With a mid-week storm passing through the state a couple days ago leaving 4-8" at most Northern Utah resorts and prospects for another storm on the weekend, Jake, his buddy Charles and I headed up to The Canyons to get some runs in.
Early season skiing The Canyons is a unique experience from any of the other resorts in Utah. Riding the gondola the from the base area at 6800' to Red Pine Lodge at 8000' we went from very little snow surrounding the gondola base to people skiing and snowboarding at the top. It's a transformation separated by 8 minutes and 1200' vertical.
The Canyons has been open for a little over a week and like most all of the other Utah resorts the only terrain open is that which is covered by snowmaking. Despite what you may think about skiing on snowmaking trails only it was loads of fun and fantastic to be back riding lifts and sliding on snow.
As of Friday when we went The Canyons had the Saddleback lift open with the skiing headed down Kokopelli to Painted Horse to High Meadow and finishing off at Red Pine Lodge. There were 4 different park features on the bottom of painted horse - a flat box, two picnic tables forming a flat-down, another flat box and a double barrel rail. Most of the people passing through were hitting the flat box to the flat-down picnic-tables.
For beginners the High Meadow lift was open with the option to drop in below the lift or to head around the outside. And first timers were happy to see the platter tow open.
We spun multiple laps and like many of the other skiers and snowboarders we hit as many wall hits and side of the run jibs as possible. Although the skiing experience was reminiscent of east coast skiing (read – trail skiing vs. off piste) it was a great time.
I noticed that while riding Saddleback that over the summer The Canyons must have been doing some thinning of the Aspens and had trimmed the brush out on a few additional runs. When it's on, like it may be shortly, I'm always stoked to ski The Canyons knowing there are plenty of stashes to find untracked powder.
As we got ready to head out the clouds started to descend and flakes began to fall. Looking over at 9990 and the backcountry area of Square Top I was hopeful that the flakes would begin to stack up deep as the rocky and steep terrain of North Side 9990 was in need of some additional coverage. I can't wait to get back to The Canyons when the entire hill is open.
I noticed that the snowmaking guns were hitting it hard on Sun Peak lift, Tombstone and other areas of Saddleback so with the cold temps and new snow I expect that will be soon.
--Keep your eye on the Open Trails page at The Canyons for new terrain that will open soon.