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Keystone resort upgrade brings industry-first ‘green’ ski and snowboard run to high alpine terrain, lifts to 555 new acres

Keystone made a big upgrade to high alpine terrain

Skiing at Bergman Bowl Keystone
Vail Resorts

Learning to ski or snowboard is one of life’s finest thrills. The sensations of sliding on snow, learning to turn, and taking in the mountains start you on a lifetime of adventure. But while you hone your skills, you’re confined to mundane “green circle” runs. That can get boring.

On the other hand, expert skiers and riders can venture into high alpine terrain, where the above treeline environment can feel like another planet. Vast snowy expanses, cliff bands, and stunning views take the experience to another level. It’s pure mountain magic.

But now, Keystone ski resort welcomes all skill levels into the high alpine, with its new Bergman Bowl Project. Providing lift access to previously hike-only/snowcat terrain, the project lets everyone experience true big-mountain skiing. Let’s take a closer look at this significant upgrade.

Peaks above Bergman Bowl Keystone
Vail Resorts

Why Keystone’s Bergman Bowl project is a big deal for novice skiers and riders

Taking a ski trip to the Rocky Mountains is special. Why? It’s all about the elevation. With many resort base elevations around 10,000 feet (or more), you get to experience the grandeur of a big mountain environment. That’s especially true when you venture above treeline, where the high alpine environment feels like another world. Up to now, that’s been an expert-only foray. But the Keystone Bergman Bowl Project lets everyone get in on the fun, with lift access to wide-open, mellow runs. Here are the details.

The Bergman Express high-speed 6-passenger chair accesses 555 acres of terrain across Bergman and Erickson Bowls. That includes 16 trails — 13 in Bergman Bowl and 3 in Erickson Bowl. At the top, the terrain goes from open bowl expanses to a tree-run slalom course, with easy-going pitches letting you cruise and enjoy. 

Keystone’s base elevation is 9,280 feet. At the top of the Bergman Express, you’re among the clouds at 12,300 feet. With the sun and sky providing a 360-degree panorama, you can enjoy big mountain skiing and riding, no matter your ability level. 

At the lift exit, novices can opt for “Ten Mile,” a green circle off to the skier’s left. Below the lift, a variety of blue squares await — like “Gray’s” and “Torrey’s” — that start in a bowl, then morph into glades. For a challenge, a sharp turn to the left or right leads to black diamonds like “Silverheels” and “Revolution.”

Powder day at Bergman Bowl Keystone
Vail Resorts

How to access the Bergman Express lift

Keystone resort has a detailed trail map to plan your high-country adventure. For the latest edition, the legendary James Niehues hands over the reins to his protege, Rad Smith. With meticulous brush strokes, the map helps you plan and navigate your mountain adventure. To access the Bergman Express, you have ample options.

From the top of the Outpost gondola, Santiago Express chair, and Wayback chair, you can take “Thorne” — a traversing blue square — to the base of Bergman Express. Or, you can take the Outback Express chair, take in some black diamond terrain, and ride across the mountain to the lift gate. 

Once at the top of Bergman Express, you have a snow-covered canvas up ahead, letting you paint turns as you please. With such abundant terrain, you can pick new lines all day, cruise or charge, and soak up the Rocky Mountains. And since the new lift accesses green circles, blue squares, and black diamonds, all your friends and family can join in.

Keystone’s new Bergman Express lift lets all ability levels experience big mountain skiing and snowboarding. Key to that are mellow runs that allow novices to keep learning as they drop in atop the Rocky Mountains. No longer do groups have to split up according to skill — now everyone can stick together, take photos, and make memories. The Bergman Express Project makes the high alpine accessible for all. 

Mark Reif
Mark Reif is a writer from Stowe, Vermont. During the winter, he works as a snowboard coach and rides more than 100 days. The…
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