The primary gripe skiers have with Park City Mountain’s Canyons Village side is it’s difficult to navigate. Those eponymous canyons carving the terrain can only be bypassed with mechanized assistance from a chairlift or via excruciatingly long, roundabout traverses, neither of which are welcome at the end of a long day on the slopes. Park City Mountain is addressing the issue with a new chairlift from the bottom of the Tombstone lift to the top of the Sunrise lift, allowing easier, faster access to Canyons Village.
The fixed-grip quad chair, dubbed “Over and Out,” will whisk skiers from exit-less chasm at the base of Tombstone back to the front side of the mountain in just five minutes. From there, it’s only a brief ski back to amenities and parking at Canyons Village. Previously, skiers were faced with a ride up Tombstone before skiing down to Red Pine Lodge and either getting on Saddleback before skiing a circuitous route past Sun Lodge to the Rip Cord rope tow or riding Short Cut and skittering down an icy Doc’s Run with the masses.
The new route back to civilization makes skiing off Dreamcatcher or Iron Mountain for half a day before bolting to work or the airport far more feasible, and it should dramatically reduce the late-afternoon congestion at Tombstone as exhausted skiers try to make it home on quaking legs. Because Vail Resorts leaves no opportunity for capital improvement unimproved, they’ll also be adding an indoor restaurant, Tombstone BBQ, to replace the Tombstone Grill’s outdoor setup for slinging pulled pork and brisket sandwiches.
Over and Out won’t solve Canyons Village’s other Achilles heel, getting skiers on the mountain. Lift lines throughout the resort honestly weren’t bad last winter despite record skier days and massive snow totals. The same can’t be said for the base area in the mornings, however, as wind and snow safety holds meant huge lines at the Gondola and Orange Bubble chairs. Perhaps future capital improvements will address getting skiers onto the upper mountain faster, but for now we should all enjoy the fact we’ll be able to make it off the upper mountain in far less time. Construction on Park City’s new lift will begin this summer to be ready for the upcoming ski season.
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