Photo Credit: Praxis Skis

As always, resorts were busy over the summer replacing lifts and improving or adding terrain.

Here’s a quick rundown to whet your appetite of what’s new and noteworthy in several states West of the Mississippi.

In alphabetical order, by state –

 California

Palisades Tahoe – For a second season under its new name, there’s a brand new Base-to-Base gondola. It connects the two valleys and makes the former Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows resorts one of the largest in North America, with 6,000 acres of terrain.

The new gondola is 2.4 miles long and traverses just over 3,100 vertical feet. The ride takes approximately 16 minutes, including a brief stop at the new KT-22 mid-station.

 Also, the Red Dog chair lift, which starts at the base of Palisades Tahoe, has been relocated to offer convenient direct access from the parking lot, and is now a high-speed detachable six-person chair.

Northstar – This venerable resort celebrates its 50th anniversary this season with the new Comstock Express lift, a high-speed six-person chair that increases capacity by 50%.

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe – A favorite of locals, Mt. Rose redirected its Lakeview chair lift so it now goes all the way to the top, with expansive views of Lake Tahoe along the way.

Colorado
 
Arapahoe Basin – The old fixed-grip three-seater Lenawee Lift, which dated from 2001, has been replaced with a high-speed six-pack.  This will alleviate one of the last remaining pinch points on what most of us call – simply – A-Basin.
 

Buttermilk –   Known as the beginners and family area of the four mountains of Aspen (Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass and Buttermilk), this under-rated area gets a sparkling new base area with services including a guest lounge and lockers.

Eldora – This locals fav celebrates its 60th season this season, with upgrades including a $7 Million parking expansion with room for nearly 800 additional spaces.  Eldora also has increased snowmaking and its rental fleet.

Steamboat – Also celebrating its 60th season, “The Boat” is almost done with its $200 Million multi-year transformation of the base area.  New for this season is a beginner area, called Greenhorn Ranch, serviced by the new Wild Blue Gondola, a new beginner lift and two new carpets.

Telluride Ski Resort – The new high-speed detachable quad for Chair 9 cuts the lift time in half, from 15 minutes to 7, and services 2,000 vertical feet of terrain.

Winter Park – The resort is opening what’s called “previously unutilized terrain” in The Cirque Territory. The new terrain is called “Jelly Roll” for its steep pitch and ability to hold powder for days after a storm. Winter Park also is planning to open more terrain in the Chutes area on Mary Jane.

Amtrak Ski Train – The popular train between Denver and Winter Park returns for the season, weekends only, with fares as low as $29 each way.  The official name is Winter Park Express. Reservations often get booked out, so plan ahead.

 Idaho and Montana

Lookout Pass – This area, which spans two states (Idaho and Montana) and two time zones, opens its Eagle Peak Expansion this season, nearly doubling the resort’s skiable terrain. Lookout Pass which is, Idaho’s oldest continuously operating ski area, consistently gets in excess of 400 inches of snow per year, making it a secret stash for consistent powder.

Big Sky Resort – More than 350 new complimentary parking spots have been added across the resort, including one priority area for carpools. Big Sky is a member of both the Ikon Pass and Mountain Collective – these passholders need to make reservations this season to use their days.

Wyoming   

Jackson Hole – After 28 years of service, the fixed-grip four-seat Thunder lift has been replaced by a new high-speed quad.  It’s twice as fast as the lift it replaces, cutting ride time from 7 minutes to under 4. The new Thunder lift still accesses some of Jackson’s top runs, including Laramie Bowl, Thunder Bumps and the Grand.

Grand Targhee – On the other side of the Teton Pass from Jackson Hole, this resort debuts the new Colter Lift on Peaked Mountain this season. It can transport up to 2,000 people per hour, gaining 1,815 vertical feet in just over 5 minutes. It also accesses 30 percent more skiing and riding to what was formerly hike-in.

It is the first major terrain expansion at Grand Targhee since the Sacajawea lift opened in 2001. The resort usually gets more than 500 inches of snowfall each winter.

So where are you going this season?  As always, we welcome your comments.

16 Comments

  1. Thanks for picking up the reins for senior skiers! We will miss Jon but look forward to continuing a great site!

    I live in Utah and ski them all. Alta is still my favorite

  2. Last year I had the opportunity to speak to the group at Vail. Since then I joined the 70+ club and will accompany them to Canada for the trip this winter. Really looking forward to meeting new friends because the group who went to Vail were great.

