First Impressions: Canyons Village at Park City

The new deck of Red Pine Lodge.
Written by Scott Cullins
This weekend, Park City Mountain Resort debuted the newly rebranded Canyons Village at Park City. Locals and other followers had been told of the $50M in changes to the resort, but it was nice to finally get out and see, first hand, some of the changes.

I started the morning by riding the Orange Bubble Express (OBE) and, even though Docs Run was open from the mid-mountain station, I decided to first explore the Red Pine area and lap Docs at the end of my day. Docs hasn’t been open for the past several opening day weekends, so it was great having a steep downhill run to lap on opening day.

From the top of the OBE, I skied down to Saddleback Express and right on to the chair. With relatively no one on the slopes, I ripped 4 quick laps of smooth corduroy—one lap on each of the three open runs, and a second lap on Pine Draw, which had an inch of fresh snow layered on top of a freshly groomed surface. Overall, the quality of the grooming and snow was great.

I had been hoping The Pines would be opened, but that small north facing patch of early season off-piste tree skiing goodness still needed a bit more snow.

I had been hoping The Pines would be opened, but that small north facing patch of early season off-piste tree skiing goodness still needed a bit more snow.

One very noticeable improvement was the regrading of a short steep section on Kokopelli, just before Painted Pony. With a stand of trees in the middle of the run, this section has long been a magnate for accidents. The resort removed the trees and reduced the pitch, making it a much safer trail.

Another significant development was the removal of the small terrain park on Painted Horse. Word on the slopes is that the resort will only offer one park in Canyons Village. That would be the Transitions terrain park accessible from the top of Sun Peak Express. Despite losing the smaller park, the outlook for a better park experience if bright. With the more experienced original PCMR park team in charge, the park features on Transitions should be much improved. The lack of pitch at the top of the run, and poorly designed jumps, has long-resulted in a second class park experience. Wasatch Rider will review the 2015 Transitions park when it opens.

With the more experienced original PCMR park team in charge, the park features on Transitions should be much improved.

After skiing the Red Pine area, I stopped to warm up at the remodeled Red Pine Lodge. The size of the seating area was about doubled, with an expansion of the ground floor indoor seating and addition of an upper outdoor deck above the expanded ground floor. A beer counter was added to the cafeteria area inside, but the food prep and serving area stayed the same size, leaving me to wonder if that would become a bottleneck. Ultimately, adding more seating was a good call for budget riders like me, who ski often and like to pack a lunch.

Next I skied down to the Short Cut chair and rode up to the mid station of the OBE. Docs Run often has an icy spot near the top, so I skied in the sluff on the left of the run, making quick sort turns to stay in control on the grippy snow. Once on the front face, the snow improved and I enjoyed ripping high-speed DH runs, top to bottom. And for those of us longing for that aforementioned off-piste goodness, that lack of trees on Docs offers a few side patches of off piste terrain to play in.

Watch for more reviews of this resort in the near future.

 

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About the author

Scott Cullins

Scott is a mountain biker and skier living on the Wastach Back in Summit County, Utah. He spends much of his day as a publishing consultant, providing creative services and advising clients on all matters publishing. Email Scott at scott@canyonmedia.us

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