Steeeeep & Deeeeep at Powder Mtn. 3/12
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Denis - DCSki Supporter
March 12, 2009
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,227 posts
Today I met JoeJ an old friend and fellow instructor who is "retired" at Powder Mtn. He guides people to side and backcountry in their Mountain Adventure program. His wife Betsy is a mountain host and gets compensated with vouchers. They gave two of them to Dick Carlson and I for today's adventure. 2 feet of snow fell on Mon. and the place is huge, uncrowded/undiscovered and has 7000 acres of terrain. There were untracked lines all over. There is an area called Powder Country and when you eventually ski down to the road a shuttle bus comes along in a few minutes to take you back to the ski area. The skiing was about as good as it gets, exciting, adrenaline pumping, incredibly hard work and incredible fun. I hope I have some leg strength left for Alta tomorrow. After skiing we enjoyed a few libations and a delicious pot roast at Joe and Betsy's house nearby.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
March 12, 2009
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,728 posts
Ok, alright. At first I enjoyed the reports from the recent retiree traveling the ski world...WV, VT, UT, backcountry, sidecountry, on piste, powder, chop, packed, solo, with grandkids, with old buddies, etc, etc. But this latest is just plain cruel. It's early March and we have 70 degree drizzle in DC, many of the ski areas are closing this Sunday. The white world is a quickly fading dream. Meanwhile, you're out there tearing into 7000 acres of virgin powder. So sorry about your sore leg muscles. Have a good day tomorrow, you mudda. grin
kennedy
March 12, 2009
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
Powder Mountain is amazing. Probably my favorite place to ride on a powder day. Love Powder Country. My one regret is that the last time I was there I didn't take the cat ride to the back side of the mountain.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
March 12, 2009
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,227 posts
Thanks, Jim. smile Hope you guys have some more snow coming. Winter usually does have one last wild fling in the WV high country. I recall 2-3 years in a a row of skiing a foot of powder on the last weekend of Mar. or first one in Apr. The pattern of this winter is likely to hold. It will once again get unseasonably cold in the east. Keep the faith. cool
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KevR
March 12, 2009
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
Waiting for the bus (shuttle) after coming down "the front" seems to take a tad longer than you want. Anyway Snowbasin is at one end of the valley and Powder Mtn is at the other, its an interesting place to visit -- Eden/Ogden Valley area. I think there's a new Wolf Creek Utah related area there which might be good for beginners (its related to the resort which u pass thru to get to powder mtn) -- never been to it but got some mailers, they have a website, etc...
SeaRide
March 12, 2009
Member since 03/11/2004 🔗
237 posts
Ahh.. I went to Powder Mountain first time last Jan 2009 and love it. I like the terrain and the way it spreads out. I like it being different from many other Utah ski resorts. I am looking forward for many more future trips to Powder Mountain. Wish I had connections like Denis does to access the area by CAT (or snowmobile I think) at Powder Mtn.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
March 12, 2009
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,728 posts
In case you hadn't seen before, and since Denis didn't provide pictures, sit back and enjoy this approximation of what he's talking about: Pwdr Mtn snocat run
KevR
March 12, 2009
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
The snow cat, you just pay a bit and they take you up if the conditions permit, that's the way I remember it. Anyone potentially can do it.
SCWVA
March 12, 2009
Member since 07/13/2004 🔗
1,051 posts
Denis,

The snowcat is only $10, no reservations required. It is very sweet. They also allow you to skin up next to the snowcat track, if you don't want to spend the $10. It's a pretty short hike.

