..... duh! I've been telling you all that for I don't know how long ... they only leave out Sundance off of I-40 ... as Robert Frost saz .... The Road Less Traveled .
Bliss is right under you nose; look at it - me.
The bad thing about that article is that now more gapers will find the last good places. Bummer. I don't want to share .. well except with the DCSki folk. I don't want the MidA 'experience' replicated in Utah. I can find the peace and zen in those mountains that I can no longer find here.
I don't think that will happen, Snowcone. It might result in a small percolation in travel plans for next winter, but that will be pretty much the extent of the impact. Resorts have to be in the travel recommendations pretty constantly and offer a pretty extensive apres-ski scene to cause a shift in travel plans for a long time. None of those resorts have that... though Snowbasin said they are looking at a base village and I've seen some stuff on Utah threads that the owners of Powder Mountain are trying to turn it into a destination resort. And from what I've seen on the message boards, a lot of local Utahans (sp?) regard that move by Powder Mountain with about the same amount of joy that we'd regard the conversion of White Grass into a luxury gated community.
One thing that article did, though, was get me jazzed up for looking for "the other west" again- those resorts that people don't know much about and are a joy to ski because of extended powder, empty ski runs and cheap digs. I can't start nosing around for these resorts until I get a positive income stream going again.
Couple of them that I've found in the past- Alpine Meadows (kind of well known but down home atmosphere and plays a distant second fiddle to its neighbors, Squaw Valley and Northstar), Big Mountain, Grand Targhee. Places to be tried yet: Wolf Creek, Powder Mountain, Schweitzer, and a constellation of resorts in central British Columbia. I'm sure there's more out there that would make good 3-5 day trips, I just haven't looked in a while.
That article just got me excited to ski Solitude in a couple of weeks. I know I'll do one day there and one at Alta. After that I'm not sure.
What's the best lodging option for Snowbasin? Ogden? If so where and what's in Ogden? Any decent places to eat, etc?
yeah Ogden .... we just stayed at a motel there off of the main drag to the southern end. Watch out for those motels that have "courtyard swimming pools" ... that can get real noisey until 10:00 PM. decent places to eat ... can't remember where but on the main drag there was this Mexican place that gave you a heck of a lot of food for not too much $$ .. but no good booze and they only accepted cash ...
What's the best lodging option for Snowbasin? Ogden? If so where and what's in Ogden? Any decent places to eat, etc?
Ogden is the closest city to Snowbasin, but it is smaller, cheaper, and more blue-collar than Salt Lake City. Be forewarned. Ogden is a great place to stay cheaply, it is laid back, and has good access Powder Mountain and Snowbasin (I've stayed in Ogden several times), but if your wife is expecting destination accomodations, she may never allow you to book reservations again.
Snowbasin is a pretty easy drive from Park City. Until you get to Snowbasin, it's a pretty flat drive.
For a more "wilderness" experience, look at Huntsville or Eden, or the Wolf Creek Country Club. Be advised there is really nothing out in those towns, including grocery stores. But they are in a very scenic valley.
We did the drive to and from PCR to Snowbasin several times and its not bad, 4 lane all the way until the turn off, then its the usual windy mountain road but wide and very well maintained. Snowbasin is amazing and the folks there are unbelievably friendly and helpful. Food is definitely a couple of cuts above the usual resort fare at slightly cheaper prices ... and you sure can't beat the lift prices. Think Deer Valley at 2/3 the price. Personally, I think Snowbasin makes DV look a bit shabby ... something about gold fixtures, granite counters, solid wood stall doors in the loo, deep, deep carpeting throughout the lodge, huge golden chandeliers in the cafeteria, just says over-the-top, but in a nice way. After the lifts close at 4 there are live entertainment and drinks in the frou-frou dining room [not the day lodge] until 6 when the place shuts down.
Take your camera ... the views are second only to Alta.
