Timberlines’ new master plan is a step closer to reality. KGW News reports that the U.S. Forest Service has reviewed and accepted the Oregon ski resorts’ master plan. The article notes that while “nothing has been officially approved, Timberline hopes the plan guides improvements over the next decade.” The new master plan is aimed at guiding the vision of the resort for the next ten years. This was all made possible by Timberline’s purchase of Summit Pass this past summer, helping merge the two ski areas and creating the largest vertical drop of any ski resort in the United States.
The major announcement from their 2022 master plan is the unveiling of the Timberline Express Gondola. The lift is being built to counter traffic challenges faced on Highway 26 and the access road leading up to Timberline. This 2.5 mile long, 10-person gondola will start at Summit Pass, and end near the top terminal of Jeff Flood Express. The mid-station will have various trails and surface lifts for beginner skiers, “a planned tubing site, an area for camping sites and/or overnight yurts, and a small guest service facility.” New trails will also be added to connect Timberline to the Summit Pass pod.
Other plans include the upgrade or replacement of the Summit Pass chairlift, upgraded guest service facilities at the Summit Pass base area(skier services, ski patrol, retail, food and beverage, and a circulation area for shuttles), snowmaking upgrades to combat climate change, the expansion of their mountain biking trails to the Summit Pass area, expanded parking at Summit Pass and Timberline, a reworked entry plaza at the Timberline Lodge, a new mountain department personnel building, and more. They are hoping to complete the first phase of the project, the new gondola and redesigned Summit Pass base area, within the next five years. You can view their master plan here.