Top Ten Unheralded Extreme Ski Slopes

Beyond Black: The World's Top Ten Unheralded Steeps
By Peter Oliver & Alistair Wearmouth

Cradled in scenery that is distinctly Alpine in its setting, Snowbird pulls in the accolades for perfect snow, some of the country's best snowboarding, and steep, barreling lines. Little Cottonwood Canyon, home also to neighboring Alta, is blessed with snowfall that is twice that of most Colorado resorts. You may find yourself riding the 'Bird for up to 200 days of the year and thanking Brigham Young for pitching camp in this imposing frontier land.

Silver Fox is hardly hidden, carving its fearsome path almost directly below the Aerial Tram that ferries skiers to the summit of 11,000-foot Hidden Peak. But, because neighboring Great Scott and Upper Cirque are better known, and because the entrance to the Silver Fox is trickier, it's the better choice for sick-steep powder. Nail it, and you can be sure they'll be talking in hushed tones in the gondola above. One false turn and, well, they'll be praying for you somewhere in Utah.

Snowbird has offered a combined Alta Snowbird pass (for the bargain price of $66 per day), giving skiers unparalleled access to 4,700 acres of primo Utah powder. Spend your morning trying to nail the Fox, before decamping across Little Cottonwood Canyon on the Baldy Express, a high-speed quad that links Alta and Snowbird over the back of Hidden Peak. Once in Alta, make for the high ground of the black-diamond High Traverse, accessible via the Germania Lift, and the unmarked trails that spill from its spine. There you'll lose yourself, and maybe your skis, in amongst tight chutes, powder fields, and tree-lined glades.

Resort Facts

Web: www.snowbird.com

Phone: 1-801-742-2222

2004-05 lift pass: $59


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