park and Utah's Sundance. These additions introduces the Cooper mega-partner pass to state of Washington, and shores up its presence at smaller areas in California and Wyoming. Plus, Sundance joined up for this season as the first Utah mountain on the pass.

The Southeast and Midwest drew Cooper's attention this offseason. The Ski Cooper pass added four mountains in Southeast, and four in the Midwest, as well as outlier Saddleback in Maine. It's valid now in 21 states.

For the Indy Pass, four new affiliates came on board from the Upper Midwest -- Marquette Mountain, Mount Kato, Nub's Knob and Tree Tops -- to solidify Indy's presence in that region to nine resorts in Michigan, and six each in Wisconsin and Minnesota. New member Big Rock in Maine comes on this season. The pass, which is purchased separately from any season pass, now reaches into 28 states.

Indy Pass added a new category, Allied Resorts, that gets passholders half-off discounts -- except for holiday periods and weekends (25% off) -- at six New England hills and Loup Loup in Washington. It also added three X-C partners, all located at Indy alpine partner mountains.

The Indy and Ski Cooper passes both work for some 25 resorts. Other reciprocal season passes of note include Lee Canyon (21 partners), Monarch (21), Loveland (16), Sunlight (16), Bogus Basin (14) and Mount Bohemia (12) -- among others.

 

 

  178 Hits

Wisconsin's Door County Cape Cod Of The Midwest

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Wisconsin is Midwest Ski Country in winter, but come summer Door County is one of the Great Lakes top destinations. Looking at a Wisconsin map it's the long pointy thumb sticking out in Lake Michigan. Surrounded by lake waters it makes a cool, lush environment to beat the stagnant summer heat inland. It's often been called the “Cape Cod of the Midwest.”



Part of the Niagara Escarpment, it's 75 miles long, averages about 15 miles across and offers over 300 miles of shoreline to explore with a blend of diverse activities and numerous quaint villages tucked into bays along the coastline. The charm of the peninsula begins above Sturgeon Bay, which you cross about halfway up.

Much of the Door is rural with agriculture featuring orchards, vineyards and farms in the highlands between the Lake Michigan side and the Green Bay side. You can hike to lighthouses scattered around the peninsula, through state and county parks, and hike and bike along cliffs that rise over 200 feet above the water The county roads make a wonderful area for road biking between small villages. Kayak among numerous off-shore islands and underneath the cliffs.

In addition to the many outdoor activities there are numerous art galleries, painters and stores offering a unique blend of culture, and an outdoor amphitheater, Northern Sky Theater, that's been putting on plays for over 50 years. One of the best ways to get a feel for the lay of the land is to board the Door County Trolley for a narrated tour.

Whitefish Dunes State Park, on the Lake Michigan side, attracts more annual visitors than any other day-use park in the Badger State. It offers three miles of sandy shoreline, windswept dunes and the state's largest sand dune. Peninsula State Park, on the Green Bay side, offers a dramatic landscape. Limestone bluffs rise a couple-hundred feet above the park's cobblestone shoreline. Nicolet Bay's secluded beach is considered one of the 10 best around the Great Lakes, according to Midwest Living. The Sunset Trail, a graveled biking path, runs past the beach and underneath rocky bluffs as it circles the park. Another 14 miles of woodland trails are available for mountain biking. The Ridges Sanctuary, in existence since 1937, preserves ancient dune swells, which is home to dozens of rare wildflowers and a boreal forest. Located in Bailey's Harbor the 1,600-acre preserve with over five miles of hiking trails and boardwalks is considered one of the most biological diverse areas around the Great Lakes.

For kayak tours check out Door County Adventure Center in Rowley's Bay on Lake Michigan for a blissful tour of the Mink River. While you're there check out Grandma's Swedish Bakery next door for delectable treats.. Also check out the geological wonders of the rugged, rocky Lake Michigan shoreline with a guided tour of Cave Point Country Park with Door County Kayak Tours.

A tour of the Open Door Bird Sanctuary that provides a home for un-releasable or injured birds of prey offers unusual up close encounters with a variety of birds and narrative by founder Rob Hult and his passion for the birds.

For dinners offering wonderful local dishes, seafood and lake fish check out the rooftop dining at the Mezzanine in Egg Harbor with eye-catching sunset vistas over Green Bay, and the gourmet dinners served at the Harbor Fish Market & Grille in Bailey's Harbor. For a couple of great lunch spots you can't beat Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant in Sister Bay. Outstanding Swedish food and the attraction of live goats munching daily on the grass thatched roof. Also you can't beat the old fashioned Wilson's Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor that's been attracting visitors for nearly 70 years.

A quiet place in the middle of the country for lodging and easy access to all of the above mentioned locations is Gustave's Getaway: Henson Haus. It's an updated stone house with four bedrooms and lots or room for families or multiple friends. Quiet and very nice. Dogs are included.

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Western Slope: Colorado's Summertime Playground In The Mountains

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The west side of the Continental Divide in the Colorado Rockies is home to about half of the ski and snowboard mountains in the state, and a half-dozen of them have built up summer activity infrastructures to lure flat-landers into the mountains.

Several resorts don't run their lifts in the summer -- Powderhorn, Sunlight, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk -- but remain open for hiking and mountain biking, and general summertime leisure time.

If you're looking for a full-on summer menu, check out Telluride. On and off the mountain, there's plenty to keep young and old busy -- from via ferrata to bike parks to kids camps to rafting and Jeep tours. Highlight on the hill is Canopy Adventure, a tree-top complex of zipline, aerial bridges and rappels that begins with ride up the Village Express chair.

At Purgatory, MTB-focused lift access, trail prep and downhill challenges are the norm. The first U.S. resort to host a MBT world championship (1995), "Purg" sells single-ride, day, and season passes-- the latter includes massive Spider Mountain bike park in Austin, Texas.

Another mountain bike mecca is Crested Butte. Its Mountain Bike Park opened in 2009, and its more than 30 miles of single track downhill and X-C runs have been improved ever since. The bike-friendly Red Lady Express does the heavy-lifting to get riders onto the mountain.

Steamboat hosts a ton of attractions around its under-construction base area. Featured is the Outlaw Mountain Coaster with a descent of more than a mile long. With that length, there's plenty of track for loops, turns and twists.

Aspen Mountain and Snowmass crank up their gondolas for summer visitors. A ride up the Silver Queen gondola reaches the11,212-foot summit of Aspen Mountain. The summit area has been developed as the main magnet for the resort, with hiking trails, wildflowers, live music, good food and 360-degree views of Maroon Bells and Roaring Fork Valley.

Across the way, Snowmass turns on a gondola of its own -- the Elk Camp Gondola -- to get folks to the trails, vistas and food in and around mid-mountain Elk Camp. New this summer is the Lost Forest Adventure Center at Elk Camp, with ziplines, bike trails, climbing wall and mountain coaster.

Winter Park is playing off on the popularity of e-bikes this summer with 90-minute tours for pedal-assist mountain bicycles. Three tours run daily from the top of the Explorer Express chair at Sunsport Lodge (also headquarters for renowned Trestle Bike Park). E-bikers head up another 600 feet of vertical to Lunch Rock. No charge for views of Continental Divide.

 

 

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Lake Tahoe Mountains Turn Up The Heat With Summer Activities

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Warm-weather brings Lake Tahoe into its off-season bloom, and the mountain resorts that ring the largest lake in the Sierra put on their summertime best for visitors near and far.

Gondolas and chairlifts run all summer to open up vistas from ridgelines surrounding the lake. The usual fare of ziplines, hiking and biking, coasters and alpine slides, and adventure park challenges await. Here's a look at some of the highlights:

There's a new via ferrata on the Tram Face of Palisades TahoeGuides take climbers up two routes of permanent iron anchors and cables. Group or individual tours go 2, 3 or 4 hours daily. A tram ride ends at the popular High Camp at 8,200-foot elevation, where you can roller-skate, hike, disc golf and geo-cache.

Anchoring the south end of the lake, Heavenly's main gondola takes folks up to mid-mountain for the resort's summertime fare. There, thrill-seekers will find the Ridge Rider Coaster with 90-second slide down 3,400 feet of loops, twists and turns; lift-served Hot Shot zipline; tubing; and, adventure park. Or jump on the Tamarack Express chair to get higher.

Few downhill MTB systems can match Northstar's network of black-expert trails. A gondola ride to mid-mountain gets biker to two high-speed chairs equipped to bring rider and bike to dozens of single-track, cross-country and downhill runs.

Down south, Kirkwood boasts one of the most challenging disc golf courses around -- and one that is in its 23rd year. The course climbs out of the Timber Creek base area and winds through forests up and down the front. And it's all free.

On the west side of the lake, Homewood takes advantage of its lakefront location to promote its marina and water activities. Home to the High Sierra Water Ski School, visitors can purchase lessons in waterskiing, wakeboarding, waterskating and wakesurfing. Rentals of all sorts of water craft available.

Just off Donner Pass, Boreal is home to California's only Woodward youth active sports campus. Woodward Tahoe has two skate parks, BMX park and MTB trails on the lower mountain, plus base-area Wrecktangle and Woodward headquarters.

 

 

 

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Choices Expand For Summer In The Utah Mountains

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The seasonal gears have shifted, and Utah's 14 winter resorts are in full-on summer mode with everything from disc golf to mountain biking to riding atop a tramway car in the offing.

Resorts' emphasis on summertime activities continues to grow in the Beehive State, as locals and visitors more and more look to the mountains for exercise and enjoyment. Most mountains keep restaurants open during the offseason. In addition, concerts, workshops, themed festivals and competitions can be found on all around the mountains. And wildflower viewing is always worth the ride into the hills.

