You had to get up painfully early (or never leave) to get one of the 100 Orange Oakley goggles being gifted by Canyons' employees this morning. The giveaway was part of this morning's kick off celebration in honor of Canyons' new Orange Bubble quad, Gondola and generally everything they've been building all summer.

[caption id="attachment_10709" align="alignnone" width="525" caption="A lucky gondola goggle winner "][/caption]

There were about 300 people filling the maze outside The Grand Summit Hotel. Some even spent the night in the parking lot to be in line by 6:30 a.m. And it was cold this morning!

But by 9:05 a.m. there was no line at all. The loading is swift and efficient. 1100/people an hour. The new bubble's going to be a welcome addition to the resort this season. Combine it with the newly relocated gondola, you'll have a choice to get to the top and it won't take half your morning. Plus, the resort has re-graded the base so that you can ski all the way back to the Plaza either from the front of the hill or from the Condor side. No more hiking out or taking that silly rope-tow that was near the old Golden Eagle lift.

Did we mention the seats are heated on the Bubble? You sit down and get a subtle warm surge in the tush area. You're also protected from the elements. We tested it brilliantly in today's wind and hail. You first pull down the footrest then the plastic dome.

Because it's brand new, there are no scratches and smudges in the dome. Eventually, I'm sure you'll sit in an opaque encasement for your journey past Lookout Cabin and up to The Red Pine Lodge but for now you see the 'clear' world in an orange tint.

[caption id="attachment_10685" align="alignnone" width="350" caption="Cheers!"][/caption]

Another cool thing to note about the "new" Canyons is they are expanding and renovating Docs to include a large grill and patio area. From there, grab a brew and watch your groms on the new base area Magic Carpet which is directly across from the bar.  Doc's should be good to go by the end of the month and another new restaurant near the Cabriolet should open sometime in January. The Ski Beach isn't ready but then no one will have a need for it until March anyway. Today was cloudy, snowy and windy. We skied heavy untracked in The Pines below Saddleback Express and caught a couple laps on Tombstone through the hail. Definitely not a day at the beach.

[caption id="attachment_10704" align="alignnone" width="525" caption="Canyons new snowmaking pond/reservoir"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_10705" align="alignnone" width="350" caption="New beginner terrain park for Canyons"][/caption]