Category Archives: Outdoor News

Final Runs: Utah Ski Resorts Closing!

traffic jam on 244 to park city winter 23/24

We’re coming into the homestretch for 2023/24 ski season! Season passes for 2024/25 went on sale a month ago while we were still arcing in the white room but, hey, what better time for folks to plunk down $1200-$2000 than when they are floating in euphoric winter bliss? So now that we are on the brink of Utah ski resorts closing, you need to make those last turns of the season count. Did you hit 30 days, 50 days, 100 days?

Sunday is your final chance to carve those last few slushy trails at Alta, Deer Valley and Canyons while Park City will keep a handful of lifts spinning until Monday (First Time, 3 Kings, Crescent, and Silverload). Park City began limiting their terrain a few weeks ago as seasonal workers headed home.

For those of you with an Ikon Pass, you’ll still be able to turn at Snowbasin Resort and Brighton until April 28, Solitude until May 6 and Snowbird until May 12. Brian Head Resort down south will close on Cinco de Mayo.

The 2023/2024 ski season in Utah has been nothing short of awesome. While it didn’t create the massive dumps that collapsed roofs and overwhelmed snowplow drivers like last season, and it started off miserably, Mother Nature blew in (eventually) to keep a consistent blanket of freshness on the slopes. Alta Ski Area received approximately 550 inches of snow, leading the pack with one of its strongest performances in a decade. Not far behind, Brighton Resort recorded over 500 inches, Snowbird tallied around 530 inches, and even Park City Mountain amassed a commendable 420 inches. Most of the state’s major water basins have reported snowpack figures ranging from 130% to 160% of the historical average.

Make the most of the dwindling ski days and then get ready for climbing and biking season! And make sure you plan ahead for next winter by buying those season ski passes while they’re still selling at “early bird” prices. Here are the links to save you time hunting them down individually-

Ikon Pass

  • In Utah- The Ikon Pass offers access to Snowbasin, Snowbird/Alta, Solitude, Deer Valley and Brighton. $969-1359

Epic Pass

  • Managed by Vail Resorts, in Utah, the Epic Pass offers skiing and riding at Park City and Canyons resorts. $731-982

Mountain Collective

  • The Mountain Collective offers a different take on ski passes, giving skiers access to 2 days at each participating resort (in Utah that’s Snowbird/Alta and Snowbasin), and then 50% off for each additional day. $605

Indy Pass

  • The Indy Pass is designed for independent and lesser-known ski resorts like Powder Mountain, Eagle Point and Beaver in Utah. If you’re looking for a more local or less crowded experience, this might be the pass for you. SOLD OUT for 24/25 but you can join their waitlist.

Power Pass

  • The Power Pass provides access to multiple resorts in the Southwest and beyond, including popular locations like Arizona Snowbowl and Purgatory Resort and Brian Head and Nordic Valley in Utah. $549-$749

Powder Alliance

  • With a qualifying season pass from a member resort, the Powder Alliance adds the ability to ski three days free at the other PA resorts (none in Utah). Free with your area season pass.

Vail Resorts Buys Swiss Ski Area

A crowded Crans Montana base area

Guess we’re going to Europe next year! Vail Resorts just announced that they are making the moves on Crans-Montana Mountain Resort in Switzerland and those with certain Epic Passes (yay for employees!) will get to ski for free (we assume).
This second European acquisition is part of VR’s plan for world ski domination. Because the majority of skiers are in that part of the world, it only makes sense for the Colorado behemoth to tackle the massive Crans-Montana, a mere 2.5 hours away from their other ski spot, Andermatt-Sedrun. Not to mention that if the snow is bad in the U.S., they’ve got that part of the world to take up the financial slack.
You can reach CMMR from five different airports and by train. You’re two and a half hours from Geneva and less than four hours from Milan and Zurich. Just think of the Epic possibilities!
According to VR’s press release (believe me I tried to get this information on my own from the ski area’s website but it’s a hot mess), “Crans-Montana Mountain Resort spans over 1,400 meters (approximately 4,593 ft) of skiable vertical terrain, and a massive 140 kilometers (approximately 87 mi) of trails.”
CMMR has hosted ski and mountain bike World Cups, the Omega European Masters, and other championships, the Caprices Festival and more.

