Sleeping Giant Summer Recreation and Zipline, Mother Nature To Blame | Big Horn Basin Media

Sleeping Giant Summer Recreation and Zipline, Mother Nature To Blame

Written by on May 21, 2024

Mother Nature just won’t give Sleeping Giant Ski Area and Zipline a break.

The popular skiing and recreation area just outside of Yellowstone National Park didn’t open for skiing for this past season because of a lack of snow. And now, because of the amount of spring snow, they are announcing that there will be no ziplining this summer, according to their Facebook post.

“After not being able to open for the winter due to lack of snow, we were then hit with almost a season’s worth of snow in just a few weeks followed by several days of very warm temperatures which lead to heavy runoff from the mountain that ended up flooding the basement of our lodge. Thus we will not be opening the zipline this summer and instead plan to focus on training, clean up and repairs at the mountain,” so says the post.

Much to his chagrin, Sleeping Giant owner Nick Piazza told Cowboy State Daily that, “We know [not opening the zipline] will come as a big disappointment, but we feel this is the most responsible choice we could make at this time.”

While some ski areas like Jackson, Wyoming got record snowfalls this winter, it was not the case for the upper northwestern part of Wyoming and beyond into Montana with Red Lodge Mountain struggling to open.

Sleeping Giant did open their zipline course last summer, but the owner’s decision to suspend operations in 2024 was based on practical matters like staff focusing on the damage at the lodge as well as maintenance and the overall plan of expanding trails for next ski season.

This past winter season has had anomalous conditions in the Big Horn Basin.  After a relatively mild winter with very little snow and accumulation, spring saw a season’s worth of snowfall.  Because of the large snow pack piled up in a short amount of time, as temperatures rose and the snow melted, it caused unusual and heavy runoff which ended up flooding and damaging the basement.

“We made a final decision that we wouldn’t open this season to allow staff to focus on training and lodge repairs that will likely include improving drainage around the lodge so there won’t be future incidents of this nature,” Piazza says.

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