Snowbasin Ski Getaways

ski getaways

Snowbasin is one of the oldest continuously operating ski areas in the nation. Ever since the first skier in 1939, people from all over the United States and elsewhere have come to enjoy the Utah powder snow and mountain scenery. The first chair lift was put into operation in 1946 after a four-year war delay. The mountain gradually gained in popularity but never enough to take full advantage of its potential, which included some wide-open expert terrain and a great deal more vertical. Even with easy access to Salt Lake City and 400" of snow a year the mountain languished. Enter the owners of Sun Valley in 1984. They brought some of the panache of Sun Valley and a great deal of expertise and vision to bear on Snowbasin, with notable results. Modern lifts and handsome lodges appeared, a great deal of snowmaking was installed, and the terrain and vertical were increased. The latter by so much that Snowbasin became the choice for the 2002 Winter Olympic downhill events, with two courses, Grizzly and Wildflower, designed by Bernhard Russi.

Mere mortals can ski these courses, both of which are rated black diamonds (at mere mortal speeds, of course) and there are more black diamond trails, with some 30% of the mountain rated advanced or expert. The truly expert terrain includes De Moisy, Allen's Peak and No Name, and John Paul, all high up on the mountain complex. The intermediate terrain is extensive. The Strawberry Express and Middle Bowl Express Gondolas give access to more than 2300 vertical feet of fine blue square cruising. The former lift serves two intermediate classics in Elk Ridge and Main Street.

Never-evers of all ages start in their own area near the base, served by the Little Cat double. Solid green circle skiers and riders head to the Becker or Wildcat triples for almost 1300 vertical feet of suitable terrain, with the best choices off the Becker.

Beginner jibbers can hone their skills at the Krazy Kat Terrain Park on Powder Puff in the learning area on a variety of features. The head up the mountain to the top of the Porcupine triple to Apex Park for more than a dozen major features. And finally, the newest terrain in Coyote Park near the Coyote Bowl run. Of course, if the half-pipe is more your style, you can find a 370 foot long, 17 foot deep one waiting for you at the bottom of the Wildflower Downhill Course with its own handle tow lift.