by: anonymous_user - 2nd January 2006

  • 4
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Expert
  • All-Mtn. Terrain
  • Family Friendly
  • Aprés Ski
  • Terrain Park
  • Overall Value

Full review

Can you say "gimmick?" That's what I call Solitude's pass system. The tickets have RFID chips in them that allow you to walk through gates to the lifts, removing the need to wait for a lifty to check your pass. Once you figure out where you need to wave your pass (it's not the shiny metal plates, it's the logoed white areas), you may try two or three times to wave your pass and get the gate to open. There are no audible noises to let you know when you successfully wave your pass, just a light that you may not see if you are struggling to wave your arm (where your pass may be). If you miss your window to get through the gate, you have to wait a minute (60 second, literally) for it to reset, or have the lifty come over and wave his pass to open the gate for you. This poses another problem:The pass system at Solitude keeps track of your vertical feet skied, which sounds cool enough, but comes with some caveats. First, if you struggle with your pass at the lift gates (which you will at least once) and have the lifty open the gate for you (or if you have to duck the ropes, with the lifty's approval), you lose the vertical feet you just skied. Secondly, this is all contingent upon whether or not you pay the extra $5 for the track-your-vertical pass. Worth it? Not if it's only going to track your vertical half the time.Does this pass system reduce lift lines? Maybe, if it worked properly. But since it doesn't, the lines still exist, and maybe even backed up more as people lock out a gate when they miss their green light. If Solitude can clean up the pass system, then lift lines will literally be a thing of the past here.Solitude is a great spot for beginner and intermediate skiers, with excellent grooming capabilities and challenging begginer- to intermediate runs. But Honeycomb Canyon is where you can have the most fun. You can find fresh, untracked snow back here days after a dump. Natural features make this area so much fun to play in, it's easy to spend the entire time back here. Take the quicker-than-most-lifts-at-Solitude Sunrise chair to the top, then ski the cat back to the Summit Two-Person lift. Put the bar down if you are afraid of heights (like me!) as you pass over heights of 80 feet or more. Indulge in the beautiful limestone and granite peaks, and watch skiers from neighboring Brighton drop chutes so steep you can't help but cringe. At the top of Summit Chair, get off and go to skier's left through the gate, and either shoot down the middle of Honeycomb on the groomed cat (which still presents challenges,) or ski the traverse as far as you want to drop into a treed bowl with plenty of terrain to enterain anyone.Solitude's pass system may not be the greatest thing (yet), but the crowdedness is minimal, especially if you reach back into Honeycomb Canyon. I think Solitude only lets a fixed amount of passes go a day, so the crowdedness of the slopes tends to be minimal, even on the groomers. Between Solitude and Brighton, you have some terrific skiing. Next time I go, I'm going to get the Sol-Bright pass and ski both resorts. Completely worth it. Also, if it snows during the week, hit these two resorts stat. You'll be making first tracks all over, guaranteed.
Was this helpful? 0 0 Report Abuse

Advertisement

Advertisement