New Quad Lift!

That’s right – Solitude Mountain Resort has begun installation on Powderhorn II, a $1.5 million improvement to the lift system. This new fixed grip quad replaces the original Powderhorn double, a holdover from its mid-70s installation – albeit with an improved lift line .  Coming on the heels of last winter’s $7 million investment in two detachable express quads the resort should ski much more efficiently. That’s three new quads in just the past two years!

Powderhorn II will start from the bottom of Sunshine Bowl, travel above the Concord ski run, and end in the same location as the original Powderhorn Lift. The move to a mid-mountain starting point allows expert snowriders to make continuous laps on the upper mountain – from Diamond Lane to Sunshine Bowl – without the need to return to the base area via beginner runs. A speedy 7 minute lift ride on the new lift, as opposed to 12 on the old double, saves 5 minutes per run on some of the state’s steepest groomed terrain. Plus, the off-piste terrain in Honeycomb Canyon will still be conveniently accessed from the top of this lift.

Last winter’s new Apex and Moonbeam Express lifts introduced high speed lift access from both base areas to mid-mountain, allowing Powderhorn II to begin higher on the mountain. Accessible from all three detachable lifts, including Eagle Express, a greater on-mountain flow is achieved throughout the resort. Solitude’s goal with terrain and lift improvements, now and into the future, is to efficiently utilize pockets of terrain which are naturally separated by the layout and slope of the mountain.

Beginner and intermediate visitors will appreciate the new lift, as well, even though they may not ride it until their skills improve, as advanced and expert visitors will remain higher on the mountain, easing traffic in prime learning areas lower on the mountain. Crafting this natural segregation put visitors of like abilities in terrain conducive to their ability, creating an improved experience for all.

Note the mid-mountain starting point for the new lift - still ending at the same top terminal.

Five Course Wine Dinner at St. Bernard’s (8/1)

Limited to just 45 lucky diners, enjoy five courses of Chef Matt Barrigar’s finest seasonal dishes. Dinner is $60, with wine pairings an additional cost. Call 800-748-4754 for reservations.

Wine Dinner Menu: August 1st 2009

Appetizer

Mussel and Scallop Ceviche

Mixed with fresh cilantro, diced cucumber, grilled scallions, and citrus juices on an Idaho potato crisp

Soup

Roasted Peach Soup

Puree of fresh Utah peach topped with house-made crème fraiche and balsamic syrup

Salad

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Fresh multi-colored tomatoes, locally grown watermelon stuffed with Drake’s Family Farm chevre and drizzled with reduced Snake River Port, and tangerine infused olive oil

Entrée

Grilled Rack of Lamb

Meadowlark Farms lamb, marinated in honey, with a baby vegetable ratatouille, and a roasted fennel gratin

Or

Corvina

Pan-seared corvina with a spicy sweet corn fritter, Peaceful Belly Farms green beans, and a basil vinaigrette

Dessert

Summer Berry Triffle

Chiffon Cake layered with a medley of fresh berries, lavender infused whipped cream and cinnamon almonds, and topped with candied citrus zest

Whoa…It’s Spring, I mean Summer!

Mud season quickly turned into rain season…or is that just another way of saying mud season was extra long this year? Either way, Summer is officially here, as of June 21. And as if on cue, the sun is shining, the mountains are green, flowers are beginning to bloom, so tada! Summer is here.

As far as the nuts and bolts go, the lift is running Fri – Sun, from 1 – 6 on Fridays and 11 – 6 on the weekends and holidays.  The trails could NOT be in better shape.  they are smooth and tacky and plush and soft and just generally awesome. See, rain and precip does have its advantages! Solitude also offers an 18 hole disc golf course, bike rentals, scooter rentals and much more.

The Stone Haus is open for pizzas, coffee, sandwiches, energy drink and beer (is that redundant?) from Wednesdays – Sundays from 11 – 7. Don’t miss kimi’s mountainside bistro  – a new Village dining institution with an unbelievable patio and great food in a relaxed setting. They are open for dinner Wed- Sun from 5 – 9 and open for weekend brunch (that’s right, Sundays aaaand Saturdays!) from 10 – 3. The Yurt is also available for a gourmet adventure dining experience – so if you need to wow a group, that’s the place!

See ya on the trail!

Guest Post: Caroline Gleich

Utah’s poster girl weighs in after a day on the hill at Solitude:

“During the springtime at Solitude, the snow piles up extra deep in the woods.  We found bottomless powder off of Powderhorn on the Milkrun and from Summit chair in the Evergreen forest.  It’s a great time to take advantage of spring specials and find your own patches of deep, untracked Utah powder.”

Caroline kicks up a trail of Utah brand smoke.

Caroline kicks up a trail of Utah brand cold smoke.

I think she's somewhere under that cloud of smoke.

I think she's somewhere under that cloud of smoke.

$39 Lift Tickets at Solitude!!

Solitude’s Spring Stimulus allows you to enjoy the best snow conditions of the year for just $39 a day (juniors ski for only $29/day). With a 114″ base and over 70″ of snow in the past seven days there is no reason not to take full advantage of the few remaining weeks of winter!

