Analysing terrain data
Great Northern is a major blue groomed catwalk/cruising trail, which was opened early in the season and it has a lot of snow-making on it.
To access this location, you will need to take the K1 Gondola from the base.
The K1 Gondola fits 8 people and it takes about 10 minutes to get up to the peak.
The line at the base can get annoyingly long on weekends, unless you hit it first thing in the morning.
Do not take this gondola unless you are a strong intermediate.
Great Northern was recently upgraded from a green to a blue trail due to the amount of traffic that needs to be negotiated, as well as the many variable terrain features along the way.
The biggest challenges on this are the crowds, the ice and the often narrow width of the trail.
BUT, if you are looking for a LONG blue run top to bottom, you will find it here.
(Lower Great Northern is marked green to taxi from lower Chute and off of Caper back to the K1 lodge).
Exit the gondola and head down the stairs and straight ahead where most people go.
Don’t go left off the stairs towards the Peak lodge if you plan to descend down a blue.
You will only be surprised to find the double black diamond headwall of Upper Downdraft which is a double-fall line and is steep, icy and full of moguls.
Great Northern winds down around the mountain with some interesting switchback turns.
The top is very narrow before opening up under the K1 Gondola.
Then it serves as mostly a catwalk to all the Canyon area trails.
The best advice is to be alert to the many trails that are intersecting and to always look uphill before you continue through an intersection.
The most crowded spot to be aware of is from the beginning of where Mouse Run intersects it to where it crosses over Chute.
This trail has varied light.
Perfect for people looking for a long blue with varied terrain or to connect to the black diamond and double black diamond trails in the Canyon area.