It hasn't snowed in 10 days - What do you do? Get to Powder Mountain
on January 10, 2011
This was my 6th trip to Powder Mountain since I've moved to Utah back in 2006 and to be honest, I pretty much thought I had this place figured out. In my opinion, it was the place I brought East Cost friends to introduce them to powder skiing. The terrain never appeared to be too steep to intimidate or really scare my guests like some resorts can and there was always an abundance of powder, even if it hadn't snowed in the past ten days.
On this trip, Gregg from Pow Mow showed us the dark side of the mountain, the side of the mountain that had 8 life long and talented skiers on their toes all day, not to mention our butts. Prior to our arrival, I posted a comment on their Facebook site where I asked them to, "Show us what's up”, as almost a throw down challenge to what the mountain had to offer. Well Gregg and mountain put it to us. They pushed us to our limits with each and ever decent and we loved every minute of it. .
The highlight of the day came shortly after 1 pm when we got an abridged version of the Powder Safari Tour. Atop of Hidden Lake we boarded the snow cat for the second time and traveled 25 minutes out to the resorts most recently acquired area called the La Plata Ranch. This is where we were introduced to newly named Thunder Dome! This terrain is brand new and according to Gregg we had the honor of being the first group to ski it. Upon de-boarding the cat, we made our way over to the edge of the ridge where I was greeted by a steep 50 degree pitch of untracked powder. Now I’ve been out with two separate helicopter operations and the terrain accessed off the top of Thunder Dome was steeper than anything I ever skied. Let's just say, it was on!
So to all of you skiers and riders out there who think Powder Mountain is only a low angle powder paradise you're wrong, well partially. It's actually that and a whole lot more. Sign yourself up for a day of Snow Cat skiing in the Powder Safari, I can guarantee your skills will be put to the limit and you wont be disappointed. I mean seriously, 3000 acres of bowls, glades and chutes for $375 a day is well worth it in my book. We only had two laps back in La Plata Ranch and would have paid $375 for just that. Also remember you can take single cat rides up Lightning Ridge or Rain Tree for only $15 when you purchase a day pass. For those interested in more than just cat skiing check out Powder Mountain adventure page. There you can book, backcountry guided tours, in bound guided tours and even kite skiing!
In addition to Gregg from Powder Mountain, I need to thank Kevin Rapf from Park City Television for filming with us all day. Thanks for the great footage, now if only I could convince him to do my video editing as well.
On your way home from the Powder Mountain area be sure to check out the Shooting Star Saloon. The Shooting Star, centered in downtown Huntsville, is the oldest bar in Utah. Built in 1865 as a trading post, it was converted into a bar in 1879. Be sure to try the Star Burger, I promise you, you'll put every single calorie you burnt off skiing right back on in under 2 minutes, but trust me it's worth it.
Now because there is no website for me to link you to, here are what some reviewers had to say.
A dark wood panel saloon cured by decades of tobacco smoke and off-color cowboy talk. Moose and elk trophies--and even a stuffed St. Bernard--preside over this one-room establishment, with its cash-plastered ceiling, where you're as likely to hear German or French spoken as you are English--Huntsville is a ski jump away from the 2002 downhill course at Snowbasin. Don't forget to check out the jukebox with its selection of 45s, including old-time country favorites Gene Autry and Marty Robbins.
Burgers are the top draw. Headlining the menu is the triple-decker Star burger, which features a split knockwurst nestled among the lettuce, pickles and tomato. The double bacon cheese is another favorite. Burgers come with potato chips. "We are not a restaurant," the menu declares. "No substitutes." There's beer on tap and dark bottled microbrew if the draft is too light for your taste.