Yesterday, December 14th, marked the opening day of the 2011/2012 season for this little gem. You may find yourself wondering, where the heck is SolVista? Well, let us tell you about SolVista. Fifteen miles NW of Winter Park, off Highway 40, is where you will find this tucked away, shredder’s dream. This mountain is set up for families, and although it is very family friendly, they have a dedicated and talented park crew that fills this mountain with a large variety of features. On opening day, with only 109 skiers/riders making their way up the 5 minute, high-speed quad, they still pulled off not one, not two, but three terrain parks with everything from a wall ride, a ginormous “tank”, to a hidden line of log features tucked away in the trees. Some pretty gnarly stuff too. I was told that their jump line last year included a 45 foot finale – really? On a family mountain? But yes, this is true.
We got to the base at 8:15 am, thinking that without a doubt we would get the first chair of the season. WRONG! We were beat to the punch by a 5 year old boy playing hooky from kindergarten to ski with his grandma and grandpa. As much as I wanted to lure him away with candy, and snake that first chair, I had a feeling that candy was not as interesting to this little guy as shredding down the mountain was. Talk about living the good life.
As much as we all love standing in lines and waiting to crush, be wary before making your way over here because lines are not something commonly seen - UNLESS, you are thinking about finding sick lines through the multitude of terrain parks with no one in your way, cutting you off, or blocking a feature with their inconsideration. There were maybe 7 kids sessioning the park throughout the day yesterday and although they were the lone soldiers, they were killing it. I bet it is a lot easier to polish your skills in the park when there is no one getting in your way or making you wait to hit a feature or jump.
The team here at Snowboard Colorado cannot wait to shred SolVista on a powder day. Thanks to the current beetle kill phenomenon, there are 11 new acres of freshly gladed terrain that is prime for the picking come some fresh snow. Make sure to watch out for the speed traps when you get off I-70 in Empire – it goes from a quick 55 to 45 to 35, then the pigs post up and wait for you to cruise by. Cruise through Berthoud and ride uninterrupted all day long through the trees and finish each run with a ride through the Ballroom park, visible for all who are cozy in the lodge, on the lift and less commonly, standing in any one of the lift lines. Talk about Hollywoooood.
If you are interested in checking out the SolVista jib populous without breaking the bank, know that starting on January 7th they host night riding from 5-8 every Saturday for only $12. With this kind of a deal, there is no reason that you should not check SolVista off your bucket list of Colorado mountains.
Day passes range from $56-$61 for adults and $38-$43 for juniors, and it is free on your birthday.