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Matt Crawley
The Great Scott run at Snowbird is the steep area seen at the far right. Chip's Run can be seen at the bottom left.

Signature run — Great Scott

This is an expert run that begins where Hidden Peak starts to make its most dramatic fall. And it is a run skiers and snowboarders aspire to conquer. It is, reports resort officials, the "king" of the mountain. Access to the run is off the tram. Skiers and boarders then head north along the ridge to a point where the gentle slope stops and the steep run begins.

At that point skiers and boarders are met with a wall of rock outcroppings, some giving way to easy access to the snowfields below and some areas with a much greater drop, requiring a leap of faith.

After the first big step, the run drops into a chute that opens up into a wide-open bowl with a 45-degree slope, making it one of the steepest runs in North America.

No one is certain just how the run got its name. The story goes that in the beginning, someone stood at the top of the run, looked down and said, "Great Scott."

No. 1 — Chip's Run

This is a run that offers something to all ability levels, from intermediate to expert — open bowls, tree-lined trails, moguls, groomed meadows and hairpin turns.

It starts from the top of the tram at the 11,000-foot elevation of Hidden Peak off the new Peruvian lift. Access from the tram begins along the ridge but then takes a hard right into Peruvian Gulch, which is where the new lift ends. From there it's a 2.5-mile ride to the bottom over a variety of terrain with varying scenic areas and skiing conditions.

The intermediate run is kept well-groomed. But along the way there are opportunities to hit a couple of nice mogul patches.

The belief is that the run was named after a friend or associate of resort founders Dick Bass and Ted Johnson.

Top 10

Completing the top 10: Big Emma (2), Regulator Johnson (3), Junior's Powder Paradise (4), Silver Fox (5), The Cirque (6), Great Scott (7), Bassackwards (8), Chickadee (9) and Lupine Loop (10).


The resort opened in December 1971 with three lifts, the tram, the Snowbird Center and one lodge, the Lodge at Snowbird. Over the next three years, it would add three lodges.

In 1986, the resort renovated and expanded its main overnight center, the Cliff Lodge. In 1997, Snowbird entered the high-speed era by introducing the Gadzoom lift in Gad Valley.

The next big step was to expand its skiable acres in 1999 with the opening of Mineral Basin on the back side of Bald Mountain. In 2000, it opened the Baldy Express chairlift, which linked with Alta.

Today, skiers have access to both resorts and a combined 4,700 acres of skiing. Last season the resort opened its famous "skier tunnel" leading from Peruvian Gulch to Mineral Basin.

Snowbird Mountan Resort

Mountain Stats

Average Annual Snowfall — 500

Vertical Drop — 3,240

Base Elevation — 7,760

Top Elevation — 11,000

Skiable Acres — 2,500-plus

Beginner Terrain — 27 percent

Intermediate Terrain — 38 percent

Advanced Terrain — 35 percent

Miles to Major Airport — 29 miles

Number of Runs — 85

Lifts — 1 Tram, 4 high-speed quad, 6 double, 2 surface