you to the top of Mount Rosa at 2,300 meters in 15 to 20 minutes. The final Zapovednyy
Les gondola scales a terrifying ridgeline to the 7,500-foot level, where you can drop into a
craggy couloir or traverse a track to wide-open bowls, all coursing down the 5,000 feet of
vertical to the finish of the alpine downhill.
Rosa Khutor is one of a host of resorts — sadly, not linked together. The original resort,
Alpika Service, built in 1993, is a short distance southeast (but presently closed for reno-
vation). Farther down the ridge, Gornaya Karusel is seeing enormous growth, including
the Olympic media village and Marriott Krasnaya Polyana. Across the valley lies its sister
resort, the “Laura,” or Gazprom, Resort, which will also be the site of cross country and
biathlon. At Rosa Khutor, alpine, freestyle, freeskiing and snowboarding events are all just
a short walk or lift ride of each other.
One thing’s for sure. Rosa Khutor is going to attract global attention in 2014. Sochi may not
be Chamonix. But it will introduce a stunning new destination to our sport.
Tom Kelly is the vice president of communications at USSA.
Just be careful of which
powder stash you raid.