A few resorts are open seven days a week, but most open up only for several days around the weekend during the warm offseason. Four Utah resorts won't run chairlifts this summer; instead, Brighton, Cherry Peak and Beaver Mountain highlight hiking and biking trails as mountain getaways, and Alta again focuses on environmental projects.

Snowbird caught the headlines with its rooftop tram ride this summer. One of the two cars on Utah's only tramway will have limited space on top, and floor-to-ceiling windows inside. The base area will be busy, with slides and coaster and all manner of climbing challenges.

Powder Mountain opens a new downhill MTB park served by the Hidden Express chair. To limit crowds, day tickets will cap at 250, and only 500 summer season passes will be sold.

Park City Mountain debuts a new golf course at Canyons Village. Many of the fairways run on winter ski trails, and the course elevation rises and falls throughout. Three lifts bring MTBers to mountain tracks.

A new beginner MTB track is in the works at Solitude, which now is open Thursday-Sunday. Also debuting are climbing wall, bungee trampoline and mini-disc golf.

On the southern terminus of the Wasatch, Sundance brings beginner-flow and intermediate level MTB tracks online. And, of course, the resort's renowned high and long ziplines are due to attract the adventurous crowd.

At Snowbasin, there are 26 miles of hiking and biking trails off the Needles Gondola -- dogs always welcome. And, the northern Utah resort welcomes the return of the live Brews, Blues & Barbecue summer music series.

And, classical music aficionados will once again get to listen to the Utah Symphony's concert series under the evening skies at Deer Valley.

In southern Utah, the focus is on the hardiest athletes, with Eagle Point's Crusher in the Tushars and Tushar Mountain Runs in July, and Brian Head's Women's Epic Race and Brian Shredder downhill MTB race in June.

 

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Colorado Passes Daylight Savings Time Bill That Could Impact Ski Area Operations

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Dawn patrol could come a little later if permanent daylight savings time is enacted. Credit: pixabay.com

With the recent passing of HB-1297, Colorado has joined the list of states waiting to make daylight savings time (DST) year-round.

Two things would need to happen before permanent daylight savings time would be enacted.

  1. The federal government would have to pass the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021, which would allow states to make the change.
  2. Four other states in the Mountain Time Zone would also need to make daylight savings time permanent.

Brent Thomas |  | Snow Brains

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Summit County Resorts Open Up For Colorado Summer

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Summer has arrived in Colorado's high country, and a quartet of high-altitude resorts in Summit County are cranking up for a bustling summer at four of the Rocky Mountain's busiest mountains.

Typically opening mid-June, standard warm-weather attractions include scenic chairlift or gondola rides, coasters and slides, hiking and mountain biking, disc golf, climbing walls, and music, food and drink. Expect that some labor-intensive activities like ziplining may have hours curtailed or, in the case of Breckenridge and Vail, be shut down.

At Arapahoe Basin, Summit County's only via ferreta has half- and full-day guided tours on the "iron way" -- a series of iron rungs fixed in the rock face -- that begin at 12,000 feet of elevation, and top out at the 13,000-foot summit on West Ridge. Near the base, the Aerial Adventure Park runs ziplines, swings, and balancing acts through old-growth forest.

Down the road at Keystone, tubing lives on into the summer, as crews pile up leftover snow atop Dercum Mountain (11,640). Lanes typically stay open into July, 10 a.m to 2 p.m. You must buy a ride up the gondola to the summit, and pre-pay by the run for tubing. Plenty of other activities at mountain-top Adventure Point.

On the other side of Dillon Reservoir, the force of gravity prevails at Breckenridge in the summertime. The Gold Runner Alpine Coaster pitches down 2,500 feet on elevated tracks, with two 360-degree loops and a top speed of 27 mph. The resort also has three alpine slides that run 2,600 feet down concave tracks -- with manual braking.

And to the west, Copper Mountain's summer starts in the base area. Check out bumper boats on West Lake, and a challenging go-kart track. The Woodward Wrecktangle presents a dozen obstacles to overcome in the Woodward Copper extreme sport complex. All-day summer pass includes Wrecktangle, unlimited rides up the chairlift, and limited shots at other activities.

The cheapest activities at any of the resorts are hiking and mountain biking. Check Forest Service regulations for e-bikes. Most have designated trails.

 

 

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NSAA Reports Record Visitation in the 2021-22 Season

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THE STATE OF THE SKI INDUSTRY:
NSAA Reports Record Visitation in the 2021-22 Season

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) reported record visitation at U.S. ski areas for the 2021-22 season, a total of 61 million skier visits.

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Cannonsburg Ski Area Might Be Purchased By Kent County

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Michigan's Kent County is considering purchasing the 272-acre Cannonsburg Ski Area, located just north of Grand Rapids, for a county outdoor recreation area, according to a recent report by MLIVE News.

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