COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah (ABC4) – The 2021/2022 ski season is alive in the mountains and Utahns are flocking through the canyons to catch the fresh runs on opening day at Solitude. Whether it’s a day off from work or spending quality time with the family skiers and snowboarders say they’re pumped to hit the slopes.
“It’s good to get good laps in quick laps in on the lift,” says Annie Christensen, an avid skier of Sugarhouse.
Utah is known for some of the greatest snow on earth when it happens to stick. Solitude is just one of the many resorts that had to postpone opening day this year due to the lack of precipitation during the prior months.
Officials at Solitude say the mountain was originally slated to open on Friday, November 19th but decided to push that day back to make sure there was enough snow. But luckily were able to open just ahead of the holiday when many people have family in town.
Sara Huey, communications manager at Solitude tells ABC4 “people are really hungry for those outdoor experiences of both exercising and gathering with friends that they might not feel comfortable with being indoors with necessarily.”
According to their social media, the resort spent the better part of last weekend making final preparations for the opening day like grooming the mountain with man-made snow.
“By the middle of last week by pushing to today we’d be able to make snow and open the lifts we have open,” explains Huey.
Solitude welcomed their first-day guests to the resort with donuts, live music, as well as the Moonbeam and Link lifts open for powder runs.
Brandee McCarthee, along with her family is visiting from Louisiana and says today’s opening came at a perfect time to enjoy Utah’s snow and a first-time experience at learning to ski.
“My brother and his wife ski but it’s been about 15-years so they’re rookies too,” says McCarthee.
But even for the so-called rookies, professional skiers, or anyone just out for a fun day at the mountain, visitors say they plan to make most of the 2021/22 ski season.
“I’m going to teach my stepdaughter to snowboard this year, she’s been a skier forever, but she suddenly decided she wanted to snowboard,” says Annie Christensen of Sugarhouse.
Solitude says they’ve revamped their COVID-19 protocols, a mask is not needed outside on the lifts but for those inside a mask is required unless you’re seating at a table eating or drinking. They also advise anyone heading to the resort to check conditions beforehand.