A crowded Crans Montana base area
“We believe Crans-Montana has a unique opportunity for future growth. We are committed to elevating the guest experience at Crans-Montana, the broader community, and region,” said Kirsten Lynch, VR’s Chief Executive Officer in her release. “Vail Resorts is planning to invest approximately CHF 30 million over the next five years in one-time capital spending.”

Vail Resorts purchased an 84-percent ownership stake in Remontées Mécaniques Crans Montana Aminona (CMA) SA, which controls and operates all the resort’s lifts and supporting mountain operations, including four retail and rental locations. The company is acquiring an 80-percent ownership stake in SportLife AG, which operates one of the ski schools located at the resort. Further, Vail Resorts will gobble up 100 percent ownership of 11 restaurants located on and around the mountain.

The deal should close this season 2023/24 but no changes will be made until 24/25. The Epic Pass currently works at Andermatt-Sedrun-Disentis, as well as five days at Verbier4Vallées in Switzerland, seven days at Les 3 Vallées in France, seven days at Skirama Dolomiti in Italy and three days at Ski Arlberg in Austria. Find the detes at

Solitude Mountain Resort Opens Today

Full parking lot on opening day

There’s practically nothing on the slopes of Utah this week including snow yet Solitude Mountain Resort opens today. The Big Cottonwood Canyon resort is claiming their earliest opening in 10 years…even if it’s on one beginner run, on seven inches of manmade snow.

Huge lines at Solitude for opening day 2022

Those eager to stand in line and say they were there, can do laps on the Link lift this weekend starting at 10 a.m. Tickets are just $25 so it might be worth the bragging rights? Or use the opening as an excuse to pick up your Ikon Pass and get the storage wax off your bases. The mountain will even have a few terrain park features set up.

Lift tickets will be available at the Moonbeam ticket office. In observance of Veteran’s Day, Solitude is offering free lift tickets to all military personnel with a military ID on November 11. Parking is also complimentary throughout the weekend, no reservations are needed.

To be honest, it’s really no biggie to skip this limited weekend and head up for Solitude’s originally planned opening date of Nov. 17th. The longer you wait, the more coverage there will be. Unfortunately, there’s not much snow in the near forecast but a possible storm late next week could help to open more terrain. Still, you can do DJ and Donuts at Moonbeam on November 17.

Tons of Snow at Solitude in 2022

For real-time updates and live webcams throughout the season, visit Solitude’s website.

Utah Ski Area Opening Dates ’23/24

Alta Ski Area – November 17, 2023
Beaver Mountain – to be announced
Brian Head Resort – November 17, 2023
Brighton Resort – to be announced
Cherry Peak Resort – to be announced
Deer Valley Resort – December 2, 2023
Eagle Point Resort – December 15, 2023
Nordic Valley – December 2, 2023
Park City Mountain – November 17, 2023
Powder Mountain – to be announced
Snowbasin Resort – November 24, 2023
Snowbird – November 30, 2023 
Solitude Mountain Resort – November 10, 2023
Sundance Mountain Resort – December 2, 2023
Woodward Park City – November 18, 2023

Deer Valley 2.0: Mayflower and Deer Valley Resorts Merge

Mayflower Resort Construction

Huge news for Deer Valley Resort this week. Alterra Mountain Company, owners of Deer Valley, announced Wednesday that Deer Valley Resort will expand to more than double its terrain following a land agreement with Extell Development Company. The expansion involves the Mayflower Resort which is under construction just east of DV’s Bald Mountain and west of the Jordanelle Reservoir along Highway 40. Extell purchased the property in 2017 and although it was never stated officially, any local would tell you that the new area would never have been fully viable without Deer Valley’s operational support. There’s not a lot of snow action on that side. Never has been. Now, however, Mayflower will have DV’s snow making team along with all of the other world-class amenities from staffing to food and beverage.

So let’s cut to the chase- the answer to the number one question on every guest’s mind- nope, snowboarding will not be allowed. There will be 16 new chairlifts, including a 10-passenger gondola, 135 new runs, a new village and portal area with a skier services facility to house a ski school, children’s programs, rentals, and retail, a new on-mountain lodge with Deer Valley operated food & beverage outlets, and additional day-skier parking. There will be a 3000-foot vertical drop from the highest point on Park Peak and most of the new runs will be wide, fast, groomed, north-facing, blues. All of this for skiers only. Wah wah wah.

