During a road-trip across British Columbia in Canada last winter, I had the opportunity to test myself in Taynton Bowl, Panorama’s signature high alpine terrain offering some of Canada’s most legendary inbounds adventure skiing. On the same trip I learnt a little about the terrain expansion Panorama has recently announced for winter 2017/18.
Once described as heli-skiing without the need for a helicopter, Taynton Bowl is accessed off the aptly named ‘Summit Quad’. At 7,759ft this is the highest point on Panorama mountain and the 360 degree views are simply spectacular. We stopped for a bite to eat and a quick coffee at the Summit Hut (highly recommended for lunch too), took a few pics, had a look at the trail map, scoped out the lines in Taynton, and then set off on the hike round the boundary edge of the Taynton amphitheatre – looking down off that ridge it was guaranteed that Taynton Bowl would take no prisoners, and we knew it.
Continuing round the lip of Taynton in the far distance, we could see a massive area off the Goldie Plateau which looked eminently skiable, if more than a little challenging. Sadly it was out of bounds. We were heading for the furthest line inbounds, out to a newly opened trail called Jekyll & Hyde. After a bit of hiking and a bit of sliding we reached our goal – the snow was light and dry and the air was sparkling in the sunlight. All in all the perfect conditions for ripping it down an untouched trail! The skiing was amazing – nicely gladed trees, open faces, narrower sections, a bit of mandatory air and all on a base of fresh snow. Eventually you funnel out onto the Landing Strip – a nice blue cruiser which is perfect when the legs have taken a gravity grinder. After more than 5 kilometres you are back at Panorama’s main ski base and village – a massive drop of just over 4000ft. A simply amazing run. We jumped back on the lift and headed back up for a repeat session.
We spent all afternoon just dropping off that ridge into Taynton, where no two runs are the same – I have to admit I was totally hooked. One of the best ski days I’ve ever had. Our guides Marke and Jamie were great fun and are of course huge advocates for the terrain on offer in Panorama, not only the black diamond and double black diamond bowls but also the plentiful beginner, intermediate and family-friendly slopes. Marke dropped quite a few hints during the course of the day of bigger things to come for the destination, but refrained from sharing any more detail, instead dropping the occasional, mysterious comment – “do you ever feel as though you’re being watched?” A yeti? I wondered.
Just before our last run of the day, Mare was first in line and as he was about to drop off the lip into C-Spine he smiled back at me and said, ‘the Monster is watching you!’. That last run was the fastest of the day, and I must admit to having a wee peek behind me at times! We headed off for a well-earned beer at the excellent T-Bar. After a few rounds, Marke finally spilled the beans about ‘The Monster’. He said ‘they are releasing the beast for 2017-18’, smiled and set off home leaving us to ponder his words.
Several months later, the penny drops! Panorama has just announced an exciting new 127 acre extreme terrain expansion into Taynton Bowl adding a further 246 vertical feet to expand the ski area yet further round the Taynton ridge to include the Goldie Plateau area. This extra terrain will boost the longest trail to a staggering 6.5kms! This is phase #1 of a 500 acre expansion set to roll out over the next few years. The four brand new double-black diamond runs add steep and deep, wide-open lines with lengthy descents to an area already well-endowed with world-class terrain and snow retention.
As for the name of their new signature run? …‘The Monster’!
Panorama’s Mountain Stats for Winter 2017/18
- Vertical Drop: 1,300m/4,265ft. (previously: 1,225m/4,019ft)
- Top Elevation: 2,450m/8,038ft. at The Monster – summit 2,365 m/7,759 ft.
- 129 named trails (including the four new double black diamond runs)
- Longest Run: 6.5 km located in Taynton Bowl
- Resort Terrain: 20% beginner, 55% intermediate/advanced, 25% expert
- The new terrain will be controlled for avalanches, patrolled for help and swept by ski patrol at the end of the day.
- 2017/18 Ski Season dates: 8th December 2017 – 8th April 2018
To find out more about terrain expansion at Panorama Mountain Resort, simply get in touch with our team of Ski Specialists. You can call them on 0131 243 8097 or you can request a tailor-made quotation here.