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Powder Mountain is True to its Name | UNITED STATES, UTAH | 02/07/2008, by HotChocolatePowder Mountain...
Long story short, we headed down to for the Outdoor Retailer show and the Super 8 completely mishandled our reservation. Everything in town was sold out and we ended up having to stay about 25 miles north in a town called Ogden. It wasn't so bad... We made it to the show without incident and had a great week checking out ski gear. And when some friends found out that we were staying in Ogden, they suggested that we avoid the ski crowds by checking out Powder Mountain Ski Resort- which we did.
Powder Mountain is true to it's name. I had never heard of Powder Mountain. As someone who lives to ski powder, I can't believe that I had never heard of Powder Mountain! We showed up 5 days after the last storm and skied knee-deep powder... in bounds! It was soft, smooth, cream cheesy powder that was bouncy and easy to ski through.
In Jackson, it seems like every little stash gets skied within a couple of hours- for sure by the end of the day. So getting fresh tracks long after the most recent storm was a nice surprise. At Powder Mountain, everyone was blissfully relaxed... There was more than enough for everyone- the place is huge (5500 skiable acres!).
We were really hoping to check out the area's CAT skiing and some side-country terrain that you can hike to. Unfortunately, it was a pretty stormy day and they weren't running the CATs. They also weren't allowing anyone to hike- supposedly because they were doing avalanche control? Seemed kinda weird, but who knows. It was probably for the best though because visibility was super low and we most likely would have gotten lost.
Besides, there was plenty of stuff to check out in bounds. First we headed up a slow three-seater, which took us to Hidden Lake Express (the only high speed quad). Without a guide, we were just skiing wherever. The first run down Hidden Lake Express was fun, but pretty flat. (Granted, coming from Jackson our standards for steepness are pretty high...)
A liftie suggested that we check out the Powder Country- a sidecountry zone that funnels down to a shuttle bus stop on a road. We found some great knee deep snow and skied through a grove of nicely spaced aspen trees.
After about 5 minutes of waiting, the shuttle bus showed up and brought us back to the main lodge. It was kinda fun to have a bus pick you up at the end of the run, but it definitely did take longer than a lift. It also didn't bring you back to the top. All the hassle keeps the snow fresh though, right?
In search of steeper terrain, we headed down to the Paradise lift. Although the chair was painfully slow, we did find some better terrain to explore. There was one couloir that looked super sweet from the chair, but it turned out to be closed. It was all good though- there were other chutes, some little cliffs, and tons of powder. There were also more really fun aspen trees. This was definitely the best zone that we found.
Just as I started to get a feel for the place, it was time to leave. So sad... I would love to go back on a nice, sunny powder day. In fact, I would go back even if it wasn't sunny. It was just so nice to be somewhere with a friendly vibe. I didn't feel like I was in the middle of a fashion show or bro-bra throwdown. Strangers said hello, the lifties smiled, people wore Starter jackets and mismatched gloves. It made me feel nostalgic for little mom and pop ski areas like the ones where I grew up skiing.
Bottom Line: The in-bounds terrain had great snow and would be perfect for a mellow skier. As someone who seeks out more challenging terrain, I look forward to someday checking out the CAT skiing, heli skiing and sidecountry that was closed.