The 80-year-old resort has more than 1,875 vertical feet of skiable terrain that caters to a wide range of skier abilities. Located at the top of Big Cottonwood, the resort is only 35 minutes from the Salt Lake airport and offers some of the cheapest lift tickets in the Cottonwoods.
Patrick Kolbay, a PhD student in biomedical engineering, is currently going through training to become a part of the Brighton Ski Patrol for this upcoming season.
Q: What kind of people go to this resort?
A: We definitely get a large variety of people ranging from park lovers to families. If you know where to go, Brighton almost always has pockets of powder days after the storm.
Q: What’s it like working there?
A: The employees and management are absolutely awesome. When I first joined the ski patrol I was told I’d be joining a family, and that’s absolutely the case. Everyone has each others’ backs and we’re there to help people. No attitudes, just good times.
Q: So, is the job as good as everyone thinks it is?
A: It has its pros and cons. We do have to be up at the resort hours before they open, and while it may seem like all we do is ski around in our patrol jackets, there are times when we spend hours of manual labor maintaining the resort or alternatively hours of boredom waiting in the patrol shacks. That said, we do get to take a few turns before the public gets access after storms, and helping those who are hurt is always rewarding. It’s a mixed bag, like most things, but all in all I love the job.
Q: Any stereotypes of ski patrol that prove true?
A: We can definitely seem like wet blankets a lot of the time, but that’s because we’re legitimately worried about everyone’s safety. After you see some of the accidents and what can happen when a body hits a tree at 30 miles per hour, you definitely become more cautious.
Q: What are some secrets to the resort?
A: I’ll keep the best runs a secret for myself, but I can say the trees below Snake are definitely underrated. Night skiing is also a great time to get some turns in without much competition when it’s nuking.
Q: Backcountry powder or groomers? Park rat or speed demon?
A: Definitely backcountry powder and speed demon.
Q: And after a long day boarding/skiing, where do you fuel up?
A: The best deal is the Porcupine Grill at the base of BCC. Don’t bother with any of the entrees, just get the nachos from the appetizer menu with added black beans. That thing will feed four people no problem for like $7.
Photo by Kiffer Creveling