There’s powder in them trees they said, you should go…
So we loaded up the truck with our implements of powder
slaying, and drove to Powder Mountain just north of Salt Lake City.
There’s something about PowMow that defies logic, as if the universe changed the rules for this 7000-acre swath of land. The powder mysteriously stay perfect well after a storm, the base feels deeper than what the stick reports. I simply don’t get it.
The fist time I visited I knew it was special, but I didn’t enjoy myself as much as I wanted to. My friends all wanted to play in the mounds of powder nestled in the trees to either side of the groomed runs, but I was unskilled at the task of powder shredding and spent most of my time flailing in the snow like an injured animal. I gazed longingly at the familiar patterns on the groomers.
Two years later I returned, a different skier. It was snowing and I was ready.
Powder Mountain is huge, which means it could take a while to find your favorite runs and hidden stashes. Luckily, they have a very active group of guides that take visitors under wing and show them around. Both times I’ve visited we said, “yes please” to the free guide. Powder Mountain guides are passionate skiers who know the mountain from gate to gate. Roscoe, our guide yesterday, had us mesmerized with insights, “ski to the magic bus, yes, there really is a bus in the woods, then enjoy your reward,” he said with a lyrical New Orleans accent. He was a friggin’ hoot! The guides are bound to groomed runs, but they are deft at relaying off-piste route beta. After an hour with him we knew where to find the stashes.
Even though it was a weekend powder-day, the lines were brief, they always are. No logic. It's fitting that this mountain sits on top of Eden.
We headed for the trees, yet I still felt a little anxious as I entered the powder. Historically, I could handle a little powder but struggled with linking my turns for very long. Something about the terrain at PowMow eased my mind and I fell into a flow. At the bottom of that first deep run I squealed like a teenager meeting her favorite rockstar.
From there we explored route after route. Our group consisted of three adults and two 12-year-olds. Off trail there were many line options where we could take it easy or unleash the hounds. The guys found enough challenge to keep them grinning, while the kids chose their pace, and I was somewhere in-between.
One of our last runs was into Powder Country. We skied down a short cat route to a road where we had to pull off our skis and cross the pavement. On the other side our gaze swept from the boundary fence across seemingly endless powdery tree-runs, some mellow, others steep. It was wild and beautiful. We dropped in and meandered all the way to the canyon road below, giggling and whooping. At the bottom, we hopped a shuttle back to the lodge parking lot. So. Much. Fun. No exaggeration. It was a good day for all.
Unloading the truck back at home we realized the kids had left their skis behind. “Awwww shucks, I guess we’ll have to drive back to Powder Mountain,” Steve said with a familiar sparkle in his eye. “You’re on!” I answered. Day two we found a stash that delivered some of the best runs of our lives. No I won't tell you where, some things you must seek for yourself.
A note of thanks:
I would like to thank Roscoe, our ski guide, for showing us around on the first day and for pointing us toward the powder on day two as well. It still seems like a dream.
Another shout goes out to Michelle of the Powder Mountain Ski Patrol who left her warm shack to find the girl’s skis after dark and then offered to someone carry them back to Salt Lake…of course we couldn’t accept your kindness, because that would have meant no day two….I hope you liked the pastries:)