The grand opening of the new Bergman Express lift took place Saturday December 30th 2023, and a few of us from Bluebird Oxygen were there to take in the experience (and a little leftover powder as well). While the new lift is an end to many locals’ favorite hike to untouched snow, there’s still the Independence and Erickson Bowls for that. While there was a little bit of lamenting what’s been lost, we couldn’t help but smile as we witnessed the collective excitement of so many visitors’ first exposure to Bergman Bowl.
A Breath of Thin Air: The Bergman Express Lift
Keystone Resort’s addition of the new Bergman Express lift is taking skiers to new heights (12,282’ to be exact). This brand-new lift, unveiled just a few days ago, now provides easy lift-service access to the Bergman Bowl, opening a world of exciting new terrain for visitors who previously may not have been able to manage the oxygen-consuming hike.
Our Firsthand Experience
As dedicated Keystoners, we couldn’t resist being present for the Bergman Express’ first day in operation. The Bluebird Oxygen team ventured out Saturday morning, December 30, 2023, to witness the excitement and ride the new lift.
To avoid the craziness of Mozart and potential lines of Santiago Express we opted to ride the Outback Express over to the North Peak and slide on down Thorne to the new lift. At 9:02 AM we walked directly out of the River Run Gondola and onto the Outback Express gondola without a wait. There was a bit of line once we made our way down Thorne to the Bergman Express, but we pedaled our way over to the singles line, and carefully placed our butts on the new chair within 10 minutes.
Upon reaching the top of Bergman Bowl we snapped a few photos and found a nice line with some untouched powder. It was evident the inexperienced were playing it safe and leaving the good stuff to those more accustomed to soft turns. Ski Patrol was out in force keeping an eye on the trouble spots near the bottom of Uneva, and the unlucky few struggling in the soft snow. We got our laps in, enjoying more descents of Bergman in a few hours than we have did all last season.
Conclusion: A Breath-Saving Experience
The Bergman Express’ debut at Keystone Resort is a game-changer for Skiers and Snowboarders looking for the side-country experience, without the dangers and difficulty of the hike, offering easy access to the magnificent Bergman Bowl area. It’ll be nice to conserve energy for the descent in Bergman moving forward. For those in the mood to earn their turns or just escape the crowds, there’s still Independence and Erickson Bowls a small hike away.