Forest Service approves new lift and trails in Keystone Resort’s Bergman Bowl
The U.S. Forest Service announced Feb. 19 that it had approved Keystone Resort’s plan to bring lift-served skiing to Bergman Bowl.
The project includes a new detachable chairlift and ski patrol hut in Bergman Bowl along with 13 new trails. The lift, which will serve about 555 acres of terrain, is expected to have a capacity of about 2,400 people per hour, according to a report by the Forest Service. There also will be three new trails and gladed terrain cut in Erickson Bowl.
The new trails will include beginner and intermediate terrain in an area that is not currently served by a lift and consists only of black terrain.
“Our decision provides expanded recreational opportunities within Keystone’s existing permitted area,” acting Dillon District Ranger Bobbi Filbert said in a news release announcing the decision. “After hearing from the public last spring, we made a number of changes to the original proposal to reduce impacts to sensitive resources, including avoiding wetlands and reducing the amount of tree cutting.”
The collection of new trails would be located on Bergman Bowl terrain that, since opening in 2003, has been accessible only by hiking or paid snowcat. The cat track would turn into the location of the primary green beginner run.
The Forest Service reports about 25-50 skiers and snowboarders hike into Bergman Bowl each day while the Keystone Adventure Tours snowcat service typically shuttles 400-600 guests into Bergman and Erickson bowls each week when open, though the service is operating under limited capacity this season.
The snowcat service will continue in Bergman and Erickson bowls until the completion of the project, according to the Forest Service.
The project also includes additional snowmaking infrastructure on 20 acres in the Bergman Bowl area. The additional snowmaking is expected to increase Keystone’s average annual water withdrawals by about 33 acre feet, according to the report.
The Outpost Restaurant would also be expanded as part of the project, adding an additional 6,000 square feet of space for seating and restrooms. The project is expected to add about 300 seats indoors and 75 outdoors, according to the report.
White River National Forest supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams wrote in a letter last spring that the resort wants to execute the lift-served expansion in order to reduce overcrowding by redistributing skiers from the resort’s front-side terrain.
The project is not yet funded by Vail Resorts, which previously announced it is deferring all plans for new chairlifts because of financial impacts related to the pandemic.
Keystone spokesperson Loryn Roberson confirmed that there is no specific timeline for the project.
Summit Daily sports and outdoors editor Antonio Olivero contributed to this report.
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