Oktoberfest at Snowbird Signals the start of perfect weather and beautiful scerney in Little Cottonwood Canyon. (Snowbird/Facebook)
You might not be able to make it to Munich this fall, but annual celebrations of German culture can be found at resorts across the United States. Grab your lederhosen and dirndl and get ready to enjoy music, beer, bratwurst and pretzels with stunning fall mountain foliage as your backdrop.
Snowbird tram glides above the Utah resort. (Snowbird/Facebook)
At U.S. ski and snowboard resorts, nearly a dozen aerial tramways keep running during the summer, ascending to high-mountain perches where the views are unparalleled.
Hit high speeds on alpine coaster at base of Snowbird (Snowbird/Facebook)
Since the mid-1990s, summertime alpine coasters have sprung at winter resorts all over the country. The wind-in-your-face speeds, high-speed turns and mountain vistas mimic the sights and sounds what skiers and snowboarders feel during the snowy times.
The skiing at Snowbird has been unreal. Yes, skiing. While the rest of the Wasatch is hunkered down, sitting out the back-to-back storm cycles because closing days have come and gone, diehard locals are rejoicing. Nineteen inches in the last 48 hours and more on the way.
Just three skiers-only resorts still remain, after a federal appeals court confirmed that Alta Ski Area could prohibit snowboarding on land it leases from the U.S. Forest Service.
Despite some serious dumps in March, all good things must come to an end. In Utah, that means a pretty good season will mostly wind up by mid-April.
Officials at Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort have asked for permission to expand into neighboring American Fork Basin for both winter and summer activities.
A check of any snow forecast for Utah during the holiday season, and you’ll see nothing but snow, snow, more snow – and plenty of festivities.
Many skiers and snowboarders dream of hopping into a helicopter and heading into the deep backcountry for a day far outside the ropes. Alaska and western Canada remain the premier locales for heli-skiing, but the Lower 48 has its own quality selection.
The first dustings are on the highest peaks, and resorts across the West are in the midst of early season ticket discounts. In Utah, the mélange of choices for multi-day tickets -- local, regional and national -- is greater than ever.
The summit of Hidden Peak at Snowbird can be a cold spot, but this season there’s an oasis for tramway riders to warm their toes and get a bite to eat before heading downhill.The new Summit Lodge -- all 23,000 square feet of floor space and seemingly acres of glass windows -- will be ready once the Snowbird Tramway starts running for the new ski and snowboard season.
The irony isn’t lost on locals. Four comparatively miserable winters and yet Utah ski resorts spent millions on “improvements” this summer, raising the cost of lift tickets and season passes yet again, all in the hopes of attracting more visitors.
Talk about time sneaking up on you. If you’re close enough to consider a season pass to Utah resorts, it feels like just a few months ago we were debating whether the Mountain Collective should be the only pass you purchase.
The scenic chairlift ride, the downhill mountain bike run and the alpine hiking trek have long been standard fare at summer mountain resorts – but the focus has moved off-mountain lately.
The best time for sightseeing in the high mountains of the West may well be in the summer -- and from the comfort of a gondola or tramway.
Utah’s controversial Mountain Accord plan got off the ground in July with the unanimous endorsement of a quartet of proposed land swaps between Utah ski and snowboard resorts and the U.S. Forest Service. The land exchanges at Alta, Snowbird, Solitude and Brighton signal a commitment for backcountry conservation among elected officials, government agencies, and representatives of private business and non-profit organizations.
Recreation during the summer in the mountains above Salt Lake City is still within an hour’s drive of the city – and the resorts continue to add more things to do.
It’s been an up-and-down year at the ski and snowboard resorts in Utah this season, with heavy snowfall and warm temperatures concentrated in short spurts.
I’ve just returned from a five-day re-baptism in the gravity streams that cascade from the crown of Hidden Peak at Snowbird, Utah. It's an annual pilgrimage that re-stokes my passion, reaffirms my place in the world and reminds me of every reason why I ski.
Conversations have begun in earnest to figure out how to more efficiently connect Salt Lake City with seven of Utah’s ski and snowboard resorts -- and reduce environmental impact at the same time.