COLORADO – Skiers and snowboarders, rejoice! Keystone Ski Resort recently got the green light to move forward with plans on the Bergman and Erickson Bowl Lift projects. The high-speed chairlift will carry 2,400 people per hour to an area that can currently only be accessed by hiking or snowcat.
Once the project is complete, the lift will carry skiers and boarders to an altitude of 12,300 feet. It will be located in the center of the Bergman Bowl, with the bottom lift terminal sitting below tree line at about 11,300 feet.
The White River National Forest released a Draft Decision Notice outlining plans for construction and what the finished project will look like on the mountain.
As outlined in the project draft, the lift will service 555 acres of alpine terrain in Bergman and Erickson bowls. The project is also paving the way for a new ski patrol station, expanding the Outpost restaurant and adding 20 new acres of snowmaking.
From the top of the approved Bergman Bowl lift, people will be able to reach the Outpost Restaurant and existing terrain on North Peak. Guests with expert skiing ability will also have the option to access Erickson Bowl and ski down to the Outback Express or Wayback lift.
The approved Bergman Bowl terrain network will include 13 ski trails in Bergman Bowl and 3 ski trails in Erickson Bowl. According to the draft, it will consist of undeveloped terrain above tree line, gladed terrain, and traditional developed runs.
In addition to the 13 developed trails in Bergman Bowl, approximately 4 acres of glading will occur within two 100- to 150-foot corridors along the northern extent of the approved terrain network to add to the variety of terrain types in the area. A skier bridge or large culvert will be installed to allow skiers utilizing the northern extent of the approved network to cross a drainage and return to the bottom terminal of the approved Bergman Bowl lift.
The project draft also explains how the Forest Service worked closely with Keystone Resort to minimize the environmental impacts from construction.
“Low impact timber removal and construction methodologies would be utilized as much as possible,” the draft states. “Through a two year planning process and in coordination with Keystone, the project avoids all direct impacts to wetlands, including impacts to wetland fens or wetlands directly adjacent to fens.”
The project outlines plans to shift towers, access roads, and lift terminals from initial locations to reduce the impact on wetlands in the area. They also reduced plans for gliding by 19-acres and tree clearing by 10-acres.