    • Hiya!
      I am planning on Revelstoke as first destination 2023 this ‘my 3rd ‘snomad’ season in January – need downhill and back country buddies… can you help? Diane 72, Chicago

  3. October 28th and there is snow in my back yard- Colorado Springs.

  4. After being closed last winter due to forest fire Sierraattahoeski will be open for 22/23 season there are many of us that started skiing there in the early 1950s that are very happy about this mountain getting back in action. Although the missing tress is a rude and astonishing difference,missing close to half it’s forest of trees is not easy to look at, hopefully covered in snow will help.

    • Do any of your members ride share from Sac? I’m 73 & I need someone to know I’m on the hill. I’ve been skiing alone for years & last Tahoe ski was 2019’, wiped out by a snowboarder, & suffered cracked ribs. I’ve been skiing alone for years & it would be great to just ride both ways for $’s Vs waiting for days for daughter come get me back to Sac… my area 95821.

      • Hi, I am am member of a ski club “49ers ski club there is a web page with info, I live in the north Carmichael area and try to go to Sierraattahoeski twice a week during the season and always have room for one more skier , my phone for texting is 5309194441

  5. Donna Babcock says:

    My husband & I turned 70 last year and skied the Dolomites in Italy and will again this year with a great tour group through Inspired Italy! Highly recommended!
    Also I wanted to comment on the omission of our South Lake Tahoe ski resorts, Heavenly and Kirkwood (Vail owned) and Locally owned family friendly Sierra-at-Tahoe which is still recovering terrain from its devastation due to the horrific Caldor fire in 2021! Thanks

  6. Paul & Vicki Roberson says:

    We are new to your website, I am 77 and my wife is 74. We love to ski, and are especially looking for the “over 70 ski free” locations. We have a truck camper that we took to Monarch last year, and stayed at KOA. We would like to travel further (we live in Texas) in the TC, skiing along the way.
    It is difficult to find ski area pricing for seniors online, so maybe others can help us travel and ski this winter.
    Thanks,

  7. You left out Vail Mountain upgrades for the 22-23 season.

    1. Game Creek Bowl Lift

    The replacement of the current 4-person chair with a new high-speed 6-person lift will increase capacity by nearly 50% and improve reliability in this popular bowl.

    2. Sun Down Lift

    The installation of a new high-speed 4-person chair in the Sun Down Bowl from the base of Chair 5 (High Noon Express) to the Wildwood restaurant will materially reduce wait times on peak days at Chair 5 and create the opportunity for skiers and riders much more conveniently access the trails in Sun Down Bowl.

  8. Penny Orwick says:

    A couple Montana changes you missed:
    — Whitefish Mountain Resort (on Big Mountain) is adding a high-speed 6-pack from the base lodge to the top of Inspiration Ridge, just below the summit. See http://www.skiwhitefish.com for details.
    –Snowbowl in Missoula is adding a triple chair up Sunrise Bowl to the top of TV mountain. Rumor is it won’t be operational on opening day, whenever that might be, but should be running by end of December.

  9. Scott Milner says:

    As a young student at CU who was a talented skier but not good enough for the ski team, I began instructing at Lake Eldora immediately after it opened in 1962. Hans Garger was the ski school director and a wonderful friend, mentor and coach. We had a great team of “locals” and most of us went on to become Certified Ski Instructors and members of PSIA. Great memories. I’d love to go back and ski there again in my 81st year.

  10. Richard Joyce says:

    What happened to Washington and Oregon? We have skiing too!

  11. DALE KRUSCHWITZ says:

    Hi ! I turned 70 this year and my kids left home and my wife does not ski. Does anyone ski Redlodge ,MT? If interested please let me know! Thanks ! Dale

  12. Would love to see updates on our So Cal resorts, Mammoth, June Mountain, Big Bear’s Snow Summit and Bear Mountain, Snow Valley in Running Springs and Mountain High in Wrightwood. Snow Summit has a large group of 65-80+ year old skiers who are on the snow daily rain or shine. My Dr. advised us to stop skiing due to nothing other than our ages (72, 74) I took pictures of groups having lunch at Mccoy Station in Mammoth and showed her that the majority were all over 50 and above. Glad I ignored her.

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