Can Utah’s Powder Mountain win our Battle of the Ski Resorts?
Nominated by Jonny
Ease of access 2/10
I’m sweating just at the thought of this, with no direct flights and a long-leg to Atlanta and then another to Salt Lake City. THEN a 90-minute car trip to resort.
Sense of scale and epicness 4/10
Pow mountain doesn’t have a focal ‘wow’ point. Instead say hello to gnarly trees, and blowing storms with 500 inches of snow annually. Most memorable thing? The steep, corking road up to the base.
Variety and quality of the pistes 5/10
Everyone’s so busy skiing more celebrated Utah spots like Park City, Snowbird, Brighton, Alta etc, that you really don’t need to worry about congestion here. It’s just you, and a smattering of locals pulling a pow day sicky. Lifts are nowhere near state-of-the-art but who cares when it’s so quiet with 2800 acres/144 trails to play with?
Off-piste potential 10/10
Snowcat operation opens up another… 4000 acres! Best of all, you can do single trips, via the Lightning Ridge cat (as well as the usual half/full days) for just $18. Backcountry off James Peak is mega and just a 20-minute hike from the lifts.
Plenty of acreage and all very nice. Best skiing in Utah is a bold claim but add in the cat options and Pow Mountain gets our vote.
On-hill grub 5/10
Basic compared to plusher nearby Snowbasin. But if you’re into your skiing rather than gourmet nonsense you’ll love it with burgers and beer doing the job just fine.
Après scene 2/10
Bar at the main base is OK but nothing historic. Not much about apart from that, unless it’s cropped up since Fall-Line’s last visit. But it has changed owners, being bought by some mega-wealthy 30-something entrepreneurs with, apparently, big plans. Here’s hoping they don’t sabotage the soul of the place.
Base suitability 8/10
Touring looks peachy, but not sure about the regs with the cat skiing area. And it’s hard to imagine they’ll welcome you poaching the best lines. Get a truck rented and you’re well set for exploring Utah, and to a lesser extent Wyoming.
Family friendly? 4/10
There is some ski-in ski-out accommodation at the base but not loads. Although they offer all the usual ski school and rentals. I can’t think of many better spots to learn, as it’s very friendly and very quiet. But you’re not going to be getting any amazing deals, with so few Brits/Euros visiting.