Powder Mountain – The Other Side


When I try to describe my ski trip to Powder Mountain to someone, I usually say it was “weird”. I get a funny look from them as if they were expecting me to say something else, “Snow was great”, “snow was junk”, Powder Mountain Skier“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, 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 even fathom a full morning of powder).

Full day lift tickets for $60? Weird.

Powder Mountain SnowboarderI know what you are thinking, that this can’t possibly be true. But I’m here to tell you that it is and its  Weird, Weird and Weirder.

When I say weird, I think you are now beginning to 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 have about 5 buildings anyway and with one of those being a Yurt!.

They have one bar/restaurant for lunch and apres ski festivities. When 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 lot seems like it sits about half way from the top of the mountain. Weird again. On the access road up to the mountain, you see beautiful lines coming down the drainage on both sides of the road just beckoning you to drop in. Interestingly enough, it is kinda nice to just strap it on and begin skiing / snowboarding without even to take a warm-up lift ride.

Pow Mow has 2 cat skiing areas (Check out the Adventure Center) that opens up over 3,000 acres of terrain. This just so happens to be bigger than Snowbird, which has 2,500 acres total.

To get to one of the Powder Cat pick up spots, you ski down a fringe run near the ski area boundary and proceed down the drainage and run-out. About half way down, you see about 20 people standing around without skis on and just chatting. They are awaiting the arrival of the cat. In bounds, on a pay per ride basis. Weird.

At this sleepy, “little” resort, they 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, they have Guided Adventure Tours to show you the whole mountain (maybe not weird, but different).

As you would imagine with only a handful of lifts and all of the available acreage, it 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 River Glen which is always 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.