Snowbird. Alta. Park City. Brighton. When tourists boast about their Ski trips, and Utah transplants establish new home-mountains these are the resorts that are getting claimed… and that’s exactly what we want. As a matter of fact, I’m having an ethical dilemma about writing this very article knowing that I’m liable for breaking the first rule of Pow Mow – Don’t talk about Pow Mow. My justification is that those of you reading this share the same passion as I do. You would gladly choose a chairlift over a gondola, a few extra runs over a lunch break, and a pow day over a class lecture.
The Mountain. First things first, Powder Mountain has the most skiable acres of any resort in the US. At 7000 acres, Powder Mountain could fit 6 ½ Brighton’s, 3 Snowbird’s, or 2 Park City’s within its boundaries. What more can I say? Within these boundaries is terrain to satisfy any palate. For the all-mountain ripper, there’s no better place than Paradise. Cliff drops, pillow lines, chutes, side-hits, and wide-open faces can all be found here. On your way up the lift, scope out your line on the cliff bands to the right. If you’re a park rider, warm up on the Sundown parks’ mellow rail, jump, and jib lines (also open for night riding). Then make your way up to Hidden Lake, where features get bigger and include a retired van and a 400-foot halfpipe. When you’re making your laps through Hidden Lake, keep your eyes peeled for the lumberjack zones, which include rails, stalls, and wall-rides made from trees that have fallen in the area.
Sure, I guess you can find proper parks and insane freeriding almost anywhere but what you won’t find is Powder Country. Essentially you can drop off the side of the resort, access 1200 acres of pure, untouched side-country and end up on the canyon road below. Instead of hitch hiking back up, a shuttle will pick you up and take you back to the resort. If that’s not enough, you can use your student loans for a snow-cat ride up Lightning Ridge or a Heli-ride to James Peak. The last thing to be noted is that Powder Mountains snow is all-natural, and with an average of 500 inches annually, the name is no coincidence. Get to know this place, and you will find powder stashes days after a storm.
The Vibe. Aside from the coursework, the college experience isn’t complete without having a little too much fun, and a good vibe is crucial for that. As I mentioned earlier, Powder Mountain is not always on the tip of every tourists tongue. Because of this, the culture at Powder Mountain has remained more genuine than your grandpa’s cowboy boots. I’ve been sitting here thinking about how I could accurately explain the vibe of Powder Mountain, and after stumbling over my words for the past 15 minutes it became clear. Not even Ernest Hemingway could do justice at describing the Powder Mountain vibe through a blog post. From the people to the atmosphere, it’s just Pow Mow! To make the situation even better, Lucky Slice Pizza has reached from their location on Ogden’s historic 25th street and set up shop in the lodge to fill you up with slices of pizza that makes Spedelli’s look like bagel bites.
The Way. Like most other students, the hurdles of getting to the mountain are usually scraping up the extra cash and finding the time. To address that issue, Powder Mountain offers $40 passes to students on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Compared to an $86 day pass on the south end of the valley, it’s a no brainer. To combat your tight schedule, night riding is open from 3-9pm so you have plenty of time after class to get in your fix. UTA even offers a shuttle from Ogden to Powder Mountain six times a day, seven days a week – perfect for a quick study session, for cutting down on pollution, and for when your hand-me-down Ford Tempo gives up the ghost.
If you don’t know, now you know. From the prime terrain & endless pow stashes to the local vibe and natural feel, Powder Mountain is…well…its Powder Mountain. Come find out for yourself, and then you’ll understand. Or don’t, that’s fine with us too. All this fluffy white stuff up here is actually asbestos anyways.