Lodging; there is a newish Hampton Inn at Kimball Junction right next to PC. We stayed there the first night for $119 for the 3 of us including their really decent breakfast bar. We would definitely stay there again.
Before someone gets on me about the blue collar label of Ogden, here's an example: there were a couple of strip clubs a few blocks from where I stayed in Ogden. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I can't say I've never been in one of those types of establishments, but I wasn't confident I'd be walking out of those two places in one piece...
For eats/drinks: Tommo recommended the Gray Cliffs Lodge for dinner; north side of the Ogden Canyon Road (Ogden to Snowbasin). I've driven by it a few times but was too tired to stop. I've heard good things about the Shooting Star Saloon in Huntsville; it's one of the oldest continuous saloons in the country. I was never able to find it the one time I tried to, there ain't no landmarks at all in Huntsville...
I do believe there is a military base in Ogden. Airforce if memory serves me correctly. Almost any place that there is a large collection of military, there is going to be recreational opportunities of the type that are not smiled upon by the Church.
rest assured...utah strip bars are like a fuzzy box of kittens when compared to most similar establishments. Adult entertainment walks a very thin line when trying to keep their license in such a conservative region. If they act up, they get shut down. Virginia Beach vs the 700 Club is a perfect example.
Powder Mountain is on my list of places to hit next month. I'll let you know. In addition I'm trying to get a camcorder for the trip. If I can I'll shoot video and post it somewhere.
That'd be sweet if you could get some video of it!
My whole family is Air Force, and it makes me proud to know that we've dragged down a portion of Utah as well as dozens of other locales around the country and the world! Nothing wrong with being a blue collar town at all. As a matter of fact, I think it'd be fun to walk into one of those artsy-fartsy museums in Park City and ask them if they could direct you to the nearest strip club. Maybe holding a brown bag and wearing cheap sunglasses at the same time...
Actually most of my itinerary lines up with that article. Brighton, Powder, Snowbasin all feature with Solitude as a possibility. Like I said I'll do my best with video. What I really want video of is the terrain accessed by the snowcat tow ($7 for a tow into the back country, damn straight I'm doing that). The Canyons and Park City are a maybe but I'm not basing my trip around them. I really want to hit the little known stuff. We were discussing Sundance but I'm not sure if it will be a go.
One great place to stay in Ogden is the Hampton Inn. They renovated it for the Olympics in 2002 and it is more like the Hilton, than your typical Hampton Inn. It is conveniently located a block over from the 25th street restaurant row, which has a lot of great choices. Worth a look!
You're a boarder, right?
Just be warned that there is plenty of traversing to get to and to get back from Cobabe Canyon. This canyon comprises a significant section of the Pow Mow in-bounds terrain and holds a lot of the powder stashes. And you need to take surface a poma lift to get there - many boarders don't like poma lifts.
The Paradise and Hidden Lake lifts are sloooooow, nearly Timberline slow. From a trail map, the Hidden Lake lift only gives you 1300ft of vertical, but I think I timed the lift ride to be about 15 minutes.
The snowcat operation doesn't seem to run every day - you may want to call in advance. Also, you are not riding in a snowcat, you are towed behind it in a multi-rider get-up that ressembles a water-skiing rope. (This may have changed, so give them a call to confirm.)
The Powder Country buses seem to operate most of the time. Some fun stashes can be found in that terrain. Plus, how often is your lift a blue bus?
Pow Mow is a great place to ski as long as your expectations are set accordingly.
