SNOWBIRD — A roller coaster that gives riders control of their speed opened Saturday at Snowbird Ski Resort.
The ski resort celebrated its grand opening of the new mountain coaster, on which riders take a twisting and turning ride through the trees, using a simple control to slow down or speed up their ride.
Once belted into the two-person cart, riders are pulled 160 feet up a ramp before gravity takes over and carries the cart down the mountain. A second passenger adds more weight, making the coaster glide faster over the track.
"You feel kind of like you're skiing or snowboarding as you go through the trees and then two big loops at the bottom," said Snowbird Resort Communications Manager Emily Moench.
Depending on how much braking the rider uses, the ride can last anywhere from 4 to 5 minutes.
"Snowbird's coaster is so cool because of the setting that it's in, up here in Little Cottonwood Canyon. The views are spectacular," Moench said.
The ride ends with two horizontal loops at the base of the Peruvian Express chairlift. The total length of the ride is 3,120 feet.
Snowbird anticipates keeping the mountain coaster open year-round operating hours from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.