Winter Adventure Guide: Never-ending powder at PCMR
Whether skiing or snowboarding is your passion, it’s hard to imagine a better destination than Park City Mountain Resort. It’s the mountain that keeps on giving, boasting more than 7,300 skiable acres and 348 trails. If untouched corduroy is your thing, 120 of those trails are groomed nightly. You’ll spend more of your time cruising down the mountain than at most other resorts, too, with 3,200 feet of vertical rise.
Still not convinced? How about the 17 mountain peaks to conquer? Or the 41 lifts to keep everyone moving and get you uphill as quickly as possible so you can go downhill as quickly as possible. Maybe landing gnarly tricks is your deal — the resort’s multiple terrain parks have you covered.
In short, PCMR is a one-stop destination for every kind of on-mountain fun. If you can only go to one resort, this should be near the top of the list.
Now that you’re good and hyped up, it’s time to come back down to Earth a little and acknowledge the realities of skiing during a global pandemic. To do so safely — for the patrons and the staff that works so hard to ensure a great time — new regulations have been put in place. The full list of COVID-19 safety measures can be viewed at parkcitymountain.com, but some of the notable changes include:
• face coverings: Guests and employees are required to wear face coverings at all times, which includes loading and riding in chairlifts; when inside all buildings; and during all ski and snowboard lessons. No one will be permitted on the mountain without a face covering. One exception? While dining, masks may be removed.
• physical distancing: To maintain physical distancing on chairlifts the resort will only be seating related parties (guests skiing or riding together), or two singles on opposite sides of a four-person lift.
• dining: Food options at on-mountain, quick-service restaurants will be more limited this season, with a scaled-down menu of ready-to-go hot and cold options and no ability for any custom or special orders. The resort will space tables in seating areas, as well, to allow for physical distancing while eating. Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting will take place daily, and the resort will maintain as much outdoor seating as possible. Officials at PCMR are encouraging guests to help ease the lunch rush by eating earlier or later. The resort is also encouraging guests to bring water, snacks and other food with them since eating at one of its restaurants will not be as easy as in previous years.
By far the biggest change this season will be PCMR’s new reservation system for Epic Pass holders. For the first time, access to the mountain will be metered to better allow for social distancing between guests.
The resort will also limit lift ticket sales to prioritize pass holder access, so if you plan to ski PCMR often, this year more than ever it makes
sense to buy a season pass. Officials at the resort say they don’t anticipate the reservation system getting in the way of a good time. Based on their data, they expect to be able to accommodate everyone who wants to get on the mountain for the vast majority of days.
Epic Pass holders will have priority access to reservation days, as well. Single-day tickets will be available, but take note: The resort is not selling walk-up tickets this season. Tickets must be purchased online in advance and guests must have a reservation to access the mountain.
Ski and snowboard school
If you’re new to skiing or snowboarding, or even if it’s just been a while, do yourself a favor, avoid some unnecessary bruises and book a lesson. At PCMR, lessons can be had privately or as part of a group, and there are lots of options for what kind of lesson to take. Adults, teens and children can book lessons with other people their age, and further, you can book half-day or full-day lessons and specify your current skill level. Lessons must be booked online ahead of time this season, no walk-ups allowed.
For more details visit parkcitymountain.com.
One resort, two base areas
The first decision you’ll have to make when visiting Park City Mountain Resort is where to begin. There are two base areas at PCMR: Park City Mountain Village and Canyons Village, though they are connected by the high-speed Quicksilver Gondola, so the whole mountain is yours to explore no matter where you start your day.
One thing to consider is your skill level. If you’re just starting out, you’ll want to make your way to the Park City side of the mountain. It has more green terrain to practice on, and the First Time lift will give you the opportunity to progress quickly. Those who feel comfortable with intermediate and expert terrain can do no wrong on either side of the mountain.
One advantage Canyons Village has, however, is its relative proximity to the Salt Lake Valley. If you’re coming up from Salt Lake and want to be on the snow as quickly as possible, head straight to Canyons.
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