Powder Country is also very nice.
daserd
March 12, 2009
Member since 07/21/2005 🔗
1 posts
Denis; I was there thru Tueday. It was Amazing! If you were working to hard then your skis aren't FAT enough! Brian
Denis - DCSki Supporter
March 12, 2009
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,227 posts
Originally Posted By: daserd
Denis; I was there thru Tueday. It was Amazing! If you were working to hard then your skis aren't FAT enough! Brian


I wish it were that simple. I'm afraid it has more to do with how fat I am and age. Don't get me wrong, I had a great time. Today at Alta I found lots of untracked powder, tucked away in places that just were not skied. No idea why since they are in plain sight. The skis are Volkl Explosivs with a 95 mm waist, a great ski that I really like. They handle anything but the bluest of ice and of course they love powder.
GRK
March 13, 2009
Member since 12/19/2007 🔗
404 posts
I'm ready to go right now!
GRK
March 13, 2009
Member since 12/19/2007 🔗
404 posts
Cool video...thanks for sharing. This Jake guy makes some nice videos.
JohnL
March 13, 2009
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,518 posts
Quote:
The snowcat is only $10, no reservations required.


$12 this year. Despite the recession. (Hey, 2 bucks used to buy you a cup of Joe or a cheap beer.) You also have to buy a lift ticket (which also has gone up this year.) Sorry for griping a bit, but I remember the $7 rides.

IIRC, before they got a snowcat, they used to tow skiers on a rope behind a snowmobile. (You also have to ski across a road to access one of the two Powder Country bus-served areas. Gotta love that place. Old School.)

I was there the same day Denis was; happened to ride up a Powder Country bus with him. Best runs of the day were a 15 minute hike to the top of Mount Baldy in Powder Country, and a run down lightning ridge via the snowcat. Apparently, there were 3 pro skiers on a photo shoot in the snowcat.

Like a lot of the "unknown" places, Pow Mow has become known. Pull the plug on the Internet... It was by far the most tracked out I've seen it; and only one day after a storm. The top of one of the Powder Country areas was *completely* tracked out. I hit the cat early; after that, there was at least a two cat wait (20 minute round trip for the cat? = ~40 minute wait) per other skiers. Powder Country buses were also pretty full.

Cobabe Canyon is great for fresh tracks, but most of it is very low angle (several faces sucked on Wednesday because the snow was too deep for the angle) and you get very little vertical given that you need to take three lifts to complete a circuit (with one extra slope thrown in to get between two of the lifts), you have a very long run-out, and you may have some hiking.

Edit: Cobabe Canyon comprises a sizable percentage of the lift-serviced terrain at Powder.
BushwackerinPA
March 13, 2009
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
Originally Posted By: Denis
Originally Posted By: daserd
Denis; I was there thru Tueday. It was Amazing! If you were working to hard then your skis aren't FAT enough! Brian


I wish it were that simple. I'm afraid it has more to do with how fat I am and age. Don't get me wrong, I had a great time. Today at Alta I found lots of untracked powder, tucked away in places that just were not skied. No idea why since they are in plain sight. The skis are Volkl Explosivs with a 95 mm waist, a great ski that I really like. They handle anything but the bluest of ice and of course they love powder.


honestly you would be surprise how much better the newest fatter skis are at powder than the explosivs. Which I think are great skis but IMO arent powder skis by todays definition.

the coolest thing about the supersized fun shape is they make flatter tighter terrain turnable.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
March 13, 2009
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,227 posts
Originally Posted By: BushwackerinPA

honestly you would be surprise how much better the newest fatter skis are at powder than the explosivs. Which I think are great skis but IMO arent powder skis by todays definition.

the coolest thing about the supersized fun shape is they make flatter tighter terrain turnable.


I have been hearing favorable comments about the super fats with rockered tips. I've talked to people on lifts about them and they say that they are reasonably versatile, which surprises me. A guy yesterday said his have a normal camber under the center so that they handle like a short, normal ski on the groomers. I had asked him how they handled groomers if he had to ski them to get to or from the powder. Another question is how well a tele binding can handle that kind of width. I have Hammerheads on the Explosivs and they do just fine. I can ski them parallel on hard snow and lay down racer railroad tracks. That is my favorite way to ski a groomer if I have to do that. Someone told me that Alta will have a tele demo day this spring and they are sure rockered tip skis with tele bindings will be available to try. If so I will try them. I won't buy without a demo.

