|Powder playground at Powder Mountain Utah - Photo by Ian Matteson/Powder Mountain|
|One of the bus-linked descents at Powder Mountain Utah - Photo by Ian Matteson/Powder Mountain|
|Powder Mountain by Chris Morgan|
Put it this way, we had tickets to do the snowcat ride to untouched terrain and WE DIDN'T USE THEM that first day - because we didn't NEED to. The snow was so deep and light everywhere and there were hardly any skiers, and no lift lines. In the multitude of glades and bowls where we put in first tracks, we were getting free refills as the day went on. And although I could see what the naysayers mean about the general pitch suiting intermediates, it certainly doesn't preclude advanced skiers. It was plenty steep enough to ski 18 inches of fresh everywhere in perfectly symmetrical turns and there were even steeper inclines in many of the gladed descents.
|How's that for a pitch at Powder Mountain Utah? - Photo by Ian Matteson/Powder Mountain|
|Lodge at Powder Mountain Utah - Photo by Ian Matteson/Powder Mountain|
|Roscoe Wilks with by Dr Simon Hudson in the Timberline Lodge|
|Unspoilt scenery at Powder Mountain Utah - Photo by Ian Matteson/Powder Mountain|
The ski-scape he showed us was utterly enchanting. From the tops of the chairlifts we looked out over intersecting hummocky hills, splattered with trees (neatly brush-cleared), stretching into infinity with hardly a habitation in sight - the resort actually owns 15,000 acres of this winter wonderland. With a smattering of properties clustered around the Timberline area, Pow Mow has recently started building a cluster of mountain homes high on the slopes - unusually starting at only 500 square feet! The one I saw almost finished looked gorgeous in a minimalist mountain modern motif, and it will be joined soon by six more ranging in size up to 4500 sq ft - all part of a longterm community plan (details below). I want the small one!
|Me at the UTA bus stop in Ogden - by Dr Simon Hudson|
|Ski bus at Powder Mountain Utah - Photo by Ian Matteson/Powder Mountain|
|Me with JP just about to board the Lighting Ridge cat|
- by Dr Simon Hudson
Lunch at the Powder Keg on the ground floor of Timberline Lodge was fun and cosy: an authentic ski bar atmosphere, open kitchen from where names are shouted out as food is deftly delivered, roaring fire heating the whole room, and surprisingly fine fodder – lots of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options including curries, miso, ramen, and upscale salads. Upstairs is a bit bigger with bench seating and a more typical self-service restaurant.
|Powder Keg Restaurant at Powder Mountain Utah, also a great apres ski spot with regular live bands |
Photo by Ian Matteson/Powder Mountain
The really reasonable $79 day ticket (purchased online) covers 167 named runs - 25 % beginner, 40 % intermediate and 35 % advanced - and Powder Mountain is open 9 am - 9 pm. A bit like 'twilight golf' night skiing starts early at 3pm every day at Sundown Lift: 100 acres including a terrain park and ski school learning area, serviced by a lodge featuring Lucky Slice Pizza, a local Ogden company. “It’s fun to get powder when it’s dark,” says JP. “At only $27, I’m pretty sure it is the cheapest night skiing in the state.”
The essence of our Pow Mow adventure was summed up by a mural in the lodge which read: "This is Powder Mountain. Once you have tasted of its magic you will want to return again and again and become part of it – Alvin Cobabe MD".
|Powder Mountain Utah - Photo by Ian Matteson/Powder Mountain|
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|Illustration of Summit Village at Powder Mountain (Courtesy of SPM)|
Here's a bit of background as well as forward plans abridged from a Powder Mountain press release:
In 2011, Chairman Greg Mauro, then a local season pass holder, approached Summit (an innovative event company) with the idea to save Powder Mountain from overdevelopment and overcrowding and build a next-generation Alpine town. The Summit organization strives to catalyze entrepreneurship, support creative achievement, and drive positive global change. After a crowdsourcing campaign, Powder Mountain was purchased in 2013 by Summit Powder Mountain - the youngest ownership group in the ski industry. Since the resort is not owned by a large corporation or private equity firm, it has the ability to reject the usual corporate resort formula of mega-homes, luxury outlets, and crowds.
Two new lift expansions this season (Mary's and Village), along with six miles of new roads, connect the existing resort to the new town location, which rests on a saddle intersecting the top of three bowls at an elevation of 8600 feet. This new town location features topographic features and views unlike any location in the US, including sprawling meadows and views of the Great Salt Lake. Ultimately, the proposed town, which will be modeled after the Swiss town of Wengen, will be similar in size to the historical parts of Aspen and Telluride. The town will feature a main street with pop-up stores, micro-apartments, farm-to-table restaurants, yoga boot-camps, public art, media labs and educational outlets offering training in everything from transcendental meditation, software development and athletic performance. It will embody a next-generation urbanism that nourishes social entrepreneurship, connection and collaboration, and responsible living.
|Powder Mountain Utah catskiing yurt - Photo by Ian Matteson/Powder Mountain|
Powder Mountain offers a unique opportunity for skiers and riders of all levels to experience their personal adventure within our expansive boundaries. Novice powder skiers and riders can easily dip into any of the powder stashes off our impeccably groomed trails with the knowledge they can return to the corduroy any time they want. Intermediates and advanced powder fans can access true side country adventure via single-ride cat on Lightning Ridge, Rain Tree and the newly added Lefty’s cat serviced terrain. Those seeking a bit more adventure can opt for a full day snowcat expedition to Davenport, an area known for steep canyon descents and deep, untracked powder. If you are seeking the ultimate guided adventure, check out the experts only Wolf Creek and DMI (Don't Mention It) Tours that provide skiers and riders access to over 1,500 acres and over 3,300 feet of vertical drop. Lifts, snowcats and shuttles deliver easy access to these areas, so you can focus on the extreme pitch and the pure joy of ripping your powder paradise. Also new this year, we are offering all day and single ride heli skiing adventures. Diamond Peak’s skilled guides can customize an experience that will make your wildest powder dreams come true.
|Powder Mountain Utah - Photo by Ian Matteson/Powder Mountain|