Comments Off

Brighton — Mountain layout

Mountain Layout—Skiing

Brighton regulars refer to the “Majestic” side, served by the Majestic and other chairs, and the “Millicent” side, served by the Millicent and Evergreen chairs. Keep in mind that most runs are marked easier than they actually are, compared to other ski areas you may be used to, and many of the runs are relatively short.

Heres a larger, more detailed trail map.

Expert, Advanced: Nearly forty percent of Brighton is rated advanced or expert. The major portions of that terrain are found on the far side of skiers right (Majestic) and skiers left (Millicent) at higher elevations.

Millicent has less intermediate-level skier/rider traffic. The area holds some terrific inbounds bowl and cliff skiing, including some smaller natural features perfect for those who are not overly daring or who are new to backcountry-style sliding. Steep open lines are found on Scree Slope and Lone Pine. Precipitous pitches can also be found on Spaghetti, while Captain Hook presents sharp pitch amongst trees.

The Cliff Area offers genuine out-of-bounds territory thats readily accessed from Millicent. But, even though its within eyeshot of the marked pistes, it pays to go in with someone who knows the territory.

The Millicent chair itself, it seems only fair to note, has no safety bar and moves slowly. We who have vertigo issues were extremely uncomfortable when it traversed—and stopped over—the 200-foot drop about two-thirds of the way up.

The Majestic side, too, offers excellent challenges, highlighted by a short, heart-stopping run called Hard Coin off the Snake Creek Express. The trees are sometimes so thick you can hardly pick a line. Its exhilarating. A bit of hiking leads to a nice reward at the gladed Snake Bowl.

From the Great Western Express quad, four sheer, open-sloped challenges can be accessed: Endless Winter, Reins Run, Clarks Roost and True Grit; each is a bit shorter than the last, but all get the legs pumping.

Some tree-skier favorites: Sawbuck and the trees between it plus Doyles Dive, both off the Snake Creek Express; from the Crest Express Chair, the trees off skiers left of Wren Hollow (don go too low, or youll have to hike out of Cliff Area) and off Pacific Highway, just past Tantamount; from the Great Western Express quad, the glades between trails (scope it out from the lift) and those just outside the boundary line (careful: cliffs).

Brighton maintains an open-boundaries policy, allowing experts to ski/ride the backcountry as they wish. Just don go alone, carry the appropriate equipment (minimally a beacon, probe and shovel), ask about current avalanche conditions and make sure someone knows where youve gone.

Advanced sliders are well-served, too. The Millicent and Evergreen chairs access fine adventures on Devils Dip, Chute 2, Boll Weevil, Exhibition and a long gallivant down Evergreen. On the Majestic side, the Great Western quad accesses Elk Park, which connects to Aspen Glo, Golden Needles, Silver Spur Desperado and Elk Park Ride, creating long, delightfully textured scrambles that mostly finish with generous intermediate cruises to the bottom. For moguls, try RockinR.




Intermediate: Intermediates have the run of practically the whole area. The Majestic side has trails with gentler pitches while the Millicent side is a bit steeper and more wide-open.

On the Majestic side, Western Trail, off the Great Western quad, has fabulous views. Thor, off Snake Creek Express, is a rolling and rollicking trail that gets you whooping and hollering. Pioneer, off Snake Creek, is a great cruiser. The Elk Park Ridge run descends 1,745 feet, summit to base, from the Great Western chair. The lower section is single-diamond because once you reach the end of the ridge, youll have ungroomed snow. If you don like skiing the ungroomed, branch off at Golden Needle for the rest of the way down.

If you
e interested in testing out the trees, try any of the woods near the bottom of the mountain such as those off Hawkeye and Scout. Once you get comfortable there, dip in and out of the woods wherever it looks fun.

On the Millicent side, Backdoor, Christy Bowl and Perris Bowl are all sure to put a smile on your face.






Beginner, First-timer: From the Brighton Center base, good beginner runs like Mary Back and Lost Maid descend from the Majestic chair. From the top of the Majestic, make your way over to the Snake Creek Express which goes to the top of Preston Peak. Beginners should keep an eye out so they don get onto an intermediate trail: Greens and blues do a lot of intertwining here. Grooming, which is usually seamless, can make all the difference.

Brighton has a stellar reputation as the place where Utah skiers learn. One of the reasons is that skiers 10 and younger ski free and Utah families tend to be large in number. The Explorer chair serves two trails on a gentle slope apart from general traffic and is a great area for first-timers and beginners as well. Best for beginners to stay away from the Great Western Express and Millicent chairs, as they serve mostly black and double blacks with no easy way down. Theres a green run down from the Evergreen chair, Main Street but this two-seater is only open on the weekend. There is a “magic carpet” lift for the ski school.