At Powder Mountain, the options for putting your tracks on unfettered powder snow just got larger – some 70,000 acres larger.
Christmas in the mountains runs deep with traditions. But a number of resorts try to work outside the box and be creative with their celebrations.
We’re turning the calendar to November in this SnoCountry SnoCast, and with that comes more signals that winter is coming. A weather pattern featuring frequent storm systems will impact both the western and eastern areas this week.
The days have lengthened, the sun is higher in the sky and the wildflowers are out, as Utah’s winter resorts put on their summer best and welcome the offseason.
Bragging rights to long ski and ride seasons belong to a handful of resorts across the country and the fun-loving die-hards who enjoy some of the best turns of the year with goggle tans and fun parties to end the year.
Snowy and still cold through April 20-21? Absolutely! This colder-than-average weather pattern for much of the East will stay through the weekend (21-22) with a gradual warm-up for the final week of April (24-27). That said, with cold air in place we’ll have a better chance at keeping and getting more snow.
Cinco de Mayo atop Snowbird. (Snowbird/Facebook)
This time of year, the snow is melting and bare ground begins to show. But the spring ritual of skiing and riding under a warm sun and on moist, soft snow is a fitting close to any ski and snowboarding season.
Park 'n' power at Squaw Valley. (Squaw Valley)
Heading to the mountains in an electric car? More and more, ski and snowboard resorts around the U.S. have installed charging stations so that EVs can be ready for the trip home.
Tramway a seven-minute flight to summit. (Snowbird/Facebook)
This is a serious skiing and riding mountain. Powder and steeps are what The 'Bird's all about. Little Cottonwood Canyon catches as much snow as anyone, and the precipitous terrain will make even the most daring pause.
Lunch at Summit Chalet includes view of Minnesota's Lake Superior. (Lutsen Mountains)
Refueling at lunchtime is a long-standing tradition among skiers and riders. And doing so on the mountain – rather than in a crowded base lodge – suits those who don’t want to lose their edge while they pause to eat.
Snowbird's revamped base lodge feeds the pow' soul. (Snowbird/Facebook)
A couple of high-speed chairlifts, upgrades to base lodges and the end of night skiing in Park City make the list of top improvements at ski and snowboard resorts in Utah.
Celebrations at Breck. (Breckenridge/Facebook)
As if to say auf wiedersehene to summer and willkommen to winter, Oktoberfest in the Western mountains is celebrated just as the seasons pivot away from fun-in-the-sun and toward the upcoming ski and snowboard season.
Banking into a berm at Snowbird. (Snowbird/Facebook)
Summertime means getting the mountain bike into the hills where it belongs – and Utah resorts stand ready with lifts running to get bikers to the top.
Hangin' on at Snowbird coaster. (Snowbird/Facebook)
As summer hits its full stride across the West, mountain resorts put their hot-weather activities front and center – including a plethora of mountain coasters that rush down trails and slopes.
(Yes, this is really the end of April at Lake Louise Ski Resort in Alberta, Canada with nearly 145cm this month. Similar scenes will overtake the Rockies as yet another snowstorm finishes the month of April. (Lake Louise Ski Resort/Twitter)
Believe it or not, we’ll be turning the calendar into May with a bonafide snow storm for part of the Rockies and upper Midwest.
Squaw-Alpine wants to stay open all summer. (Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows/Facebook)
A bonanza year in much of the Sierra Nevada and plenty of late-season snow in the Rockies will keep a dozen ski and snowboard resorts operating into May and beyond.
Sometimes you luck out with an Easter snowstorm. (Bretton Woods)
April snow will still be in abundance at many resorts across the country, so hop out for some spring runs with the Easter Bunny this Easter.
Snowbasin joins The Mountain Collective. (Snowbasin Facebook)
Sugarbush, Vermont and Snowbasin, Utah have joined The Mountain Collective for the 2017-18 season, bringing the pass alliance count to 16 resorts worldwide, with more than 51,306 acres of terrain, 2,517 trails and 458 lifts.
A limited number of Mountain Collective passes are on sale for $399.
Also new for the 2017-18 season, Alta and Snowbird in the Salt Lake City area, and Banff Sunshine and Lake Louise in the Banff National Park area will be considered as separate and distinct destinations, providing passholders with two days at each and unlimited 50 percent off days with no blackouts.
The dividing of the destinations along with the addition of Snowbasin and Sugarbush brings the total ski days available from full partners to 32 days at 16 destinations.
In addition, spring pass purchasers receive one bonus day at the destination of their choice and two additional days at Global Affiliate Resorts - Valle Nevado, Chile, Hakuba Valley, Japan and Chamonix Mont Blanc, France.
For a limited time, pricing for the kids pass (12 and under) is just $1 for the 2017-2018 season when purchased this spring with an Adult Pass, offering an incredible deal for families.
Sugarbush and Snowbasin join Alta, Aspen Snowmass, Banff Sunshine, Coronet Peak – The Remarkables, Jackson Hole, Lake Louise, Mammoth, Revelstoke, Snowbird, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Sun Valley, Taos, Telluride and Thredbo.
“We are delighted to join the Mountain Collective, and feel that it is a great fit for Sugarbush,” says Win Smith, President and majority owner of Sugarbush. “The Collective brings together the best independently-owned ski resorts across the country—and some abroad—and offers a terrific pass product, as well as benefits for each mountain’s passholders and staff. We are honored to be in the company of these well-respected mountains and are excited to offer these additional benefits to our Sugarbush community. I have personally skied at many of the Mountain Collective resorts and consider them among my favorites.”
“Snowbasin Resort is honored to join the Mountain Collective family,” says John Loomis, Snowbasin resort general manager. “The Mountain Collective offers skiers and riders the opportunity to enjoy the finest mountain resorts in the world. Snowbasin Resort, home to the speed events in the 2002 Winter Games, is proud to add to the opportunities for passholders.”
Snowbird is one of four Wasatch resorts that fill their parking lots to the brim. (Snowbird/Facebook)
The bus system of the Utah Transit Authority will narrow its focus this winter in order to get more skiers and snowboarders on the slopes more efficiently.
That means more bus trips up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Alta and Snowbird, and more runs up Big Cottonwood Canyon to Solitude and Brighton. It also means no direct service for visitors staying in downtown hotels or local city dwellers.
That quartet of ski resorts has always been within easy reach of Salt Lake City and environs, but they have been hampered by heavy congested traffic and a lack of consistent bus service up the narrow canyon roads.
To that end, the UTA has decided to eliminate direct ski resort service from downtown hotels. Instead, it will increase service by 35 percent from three light rail stations in south Salt Lake City as the jumping-off point for buses into the mountains. Connections at Murray Central and Historic Sandy stations head up to Snowbird and Alta, while buses loading at Bingham Junction Station go to Solitude and Brighton.
UTA officials contend that connections from the light rail stations will entice more people to park there, as opposed to the smaller, more cramped lots at the canyons’ base.
During peak hours of 7 to 10 a.m., buses will run every 15 minutes from the parking lots at the base of the two canyons. In the afternoon between 3 and 6 p.m., they will run from the four resorts to the parking lots at the mouth of the canyons.
UTA also will ramp up weekend service during peak hours to diminish both vehicle traffic on access routes and crowded buses.
During off-peak hours, UTA has upped the frequency to every 30 minutes – again, an effort to spread out the number of riders on these busy routes.
A one-way adult fare is $4.50, or $2.25 for seniors. For a map and schedule, click here.