Solitude closes April 12 (Easter Sunday), so come on up to the mountains and get your powder grin on a few more times!

There are no blackout dates, just come on up to any ticket window here at the resort and $39 gets you out on the hill! Not valid with any other coupons or discounts.

Solitude. If You Only Knew…

Who needs a Bed & Breakfast…

…when you can have a slopeside bed and a gourmet dinner instead?

Take for instance the new special the Inn at Solitude is offering – it includes a room a stone’s throw from the lifts and three courses served fireside at St. Bernard’s. There are only a few weeks of spring skiing left – really no better time to squeeze in one last staycation for locals, or grab that last minute flight out to Salt Lake and finish the season with us. Here are teh details:

Take the Elevator Home
Linger in our quaint pedestrian village after a day on the hill for a gourmet dinner and ski in/out accommodations! Package includes:

• Slopeside lodging at the Inn at Solitude

• Three course fireside country French dinner for two at St. Bernard’s

• On-site heated pool, access to hot tubs and spa.

Rates starting at $249 Valid through April 5, 2009, upgrades available. New bookings only.

Call 877 517-7717 to book or email inn@skisolitude.com

Ski Salt Lake Shootout

The Ski Salt Lake Shootout inaugural competition produced magazine covers and images published worldwide. The shootout returned for its sophomore run Feb. 22-26, 2009 and Solitude provided the background for many memorable images sure to grace a few magazine pages next winter! Photographers and athletes were paired to battle for cash prizes and bragging rights as they attempt to capture the magic of the Cottonwood Canyon resorts and Salt Lake City through the lens.

This years list of photographers should be names familiar to anyone who peruses the image galleries of ski magzines:Ilja Herb, Grant Gunderson, Aryeh Copa, Drew Stocklein, Justin Cash, Mark Fisher, Alexa Miller and Court Leve.

Check out the winning images here!

Grant Gunderson captures Barnhill making a pow turn at Solitude.

Grant Gunderson captures Cody Barnhill at Solitude.

Aerial Mountain Tour of Solitude

Can’t afford to hire a private heli for the day? Well, grab a seat in ours and feast your eyes on a scenic ride from frontside groomers to the depths of Honeycomb Canyon.  Soar and float like a bird above skiers and boarders making their way down the hill – with no risk of motion sickness. Enjoy!

Solitude’s Nordic Center Offers Great Instruction

One on One instruction @ the Solitude Nordic Center
One on One instruction @ the Solitude Nordic Center

One of the benefits of working at a mountain resort is occasionally we do an employee specific event, like we did last night at the Nordic Center.

The idea was simple, expose our employees to something here at Solitude they would never otherwise do on their own.  The center provided rentals and a lesson and we had about 15 people show up to give Nordic a try.

The majority of those attending had never Nordic skied prior and the overwhelming consensus was – – if you have a little Alpine skiing in your background, you can easily pick up and have a fun day Nordic skiing.  Everyone chose to try Skate skiing, which if you are unaware is the latest and greatest thing in Nordic skiing.  It’s certainly not new, but arguably it is gaining great traction here in the U.S.  Anyway, by the end of the evening, everyone was actually holding their own – – we even held a little relay race for some departmental bragging rights.

So, what does all this have to do with you?  As I was listening to one of the instructors last night, WHO JUST HAPPENS TO BE A 2002 WINTER OLYMPIAN, I thought to myself how cool it is to be listening and learning from a guy that competed in the Olympics!  And then I thought to myself, it cost nothing extra for our customers to come up and learn from this Olympian.  And, most weekdays, if you can come on weekdays – you’d probably be one of maybe only 2 or 3 in the lesson (if you are really lucky it would only be you – which certainly happens).

Get out and try something new this year, it is a phenomenal workout and a wonderful way to enjoy the Wasatch Mountains.  If you are lucky enough to ski with our Olympian or not, you will for sure receive unparalleled instruction and attention from the Solitude Nordic Center.

Getting Off The Beaten Path

Last weeks fury of powder days left most of us exhausted: all the non-stop top to bottom runs, screaming “THAT was the best run of the year”, and repeating the cycle.  Now that the skies have cleared and warm air and sun are plentiful the draw to being outside is great – far greater than 10 degree winds lashing at your face. But, my feet are KILLING me from a week of bashing in new liners chasing one pow run after the next. Not wanting my muscles to get too long a rest I figured an hour or two of Nordic skiing would fit the bill.

Getting on skinny skis is quite the change of pace, and provides as much of a workout as you can handle. To top it off are stunning views found at the Solitude Nordic Center, as well as the pine-scented fresh air and perfect blue sky.  With 20km of trail, there are many options: the short loop around Silver Lake, the Cornucopia Trail that connects the Solitude Village with the Nordic Center or one of the Redman Loops.

Whenever you need a change of pace, give the Nordic Center a try – you’ll find yet another way to enjoy the outdoors in winter.