Jan. 19-22 Races Are A First For This Resort Located In Twisty, Winding Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Groomers finalize the steep course with its finish line right at the base of the mountain just a few steps beyond Solitude’s Village.
Credit: Harriet Wallis

It’s a test event for the FIS Freestyle, Snowboard and Freeski World Championships scheduled two years from now in 2019.

So what? Don’t yawn.

When Salt Lake City was chosen as the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics, the four resorts in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons—Alta, Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude—were overlooked as possible venues partly because of the road. It’s one way in and one way out of each narrow canyon that was carved by glaciers eons ago.

However, professional and amateur races are frequently held in the two canyons, but this is the first time such a major event is scheduled there.

To paint the big picture, Deer Valley, located in Park City, bought the smaller Solitude Resort two years ago making Solitude part of Deer Valley’s family.

As to Deer Valley, this marks the 18th year that the resort will host international and world aerial and mogul competitions. It was a venue for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, two World Championships and 15 World Cups. It’s had lots of practice hosting major events and the resort is an esteemed venue.

So Solitude is not just jumping into big time races. It has the expertise of its parent, Deer Valley.

The races are high adrenaline, high action events. A detailed schedule for the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Solitude Mountain Resort can be found here.

Boardercross is a snowboard competition in which a four to six snowboarders race down a course that’s typically narrow and includes banked turns, various jumps, rollers and drops designed to challenge each rider’s ability to stay in control while maintaining maximum speed. Mid-course collisions are common.

Skicross is a timed race event and with big-air jumps and high-banked turns. What sets skicross apart from other alpine skiing is that four skiers start simultaneously and attempt to reach the end of the course.

To read more from Harriet click here for her stories on SkiUtah.

Here’s a short video that previews the Snowboard Cross course at Solitude.

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