Smokin’ Utah Powder: Too Busy Skiing For Ski Photos!

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No REALLY. I couldn’t hold myself back let alone any of my ski buddies long enough to photograph the AMAZing powder we were skiing. Here we thought we’d had fantastic powder days at our own little Brundage Mountain. Now, I’m from Alta, Utah (I literally lived there for 5 years or so) in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. It’s known for the Greatest Snow On Earth. So I know all about Utah’s famous snow. But it’s been a long time since I was there, and besides, you might get one or two good powder runs in at a popular place like that before it’s all tracked out, and turns into ‘crud’ skiing instead. You need the wide open field of fresh snow with no ski tracks to really call it ‘powder skiing’.

Powder Mountain is in the Wasatch Mountains too, north of Alta, outside of Ogden, Utah. I gotta tell ya I’m ambivalent to share how skiing there was like a throwback to skiing Alta in the ’70’s. This was before the days of high speed quad (four person) chairlifts that deposited so many skiers on the mountain, that the coveted powder was churned into crud by the third run.

View from the top of Powder Mountain’s only (I think) high speed Quad Chairlift

Yeah, it’s nice to get to the top of the mountain faster, but the upshot is it dumps way too many people at the top way too fast; and getting a couple of runs of untracked powder is a good day. A POX on that I say! I think Powder Mountain has just one of those beasts, and everything else moves at the good old slower pace (two-three person chairlifts that move more slowly). They even still have a Poma Lift!

Old School

Not only that, but Powder Mountain is the largest ski area on our continent. Even bigger than Whistler Blackcomb in Canada.

Look at all that terrain! Who’s making the decision here?!?

And they don’t groom! Put that together with their feather light snow and you have a powder skier’s fantasy come true. The only time I had to take skiing photos was from the chairlift. Not the high speed quad, thank goodness. Kind of a challenge to get off a good shot when the skiers are moving as well as the chair I’m sitting on. You can see the tips of my skis to give perspective of how high up we were:

Chest Deep – You’ve Heard of Face Shots?

Just look at that fluffy stuff coming out of the sky! It would pile up nearly four inches deep on our shoulders and laps over the course of the chair ride up.  We were calling it “free re-fills” as our previous tracks would be almost filled in by the time we came around again.

I mentioned they don’t groom (well, except for the connecting cat tracks). But check this out, the snow was piling up so deep in this spot there was a crew out here the next day to dig out more room for the chairlift to pass over.

See the ski tracks under the chair on the left? The down moving chairs were gouging into the snow slope…

OK, maybe I shouldn’t have shared all this. Because another part of the charm here was how few skiers there were. But ya know, I just couldn’t help myself.  We’re going again next year. Who’s In? ;<)

Although, you have heard of the saying, “No friends on a powder day”? So you gotta keep up, or we’ll catch up at the end of the day…at the car!

(Actually, that’s a lot of bluster…cuz wait till you hear what happened next…check out my next blog for the more sobering side of this sport….)(it will also explain why so long since my last post;<)

My favorite little tree on the mountain…


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