Powder at Powder Mountain
Today I skied Powder Mountain for the first time after the resort reported 6-inches of snow overnight. I met up with Hilary Reiter and Paul DeLong, a Powder Mountain guide, and we got to it. We loaded the Sundown chair and headed over to the snow cat that takes skiers and riders up Lightning Ridge. We rode up in the new cabin (until this season passengers were pulled behind it by ropes). Not only was this to be my first time cat skiing, but we got the first ride of the day which made it even better. When we arrived at the top Paul brought us over to several lines that didn’t have a single track in them and told us to take our pick. I skied a line called Middle Chute that Paul mentioned had maybe only been skied once all year. It was sick. The snow was light and fluffy, and there were plenty of rocks to jump off as well. On my way down I wondered, "Why haven’t I skied here before?" Check out this photo Hilary took of the snow covered cat.
Then Paul took us over to the Paradise chair for some wide-open Pow right off the lift on a run called Tomahawk. Paul showed us lines that we can ski in every direction. At Pow Mow, as the locals refer to it, the options are endless - you can ski the lifts, go cat skiing, heli-ski, and ski the Powder Country area down to the road and catch a ride back to the resort on the shuttle bus (which we also did). I was told that to experience the best of Powder, I needed a guide which I found to be very true. If it’s your first time at Powder, a guide is the best way to go to really get the goods. There is so much terrain (5,500 acres worth) that you wouldn’t know where to start without one. They offer group deals for whatever kind of skiing you're interested in. Here's a picture Hilary shot of me and Paul, our guide extraordinaire.
Paul knew I wanted to get into some hairy stuff. He took us back on the cat and brought us to a run called Hair Raiser. It was a narrow chute with rocks to play on and a nice wide open run out at the bottom. I was smiling for the rest of the day after that.
We wrapped up the day with some low angle, glade skiing off the Sunrise poma lift. This year the SKI magzine readers poll ranked the resort #1 for Best Snow, and now I know why. Powder Mountain diehards say you can find lots of fresh snow several days following a storm. As the photo below illustrates, there was plenty of untracked powder even late in the afternoon.
Next I hit the road for the U.S. Extreme Skiing Championships. With it dumping hard as we left, I was bummed that it was time to leave. The skiing in Utah is awesome now, and more snow is on the way with a big storm due to hit toward the end of this week. I’ll be back in a week to get waist deep!