Acres: 2,500 | Vertical: 3,240’ | Snowfall: 500” | snowbird.com
By now you should know how good the skiing is at Snowbird. The consistent powder (500 inches) in the alpine cirques, soft sheltered snow in chutes and glades, wall-to-wall groomers, and endlessly varied terrain are why we’ve run seven Mountain mag ski tests and counting here. What you might not know, because of the ’Bird’s steep and deep reputation, is how accessible the skiing is to all levels of skiers—at least anybody who can manage a wedge turn. Finally the on-hill amenities are following suit. Last winter, the new Summit lodge opened at the terminus of the tram—complete with sit-down dining and 360-degree views. This year look for a completely reinvented Creekside Lodge to act as a second base area for families and expert skiers running storm laps in the Gad Valley.
Can’t-Miss Run: Too many to choose from, but a staple Tram lap consists of a Cirque Traverse to Tower 2 with a finish on Lower Silver Fox. Later in the day ride the Cirque Traverse all the way out to Upper Mach Schnell—perhaps the most direct fall line on the mountain.
Resort Bite: It’s famous for flavorless lamb, but Salt Lake City actually has killer sushi offerings. Still, sushi tastes better atop the Cliff Lodge in the Aerie.
Local’s Take: “It may sound cliché, but the Cirque really is Snowbird’s crown jewel,” says freeskier and Mountain ski tester Brady Newton. “It’s got a bit of everything, from fast wide-open GS turns to tight technical chutes to big cliffs, airs, and straight lines, all at the prime slope angle of around 40 degrees. And it’s not like it’s a secret, as you can stare at it all the way up in the tram.” —Marc Peruzzi
From the Early Winter 2016 issue.