When I try to describe my ski trip to Powder Mountain to someone,Â I usually say it was “weird”. I get a funny look from themÂ as if they were expecting me to say something else, “Snow was great”, “snow was junk”, “wow, tons of powder there”, “I’m not sure why they call it Powder Mountain as it was sunny when I was there”, or something along those lines.
Then I proceed to go on explaining my one word answer, weird.
Most people have not heard of Powder Mountain or as the locals refer to it,Â PowMow. I think Powder Mountain likes it that way. (we know the locals do) I guess that’s weird point #1, that they like to be “unknown” (“skiing’s much better over at Snowbasin”).
No lift lines during the weekend? Weird. Powder skiing a week after a storm? Now that’s just wacky weird (Squaw Valley locals can’t evenÂ fathom a full morning of powder).
Full day lift tickets forÂ $60? Weird.
When I say weird, I think you are now beginning toÂ get the point. I mean weird in the best possible way. The folks at Powder Mountain try very hard to maintain a 1960’s feel. There are no buildings over 2 stories. Not really surprising as they only haveÂ about 5 buildings anyway andÂ with one of thoseÂ being a Yurt!.
They have one bar/restaurant for lunch and apres ski festivities. WhenÂ I was there, they had a great live band. However, they are pushing you out the door by 5pm. You guessed it, weird.
The parking lotÂ seems like it sitsÂ about half way fromÂ the top of the mountain. Weird again.Â OnÂ the access road up to the mountain, you see beautiful lines comingÂ down the drainage on both sides of the road just beckoning youÂ to drop in. Interestingly enough,Â it isÂ kinda nice to justÂ strap itÂ on and beginÂ skiing / snowboardingÂ without even toÂ take aÂ warm-up lift ride.
Pow MowÂ has 2 cat skiing areas (Check out the Adventure Center)Â that opens up overÂ 3,000 acres of terrain.Â This just so happens to be bigger than Snowbird, which has 2,500 acres total.
To get to one of the Powder CatÂ pick up spots,Â you ski downÂ a fringe run near the ski area boundaryÂ and proceed down the drainage and run-out. About half way down, you see about 20 people standing around without skis on and justÂ chatting. They are awaiting the arrival of the cat. In bounds, on a pay per ride basis.Â Weird.
AtÂ this sleepy, “little” resort, theyÂ have more skiable acres than Vail with only 4 chairs, 2 poma’s, and 1 tow (Yes you read that right!). If you’ve got access to more skiing acres than Vail than you must be in Switzerland, right? Nope, just weird.
At Powder Mountain, theyÂ haveÂ GuidedÂ Adventure ToursÂ to show you the wholeÂ mountain (maybe not weird, but different).
As you would imagine with only a handful of lifts and all of theÂ available acreage, itÂ took a day for us to get used to the mountain and its layout. But once we understood the mountain and all it had to offer, it ended up being one of my favorite places I’ve ever been to ski. It is a skiers / snowboarders mountain in the true sense. No frills. Just skiing and snowboarding with an old school vibe like Alta, A-Basin, Grand Targhee & Mad RiverÂ GlenÂ which is alwaysÂ a nice change of pace from the big glam resorts.
Pow Mow more than satisfied our very demanding group of 12, which came from places like Tahoe, New England, Jackson Hole and Breckenridge to check out the available goods. Not weird.