“It’s going to be a game-changer. Keystone is the hidden gem for advanced skiers and riders, but this new terrain will also allow families and all guests to get above the tree line without hiking. I think it will completely change how our guests, especially hard-charging locals, and Front Range residents, ski and ride the mountain.”– Chris Sorensen, Vice President and General Manager of Keystone Resort.
One of the most exciting additions to Vail Resorts Epic Lift Upgrade will be the introduction of lift-serviced skiing to the Bergman Bowl. 5280 talked with Keystone Resort to discuss the new lift and how this will affect the skier experience. The Bergman Bowl is currently only open to snowcat tours or a 1.5-mile hike from North Peak. During the offseason, Keystone will install a high-speed six-pack in the bowl that will travel 1000 vertical feet.
Sixteen new trails and 555 acres of skiable terrain will now be lift accessible, “including mostly blues, one black, and two green trails in Bergman Bowl, as well as three black runs in Erickson Bowl.” An interesting comparison to their prior trail maps shows most of Bergman Bowls terrain downgraded from black diamonds to intermediate trails, likely because they will be patrolled and groomed more often because of it now being lift serviced. The lift will also help make hiking to the Independence Bowl easier, with it now being only a 30-45 minute boot pack. The expansion will also add a new ski patrol building and snowmaking infrastructure.
In terms of their other offseason plans, The Outback Restaurant will also be expanded by 6000 square feet, adding 300 new indoor seats. They will also expand The Outbacks deck, adding 75 outdoor seats. While some may be disappointed that one of the best powder spots will now be tracked out much quicker, it will help reduce crowds in their popular Outback terrain and add some new lift service bowl skiing to the Keystone experience.