Getting Better All the Time

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Chinook Helicopter

Feel that nip in the air? It's almost autumn—meaning another ski season is here, and that resorts are busy creating new terrain.

Skiing

takes a look at three resort improvements you can take advantage of this winter.

Breck Goes For Broke
In Summit County, Colorado, it's all about bragging rights. This winter, Loveland Ski Area will lose its claim to the tallest lift in North America when Breckenridge opens the Imperial Express SuperChair, topping out at the 12,840 summit of Peak 8. The new high-speed quad will access 400 acres of previously hike-to-only bowls and chutes, including Imperial Bowl, Art's Bowl, and Lake Chutes. In past seasons, the only way to access above-tree-line bowls was the T-Bar, a slow and painful tow up to Breck's best skiing. Now, the Imperial Express chair allow skiers to access Peak 8's above-treeline terrain with a ride time under three minutes. "We noticed a trend toward inbounds backcountry skiing and riding, says Katie Coakley, Breckenridge communications coordinator. "We can offer the feel of backcountry skiing without the same risks. Breck plans to have the new lift running by January 6.

Putting the Super in Superpipe
Park City, Utah beefs up its world-famous superpipe this year. The Eagle Superpipe, site of the 2002 Olympic halfpipe competition, is raising its walls from 15 feet to 22 feet thanks to a new oversize Zaugg Superpipe cutter. The 22-foot walls make the Eagle Superpipe the largest big ditch in North America. Look for it to be completed by December.

The mountain also plans to increase grooming on 15 of its black diamond runs in hopes of opening up more of the mountain to the advanced-intermediate skier. There'll be nothing but fresh corduroy on Silver King, Shaft, and Crescent, to name a few.

Attitash: Park 101
For East Coast jibbers, New Hampshire's Attitash ski area is adding a new beginner/intermediate terrain park to complement its larger Thad's Choice park. If you're not quite ready to grease a 15-foot rainbow rail, the new park's ride-on rails will help you develop your skills while minimizing ass-to-rail impacts. Small tabletops send you between but without the arms-flailing, rolling-up-the-windows big air. The new park—though not yet named—will also open earlier in the season than their big park or superpipe.

September 2005