I got the Explosivs in 165cm so as to save a little weight for skinning in the backcountry, expecting some performance sacrifices. Until the Powder Mtn. day I never felt that a longer and wider ski would be more appropriate than what I have. My friend Joe, the guide was on K2 Coombas in 180 with Marker Duke bindings.. They are 105 at the waist and he ripped on them. Joe asked me why I don't just go AT and get something really fat. A good question, although I love the feel of the tele turn in deep powder.
RodSmith
March 13, 2009
Member since 10/22/2004 🔗
318 posts
Originally Posted By: daserd
Denis; I was there thru Tueday. It was Amazing! If you were working to hard then your skis aren't FAT enough! Brian


Brian, If you weren't working to hard then your heels aren't FREE enough! It sounds like Denis enjoys the work.
BushwackerinPA
March 13, 2009
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
yeah you know this but there is 165 is way too short.

longer,fatter, softer and less camber all make a better powder ski.

My main powder skis are 192 thugs and I skied them at MRG and stowe this year. The floatiness makes them MORE nimble.

everything you know about what makes a ski nimble and easy to ski on hardpack should be thrown out in powder where the large the ski the QUICKER you can turn it.
BushwackerinPA
March 13, 2009
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
yeah you know this but there is 165 is way too short.

longer,fatter, softer and less camber all make a better powder ski.

My main powder skis are 192 thugs and I skied them at MRG and stowe this year. The floatiness makes them MORE nimble.

everything you know about what makes a ski nimble and easy to ski on hardpack should be thrown out in powder where the larger the ski the QUICKER you can turn it.
RodSmith
March 13, 2009
Member since 10/22/2004 🔗
318 posts
Yeah, longer may have been better for Denis that day but at least he was not on AT gear like his friend Joe. Every set-up has it's limitations. OK, Denis, if you had a choice of getting a longer ski at the same price, you made a mistake. Telemark skiing is your biggest mistake, after that ski length is a distant second.
BushwackerinPA
March 13, 2009
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
Originally Posted By: RodSmith
Yeah, longer may have been better for Denis that day but at least he was not on AT gear like his friend Joe. Every set-up has it's limitations. OK, Denis, if you had a choice of getting a longer ski at the same price, you made a mistake. Telemark skiing is your biggest mistake, after that ski length is a distant second.


joe had dukes.... what limitation does that binding have if any?

the only thing I can think off is the fact tour mode is annoying to get into, but other than that the duke is a solid alpine binding that just happens to tour. its honestly better than nearly all the alpine bindings out there.
RodSmith
March 13, 2009
Member since 10/22/2004 🔗
318 posts
Joe had Dukes and Denis didn't. I was suggesting that Denis was using a more better boot/binding interface than what Joe was using. Both choices involved some limitations, no doubt.
skier219
March 14, 2009
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
The main "alpine" downsides to the Dukes in my opinion are the bulk/weight and the stand height. But that's only in comparison to a good dedicated flat mount alpine binding. As an inbounds-AT binding, Dukes are great choices. I have Naxos now, but would definitely get Dukes next time around.

I had my Watea 94s (186cm) at Alta all week, and they worked out as a great compromise ski. They really rocked in the accumulating fresh powder on Monday (the best day by my reckoning), they did great in the powder and crud the rest of the week, and they ripped groomers once I got worn out skiing pow and crud. The only time I wished for something bigger was when skiing Catherine's on Wednesday -- the snow was thigh deep and heavy, and it took a good amount of speed before I rose to the top and started making turns. On the other hand, 186cm started feeling long as we were skiing bumps at the end of the week, but that's more an issue with me I am sure. On less steep terrain with wider bumps, they were fine.

No matter what ski I bring on these trips, it ends up being a compromise, and I find shortcomings in the skis somewhere along the line. I sometimes think I would like to bring multiple pairs of skis out west, but my requirements change run to run, so even that won't help much. I think you need to make an educated ski choice based on whatever factors matter to you, and then manage the compromise as best you can. Some skis work well as a compromise.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
March 20, 2009
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,728 posts
Interesting NYTimes article out today on Powder Mtn with pictures, reminded me of this thread.
http://travel.nytimes.com/2009/03/20/travel/escapes/20powder.html
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