Library to the Lift: Snowbasin
Jan 14 2014
Higher education and snowboarding don’t always go hand in hand. Heavy schedules, high tuition, and long commutes can all deter students from enjoying time on the mountain while they pursue degrees. Luckily, Snowbasin is a fresh reminder that students don’t have to give up recreation for education because in Ogden they go hand in hand.
Located less than 20 miles from the University, Basin is arguably the easiest getaway from the classroom for both students and professors in all of Utah. Towering over the campus is the peak of Mt. Ogden, a constant reminder that anybody can go from school to the slopes in under half an hour. Better yet, Snowbasin is accessible from both Ogden and Weber Canyons, which makes the commute take about the same amount of time whether you’re coming from North Ogden or Riverdale.
It’s no question why Snowbasin was chosen to host both the 2002 Olympic Games and the Dew Tour, the terrain of the mountain and luxurious lodges create a World-Class venue. Basin’s 104 trails and over 3,300 skiable acres lead to untracked snow for days after a storm, and the nearly 3,000 feet of vertical drop leave your legs burning after each run. Luckily, Snowbasin’s two gondolas give riders a chance to warm up, wipe down goggles, and comfortably rest before each run. And for Après-shred, no visit to Snowbasin is complete without a visit to their legendary bathrooms. Voted top 10 in the country by BestRestroom.com, these are no ordinary lavatories… Italian marble, hand painted walls, floor to ceiling commodes, and chandeliers crafted from bronze and crystal make bathroom breaks at Snowbasin #1 when it’s time for a #2.
If it’s not dumping snow, Snowbasin’s focus on progression based terrain parks give riders of all abilities the chance to have fun on over 65 different rail features and small, medium, and large jumps. Pocket parks are the future of Basin’s freestyle terrain, where 3-6 features are placed in different spots down the mountain. Hitting each pocket park on your way down gives riders the feel of an all-mountain park, but with the advantage of freeriding in between each separate park. Currently, Snowbasin boasts 5 parks throughout the mountain, and their new Riglet Park at the base gives 3-6 year olds the chance to learn the basics of freestyle riding with help from a certified instructor.
Even though the terrain parks are always fun, the entire mountain is a giant playground of natural features waiting to be hit. There are several access points to ride some of the best bowls and chutes just outside the area boundary, and there’s even a beacon park at the base to test your equipment before heading out. Strawberry Gondola, John Paul Lift, and the Mt. Allen tram access the my personal favorite spots within the area boundary, but I’m definitely not giving them all away on the internet.
Finally, college students can buy their pass for under $500, AKA the cost of a few textbooks, before the season starts. And as an added bonus, the “Young Adult” pass price extends to age 26, so students can continue to enjoy the discounted rate even after graduation. When factoring in the low cost of tuition at Weber State, the limitless terrain at the mountain, and the supportive local community of skiers and boarders alike, Snowbasin is truly one of the best places for a college student to call their home resort.