Ok , another place ruined... stay in Eden valley area. There are places to eat (not many but some - oh and check out the famous burger bar with the dollars stuck on the ceiling), and at least one grocery store. You can stay at Ogden which has its strip-style places, and small downtown "historic" area with restaurants too -- but the drive to either snowbasin or powder is longer .. so i'd say probably forgo that and go right into eden valley - there's at least a couple of hotels, b*b's and then of course the condo/houses at wolf creek (which is directly below powder). I think powder has some minimalist on mountain lodging too. Snowbasin I believe is only drive up - no lodging. As for powder itself - check out the "front" where you pick up the bus back up to resort from road after skiing down, that was cool. When we were there the snow-cat was not going that day, so i can give no advice -- however Powder if VERY spread out, and local oriented -- its definitely worth a visit. (this is last season info)
Other options -- you could nearly as easily stay in salt-lake, and drive to any of the cottonwoods, park or 'basin/powder rsorts on any particular day as the snow drifts with a little "whitetail" lead time... for example, one day I got up (staying in eden) and hauled over to The Canyons -- beating EVERYONE, even the coffee shop in the parking lot with out problem -- and I'm no early morning riser!
That's one reason, I think its unlikely really SLC will ever be a single destination resort area-- just my opinion, and in a way hope. I like it the way it is ...
NOW -- this post will self-destruct in 30 secs....
John and Kev, thanks for the insights. I'll call PM before going to see if the cat is running. Poms aren't ideal but I learned to cope in Europe so no biggy. I knew the cat was a pull and I'm not expecting it to be the most fun ride in the world but possibly worth it. Catwalks and traverses, again not too big a problem. I was warned about them at Vail and to be honest my problem was navigating everyone else, not the slow down, in fact most of the time I'm accelerating (fanatical waxer). Either way I'd heard it was not exactly super up to date lift wise but that doesn't deter me.
I don't think Vail is a good comparision, unless you're talking about getting to/from the Siberia and Mongolia Bowls. Even so, the runout at the bottom of Cobabe Canyon is a looooooooooooot longer than anything at Vail.
Also, to get to many spots in Cobabe Canyon, you'll be traversing uphill - don't think the anti-gravity wax has been invented yet. It's easier for skiers since we can pole/skate uphill. I think I may have even taken my skis off in spots. And if you're forced to be breaking trail in your boots, you could easily sink in close to your waist.
It's a great place, but Powder Mountain has always struck me as an area where I glad I'm not a boarder. You may find differently. Let us know how boarder-friendly you think the layout is.
Thanks again I'll keep it all that in mind. Waist deep you say..... Okay this is doing nothing to reduce my excitement level. I believe giddy is the word. With the traverses I'm assuming it's not possible to charge them as fast as possible to get over them. I have to get out of my Mid A thinking. I keep forgetting how big those mountains are so when you say long run out I'll take your word on it.
I keep forgetting how big those mountains are so when you say long run out I'll take your word on it.
I have trouble determining what is a ridge and what is a valley on a Google Map, but using a real rough reading and some rough navigation guesses, it looks like Cobabe Canyon is at least a mile long. That sounds about right, but I may totally be totally screwing up the reading. Kev R., does that seem right to you?
To get your bearings, toggle between Map and Hybrid settings. (Also check out Pow Mow's online trail map.) To view most most of Pow Mow's terrain, scroll upwards from the cutbacks in the center of the map. You can also increase the resolution for this location to get a better view.
Places to be tried yet: Wolf Creek, Powder Mountain, Schweitzer, and a constellation of resorts in central British Columbia.
Been to all those. You won't be disappointed. When you hit the little places in BC, make sure you hit Fernie. Add Red Lodge, MT; Durango Mountain Resort (Purgatory), CO; Alyeska, AK and maybe Brians Head, UT to that list.
Ah, Purgatory and Red Lodge! Forgot about those. Fernie is a definite... there's also Silver Star, Sun Peaks, Apex, Big White (that was the Constellation over near K... I forget the name of the valley but it starts with a K) and the appropriately named Powder King in North BC. Also Panorama- Intrawest's hidden resort. And Kicking Horse... criminy. You might have to move to B.C. for a few years to cover all the "small" resorts that are located up there.
Not sure if I'll ever make it to Southern Utah (Brian's Head) though... worth the trip you say?
...and Kimberly... British Columbia might as well be the energizer bunny of skiing. I apologize if I've lift any other ones off the list...