The plan is to get the majority of the new area open by 2025/26 with 2900 of the 3700 proposed new acres ready to roll. When Mayflower and Deer Valley resorts merge and open, DV will be the third on the list of the largest ski areas in North America- behind Park City and Big Sky. There is also talk of three luxury hotels, condos and a mountain village with an ice ribbon.

Deer Valley Expansion Map

The expansion is separate from the planned redevelopment at Snow Park base which is still seeking city approval. The Mayflower development, on the other hand, is relatively greenlit with partnerships with Wasatch County, the Military Installation Development Authority (MIDA), and now Deer Valley. Extell donated a patch of land to MIDA and agreed to build them an MWR (Morale, Welfare, and Recreation) hotel for military and their families to vacation. One hundred of the nearly 400 rooms will be available at a preferred rate for active duty and retired service members. In addition, there will be a tax for regular guests that will go towards Hill Air Force Base’s MWR account.

The MWR hotel broke ground in 2021 and is set to open next December. The first phase of the Deer Valley expansion will be in 2025/26.

More Mountainbiking In The Summer

Mayflower Resort in the summer

Something super cool was that behind the scenes, Extell agreed to commit more than 3,100 acres of the future ski area to a conservation easement that will be overseen by Utah Open Lands. The easement known as the Forty-Fifth Star Conservation Preserve will link Bonanza Flat and Wasatch Mountain State Park in the summer and prevent future developers from swooping in and decorating the land with more expensive hotels and second homes. By the way, the name gives a nod to Utah’s rank as the 45th state in the union.

The first trail connects with the Spin Cycle trail to form a loop, is expected to open in September and there are plans for 50 more miles of trails.

The Essential Packing Guide: What To Pack For Your Incredible Ski Adventure

Are you planning a Ski trip with your family? Looking for the essential lists to take with you? Are you confused about what to pack for Ski? Planning a ski trip is an exciting endeavor that promises exhilarating adventures on the slopes and breathtaking views of snowy landscapes. To ensure a comfortable and enjoyable skiing experience, it’s essential to pack the right gear and essentials. 

In this blog post, we’ll provide a comprehensive packing guide, helping you prepare for an unforgettable ski vacation.

Let’s start the guide with clothes and you can follow the write-up to have all kinds of ideas. 

Ski Clothing:

  • Carefully pack thermal tops and bottoms made of moisture-wicking material to keep you warm and dry.
  • Include fleece jackets, sweaters, or down jackets for added warmth.
  • Opt for waterproof and breathable pants designed specifically for skiing.
  • Choose a durable, waterproof, and insulated jacket to protect you from the elements.
  • Pack multiple pairs of moisture-wicking ski socks and warm, waterproof gloves or mittens.
  • These versatile accessories provide extra warmth and protection for your neck and face.

Necessary Ski Equipment:

  • If you have your own equipment, make sure to pack them securely. Otherwise, consider renting from a reliable ski shop.
  • Essential for balance and maneuverability, pack adjustable ski poles suitable for your height.
  • Prioritize safety by packing a well-fitting helmet designed for skiing or snowboarding.
  • Protect your eyes from the sun, wind, and snow glare with ski goggles and sunglasses.

Other important essentials:

  • The sun’s reflection on the snow can be intense, so pack a high-SPF sunscreen and lip balm with UV protection.
  • A small backpack is handy for carrying snacks, water, extra layers, and personal items on the slopes.
  • These disposable warmers can provide extra comfort on particularly cold days.
  • Protect your phone from snow and moisture with a waterproof case or pouch.
  • Don’t forget essentials like toiletries, medications, and a travel adapter if needed.

The attires and necessities include the following:

  • Pack cozy sweaters, warm pants, and comfortable footwear for après-ski relaxation.
  • If your ski destination includes hot tubs or spas, bring swimwear for ultimate relaxation.
  • Bring books, magazines, or electronic devices for entertainment during downtime.
  • Pack energy bars, trail mix, or other snacks to keep you fueled on the slopes.
  • Stay hydrated by carrying a reusable water bottle that can be easily refilled.
  • Carry some cash for emergencies and ensure you have proper identification and travel documents.

A successful ski trip starts with careful packing and ensuring you have the best ski gear and essentials. Remember to prioritize comfort, safety, and protection from the elements. By following this comprehensive packing guide, you’ll be well-prepared to hit the slopes, explore the winter wonderland, and create unforgettable memories during your ski adventure. 

Happy skiing!

1 2 3 34