If you have been skiing or riding Solitude all winter, you've likely noticed the eastern half of Main Street run has been fenced off, with odd snow shapes taking form all winter. If you haven't figured it out yet, Solitude is lucky enough to host the 2019 FIS World Championships. Back in 2017, Solitude hosted the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix/FIS World Cup to rave reviews, and competition has found its way back to Big Cottonwood Canyon. Whether you are a longtime Solitude local or coming in from out of town for the event, here’s a little bit on what to expect.
First Things First: Where is The Best Place To Park?
The best place to park is in Salt Lake City, at one of the several park-and-ride lots; from there, take the UTA ski bus up to the resort. Your route is a windy two-lane mountain road with limited parking once you arrive at the resort, so let the professionals do the driving and drop you at the competition's doorstep.
UTA Route 972 serves Big Cottonwood Canyon from Bingham Junction Station with stops at Midvale Fort Union Station, Fort Union Boulevard and Highland Drive, 6200 S Wasatch Park & Ride, and Big Cottonwood Canyon Park & Ride.
Check the schedule here: https://www.rideuta.com/Rider-Tools/Schedules-and-Maps/972-Bingham-Junction-Station-To-Solitude-Brighton.
Get there early — like several hours early — a great excuse to take a few runs before the comp. You’ll be wearing winter gear anyway, so may as well throw on the boards and take a few laps. Solitude is an unlimited destination on Ikon Pass, which not only allows lift access but also makes the bus ride to the resort free. (Ikon Pass bus access must be activated in advance at a Solitude ticket window.)
Where to Watch:
Main Street is the (wait for it...) main run down into Solitude Village, which is home to condos, hotels, and several great restaurants (more on that below). Shuttles circulate regularly between Moonbeam Center (location of limited public parking and the UTA bus stop) and Solitude Village, or you can ski between the two on easy and intermediate runs. There is a large viewing area at the bottom of the Main Street, and those with the desire to grab a better view are welcome to ski down alongside the fencing to see the action up close.
Cost to Watch the Action (from the base of Apex Express):
What Events Are At Solitude?
Friday, February 1
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Snowboardcross Finals
Saturday, February 2
1:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Skicross Finals
Sunday, February 3
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Team Snowboardcross Finals
And What Is Snowboardcross and Skicross?
I am going to copy and paste, right from the source (2019 FIS World Championships). Also check that site out for tons more info.
“Both Snowboardcross (SBX) and Skicross (SX) are events that involve multiple athletes simultaneously racing down a hill at the same time using speed and skill to make it over cambered turns, various types of jumps, berms, rollers, drops and steep and flat sections designed to challenge the riders' and skiers’ ability to stay in control while maintaining maximum speed. Both competitions will take place on the same course at Solitude Mountain Resort in 2019 with one obvious difference: Snowboardcross is with riders; Skicross is with skiers. The race is set up into qualifying rounds, with the top two athletes continuing onto the finals. Traditionally, Snowboardcross includes qualifying rounds of four or six racers at a time; Skicross limits qualifying rounds to four racers.”
I Still Have No Idea What That Means.
Show Me a Video. You got it! Here’s a course preview.
What Athletes Might I See?
Seven-time X-game Champion Nate Holland
Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Seth Wescott
Olympic Silver Medalist Lindsey Jacobellis
Hagan Kearney and Nick Baumgartner
Solitude Athlete Whitney Gardner
Ok, I am Hooked. Where Are Other Events Held?
Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort are also hosting events for the 2019 FIS World Championships. We are expecting over 1,300 teams and athletes from more than 40 countries for 10 days of winter action sports events in Utah for this event.
Where to Eat After The Event:
I thought you would never ask. Solitude has several fantastic options, so no matter what you are looking for, you’ll be able to find it on and off the mountain.
St. Bernard's is offering 2-for-1 dinner with a complimentary s’mores bar from Wednesday through Sunday of World Championships week! Winner of the 2018 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, St. Bernard's features a selection of mountain family favorites in a casual and comfortable buffet-style setting.
Pizza and ice cream can be found at the Stone Haus Pizzeria and Creamery in Solitude Village.
Honeycomb Grill is great for families and large groups of friends, serving dynamic and contemporary American cuisine.
The Thirsty Squirrel, the best après ski bar in the world in my biased opinion, is a great place to grab a few cold ones, a glass of wine, or a cocktail from the full bar. Sunday, February 3 is Super Bowl Sunday, and the Squirrel is a great place to catch the game.
Check out all the Solitude Village dining options here, and note that Last Chance Lodge will be closed for competition operations from January 27 through February 6.
Moonbeam Lodge is a classic ski lodge with the usual choices. You can’t go wrong here, and you’ll be surprised by the quality and freshness of Solitude’s on-mountain food options.
However, my favorite is the Roundhouse, which is located mid-mountain (literally right above the event course). The Himalayan menu is the best ski area food experience in the canyon.
What Can I Bring With Me?
Literally, bring only what you absolutely need. Also, it has been strongly suggested not to bring bags of any sort. Not only will you have to deal with a longer, slower security line to have your bag checked, it may not be allowed in at all. It’s a hassle, so leave it at home.
It should go without saying, but do not bring any of the following: knives, weapons, laser pointers, pets, illegal drugs, or drones. Everyone will be searched and screened in order to get into the event, so plan ahead in your arrival time and what you choose to bring — or not bring.
What To Wear, What To Wear?
I dress as if I were skiing or boarding - ski pants, ski jacket, warm hat, gloves. You know the drill, but dress warmer than you think you will need to. Standing stationary makes it tough to stay warm. I have usually worn an extra layer or two than I would for the same conditions as if I were skiing and have been comfortable for a few hours.
Have fun, and go USA!
And don’t forget to hashtag and tag up: