Solitude Mountain Resort
|Solitude Mountain Resort|
Solitude's lower terrain in 2006
|Location||Big Cottonwood Canyon, Salt Lake County, Utah,
|Nearest city||Salt Lake City, Utah|
|Vertical||2,047 ft (624 m)|
|Top elevation||10,035 ft (3,059 m)|
|Base elevation||7,988 ft (2,435 m)|
|Skiable area||1,200 acres (4.9 km2)|
|Longest run||3.5 miles (5.6 km)
|Lift system||8 chairlifts|
|Snowfall||500 inches (1,300 cm)|
|Web site||Ski Solitude.com|
Solitude Mountain Resort is a ski resort located in the Big Cottonwood Canyon of the Wasatch Mountains, thirty miles southeast of Salt Lake City, Utah. With 64 trails, 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) and 2,047 feet (624 m) vertical, Solitude is one of the smaller ski resorts near Salt Lake City, along with its neighbor Brighton. It is a family-oriented mountain, with a wider range of beginner and intermediate slopes than other nearby ski resorts; 70% of its slopes are graded "beginner" or "intermediate," the highest such ratio in the Salt Lake City area. Solitude was one of the first major US resorts to adopt an RFID lift ticket system, allowing lift lines to move more efficiently while reducing "lift poaching". It was followed by Alta Ski Area in 2007. Solitude is adjacent to Brighton Ski Resort near the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Solitude and Brighton offer a common "Solbright Pass" which provides access to both resorts for a nominal surcharge.
Most of Solitude's trails descend from a ridge (Eagle Ridge trail) which runs parallel with The Big Cottonwood Canyon Scenic Byway as it rises up the center of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Two lifts—quad chairs Powder Horn II and Eagle Express—run to the top of Eagle Ridge, while quads Apex Express and Moonbeam Express feed the intermediate and beginner terrain (respectively) immediately below it. The back of Eagle Ridge drops into Honeycomb Canyon, a long valley with most of the resort's bowl skiing. Honeycomb Canyon is primarily accessed by the double Summit Chair, which runs behind Eagle Ridge to the mountain's summit; return access from the bottom of Honeycomb Canyon is also available via the Honeycomb Return quad. The Summit Chair also provides access to adjacent Brighton Ski Resort. Two more lifts, Link double and Sunrise triple, provide dedicated skiing areas for beginners.
Solitude was first developed for skiing by Moab, Utah uranium tycoon Robert M. Barrett. Barrett decided to start his own ski resort after being denied the use of the restrooms at Alta, which were reserved for Alta guests only. He started construction at Solitude in 1956, having bought all the land in Big Cottonwood Canyon, the next canyon over from Alta. The resort opened for business one year later, and passed through ownership changes until it was acquired by a business group led by Gary DeSeelhorst in 1977. DeSeelhorst became the resort's sole owner in 1986 and implemented an aggressive renovation project, including the 1989 construction of Utah's first express quad chairlift, Eagle Express. Accommodations upgrades in this period included the construction of the Creekside lodge in 1995.
Solitude Nordic Center
Solitude Resort also operates a nordic center. The Solitude Nordic Center, nestled between the Solitude and Brighton ski areas, offers a variety of nordic sport opportunities, including snowshoeing, skate and classic cross-country skiing. The site's 13 cross-country skiing trails cover twelve miles (almost 20 km) evenly divided between "easiest" and "moderately difficult", including a long loop of two miles (3 km). Six snowshoe trails cover six miles (ten kilometers). Instruction and training workshops are offered.
Facts and figures
- Base elevation: 7,988 feet (2,435 m)
- Summit elevation: 10,035 feet (3,059 m)
- Vertical rise: 2,047 feet (624 m)
- Total skiable area: 1,200 acres (4.9 km2)
- Lifts: 8 chairlifts: (3 detachable quad, 2 fixed-grip quad, 1 triple, 2 double)
- Beginner: 20% (Green Circle)
- Intermediate: 50% (Blue Square-more difficult)
- Advanced/Expert: 30% (Black Diamond-most difficult)
Named a Top 20 Family Ski Resort for two consecutive years, 2007-2008
- Moonbeam Express
- Apex Express
- Eagle Express
- Powderhorn Chair
- Honeycomb Chair
- Summit Chair
- Link Chair
- Sunrise Chair
- "Day Tickets – Winter – Salt Lake City, Utah Ski Resort". www.skisolitude.com. Retrieved 2009-01-26.[dead link]
- Grass, Ray (2005-02-10). "Ski resort of the week: Solitude". Deseret News (Salt Lake City). Retrieved 2009-02-05 – via findarticles.com.
- "History – Salt Lake City, Utah Ski Resort". www.skisolitude.com. Retrieved 2009-02-05.[dead link]
- Horowitz, Alan (1991-12-01). "Moguls behind the moguls: Utah's ski resort owners.". www.allbusiness.com. Retrieved 2009-02-05.
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