Giants Ridge – A Resort Review

I’ve spent a lot of time snowboarding and not enough time at Giants Ridge. Last season I was given the opportunity to meet up with a buddy of mine to go out and shred the resort. It turned out to be a pretty epic day, and we ended it riding snowmobiles around midnight on some lake up north.

I had been in Lutsen for some snowboarding the day before, and had an epic day of riding. If Giants Ridge was going to be epic, it had a lot of recent memories to overcome.

Giants Ridge Directions & Parking

I was amazed and almost crashed a few times while driving to the resort. It was really beautiful and I couldn’t focus on the road. Up to that point in my life, I’d never seen so many birch trees, and it blew my mind. I’m a city kid and feel like a group of pines can make a grove. I have since learned that’s not the case.

When you’re driving to the resort, use the directions they have on their site, they were extremely helpful. I used the directions and pulled into their parking lot. Everything was extremely easy, and I don’t remember much about this. Which usually means it went off without issues.

In fact, the only thing I remember about the parking lot was my indecision about wearing my snowboard helmet.

***Side Note Always Wear A Helmet, Stop Indecision From Getting You Click The Link For A Purchase Guide***

Giants Ridge Snowboard Terrain

Whenever I visit a new snowboarding resort in Minnesota, I always try to explore the entire resort. I’m not sure why it feels mandatory. Maybe it’s my fear of missing out, or I wonder if the snow is whiter on the other side. Either way I ride everything in the resort. So I checked out the giants ridge terrain map.

If you’re unfamiliar with riding in Minnesota there’s something you should know, black diamonds are a lot easier than what you’d ride in the mountains. I think this is due to the shortness of them, but I don’t know or care enough to find out. However, that doesn’t mean a beginner should go and ride them after an hour of training.

Always ride to your skill level or slightly above to push yourself.

A Rule Of Thumb To Follow When Visiting A New Snowboard Resort:

  1. Explore the resort, check out the sites and see the terrain out there.
  2. Test out the snow and get a feel for it. It’s really stupid to drop in at high speed on the first run of the day.
  3. Always do some warm up runs.

Giants Ridge Beginner Terrain

Giants Ridge has a lot of terrain to cover, but it can be explored in a single day. Take a look at the site map and you’ll see all the beginner terrain to the right side of the map, keep in mind, that’ll be on the left when on the hills summit. If you’re a beginner, keep following the green signs staying on runs named placid, snowbird, and park city.

A word of advice, try and stay away from the terrain park, and don’t go into the black diamonds if you’re a beginner. Going that far above your skill level leads to increased chance of injury. If you do this you could have bodily damage, you’ll look silly, and annoy your fellow skiers/snowboarders. Always push yourself, but know your limitations play it safe.

Giants Ridge Intermediate Terrain

When looking at the map, the left is all the intermediate terrain (to the right on the summit). So once you get bored of the green runs, make the shift over there. These runs will give you more speed and terrain to play on.

In addition to this, you might even find some epic tree runs somewhere on Innsbruck or Chamonix. Tree runs bring me to my happy place, and make a boring day epic.

Giants Ridge Expert Level Riding

Most of the expert level or black diamond runs start at the top of the hill. If you’re daring, or trying to impress someone, drop into one of those. Most resorts measure a black diamond by steepness and not length, and these are no exception because they are short.

However short black diamonds are a great way to train, and you can ride them without gaining a ton of speed. This means you’ll get used to riding steep runs but be less intimidated.

Giants Ridge Terrain Park

There are two terrain parks at Giants Ridge, one is labeled terrain park on the map and the other is named Garmisch terrain park. The one labeled terrain park had some epic jumps on it, I remember getting nervous looking at them because of their height. But after a few runs I lost the fear and went after some air.

The landings were groomed and excellent.

Snowboard Resort Food Options

I ate in the chalet. Usually I try to avoid that because it can get super expensive. I remember being surprised as I didn’t notice the prices being to high, and the chicken sandwich was decent. (we all know what chalet food tastes like.)

Ski/Snowboard Patrol

In case you need to find ski patrol they are always patrolling the hill and I thought I saw their headquarter around the main chalet. If you’re wanting to sign up for their ski patrol program, you can click on the link here.

I’ve always wanted to join ski patrol but fell into the snowboard instructor category, I guess someday I could do both but there’s only so much I can do in a day.

Ski/Snowboard School

If you’re a beginner or an intermediate shredder that needs help dialing in some extra skills, you can always book a lesson with the giants ridge ski school. I’m including the link here for you to browse and checkout.

Don’t spend the day wishing you could be better on a snowboard. Find a friend, teacher, or mentor to help improve your skills. You’ll be glad you did.

Snowboarding Gift Shop

I always like to check out the resort ski or gift shops whenever I stop in at a new resort. It had some decent items and if you’re into trinkets saying you were there or you need some new gear. Feel free to drop in.

Ski/Snowboard Lift Ticket Prices

Snowboard lift tickets will vary from year to year, they usually go up as I’ve never seen them go down. Hopefully I’ll see that soon because there’s a first time for everything. Check out their lift ticket page for the latest prices, season pass news and other updates.

If you are going to shred a lot. I always recommend the season pass route. I get the epic local pass to Afton Alps every season, and I’m usually riding for free by the second week of January. However sit down and estimate how much you’ll go, multiply that by the daily lift ticket price and see which one is more.

If I didn’t have my epic local pass, I’d be paying over $1500 a year in lift ticket fees.

***riding for free is my definition for the amount I would’ve paid for lift tickets

Ski/Snowboard Repair Shop

I am having trouble finding a ski/snowboard repair shop on their website. It could mean they don’t have one, or I’m not finding it. If they have one, and you want to talk about it. Please comment below. I’d love to hear more.

Otherwise I might make a trip up north next season to update this post.

The View & Feel Of The Snow

The view from the top of the peak will take your breath away, I remember looking out and seeing birch trees as far as my eyes could see. This kinda freaked me out because I’m used to seeing downtown Minneapolis in the distance, but I liked it.

I was riding the first week of March and the snow was soft, but not melted yet. I love riding during the end of the season because it’s not sheets of ice.

What do you think? Leave your comments below and don’t forget to subscribe for my latest blog posts.

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