Mount Washington Alpine Resort on Vancouver Island ripped up their beginner area to install new lifts and reconfigured slopes. The project, tabbed at $3 million, will improve the learning experience for beginners.

"We're trying to create one of the easiest places to learn to ski and snowboard," Spokesperson Brent Curtain said. "When we evaluated where we were going, this was on top of our list—to build and extend our skier base."

This summer, the resort tore out the old lifts in the beginner area, known as the Green Zone. "Deconstruction started right at the end of last winter. We had to dig through lots of snow to do it," Curtain said.

The resort removed three lifts, including a tough-to-load old fixed grip Green Chair that was built in 1979. The handle tow and platter lift were also removed.

Mt Washington carpet construction
Magic Carpet installation is on raised dikes to accommodate deep snowfall. Photo Courtesy of Mount Washington Alpine Resort.

Four new Magic Carpets will now service the beginner slopes. "It'll be so much easier for beginners, just like getting on a moving walkway at the airport," Curtain said.

The carpets are built on raised dikes about five feet off the ground to accommodate the 11 meters (36 feet) of annual snowfall that Mount Washington sees. The last five years have seen annual snowfalls above that.

Each carpet will be covered to protect riders and shed snow. "The snow was always a concern for us, and we'll have to keep farming snow away from the canopies," Curtain said.

Mt Washington slope recontouring

Slopes have been recontoured for easier learning. Photo Courtesy of Mount Washington Alpine Resort.

The resort also recontoured the beginner slopes to provide a better learning environment. The bulldozer work straightened out the fall line and eliminated off-camber slopes. Sawyers removed small tree islands, and tree thinning opened up adjacent forests.

"Now getting up is easy with the Magic Carpets, and getting down is easy with the recontoured slope," Curtain said.