[R413R, Solitude Resort] in Utah’s Big Cottonwood Canyon kicked off the state’s 2011/2012 winter season at 8:54 a.m. this morning, a full six minutes before neighboring Brighton Resort opened to the public. 

In traditional Solitude Resort fashion, the coveted first chair and opening day lift lines were a low-key event, even with a steady stream of cars rolling into the parking lot. But the empty slopes didn’t stop Solitude’s skiers and riders from indulging in Utah’s freshest corduroy and celebrating the first turns of another hopefully mind-blowing season in the Wasatch Mountains.

Solitude skier

A long stretch of corduroy meant mach speeds for this Solitude opening day skier. Photo by Matt Baydala.

With just 12 people waiting in line for the rope to drop on Moonbeam lift, the first three quad chairs let skiers and riders enjoy early-season solitude at Solitude. 

“There was a good cheer when we dropped the gates for first chair,” Solitude Marketing Manager Nick Como said. “Plenty of hooting and hollering.” 

Solitude skiers 2

Short lift lines made for plenty of wide open skiing at Solitude on opening day. Photo by Matt Baydala.

Solitude Resort, which opened with a 20-inch base, is currently operating Apex, Moonbeam and Link chairlifts, with access to four beginner and intermediate groomed runs. 

“The runs are consistent and not icy at all,” Como said. “We’ve got classic Utah groomed snow up here.” 

Eagle chair is expected to open by the weekend. Skiers and riders can carve up Solitude for $49 a day.

Solitude sign

Photo by Matt Baydala.