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Red Mtn. — Mountain layout

The ski area consists of three mountains: Red Mountain, an extinct volcano and the original site of the ski area, Granite Mountain, which includes the Paradise area and mid-mountain lodge, and, for the 2012-13 season, Red Mountain Resort is expanding it’s skiable terrain by opening adjacent Grey Mountain, also volcano-shaped. All three peaks offer 360 degrees of skiing terrain. Although Grey Mountain is accessible off the summit of Granite Mountain with a 20 minute skin or snowshoe on the up-track, for the 2012-13 season, Red will also be shuttling skiers in a snowmobile-bus. Referred to as “slack country” terrain, this offers easy ski-out, back to Red’s lift-served terrain. A Grey Mountain quad chair will be installed summer of 2013. Red Mountain now boasts 2,919 vertical.

The ski area is exceptional for advanced-intermediates to experts. Red is, after all, where Olympic Gold Medallist Nancy Green and dozens of other Canadian Olympians did their training. Solid intermediates will be pushed to their limits. Lower-intermediates and beginners may be discouraged by the lack of gentle slopes, but adventurous souls will thrive here. Snow Hosts give free guided tours of the mountain every day at 9 a.m. and noon leaving from the Welcome Center.


Expert, Advanced: Tree skiing and riding is the big draw here.Be sure to travel in pairs through the woods. Red has a few short and steep runs at the top. Don’t forget to check out the gladed area of widely spaced trees between Sally’s Alley and War Eagle. Experts will want to head to Granite and the newly opened Grey Mountain for fabulous tree skiing, chutes, bowls, steeps and cliff bands. The tight and steep trees of both Short Squaw and Beer Belly dump into hidden steep bowls. The Powder Fields spread across the front of the mountain, with ledges and cliffs. For some unnamed woods that are probably known primarily by locals, try the trees off Ruby Tuesday, Gambler Towers, the lower part of Boardwalk near Paradise Lodge and anywhere off Southside Road before reaching the roped-off area at Ledges Traverse.Bump enthusiasts can test skills on the long and unforgiving Slides, which soften up nicely in the sun but can be littered with boulders (near the bottom of Buffalo Ridge, you’ll need to tuck straight up the ridge ahead of you to get here). Centre Star is another favorite for moguls.

Intermediates: On Red, take in the views overlooking town as you wind down Sally’s Alley or let ‘em rip down Face of Red and Back Trail.This is a marvelous resort for learning to ski and ride in the woods. The trees are evergreens with plenty of space in between them. On Granite, head to the Paradise Chair. Groomed runs such as Southern Belle, Southern Comfort, and Gambler—among others—let you cruise and take a dip into the trees. Mini Bowls and Meadows have widely spaced trees. Drop in anywhere after passing Southern Comfort. Ruby Tuesday and Gambler Towers are single-black runs, but groomed, so advanced-intermediates should have no problem navigating down them. Maggie’s Farm is the next step for tree skiers and riders after you’ve become comfortable in the woods.

Beginner,First-timer: The beginner area is nicely separated from the rest of the mountain. Stick to the T-bar or the Silverlode triple chair for good spots to practice the basics. Confident beginners should ride to the top of Granite and cruise the 4.5-mile Long Squaw, which winds around the mountain and affords staggering views. The beginner trails in the Paradise area are quite nice, but it’s a long cat track returning to the base. You might want to end your day early to avoid the rush back when the lifts close. Avoid Red, except to use the T-bar—there’s no easy way down from the top of this peak. Terrain for those shifting from beginner to intermediate is limited.Plenty of skiers and riders learn here. A moving carpet at the base area near the T-bar serves the learning terrain. The area is fenced off from faster skiers and riders. Once you’re comfortable linking turns, try the Silverlode triple and T-bar.