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February 23, 2006

Future Projects at Brian Head Resort

Some interesting reading about Brian Head's Master Development Plan. The MDP contains plans to build three additional lifts and increase the amount of Intermediate and Advanced area significantly.

The deficit in upper intermediate and advanced terrain at Brian Head was identified in the resort’s 1997 master development plan (MDP; Brian Head Resort 1997), which documented the fact that the resort does not have the range of terrain difficulty to meet the demands of skiers of all ability levels. This limits the recreational opportunity the resort provides.

The 1997 MDP addressed the lack of more difficult terrain through proposed development on Brian Head Peak. Subsequent experience with the peak terrain indicated several problems, particularly its unreliable snow coverage and its short, extremely steep upper slopes that shift abruptly to relatively flat terrain. In light of these shortcomings, alternatives to the Brian Head Peak terrain were investigated by the resort, resulting in the current proposal.

The new proposal creates the ski terrain in the pioneer cabin area:

The proposed MDP amendment includes the following five elements. The proposal is described in detail, and the location of these elements is shown, in Chapter 2 of this document. 1. Amending the special use permit to add 158 acres of National Forest System lands in the Pioneer Cabin area. 2. Developing new terrain and ski trails in the Pioneer Cabin expansion area instead of the Brian Head Peak area. 3. Constructing three lifts and associated support facilities to access the expansion area. 4. Amending the Forest Plan to change the Management Area designation of the expansion area. 5. Mitigating the loss of goshawk habitat due to ski area expansion by amending the Forest Plan to designate an off-site goshawk mitigation area.

The purpose is as follows:

The purpose of the proposed action is to provide high-quality recreation at Brian Head Resort, a designated Winter Sports Site, by developing an appropriate amount and mix of ski terrain for all ability levels and the infrastructure necessary to utilize this terrain. To achieve this purpose, there is a need to:
  • Develop steeper (greater than 25 percent), longer, more consistently sloped ski terrain.
  • Locate such terrain in an area with reliable snow conditions.
  • Construct the ski lifts necessary to access this terrain and the roads necessary to access the lifts for maintenance.
  • Provide necessary services for skiers using this terrain (e.g., ski patrol/first aid support, restrooms, and food service).

Interesting reading and it has the topo maps of the new area to match. If there is a downside of the Resort, it is lack of advanced skiing. As Brian Head addresses this need, the resort will only improve. As it stands now, for a mid-sized resort, Brian Head is perhaps my favorite place to ski with my family. But as discussed this weekend with Erich and Dan, the runs are often shorter than we would like and there is not enough black and maybe double black terrain.

Posted by Justin at February 23, 2006 09:38 AM