East Ridge Expansion
2020/21 Season Update
The global pandemic crisis has unfortunately forced us to trim back our trail maintenance crew by 70% this summer, but the crew we have has been busy further widening Vortex, one of five new runs that came online last season.
Raise your hand if you skied Que Pasa last season and loved it!?
With the tall old-growth pines on East Ridge, further widening the trails has dramatically helped them capture more snow, while still maintaining minimal impact and a healthy forest.
Also, the forest service was here a few weeks ago and we are awaiting more of the necessary approvals.
But of course the biggest hurdle in all of this is financing the new lift in a way that does not have a big impact on our lift ticket and season pass prices. At the moment, all of our focus is on seeing our company through this global pandemic crisis, while also taking all steps we can to ensure the health and safety of our guests, staff, and community. Financial planning for the new lift is on hold.
We hope that by next spring the pandemic crisis is behind us, and we can focus our attention back on future capital improvements at Sunlight. Thanks for your support!
December 16, 2019 – Sunlight Mountain Resort announced a three-phase $4 million expansion plan that will add a new lift to its East Ridge expert terrain plus nearly 100 acres of additional skiable terrain.
This summer trail maintenance crews completed Phase 1 of the project that included extensive glade work to the ski area's existing Aligator Alleys, Deception, Defiance, and Perry's Plunge. More trees were cleared below Midland Traverse adding approximately 500 vertical feet of descent to Lower Defiance, and Lower Deception. In all five new hike-out runs will be created in Phase 1 of the project. Other new runs include Cedar Glade, Vortex, and Defiance Lift Line, although the last name has not been completely settled on.
Phase 2 of Sunlight's expansion into East Ridge will commence next summer, and involves glading nearly 100 additional acres of forest to the east of Perry's Plunge that currently marks Sunlight's eastern-mostboundary. Midland Traverse will be expanded to the East, and more runs will be added below Midland Traverse ending just above Four Mile Creek.
The loading station for the new East Ridge lift will be on the south side of Four Mile Creek near the intersection of Four Mile Road and Forest Road 300. The top unloading station will placed above Beaujolais and Rebel, providing access to beginner, intermediate, and expert runs west of East Ridge.
The new terrain, located on private land, will be hike-out only until Phase 3 of the project is complete. Trees will also be cleared to make way for a new fixed-grip quad lift that will be installed in Phase 3.
This is a multi-year effort, and while glading work is already underway, we are in the very early stages of a process that includes building a capital fund, negotiating additional financing, permitting processes with the county and Forest Service, mapping, planning, and shopping for lifts. Sunlight's last expansion happened in 1993 with the addition of East Ridge that added more than a dozen new black and double-black expert runs. The new East Ridge Expansion will add more intermediate and advanced terrain to the east, and also lengthen existing runs further downhill near Four Mile Creek.
We're excited to expand skiing and riding on the already legendary East Ridge, these new runs mean our local skiers and riders have even more powder to explore and exploit, and it's all just one chairlift away and conveniently located close to home.